Guess We’ll Just Live In Sin, Then!

, , , , | Working | January 29, 2021

When my fianceé and I were planning our wedding, one of our first decisions was the person who would perform the service. She had been raised in a fundamentalist Protestant sect, and although she had become more liberal in her thinking, she was still friendly with her pastor and his family, so he was a natural choice.

We made an appointment to ask the pastor to fill the ceremonial role. And we were shocked when he refused, quite cruelly, and turned on me, asking me pointed questions about my beliefs and referring to our “mixed marriage.” My metaphysics is more middle of the road. I stood my ground, at one point asking him:

Me: “So, you believe that Anne Frank, unbaptized infants, and toddlers go to Hell?”

Pastor: “There are degrees of punishment.”

So, yes. We left with my fianceé in tears, and we got my parents’ minister to officiate.

But it didn’t end there. Between then and the wedding, the pastor called and begged my fianceé not to marry me, saying it would be “her biggest mistake.” She hung up on him.

Everything got settled when his wife wrote my fianceé a letter and told her that they had always hoped she would marry their oldest son. He wasn’t worried about her immortal soul; he just wanted to keep her on the market!

We got married without her minister in attendance and, several decades later, we are happily retired with successful children and well-adjusted grandkids. And the oldest son they wanted her to marry? Mutual friends report he is living in a squalid trailer park in Florida, barely making ends meet.

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No Room For Memorizing Lyrics AND Scriptures

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | January 16, 2021

Like most churches, ours helpfully puts the words to the hymns on a screen for all to see. Today, however, as we start the next song, the screen suddenly flickers and quits. The onstage chorus looks at each other in confusion, but the pianist is still playing strong, so everyone desperately tries to mumble along to the melody. The pastor tries to call out the words for us, but it’s hard to understand what exactly he’s saying.

Finally, we get to the refrain, which apparently everyone knows by heart, as the entire congregation suddenly belts it loud and clear! The lyrics screen briefly resurrects for a moment, just long enough to display the words we’re already singing from memory, and then dies before the next verse again.

Once again, we mumble along until the refrain: “Ner ner ner ner ner… BEEECAAUSE HE LIIIIIIVES!”

By the look of things, our pastor was moved to tears. Perhaps you had to be there, but it was certainly one of the more memorable worship sessions I’ve ever been to.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for January 2021!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for January 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for January 2021!

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Purity, Gone In A Flash

, , , , | Working | January 11, 2021

My boyfriend and I — both male — are tourists in Northern Ireland. We have a few hours to pass, so we walk into a large cathedral to look around. We are both very interested in history, and religious buildings of all forms are great preservers of local history, so they are some of our favorite places to visit when we travel.

While we’re walking around the cathedral, a priest approaches.

Priest: “Hello, and welcome to [Cathedral]! Do you have any questions about this magnificent building or the area around us?”

We end up spending several minutes chatting to him, and he happily answers all of our questions about the cathedral itself and the city we’re in. Finally, we have only one more question to ask.

Me: “Is it okay to take photographs of some of the displays and artwork around the building?”

Priest: “Yes, it is okay, although I must advise you not to use flash, as it could damage some of the older artworks.”

Me: “That’s fine. We go to a lot of museums, so we’re used to no flash.”

Priest: “Of course, women may flash in here… but surely, two handsome young gentlemen such as yourselves know all about that, as well!”

With that comment, my boyfriend and I — again, both male — were both stunned into silence. Before either of us could respond, the priest chuckled to himself, wished us a blessed day, and wandered off to introduce himself to the next visitors. My boyfriend and I wandered around for another ten minutes or so, taking pictures — without flash, of course — and then headed to the nearest pub to try and wash the awkward memory away.

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Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

, , , , | Friendly | December 25, 2020

I am about three years old and it’s Christmas. My mom, dad, and I are at church with a bunch of other people. The pastor is giving a sermon and I put my hand up. He thinks I’m waving at him, so he waves back. I put my hand down, but then I put it back up.)

Pastor: “[My Name], do you have a question?” 

Me: “Yeah, I think we should sing ‘happy birthday’ to Jesus because today’s his birthday. “

According to my dad later, the whole congregation, especially the old people, went crazy, as they thought it was the cutest thing ever.

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This Is My Body, Broken For Cat

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 19, 2020

I am a minister in a church. It is the weekend of Easter 2020. We have had country-wide lockdowns for the past month or so. It is also clear that we won’t be celebrating Holy Week services in the church. Our national office has decided that we are allowed to give communion online, as long as, one, someone who is allowed to consecrate the elements does so, and two, it is live, i.e. not a pre-recorded service.

We decide to give it a go that week and see what happens. I make a small spread of bread and crackers and pour wine in a tiny brandy snifter, and we are ready to go.

All is well until I am about to start the consecration when a chat bubble comes up on Zoom. 

Congregation Member: “Rev., I think the cat wants communion, too.”

Turns out, my cat had been nibbling on the communion bagel for ten minutes and everyone was wondering when I would notice. From now on, I give her some treats during communion to keep her and my congregation content.

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