Providence UMC is my second of three churches that I serve each Sunday. Last Sunday was one of the few times that I arrived early from my first service. We had about five minutes and we were making some small talk when I noticed a newspaper cut out on the pulpit. I picked it up with a glance and got ready to put it in my notebook, saying, "Is this for me to read later?" Tammy Daniels told me that I could read it now. Since we had a few minutes I decided to read it out loud for everyone to hear.
About Those Church Hymns
A minister decided to do something a little different one
Sunday morning. He said, "Today, in church,
Iam going to say a single word and you are going to help
me preach. Whatever single word I say, I want you to sing
whatever hymn that comes to your mind.
"The pastor shouted out "CROSS."
Immediately the congregation started singing in unison,
"THE OLD RUGGED CROSS."
The pastor hollered out "GRACE."
The congregation began to sing "AMAZING GRACE."
The pastor said "POWER."
The congregation sang "THERE IS POWER IN THE BLOOD"
The pastor said, "SEX."
(AT this point I felt my face start to turn red and my pulse increase. I started sweating, with a trickle slowly going down my back. It was too late to stop so I continued reading.)
The congregation fell into total silence.
Everyone was in shock.
They all nervously began to look around at each other
afraid to say anything. Then all of a sudden, from way in the back of the church,
a little old 87 year old grandmother stood up
and began to sing "PRECIOUS MEMORIES."
With those last words, I and everyone in the church broke out in laughter. I'm still not sure if the laughter was for the story or the awkward look on my face. But, I had been gotten. It was one of those moments when I wasn't Reverend Johnson or Pastor Charlie; I was just Charlie and they weren't my congregation; they were just my friends. We were just a bunch of friends having a big laugh. It was wonderful. It was a moment when I see again how blessed I am to be serving as pastor here.
But, next time I'll read things silently first, before I them read the out loud. I really should have known better.