Tag Archives: Church humour

Salt in the wound!

28 Aug

Dear friends

Whilst I pride myself on my knowledge of the English language I confess to sometimes being a tad out of touch with common parlance.

Being situated in somewhat of a ‘backwater’, St Cliff’s (my veritable charge) is rarely graced with new faces thus an unexpected phone call from one of my regulars, with regard to her niece who had recently come to live with her, revived my soul greatly.

This young lady (a Christian) had secured a place at a college in the nearby metropolis and planned to forsake the rigours of staying in halls for the relative comfort (a little humour on my part) of her aunt’s comfy abode.

Excited that this young lady might make St Cliffs her spiritual home for the duration of her further education I probably wasn’t fully concentrating on the content of the phone conversation.

What I did grasp was her concern that the niece was rather shy but (not wanting to appear pushy) she asked me if it was a good idea if she came with her to see me tomorrow evening.

“Do you think I should take her to see you, or should I let her go alone?”

Well that is what I believed she said.

To be perfectly honest, whether the young lady came solo to pay me a visit (or with her aunt in tow) mattered little. Simply the notion that our weekly attendance at St Cliff’s might be swelled by one was enough for me.

Which is why the next evening I cleared my diary (I was certain St Cliff’s Committees Committee could survive without me) and waited in the church office in readiness to meet the aforementioned girl.

It was only when the hour hand on the office clock snuck past ten that it became obvious that I had waited in vain and that she was not coming.

A restless night ensued as I wrestled with both my disappointment at the potential loss of fresh blood in the church and my perplexity as to why the young lady was a ‘no show’.

I did not have long to wait for my answer. As I heaped an extra spoonful of Maxwell House instant coffee into my mug (in a bid to stave off the effects of my tortured night’s sleep) the manse telephone rang.

To my surprise it was the aunt. Before I had the opportunity to ask why I had been ‘stood up’ the previous night she launched into a tale of how her niece had not only joined the college Christian Union last night but that she had gone on her own.

Only then did the proverbial penny drop as to what had been meant by “Do you think I should take her to see you?”

What she did not mean was my good self but, in fact, the Christian Union or CU as I now learn it is generally referred to (in common parlance).

To add insult to injury I now find that this lady’s niece has decided to attend our local Methodist church (which boasts a lively youth group – ours resolutely refusing to break into double figures).

On top of which St Cliff’s Committees Committee was unable to vote on the motion at hand because it was short of a quorum by one person (namely yours truly) so to appease their ire I have agreed to attend their reconvened meeting to ensure that the motion is carried. That the vote pertained to the requisite numbers for a quorum is irony indeed!

It is but salt in the wound that I also discover this coincides with a visit by local ministers to ‘Freshers Week’ at the said college (aimed at attracting young folk to our various youth groups) and at which I am certain the Methodist church will now ‘clean up’.

Onward and upward

Derek

You can also find me at www.derekthecleric.com

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I’m back!

21 Jul

Dear friends

It has been a tad too long since I last ‘blogged’ but you will be pleased (I trust) to know that I am back.

I fear that the excuse I am about to proffer for my prolonged absence will appear somewhat lame, but I can only say it as it is.

My enforced ‘online exile’ was precipitated by an unfortunate incident at the outset of one particular Sunday morning service at St Cliff’s.

It is rare that we see fresh faces at our services but on this particular Sunday we were graced by a middle-aged couple who wasted no time in asking this and that about the church.

I felt that I wasn’t doing too badly until the gentleman slipped in what I considered was rather a ‘curved ball’, (considering that the clock was ticking inexorably towards our service ‘kick-off’ time) and it is more than my job is worth to be absent when Mrs Higginbottom, our erratic and tone deaf organist, strikes up for the opening hymn (or chorus, if I’m feeling brave).

The question my inquisitor asked was not one that I had ever expected to answer at St Cliff’s (if you know anything at all about the general lack of spiritual appetite resident within my flock) and I was thus theologically unprepared.

“What is your end time theology?”

This pertinent poser reminded me of an occasion early on in my Christian walk when a fellow enquired of me as to whether I was a Calvinist or an Arminian. Likewise, not having a clue at to what he was referring I retorted that I was in fact British (thinking that he was meaning Armenia, a mountainous country in the  South Caucasus region of Eurasia and I had not the foggiest what a Calvinist was).

In that I was ‘ready to roll’ for our morning service I delivered (unwisely) the first answer that popped into my head.

“Midday at the very latest I should imagine”, (thinking that he was referring to the finishing time of our service and not things pertaining to the ‘mark of the beast’ et al) “though sometimes we run a few minutes over if our organist loses the plot (a not uncommon occurrence) and adds a few additional verses to the last hymn, lack of words to accompany them not withstanding.”

Not only was my reply met with what appeared to me like a suppressed chuckle but to make matters worse I subsequently discovered that these incognito visitors were in fact ‘Mystery Worshippers’ reporting back to that comedic internet portal, Ship of Fools, no less.

