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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Worship (corporate) (10/04/07)

TITLE: The First Sermon of Reverend Michael Spooner
By Jan Ackerson


As the curtain rises, REV. MICHAEL SPOONER is standing nervously at the pulpit. He is young, not yet thirty, but already balding. He wears bookish glasses and a rather silly bow tie. Several members of the congregation are milling about just outside the sanctuary, exchanging pleasantries. Spooner taps his watch, then hesitantly leans into the microphone to speak.

Spooner: Will everyone split peas? I mean, sit—sit, please? It’s time for worship to begin! (He wipes his brow with a handkerchief, and can be barely heard mumbling). I can’t believe I did that…

The congregation files into their pews and looks up at their new pastor in expectant silence. Another pass of the handkerchief, a clearing of the throat, and Spooner addresses his flock, speaking slowly and deliberately.

Spooner: I’m delighted to be here with you this morning. Some of you may have heard that I share a certain—quirkiness—of speech with my great-great-great-grandfather, Rev. William Spooner. (He is warming up now.) Well, that tumor should not be rolled—not at all! (He stops, momentarily flustered, and clears his throat again.) Let us now stand, as the long seeder and the praise team lead us in a grand old hymn. “Sweet Power of Hair”, everyone!

With a mixture of laughter and confusion, the congregation stands to sing. At the conclusion of the hymn, Spooner indicates that they should remain standing.

Spooner: Wonderful, just wonderful! I just love the hound of an old Sim. Let’s remain standing, shall we, for two contemporary choruses. Team, will you lead us in “Larry the Kite” and “Late is the Gourd”?

Now the congregation is freely laughing, and Spooner—somewhat oblivious—joins in the laughter, full of the joy of the Lord. At the end of the last song, Spooner gestures to seat the congregation.

Spooner: Today’s scripture is Matthew 5:9, which reads “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called guns of sod.” Now, there are several places in the scriptures where the phrase “guns of sod” may be found…(He breaks off, puzzled, as the congregation stifles grins and giggles.) Guns of…oh dear, I’m doing exactly what I said I wouldn’t do, aren’t I? (He glances back at the song leader, who nods, smiling.) Well, God rest his soul, my great-great-great-grandfather had a way with words. (He chuckles.) I’d like to get through this sermon, though, and I believe that God will wake a May. How many of you believe with me that God—(there is a dramatic pause)—will WAKE—a MAY?

Several people in the congregation raise their hands. A few “amens” are heard. Near the front, an elderly woman whose nametag reads “May” snores loudly, wakes, and looks around sheepishly.

The sermon continues. Lights in the auditorium dim for several seconds at a time and the sound is reduced so that the sermon in the background is heard as from a great distance. While this is happening, the spotlight features several members of the congregation, who can be seen in varying degrees of attentiveness. Occasionally, the spotlight finds Spooner again, and as the volume increases, snippets of his sermon can be heard.

Spooner: …The world may say that peace cannot be yours, but that is a lack of pies, I tell you, a lack of pies!

A mother is seen shushing her child.

Spooner: …reminds me of the time I was driving in the fog. It was as thick as sea poop…

A man leans forward and writes in a small notebook.

Spooner: ...as the Psalmist said, “Give me an undivided heart, that I may near your fame.”

Somewhere near the rear of the congregation, a teen squints his eyes and cocks his head—was that last bit quite right?

Spooner: We must always remember, dear friends, that those who tow in Sears will reap with songs of joy!

A woman reaches for the pew Bible and begins to thumb through it in the vicinity of the Psalms.

Spooner: …and God will give you His peace, or my name’s not Spike Mooner! Let us pray…(He leads the congregation in a benediction, then extends his hands.) I know that I am new here, but I hope that noon I will get to sew each one of you…And let me say, on a personal note, that I have been punned by the steeple here—by your warm welcome, your sense of humor, and your exceedingly hind carts. Go with God.


