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    If Someone Asks You If You’re With God, You Say Yes

    | Brighton, UK |

    Patron: “I would like to make a complaint about God.”

    Me: “Pardon me?”

    Patron: “I come in here all the time! I am told this is the house of God and I never see him!”

    Me: “You do realize that you won’t physically ‘see’ God in the Church? House of God means you can come here to communicate with him, or seek counsel from those who do.”

    Patron: “Is that you?”

    Me: “I am qualified, yes.”

    Patron: “So you’re in direct communication with God?”

    Me: “I interpret the scriptures for guidance, and I pray. I don’t have direct communication.”

    Patron: “So you’re not with God?”

    Me: “I study him and his will.”

    Patron: “You’re not friends?”

    Me: “No.”

    Patron: “Not even colleagues?”

    Me: “No.”

    Patron: “Anyone around here higher up that might be?”

    Me: “No more than anyone else I’m afraid.”

    Patron: “What about that Pope guy? He’s always talking about what God said.”

    Me: “You could try.”

    Patron: “Is he around? Can you call him down?”

    Messianic Rejects

    | Ohio, USA |

    (I check in families to our kids’ program. An older woman approaches me with her two grandkids. I give her the form to fill out).

    Me:  “Oh, ma’am, could I get your birthday? You left that line blank.”

    Grandmother: “No.”

    Me: “But ma’am, we need that to identify you as an adult. We can’t enter you into the computer without that information.”

    Grandmother: “Would Jesus have to give his birthday?”

    In Search Of Holy Handouts

    | Virginia, USA |

    Caller: “Hey…I need y’all to come out to [motel] and take me to the airport.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t think I’ll be able to do that.”

    Caller: “Oh, and bring forty-five dollars.”

    Me: “I’m sorry sir, I cannot come pick you up.”

    Caller: “What? I just came to your crummy town for a weekend and now I gotta get back home. Why the hell aren’t you helping me? I just need a ride and forty-five dollars!”

    Me: “Sir, I’m afraid I can’t.”

    Caller: “Ain’t y’all a church? Why don’t you get off your lazy a** and come get me?”

    Me: “Sir, I am not accustomed to meeting strange men at motels.”

    Caller: “Well, it’s obvious YOU ain’t a Christian!”

    Christmas Is All Pope & Circumstance

    | Westlake, CA, USA |

    Me: “Good afternoon, thank you for calling [church's name]. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “Yes, I’d like to know why the time of the Christmas Eve mass was changed.”

    Me: “There was a scheduling conflict with the Christmas Carol Concert. I’m sorry if it’s caused an inconvenience for you.”

    Customer: “It has. Many of them.”

    Me: “I’m so sorry.”

    Customer: “You’ll change it back, then?”

    Me: “Um, no. See, there’s still the scheduling conflict.”

    Customer: “But I have plans at the mass’s new time! I need you to change it back!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m really not in charge of that decision.”

    Customer: “I am not getting off the phone until you change it back.”

    Me: “There really isn’t anything I can do for you. I’m sorry.”

    Customer: “Have you called the Pope and told him about this? Call the Pope and tell him that your priests have changed the mass time. He’ll fix it.”

    Me: “I actually don’t have his number on me.”

    Customer: “I’ll hold.”

    Why The Pope And Dalai Lama Are Unlisted

    | Southampton, UK |

    (It is nearly Christmas, about 11pm. The Vicar has been out all day visiting elderly parishioners and has fallen asleep in front of the television. The phone rings.)

    Me: “Hello. St. ***’s Vicarage. Can I help you?”

    Man: “I need to speak to the Vicar.”

    Me: “I am afraid he is unavailable at the moment. Can I take a message?”

    Man: “Can’t you contact him? This is really urgent.”

    Me: “I am afraid I can only disturb him in an emergency. What is the problem. I am a Reader (lay minister). Perhaps I can help?”

    Man: “I have this really deep theological question. I’m sure only the Vicar can answer it.”

    Me: “I do have a degree in theology, sir. I’m sure I can help.”

    Man: “When is the Twelfth Day of Christmas?”

    Me: “??”

    Man: “Are you there? I told you, only the Vicar would know.”

    Me: “It’s the 5th of January. The day before Epiphany.”

    Man: “Are you sure?”

    Me: “Definitely. Why do you need to know?”

    Man: “Me and my mates are doing a pub quiz. It’s the one question we couldn’t answer. Thanks. Bye!”

    Me: “…”


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