You’re Only Meant To Have Five A Day

, , , , , , | Legal | March 18, 2019

(My wife and I are in adult Sunday School when the teacher is covering Galatians 5:22-23.)

Teacher: *reading* “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

Me: *whispering to wife* “Wow, hard to be good in so many ways.”

Wife: *whispering to me* “Just pick one.”

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So Happy You Could Just Die

, , , , , | Friendly | February 24, 2019

I am a minister, but last year I was still an intern. Part of being an intern meant being sent to a setting I had little experience with, which in this case was a small town in Northern Canada — like, moose-wander-into-town Northern.

I had done a lot up there, but the final thing I needed to do for my internship to be complete was a funeral. But despite the number of elderly, and sick, they all pulled through the winter.

I had three days left of my internship, and four people died, all of old age, peacefully, in their sleep. The first thing my 93-year-old neighbour told me was:

“Well, we knew you needed a funeral to make the most of your time here. The whole town banded together, and figured that one of ’em would want you to do it!”

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God Versus Instagram

, , , , , | Working | January 30, 2019

(As a Navy chaplain stationed nearby, I have been asked to do a wedding at a church in Coronado, a rather ritzy suburb of San Diego and home of the famous Hotel Del. The couple are quite well to do, their parents VERY well to do, and they want the perfect wedding and reception. To ensure it, they’ve paid for the perfect wedding coordinator. At the rehearsal the day before the wedding, this coordinator makes it clear that she is very much in charge, and starts organizing the wedding party, lining people up for the procession, etc. I am happy enough to let her do her thing, until, as I am walking the wedding party through the service itself, which will include a Nuptial Mass, she starts to challenge me.)

Wedding Coordinator: “No, we can’t have them kneeling at the rail with their backs to the congregation; it won’t look right in the photos.”

Wedding Coordinator: “No, when they exchange the rings, they should face the congregation, so it can be seen.”

Wedding Coordinator: “No… this.” and “No… that.”  

(Each time, I patiently instruct the couple and the bridal party to do it my way. Finally, she screams at me that I am interfering with her job, that she is a professional and knows what will work best, and that she will instruct the wedding party to do it HER way. I finally lose it.)

Me: “Ma’am, we are talking about a Sacrament of the Church, one which isn’t about getting the perfect pictures but about binding a man and woman together in Holy Matrimony. Outside the church, before the service or at the reception, you are in charge. Once they come into the church, then I am. Can you live with that?”

(She can’t, and again starts giving me orders.)

Me: “Ma’am, if you insist on being in charge of what happens during the Nuptial Mass, I wish you luck. I can have no part of it.”

(I start to gather my gear to leave.)

Wedding Coordinator: “What are you doing? You can’t leave! The wedding is tomorrow!”

Me: “True, but I won’t be here for it.”

Wedding Coordinator: “You can’t do that!”

Me: “And how do you mean to stop me?”

(She caved. I walked the party through the rehearsal again, while she glowered in a rear pew. The next day the wedding went off without a hitch, and the bride and her mother were very happy. The wedding coordinator was paid over $5,000, plus expenses. The photographer was paid as much. I was given a $100 honorarium in an envelope by the groom, and got to eat at the reception — at the table with the elderly aunts!)

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Jesus Is Watching Your Ugly A**

, , , , , , | Learning | January 25, 2019

Our church had to move due to renovations and our new chapel does not have enough classrooms. My brother and I were in our confirmation class, sitting up on the stage, near a crucified Jesus.

We were talking about the deadly sins, envy specifically. Our head teacher and his assistant were acting out two women walking by each other. When we discussed how women actually judge each other, our teacher accidentally said, “She has some ugly a**…” and stopped himself in immediate horror, turning to look at Jesus with a horrified expression. Immediately after he said it, the whole class burst into laughter.

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Turning Water Into Milkshake

, , , | Friendly | December 29, 2018

(I’m a youth group leader at my church. My parish holds several potlucks throughout the year. One time, I am sitting with the pastor when I see one of my younger kids come by, looking very pouty.)

Me: “Hey, buddy, what’s wrong?”

Kid: “The ‘panish ladies won’t give me a milkshake!”

(Our parish is very diverse, almost like a small UN. I’m surprised that someone refused him, though.)

Me: “You said the Spanish ladies won’t let you have a milkshake?”

Kid: “Yeah!”

(He points to a table, where two Hispanic-looking women are standing, although they’re hard to spot as they’re somewhat behind a potted tree. They have a one-gallon milk jug at their table, several cups, and nothing else.)

Me: “What did they tell you?”

Kid: “They said I can’t have a milkshake until I’m twenty!”

(My pastor sits up at that. Our branch of Christianity doesn’t mind imbibing, but the pastor specifically asked for non-alcoholic drinks and food, as this is a family event.)

Pastor: “They said the milkshakes are only for grown-ups?”

Kid: “Yeah!”

(The pastor excused himself and headed over to a parish council member. After he spoke with her, the council member visited the two women. I couldn’t hear what was being said, but the council member was clearly furious, and the women looked humiliated. They quickly packed up and left. I later found out the kid had misheard “michelada,” a Mexican cocktail, as “milkshake.” The pastor didn’t shut down the potluck, but he did speak sternly at services the next weekend, reminding everyone about family versus adult events.)

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