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This article has been read 1493 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sheri Gordon10/11/07
You got me at the "split peas" comment, and I giggled the rest of the way. I enjoyed reading this format -- I could picture everything happening on a stage. And your description of the pastor at the beginning was really good -- I knew exactly what he looked like. Great job with this topic.
Dee Yoder 10/11/07
Funny and cute! Poor pastor. I've heard a few of these kinds of slips myself. My pastor has often repeated, "We are heirs (HARES) to the throne! Heirs (HARES), I say!" I haven't had the heart to tell him the "h" is silent. When I glance around, no one seems to hear it, but it makes me chuckle every time for in my mind's eye are a field of rabbits hopping about before a big throne.
Janice Cartwright10/11/07
Oh bravo, bravo. I just loved this. We once had a pastor who had this kind of slip of the lip often. Once he talked about the whale of the belly and once he spoke disparagingly of Magnum p1-36. We weren't sure if it was a gun or a TV show! LOL - too cute.
Joanne Sher 10/12/07
Oh, fun. This MUST have been as much of a hoot to write as it was for me to read. I giggled all the way through.
LauraLee Shaw10/12/07
What a HOOT! I would love to see this one acted out. Belly laughs.
valerie chambers10/12/07
had my attention right up to the hind carts :-)))))
william price10/14/07
Enjoyable from beginning to end. God bless.
Shannon Redmon10/14/07
Giggled all the way through this one! Loved it!
Jan Ross10/14/07
Oh Jan, this is hillarious! I'm sitting here near tears. You're incredibly creative! Awesome! :)
Laury Hubrich 10/14/07
This is wonderful! I love your play on words -- you are truly gifted in that area:) Like how the preacher got people opening their Bibles to see what in the world he was talking about! Too, too funny!
Pat Guy 10/14/07
Jan, you never cease to amaze me! *chuckle, chuckle* Your wit and play on words are becoming legendary.

And ... this is hard to do! I've spent 20 min. trying to do this in my reply ... forget it!

This was really fun to read!

Jesus Puppy 10/15/07
Now HOW am I supposed to find boo boos in that... Split peas, indeed.. :D
Benjamin Graber10/15/07
Okay, this is hilarious... I loved it!!! You had me laughing all the way through...
TJ Nickel10/15/07
Very fun and engaging. Kept looking for that something at the end and didn't find it...and was glad. The consistency in the mood and effect would have been lost if that 'something' popped up. Instead it sat behind the piece and therefore spoke broader words.
joe hodson10/15/07
Well written and great job! Very entertaining. My favorite was snoozin' May.
Amanda D'costa10/16/07
I hound this very filarious. I was gaughing my luts out, scicturing the pene.

Hehehehehe..... I'm kinda trying to see whether I can match your humor. A job well done. Bravo on an excellent write. Excuse my silliness....
Sharon Henderson10/17/07
Thank you for such a fun read as I head out to the day job.

I have a goal to be a speaker someday and I so fear that I may do just this. LOL!!!

Thanks again!
Betty Castleberry10/17/07
Oh boy, am I ever glad I didn't skip this one! I actually guffawed in a few places. More than that, though, you've stirred up warm memories of my own fun-loving dad who was a master at spoonerisms. We love them in our family, and hardly a day goes by that you don't hear one. A million stars from me for this one.
George Parler 10/17/07
ROFL!!! Oh my, oh my, I'm laughing so hard I've got tears rolling down my face. This is wonderful. With every line I couldn't wait to read the next. Thanks, I needed this. Good job.
Linda Watson Owen10/17/07
ROFL2! Your wit and creativity NEVER ceases to amaze me! What fun! So cute! I've had moments down through the years when I've heard my hubby in the pulpit make boo-boos like this. Thankfully not as many as poor 'Spike Mooner' though! LOL! Great humor, friend!
Sara Harricharan 10/18/07
Congrats on your win! This was absolutely hilarious-good job! ^_^
Beth LaBuff 10/18/07
I love the "Spoonerisms" all through this! I'm assuming that was the great, great...grandfather. This is such fun!
Helen Paynter10/18/07
Not a surprise to see your name in the winners' circle again, dear friend. Brilliant, and I especially loved 'wake a May.'
One question - how long did it take you? I have visions of you not sleeping all week!
Sheri Gordon10/18/07
Congratulations on your EC. This is really good -- I especially like the unique style.
LauraLee Shaw10/19/07
Congratulations on your high rankings. I just read it again and enjoyed it for a 2nd time....more belly laughs!