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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Vote/Voted off the Island (05/29/14)

TITLE: All In Favor
By Jody Day


Frank Smith downed a gulp of coffee, gagged, and spit it into the sink.

“Whoa, who made that rot gut?” He tossed the paper cup into the sink. Good thing he took the first sip before the other Building and Grounds committee members arrived. What this church needed was his CEO experience.

“Mrs. McGillidudy volunteers to make the coffee. She rides the Haven Nursing Home shuttle bus just to make our coffee and visit.” Pastor Jack poured himself a cup.

“You drink that poison?” Frank pulled the carafe from its stand and started to pour the full pot of coffee down the sink. The pastor stopped him.

“No, but we all get a cup and salute her as she leaves. The bus picks her up right after the meeting starts. We make a fresh pot then. Her dementia has increased this year. She gets creative adding whatever she can find in the cabinets.” The pastor took the carafe from Frank and replaced it.

“Well, get rid of her. That’s no way to run a business.” Frank took a seat at the head of the table.

“This is a church, not a business. We don’t get rid of people.” Pastor Jack sat next to Frank.

“Seriously? What a waste.” Frank crossed his arms and leaned back in his seat. Were they all crazy?

“No, not a waste. Sally Clark takes it home in a jar and pours it over her compost bin. She’s convinced it helps her roses.”

“Ooookay, then.” Frank took his notepad from his jacket pocket. “I came early to discuss the agenda with you.”

“About that. I know you volunteered, and we’re grateful, but we didn’t really decide on you as leader. You just joined the church after all.” Pastor crossed his arms and leaned back in his chair.

“But with my business experience, you need me. For instance,” Frank said, opening his notepad, “we need a new cleaning lady.”


“That woman brings her rowdy three children up here during work hours. How can she concentrate on her job?” He checked that item off, and added ‘Get new coffee volunteer’ to the bottom of the page.

“She’s a single mom that can’t always find a babysitter. The work gets done.” Pastor stood as the other committee members started filing in, chatting and pouring coffee.

Just as everyone found a seat, Mrs. McGillicudy ambled in. Everyone held up their coffee and greeted her with a ‘hello’ or a ‘thanks for making the coffee’. As soon as she was out the door, Sally pulled a large Mason jar from her purse and passed it around. Everyone poured in their coffee.

Pastor Jack made a second pot, and then addressed the group. “ Frank here has volunteered to head the committee. We can vote on that at the end of the meeting. I thought we could hear his suggestions.”

Frank checked off each issue as he went down the list. He spouted a litany of all the people who he felt didn’t do their job properly, from Sunday School teacher to secretary, citing good business practices and policies.

A stone cold silence permeated the room.

“Frank, can I speak to you in the hallway?” The two men left the room.

“When we prayed last week for Jesus to come into your heart, we talked about how God sees you through Jesus now. We try to look at each other that way, through the love of Christ. I’m not saying you don’t have legitimate concerns, but we don’t ‘get rid of’ anyone around here. I really don’t think you’re ready to lead the group. We’d appreciate your participation, though.” Pastor put his hand on Frank’s shoulder.

Frank blew air into his cheeks and exhaled slowly. “I guess you’re right. I don’t get this church thing. I’m pretty imperfect, except for Jesus changing me. I hate the thought of being voted out, though.”

“You’ll learn alot from our fellowship. Just hang around.” The pastor chucked his new member on the shoulder. They returned to the meeting and took their seats.

“All in favor…” Pastor started.

Here it comes. Frank cringed.

“...of Frank being the ‘second pot’ volunteer, raise your hands.”

All hands raised and Frank breathed a sigh of relief. He stood and took a bow, the committee erupting in applause.

He smiled at the change in his heart. He'd get right to work on his new position. That dinosaur coffee pot had to go.

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This article has been read 255 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 06/05/14
Well written story that was on topic in a creative way, and brought forward a good message.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/06/14
This was a great read. I loved your MC and could see a sitcom be built around him. You had me giggling and nodding my head as I read about how he blundered but didn't realize it.

Tiny red ink a lot is two words. In my opinion, he reformed a bit too easily. Usually blowhards like Frank hold onto their ways a bit too tightly. Then I read the last line about the coffee pot and laughed. I guess we all need some work. Reminded me of the kid's song: "He's still working on me to make me the person I ought to be."

I think your take on the topic was fresh and original. I loved the way the group embraced the newbie even though he likely offended some of them. This was a delightful story.
Joe Moreland06/10/14
Great piece, and one we've probably all witnessed a variation of at one church or another.

I thought your characters were well developed and your dialogue was great. I thought the whole thing with the coffee lady and the cleaning lady were perfect. I've seen time and time again people in churches just like this who want to "get rid" of those among us who serve with their whole heart, however imperfectly. I love how the pastor in your story fostered an environment of honoring that servant heart, even in Frank. When you think about it, Frank was just like the coffee lady, wanting to volunteer, but not really having the proper tools to do so.

Great job!
Francie Snell 06/11/14
From beginning to end, this piece had me chuckling the whole way. You have a great gift for clever humor and hit the topic right on. I loved the ending. Great work!
Graham Insley06/11/14
I really didn't like this entry because it revealed too much about myself and my need to be more accepting and encouraging towards others. lol

Seriously, I really liked it and it's true value is reflected in that it did hit me between the eyes. I have been guilty of behaving like Frank from time to time and enjoyed this reminder of the value of everyone in the Kingdom.

Joe Moreland06/12/14
I'm so glad to see this one did well! Congratulations on your EC!
C D Swanson 06/13/14

God bless you~
Tracy Nunes 06/14/14
The way you turned that storyline around was lovely. You made the antagonist that was really getting annoying into someone we could relate to. Great job and congratulations!
Joyce Krznaric07/19/14
Really enjoyed this. Smiled and chuckled the whole way through. You have quite a talent.