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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: At the Pulpit (11/15/07)

TITLE: The Big Screen Doesn't Lie
By Allison Egley


As the words of the opening hymn faded from the screen behind the pulpit, Pastor John began to give the weekly announcements. "Good morning," he exclaimed.

"Good morning," came the sleepy reply from the congregation.

"Oh, we can do better than that. Good morning!"

"Good morning," came the slightly louder, if not slightly annoyed reply.

"Ah. That's better. If you would all open your bulletins with me, there's a registration card in there. But we like to call them...."

The established members of the church listened closely. There was another name?

"...Well, um... we like to call them registration cards," Pastor John replied with a chuckle and a shake of his head. "There's nothing like trying to come up with a new name for something in an instant to put you in your place."

The announcements continued. After the offering was taken, Pastor John once again walked up to the pulpit.

"I'd like everyone to turn with me in their Bibles to the book of John.

"...And that, my friends, is what Christmas is really all about. Sure, we celebrate the birth of Christ, but the ultimate message of Christmas is the cross!"

Pastor John looked at the members of his fellowship to see if he had made an impact. To his horror, no one was paying attention to him. Some members were looking around the sanctuary frantically, some were desperately trying to avoid eye contact, while others were trying to conceal laughter. Pastor John instinctively put his hand on the front of his waistline. No, his pants were zipped up. That wasn't it. One brave member finally pointed to the screen behind the pulpit.

John turned around to see a Solitaire game on the screen behind him, being played in real time. Now that he knew, the congregation was looking at him wide-eyed, fearing for the fate of the culprit. He motioned for everyone to be quite and play along with him for a bit.

The congregation scrunched up their faces in confusion as the Solitaire game continued and Pastor John continued to speak. "The cross is the real reason behind Christmas. And Samuel Michael McAllister, you might want to try putting that black six on the red seven."

The congregation burst into laughter. Pastor John smiled and looked directly at his own son in the sound booth at the back of the sanctuary. Samuel's face turned as red as the bow on the wreath behind him, as he looked at his dad and saw the evidence of his infraction displayed for the world to see. He looked for a quick escape, but it was useless. The laughter died down as people wiped tears from their eyes.

"Well, I think that's about it for today. Just remember to keep the cross in the forefront of your mind this Christmas season. And Samuel?" Pastor John waited for his son to uncover his face and look at him. "We'll talk about this at home." With that, he stepped away from the pulpit, shaking his head and chuckling to himself. This would certainly be a Sunday to remember.

Author's Note:
This is based on a true story, with some embellishments added, and names (mostly) changed to protect the (mostly) innocent.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 949 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 11/24/07
Very fun! And such a horrifying moment for his son, I'm sure. Would have loved to be a fly on the wall during that "at home" conversation. LOL
Joanne Sher 11/24/07
Oh, what a riot! I hope you were the audience or the pastor, and not the kid! This was just a fun read. hehehe
Dee Yoder 11/25/07
Ooops! This is really funny, and even funnier knowing it actually happened! Poor PK, though. He'll NEVER live that down! (I knew some PK's who could have done this.)
Laury Hubrich 11/25/07
Very funny!
Betty Castleberry11/25/07
This was very entertaining, and I love that it's true. I would like to know how that converation went at home.
Gregory Kane11/27/07
What a wonderfully inept pastor – bores everyone with the notices, tells bad jokes, and doesn’t notice that no one is paying attention to his sermon. No wonder his son preferred a game of solitaire! So often we put pastors on a pedestal – how refreshing to come across one who is all too human!
terri tiffany11/27/07
Nice writing style - kept my attention and good voice.
Beth LaBuff 11/27/07
How funny! You've told it very well!!
Kristen Hester11/27/07
Too funny! I love this true story. What a riot.
Jan Ackerson 11/27/07
Oh dear! When I read your author's note, I just cringed with mortification...but in a very good way, because this is marvelous writing and characterization.
Karen Wilber11/27/07
This is a scream! (And I almost literally screamed when the game was revealed.) I'm still laughing. Thank you for writing this. I wish I'd been there. :-)
Allison Egley 11/27/07
Ok, a bit of clarification here.... Hehehe. I feel like I need to explain my embellishments. The actual story isn't nearly as exciting. It wasn't really that pastor\'s son. And the person who did it didn't actually get to the point where he was playing the game. Just the point to where he was deciding which game he should play. lol But it really did appear on the screen behind the pastor. Unfortunately, I wasn't even there to see the event take place. But it's a bit of a legend at my church now. :)
william price11/27/07
Allison your writing is maturing so. This was a delight especially after reading your final note. Excellent job. God bless.
LauraLee Shaw11/28/07
Brilliant writing! Wow!
Temple Miller11/28/07
Very funny, yet you drew empathy (yes, empathy) by capturing the son's embarassment.
Sara Harricharan 11/28/07
LOL! This is so funny! I could just see all of this unfolding while the Pastor tries to end his sermon. Great job! (Especially with the little footnote at the bottom, THAT made me laugh out loud!)
Deborah Engle 11/28/07
This would have been very creative, if not for the fact that IT WAS TRUE! Poor kid. I think he probably made it a point to avoid such mistakes after that!
LaNaye Perkins11/28/07
This was too funny. You wrote this so well I felt as though I was there in the congregation. Great writing!
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/28/07
I loved this! It was so well done. I could actually see the game on the screen!
Patty Wysong11/28/07
Oh, too funny. Way too funny!! Thanks for laugh! PK's (and MK's) have a special place in my heart--they really are caught in a fish bowl kind of existance sometimes...Great job of writing this!!!
Loren T. Lowery11/28/07
Hmmm, I can't help but wonder who the real characters were in this delightful piece. I really liked the integrity shown in the pastors reaction to what was going on.
TJ Nickel11/28/07
Great story and love that it is true. Great piece.
Sheri Gordon11/28/07
Oh, how embarrasing. I can't imagine what that talk at home was like. :(

This was very entertaining, and well written. Nice job with the topic.