Perhaps I would have been a little more on my guard had I but known that this was the case, but then again I supposed that is the whole point of this unofficial church OFSTED.

The icing on the cake to my embarrassing downfall was that the bishop just so happens to be a regular visitor to the aforementioned website and thus my gaffe was well and truly exposed.

That a church on his patch should be led by someone with such gaping hole in their theology was too much for him.

Having deduced that I perhaps spent more time ‘surfing the net’ than I did in sermon preparation I was summarily issued with a ‘’blogging’ ban until my biblical understanding of  the ‘last days’ was brought up to scratch.

I will admit that I did not take kindly to being presented with a copy of ‘Revelation for Dummies’, feeling it a tad patronising having successfully delivered many a sermon in my popular (with me at least) ‘Leviticus Highlights’ series.

The good news is that I now know my Amillenial from my Premillenial and I achieved full marks in the helpful test at the end of the book.

What I had not noticed was precisely how many questions the author of this handy tome had in fact concocted in the interests of slipping in (under the radar) a spot of cheeky ‘end time’ humour.

I am not sure whether I am to be applauded for attaining 666/666 or not!

Onward and upward

Derek

 

You can also find me at http://www.derekthecleric.com

 

Derek’s photos: A mistake!

9 Dec

Derek Photo_RED RED ROBIN

You can also find me at  https://www.facebook.com/derektheclericsquirkyworld

Derek’s Definitions: Bumper bundle!

25 Nov

Dear friends

Not one, but four of my popular (well they are with me) ‘Derek’s Definitions’ for your delectation.

Generosity would appear to be my middle name.

Onward and upward

Derek

Derek's Definitions-Plagiarism Derek's Definitions- Pulpit Derek's Definitions-Lectern Derek's Definitions- FULL GOSPEL

Derek’s Take on…

31 Oct

Dear friends,

Here is another proffering in my new-ish ‘Derek’s Take on…’ series.

Onward and upward

Derek

Derek's Take On….The first shall be last

You can also find me at  http://www.facebook.com/derektheclericsquirkyworld

Socks with sandals!

30 Oct

Dear friends

Having shared of late  the odd question or two fired at me from my ‘public’, I am reminded of a pertinent poser that came my way during the summer. It was this: “Is wearing socks with open-toed sandals still the summer dress code for Christian men?”

Here was my considered reply.

‘A jolly pertinent question bearing in mind the recent spell of clement weather we have enjoyed in this fair isle but one that will certainly hit a raw nerve as far as my good lady wife is concerned.

Whilst I endeavour to be ‘cutting edge’ in certain matters (we now have an overhead projector at St. Cliff’s added to which I am seriously considering replacing the dial-up facility on my computer with something called broadband) when it comes to my wardrobe I am perhaps not quite as ‘with it’ as perhaps she would like.

That said, it is not for the want of trying.

Once, in a bid to be all things to all people I adorned my personage with one of the ubiquitous W.W.J.D. bracelets in an attempt to denote complicity with the youth of St.Cliff’s.
My downfall was assuming it to be some sort of rubbery (and stretchy) trendy clerical collar and only after all but choking myself to an inch of my life was I duly enlightened as to its intended location on the human form.

Thus you will not need to be Sherlock Holmes to conclude that fashion sense and this humble clergyman are not particularly well acquainted.
It will come as no surprise also to discover that the raw nerve I mentioned at the outset is none other than the fashion crime alluded to in your question.
In my defence, if it were not for the painful pedal affliction of bunions I would be more than prepared to consider forsaking the comfort of wearing ankle socks with my summer sandals if it lessened my good lady wife’s embarrassment at my choice of seasonal attire.

That it is a condition which St.Cliff’s prayer ministry team has yet to crack leaves me with little choice once again as to my summer footwear options.

I trust that my answer (whilst no doubt offering little solace to those who would prefer such iconic Christian stereotyping to be cast into a certain fiery lake) is of some help.

I note that whilst the question you raised is an indication that our views on this matter perhaps differ somewhat I am heartened by the fact that you did not ask as to my opinion on whether or not Christians should adorn the rear windows of their automobiles with the ever-popular rainbow-coloured ‘fish’ badge.

I can only conclude that your silence on this matter indicates that whilst we may be at odds as to the matter of dress code we can at least agree upon the ‘Highway Code’ for Christians.

Post Scriptum: Whilst I would not claim to be the Jean Paul Gaultier of Christian fashion you will be pleased to know that I have dipped my be-socked toe into this heady world and you can now purchase a tee-shirt with my visage upon it (via this handy link):

http://www.cpo-online.org.uk/product.aspx?prod=Y3689TS&cat=616′

Onward and upward

Derek

You can also find me at  www.facebook.com/derektheclericsquirkyworld

Another Powerpoint fail!

