Your Morning Denouncements

“Good morning. So glad to have you worshipping with us here at Tether’s End Methodist Church.

“If you’re vis—what’s that? You can’t hear me? Is the microphone not working? Let me … is that better? ... No? ... Well, gosh, maybe I don’t need it … I’ll try to speak loud and clear. So, as I was saying, if you’re … I do need it? Well, hang on then … [tap tap tap] Testing … testing … ah, there we go! Y’know, I think this is the microphone that Virgil Munn’s boa constrictor swallowed last week at our Blessing of the Animals ceremony, and it may have gotten a bit mucked up. Gosh, that was quite a struggle for Virgil and the ushers to retrieve it! But they did get it back, and, say, Virgil, how’s your snake doing since then? ... You don’t know? Why don’t you know? ... It slipped out of its cage at coffee hour after the Blessing ceremony? ... Now, Virgil, why didn’t you make an announcement? ... You did? ... On this microphone … Well, Virgil, I don’t think it was working very … Folks, if you wouldn’t mind just taking a moment to look under your pew … Anything? ... No? ... Has Edna Floober fainted or is she just sleeping? ... Sleeping? Just let her be, then.

“Well, as I was saying, if you’re a visitor with us this morning, we want to welcome you, and hope you’ll join us at coffee hour. If you’re wondering at all the empty seats, well, that’s summer for you! Our usual crowd of fifteen to twenty thins out this time of year, so we’d love for our visitors—or visitor, it looks like-- to come up big for us at the offering today. We’ll be watching you! Thanks so much!

“Now, please turn with me to your bulletin insert, where at the top it says “Denouncements”. That should be “Announcements”.  There are quite a few typos this week that we hope you’ll forgive. Our regular typist, Bea, is on vacation, and so filling in for her has been the already-mentioned Edna Blooper—er, Floober. Edna does so much around here.  We all remember how, in the middle of my sermon two weeks ago, she stood up and gave an unexpected talk on her experiences as a young girl during the American Civil War. I’m sure we’ll cherish that forever.

“I draw your attention to the reminder that there will be a fundraiser spaghetti dinner next Thursday to raise money to replace our steeple. We still have no idea why the original one was stolen or by whom.

“The youth group has been away for a week at Poison Oak Church Camp, and Marco, our youth leader, tells me that when the kids returned home last night they poured out of the van just on fire for the Lord. They’ll be… What’s that, Marco? ... Oh, it was the van that was on fire… Is everyone all right?... Oh good, very good … It was an engine fire? Oh my! Well, I suppose we’ll need another fundraiser now … What’s that, Marco? ...  You already sold the van to Mrs. Floober? ... She wants the scrap metal salvaged to make more rifles for the Union troops … I’m sorry, Marco, but when she wakes up I want you to give her back that check, please.

“In other announcements… As some of you know, long-time member Myrtle Pinchley passed away recently, leaving an extremely generous endowment to us which is conditional on the rather unusual proviso that we rename the church in honor of her favorite deceased cat, Crystal. After much prayer, debate, and a few fisticuffs, the administrative board has decided to accept the offer from Myrtle’s estate. As of September 1st, we will officially change our name to Crystal Methodist Church. However, the board will be strongly encouraging us to not refer to ourselves informally as Crystal Meth.

“Finally, I’d like to introduce the two gentlemen who will be assisting in the service this morning. Our very own Carl Swackhammer has recently returned from a trip to Scotland and brought home a set of bagpipes he tells me he’s been learning to play for the past week. Gosh, let’s hope he’s a quick learner! He’s going to prepare our hearts for worship with an instrumental solo. That ought to wake up Mrs. Floober, right, Carl? Ha ha!

“And our guest in the pulpit today is Abdul al-Qasim, a local imam and professor of Islamic Studies, who will preach on ‘The Meaning of Christ’.

“Let us pray.”

Cuyler Black