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?
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.
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?
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!
Miz Abernathy (Oh fiddlesticks, itís me, Tessie)
I knew it was you all along. What do you have in mind?
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!
P.S. Just call me, will you?
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