aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Would I lie to you?

I was watching a British panel show called, Would I Lie To You? The various panelists read statements about themselves – some true, some false -- and try to convince the other team they’re telling the truth. Well, over 41 years of ministry, I’ve had a lot of experiences – good, bad, and just plain weird. I thought I would mine my memories and see what was there. Here are some three dozen statements about my life in ministry. How many of these things do you think I have actually done/had happen to me? (Answers below; no peeking!)

At one “take-in,” where I was to be introduced to my new parishioners, the DS failed to show up. Nobody had a key to the church, either, so we stood around in the parking lot.

One time, some kids in my youth group and I shorted out all the power to the entire Ichthus music festival.

I have conducted worship in a t-shirt that read, “Just Another Sexy Bald Guy.”

I have concelebrated Catholic mass with a priest. I don’t know if he knew I was a Protestant, but the other Catholics did and were utterly gobsmacked about it.

I was once on the Executive Committee of a big-time evangelistic crusade.

I have debated the head of the Freedom From Religion organization.

I have been attacked in a book published by Moody Press.

I saw a full-sized violin made of chocolate in a candymaker’s window; I was going to call the attention of the youth with me to this, but decided to walk on and say nothing when I saw the life-sized woman’s breasts made of chocolate next to the violin.

I have set up promotional displays at Black Expo in Indianapolis.

I have been sexually harassed by a nun.

I was once asked to exorcize a ghost.

I have gotten lost trying to find my way from one church to another on a Sunday morning.

One time when our organist fainted at the organ, I told the lay leader after the service to remember to count the paramedics who came in that day’s attendance.

I wrote and produced a TV ad featuring the governor of Indiana.

The youngest person I ever arranged to ever preach in my place on a Sunday morning was a 9-year-old girl.

One time at a funeral, I said we were there “to condemn [the deceased] to the care of God,” rather than “commend.”

I have repaired a pipe organ using rope and basic Boy Scout knots.

I have written extensively on fantasy role-playing games (FRPGs) from a clergy perspective.

I have ridden a camel.

My lay leader – a sweet man who had been a sergeant in Vietnam – was standing up front with a flat of begonias on Mother’s Day, puzzled by how to proceed in a situation he had never been in before. Finally, he said, “All right, all you mothers come up here and get these flowers.” I nearly fell off my chair.

I have published a book of music and worship resources.

We qualified for government cheese back when our church was used for commodities distribution.

Deanne and I once designed our own parsonage, which was built by the church I was pastoring.

I have Tourette’s Syndrome, which makes doing ministry more difficult at times.

I was visiting an old lady in the nursing home; I found her petting an African wildcat on her bed.

I once did a funeral on 30 minutes’ notice for a family I had never met before.

I was almost bitten by a crocodile on a mission trip.

I was out with a group of Venturers and we were looking in a taxidermist’s shop window; when the cat napping in the corner of the window moved, I almost freaked out.

In one wedding, the couple left the altar before the ceremony was finished.

I don’t do youth lock-ins at the church any more since the time when one youth leaped from the balcony in the sanctuary in a game of tag.

During VBS one year, I lowered every child off the roof of the church’s porte cochere using rope tied in an emergency chest hitch.

My cat came to church one summer day and ran across the front of the sanctuary during worship.

I was looking out over the sanctuary one day, and saw an old guy who had come in late. He wanted to enter the back pew, but there were people on both ends, so he just climbed over the back of it. No one else saw it but me.

I have sung “Father Abraham” – with all the motions – while playing euchre in a bar at a Catholic seminary.

I have paid pastoral calls on parishioners on picket duty.

I have had both hypothermia and heat exhaustion – but not at the same time.

Answers: They’re all true. You can’t make this stuff up.

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