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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Pastor goofs

On my way to conduct a committal service, my car overheated and stalled. I coasted down a hill to a gas station, where the teenager working that day loaned me his car. My worry about what the family would think as I arrived late in his souped-up car with a sick muffler was replaced by something far worse. As I got out of the car the funeral director pointed to the words around the front license plate. All eyes turned to read: “TOPLESS GO-GO GIRL — APPLY HERE!”

Walter M. Schoedel
Webster Groves, Mo.

“Next Sunday, we’ll go back to the
“Next Sunday, we’ll go back to the lapel microphone.”
Sorry, Bob and Alice

While leading prayers during worship I should have said: “We pray for all those who are sick and recovering, especially Bob and Alice ….” Instead I said: “We pray for all those who are sick or recovering, except Bob and Alice ….” Everyone wondered what Bob and Alice had done to tick me off.

Brenda L. Peconge
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

And down she goes!

At the Northeastern Minnesota Synod assembly, I was presenting a gift of thanks to a presenter on the stage — an elevated platform with a curtained backdrop. The photographer capturing the moment asked us to take a couple of steps back. In front of about 500 people, in heels and dress, I did as directed — right off the platform. There was a collective gasp as the crowd watched me fall through the curtain and disappear, followed by applause and laughter when I bounded back up.

Anne L. Andert
Sunburg, Minn.

“We’re not one of those needy congregations
“We’re not one of those needy congregations who expects the pastor to attend every social event or committee meeting ... but we did miss you in church this morning.”
Wardrobe malfunctions

At the funeral home, I found the adult son and daughter of the deceased not only grieving but glaring at each other across an almost empty room. In the midst of preaching about Jesus’ redeeming sacrifice, the elastic on my slip gave way. I picked it up and continued with the funeral. Driving away from the cemetery, I noticed the once angry siblings standing by their mother’s grave laughing with each other. God apparently used a wardrobe malfunction to break down barriers that day.

Miriam L. Nicholson
Elliottsburg, Pa.

As a nursing home chaplain, I’m ready for all sorts of surprises. But we were all surprised when I made my way to the second row of wheelchairs as I served communion. My cincture (cord) got caught in the spokes of a wheelchair and as I went one way, the wafers went the other. No one dared speak or laugh until, as I picked up the wafers, I told the worshipers, “It’s OK to laugh at the pastor.” And they did.

Betty Czubay
Williston, N.D.


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