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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Pastor goofs, part 2

I’d been in my first call for only a couple of months when I was asked to preside at an outdoor wedding on July 4. At the end of the service as I presented the husband and wife, I heard the click of a shotgun behind me and immediately hit the dirt. The bride’s brothers had decided to give their sister a 21-gun salute, but no one told the pastor.

The reason Pastor Johnson had his reservations
The reason Pastor Johnson had his reservations about hiring youth group members to replace his vacationing secretary.
Richard Hartman
Fort Wayne, Ind.

Born of the Virgin ...

In preparing a funeral bulletin, Monte Stevens, pastor of North Riverdale Lutheran Church, Dayton, Ohio, just hit “replace all” to insert the deceased’s name, Bernice, instead of Mary, whose funeral had been months before. After the funeral, Bernice’s son said he was surprised to learn that his mother was a virgin and asked whether that made him special. The Apostles’ Creed in the bulletin now read, “Born of the Virgin Bernice.”

Art Fabian
Dayton, Ohio

Careful, Dad

Years ago, my four siblings and I (with spouses and children) filled three pews in my dad’s church for Thanksgiving Eve worship. At the “Words of Institution” our pews began to shake as we struggled to contain our laughter when Dad said, “Jesus took the cup and he broke it.” Even though we barely kept our composure, Dad did, and welcomed everyone to the table without breaking any cups in the process.

Suzanne Olson
Maple Grove, Minn.

Oops ...

Elias Crabb, 89 years old, was the
Elias Crabb, 89 years old, was the onlychurch member willing to lead the youth group.
As assisting minister I prayed for God to comfort the family of so-and-so, who had died.­ So-and-so, however, was very much alive and on the prayer list for healing. As a woman shook my hand after worship, she said she had not heard about the person’s passing. It was then that I realized my mistake.

Brian Days
Decatur, Ill.

New translation

While preaching a sermon on Matthew 25 I told the congregation we are called to “feed the naked and clothe the hungry.” After worship a family told me they’d never heard that translation before.

Greg Smith
Fort Wayne, Ind.

Major mistake

I was robed and ready to greet and bless the cats, dogs, parrots and fish gathered in the memorial garden outside of Mount Tabor Lutheran Church, West Columbia, S.C. Major, a handsome Dalmatian, came straight to my side as I ended the service. He leaned against me with obvious affection and I was touched. Then I felt a warmth on my leg and looked down only to realize Major had mistaken me for a fire hydrant.


Alice D. Klatt
Beaufort, S.C.


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