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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Potluck (Meal or Gathering) Deadline 7-26-12 @ 10 AM NY Time (07/19/12)

TITLE: Dear Miz Abernathy
By Laury Hubrich


Dear Miz Abernathy,

I love your new advice column. How 'clever' of you to add one while we have no pastor. Anyway... it takes a woman with thick skin to undergo a task so great. Since this is a small Southern Baptist church and we all know each other like we know the backs of each otherís recliner heads at Sunday evening service, Iíd like to know how you will keep these anonymous.

Iíll let that be your worry. I do have a question though. We have a potluck coming up. Or, as we church people call it, Ďpot blessing.í I think potluck is a much better word to describe our gatherings. We tend to get a hodge-podge of foods that arenít fit to feed our dogs, let alone the ones we love. I donít know how that happens, we being a church and all. Even I lay my best out at each event and can barely stomach it.

It isnít the food that turns my stomach, my dear Miz Abernathy, itís the company. What with the gossip and snide comments, I, for one, do not want to be a party to this anymore. The next pot blessing is to introduce a potential pastor. Not only will we be voting on him, but he will be checking us out. Can we please have the cherry pie be sweet and the mashed potatoes be lump-free?

I guess, what Iím asking of you, Miz Abernathy, what CAN we do to make this a great pot blessing and not a free-for-all, where even Jesus doesnít want to come?

Yours truly,

Pot Blessing Hater

My Dearest Pot Blessing Hater,

After much reflection, or as we church people call it, prayer, I have come to see what you mean about our pot blessings. I too have wondered what was wrong with the food. It looks delectable and smells divine. Many of us use our motherís and grandmothersí recipes that have been handed down to us through the ages. They are tested Ė tried and true.

I believe youíre right in your observation about the gossip and the snide comments. As to how to get that to stop, I donít know. Iím trying this advice column but I see written words can be just as nasty as when spoken. You accuse me of starting this while we have no pastor. Itís been a year. Itís not like I started it up as soon as Pastor ran off with our custodian.

It would truly help if staff would set a good example. Let me illustrate my point: potential pastors come with a list of worship songs they want played. The pianist rolls her eyes and clicks her heels and then proceeds to pound out the same old hymns she plays every Sunday. Hopeful members go back to their sleepy state.

Oh, I believe Pot Blessing Hater and pianist are one and the same, if Iím not mistaken. You are right; I do recognize the back of peopleís recliner heads. I donít want to be snide nor do I want to be rude, but I want to be honest.

Yours Truly,

Miz Abernathy

Dear Miz Abernathy,

I donít know if honesty is what we need right now. We need a coalition of forces. With your wit and my powers of observation, we can make this next pot blessing a true success. Do you have any ideas?

Yours Truly,

Pot Blessing Hater

Dear Pot Blessing Hater,

Oh, Mildred, canít we give up this charade?

In order, not just for the pot blessing, but the health and success of our church, I suggest we have a real prayer meeting. Get to the heart of the matter. Itís been a hard road to travel, not having a pastor. We are sheep. Our pastor fell big-time and we tumbled after him, unfortunately. We must get over that bitterness. My dear friend, itís time we spice up our taste buds.

Letís shake up this little congregation. Are you with me? Chachacha!

Yours Truly,

Miz Abernathy (Oh fiddlesticks, itís me, Tessie)

Dear Tessie,

I knew it was you all along. What do you have in mind?

Yours Truly,


Dear Millie,

Letís make the pot blessing a Mexican one. No more oldies recipes. Whatís that Bible verse? 2 Corinthians 5:17, ďTherefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!Ē By golly, letís make that our theme!

Yours Truly,


P.S. Just call me, will you?

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This article has been read 529 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 07/26/12
Loved it. This was believable and delivered a powerful message while providing entertainment.
Thank you. God Bless~
Beth LaBuff 07/26/12
LOL! I totally enjoyed these ladies' pretense and humor (lots of good humor). :) I'm cheering for a great Mexican food feast for their next potluck (we have them here in AZ quite often). :) You brightened my day, you gave me a smile. :)
Linda Goergen07/27/12
Such a fun read but loaded with a serious message! Loved it!
Catrina Bradley 07/27/12
Loved it from the beginning, and it only got better the further I read. Super entry! Humor with a message that doesn't hit you over the head but sinks into your heart.
Helen Curtis07/28/12
What's that line from that movie . . . "It's funny because it's true." This is pure gold, capturing so many aspects of church life that we hope are hidden, but are so obvious and yet not dealt with. How painful it is for a congregation to see a pastor fall from grace; what a brave couple of ladies these MCs are to dare to tackle the issues head on. Great job . . . and Mexican sounds great, but can we please keep the pavlova and jelly cakes?!
Loren T. Lowery07/30/12
Loved the way this started out tongue-in-cheek and evolved into something healing and worthwhile - shows where their hearts truly were, even though it is "fun" to gossip. Great entry, reflective of what goes on behind the scene of many (maybe too many) parishes.
lynn gipson 07/31/12
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! This is the best! I could go on reading their letters all day! At first I thought, what is wrong with this lady? Great, I hope this wins!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/31/12
This is such a fun and creative way to cover a topic that may not always be fun and creative. (Seems like everyone brings the same old beans to each one.) I delighted in your tongue in cheek humor. I love how God uses these stories to lift my spirits or as a nudge to remind me of who I want to emulate. This is a timely message for me and you not only nudged me with God's hand guiding, but you lifted my spirits as well. Thank you so much.
Marita Thelander 07/31/12
This was a fun read. Recliner head...sounds way too familiar. :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/02/12
Congratulations for placing 8th in Masters and 12 overall!