25 Oct

Derek Photo_ 666You can also find me at  http://www.facebook.com/derektheclericsquirkyworld

Bumbling internet sensation!

18 Oct

Dear friends

It is well over three years since I launched myself onto the World Wide Super Highway (as I gather it is called in common parlance) in the guise of my very own ‘blog’, no less.

Who would have believed that in such a short space of time my regular missives would have gained such a head of steam and have earned me the moniker of ‘bumbling internet sensation’.

Whilst I may wish to tweak these well-intentioned sentiments it would nevertheless be churlish of me to ignore the painful truth that, while the comatose faithful at St Cliff’s (as the bishop rather unkindly refers to my benign flock) may remain indifferent to my weekly discourses, my ‘online congregation’ appear to be a tad more appreciative.

I will confess that my good lady wife was a little more reticent when she learned of my intentions to reach a wider audience via the ‘blogosphere’, chiefly due to the uncanny knack I have of ‘putting my foot in it’.

Whilst this predisposition may impress those with a penchant for contortionism, it has landed yours truly in more than the odd pickle.

My first internet faux pas was on the occasion of opening my ‘inbox’ for the very first time and viewing what I naively (and mistakenly) thought to be an email pertaining to The Tribulation, proffering apparent cast-iron evidence for the 144,000 referred to in Revelation as being Jews.

My excitement at successfully embracing this wondrous new means of communication at my first attempt caused me to throw caution to the wind and to ‘mail’ this important missive, poste-haste, to every member of the clerical community that my address book could proffer.

No doubt it would have been wise to have read a little more of its content before allowing the thing to go ‘cyber’ (I am a veritable magnet when it comes to all the latest jargon, am I not?) but sadly hindsight was not on the menu that particular day.

I had heard that that whilst the process of of sending an email was relatively quick, the average response time erred towards tardy.

Thus I was somewhat taken aback to discover that within a matter of minutes my inbox was positively humming.The joy of knowing that my maiden voyage on the World Wide Super Highway had proved so popular was short-lived.

In my haste I had unwittingly liberally circulated an article not in fact supporting the JEWS but rather the JWs!

Let us just hope and pray that this unfortunate theological gaffe does not signal the ‘end times’ for me also when I face my clerical colleagues at our local ministers’ fraternal tomorrow.

Onward and upward

Derek

You can also follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/derektheclericsquirkyworld

Action songs!

14 Oct

Dear friends

A member of my ‘online congregation’ has asked me the following question.

“Why does the vicar make us all do the actions to children’s songs?”

This is indeed a very good question and assuredly one which resonates with this self-conscious clergyman.

Not being of a particularly extrovert disposition, those dreaded words ‘audience participation’ are guaranteed to send a shiver down this ‘buttoned-up’ clergyman’s spine.

As an aside, it is one reason why our fated sojourn to the Estuary View Holiday Village remains irreversibly etched in my memory banks. In that the nightly entertainment which the staff of this latter-day Colditz saw fit to inflict upon the inmates required our active involvement, simply compounded the torture of this ‘holiday from hell’ (as I believe my good lady wife termed it).

Should you wish to avail yourself of the full gory details, here is a link to my ‘blog’ which reveals all.

https://derekthecleric.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/812/

Back to the question.

Whilst not subscribing to the adage that ‘children should be seen and not heard’ I nevertheless have good reason for not inflicting grown ups (such as myself) with ministry methods designed for younger folk.

I will admit to having made a brief foray into the world of the aforementioned ‘action song’ on the occasion of St. Cliff’s Sunday school anniversary, but a pending personal injury claim resulting from my over-exuberant platform demonstration has put paid to a repeat performance.

I had always considered ‘Wide, wide as the ocean’ to be a harmless ditty from the back catalogue of Sunday school classics but I fear that any fond memories or affection I had for this chorus have been blighted forevermore.

Of course I have only myself to blame for standing too close to Mrs Higginbottom (St. Cliff’s discordant and none-too-melodious organist) as I flung my arms wide with as much gusto as I could muster.

The ensuing black eye which I inflicted upon the poor lady (and the impending litigation) was not part of the plan.

It is for these reasons that I have decided to pen a ‘chorus’ of my own in the hope that adults will never again have to partake in ‘action songs’.

Although it is unlikely that such ‘top drawer’ writers of hymns as Wesley and Newton will be turning in their graves for fear of being usurped by my humble proffering I am nonetheless quietly confident that ‘A statue for the Lord’ (as I have provisionally entitled the song) will one day be added to the chorus compendium.

As I stand in solidarity with all who each Sunday breathe a sigh of relief when those immortal words ‘It is time for the children to leave us’ are uttered (and the looming threat of ‘action song’ participation is lifted for yet another week) let my song be something around which we can all rally.

‘I’m a statue for the Lord.
I’m a statue for the Lord.
I’m standing still,
In God’s will,
I’m a statue for the Lord.’

Onward and upward

Derek

You can also follow me at http://www.derekthecleric.com