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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)

TITLE: The Pastor is in , The Holy Spirit is out
By ray scott


“We are not to sure if we want the Holy Spirit thing in our church”,a prominent member of the small community church tells the young pastor.The congregants nod in unison.This was a special sitting of the church governing body and I was invited as representative of the town newspaper to do a piece on the new conference facility .
“Yes” says the local doctor, “its not how its done here,here we pray in English and we believe in established order and we have been doing this since old Mr Taylor with the help of the masons first built the church.Isnt that right Mrs Taylor?”
An elderly lady in her 70s nods in agreement..The pews with the golden nameplates seemed to be whispering “No Holy Spirit here , No Holy Spirit here.”
You see in this church the congregation calls the shots,not the pastor ,not a plurality of elders, not a diakoinate, but a group of people who liked to be seen Sunday after Sunday in this quaint little country church .The garden club ladies make sure that this church garden is the most beautiful garden in town.It seems this was the place to be , afterall all the expensive cars of the community seemed to be parked here every Sunday.
The young man nodded, “I see he said, ok no Holy spirit ,No speaking in tongues , no being slain in the Spirit,no prophesying ,no Words from the Lord.”
The congregants smiled victoriously “,Im glad we feel the same way young man,” one of the dairy farmers said.
The pastor had only been in town for a few weeks and they had got to him.At last they had found their man- the one they were looking for..Three pastors in 10 months.In and out ,this church turns over pastors like a burger restaurant.So In comes the pastor and out gos the Holy Spirit.I too wanted to be accepted in the community because it takes 10 years to be known as a local here and what better way to become a local than by joining the church that everybody belonged to.
Heck I dont even believe in the Holy Spirit or Jesus, I do believe theres juicy stories here though ,so this shall become my new information centre.
I looked at the pastor he seemed to be my age , late thirties single, he seemed to be a shy quiet type ,from what I could see anyway.There was a hint of brokeness about him.I didnt seem to connect with him,I didnt care really ,he was afterall a pastor and I was a hard drinking cigarette smoking, cynical man from the city trying to hack a living in a small farming community.I keep seeing a Charlie Brown cartoon-The pastor is in -The Holy spirit is out-on the board where they put up the hyms.I cant seem to shake this image and I chuckle to myself.
Sunday morning, I put on a tie and take a seat at the back on the hard wooden pew which seemed to belong to Mrs Witherspoon.Oh great I thought Im sitting next to Mrs Witherbrain as the local post office lady extends her eyebrows 2 octaves higher at the mere sight of me.I give her a knowing nod like Ive seen them do in the movies about church.This should be easy I think to myself as I make eye contact with people and give them the same knowing nod.
Hey theres Bruce Thompson,wasnt he at the Arms chatting up some girl from the city last night? Isnt that his wife with their two yr old daughter next to him?I give him the nod,he looks away.
Just then the pastor stands up and begins to talk.He says “Todays sermon is about the the Infilling of The Holy Spirit”.You could have heard a pin drop.He preached like Ive never heard a man preach before, there was fire in his eyes and his words seemed to be like swords that ripped into my heart.I couldnt take it anymore , I fell to my knees and made Jesus Christ, My Lord and Saviour right then and there.
I caught a glimpse of him as I sat weeping in the pew.He gave me a high five as he walked passed me .They say he left town straight after that service. In and out.They didnt care.I didnt either because I now go the smallest church in town and everyone is just like him.

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This article has been read 423 times
Member Comments
Member Date
samuel saalwaechter 05/08/09
other than a missed "to" in the last line this was enjoyable. Good job
Jan Ackerson 05/10/09
Laughed at loud at the two-octave eyebrows!

Here's a simple editing fix that will make your writing conform to established standards: one space AFTER a comma or a period, and no spaces before. One additional sweep through your story to fix these will make it far more accessible to your readers.

The story is well-plotted, and has a wonderful voice.
Janice Fitzpatrick05/11/09
Unfortunately there are alot of places where people don't want the Holy Spirit to dwell there or be mentioned. I like this piece. Nice job and the humorous descriptions are great!
Pat Sipperly05/14/09
Good story, good point. Probably just me but I had challenge keeping the real time tense straight in my head. Having grown up in churches where the Holy Ghost was very much sought after, I appreciate the story. Love it! Keep it up!