The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Preaching to the choir

Our choir director, Dave, is normally warm and enthusiastic. One rehearsal he was agitated, though, and spent some time expressing his disappointment about the little things at church that weren’t getting done. After we sympathetically listened and agreed, the bass on my left decided to lighten things up. “Dave,” he interrupted, “You’re preaching to the choir.” It was the first time I’d actually heard that saying used in its natural setting.

No, you don't understand. You are
“No, you don’t understand. You are actually preaching to the choir. Turn around.”
Stan McLeroy
Herndon, Va.

Odd beginnings

On a visit to Holy Trinity Lutheran in Fremont, my suspicions of the exuberant California lifestyle were confirmed when the congregation dutifully responded with this line misprinted in the call to worship: “Let our spirits sin, and our bodies dance!”

Harland E. Johnson
Madisonville, La.

I was robed and waiting for worship to begin while serving St. John Lutheran Church, Covington, Ohio, but Sunday school had not been dismissed. The dismissal bell was missing. Mischievously I began singing, “Who stole the ding dong, who stole the bell? Who stole the ding dong, who stole the bell?” The door to the office opened and a gruff voice growled, “Your microphone is on.”

Hilbert E. Piel
Arcanum, Ohio

God, I'm going to have to put you
“God, I’m going to have to put you on hold. I have another call coming in.”
Squirrel stories

As my wife read from John 10:7-8 for morning devotions (“So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you. I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits ...’ ”), I watched a squirrel scale the bird-feeder pole and hangfrom the top by its back legs to reach and gobble the bird food underneath. A WD-40 treatmentof the pole fixed that, and we went on with the reading.

Lloyd Shupp
Falls Church, Va.

My friend’s daughter was surprised and relieved when their family arrived at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle and she read a sign that said: “Dead Sea Scrolls.” All along she thought they were going to see dead sea squirrels, which explains her resistance to participate in this family outing. Her younger sister shared her own wisdom in the car on the way to Christmas Eve services. When asked where the spirit of gift-giving at Christmas originated, the 8-year-old said: “God gave us Jesus on Christmas.” My friend was pleased with her answer, but after a short pause, the daughter added, “And Easter is when we sent him back!”

John LaMunyon
Sammamish, Wash.


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February issue


Embracing diversity