Monday, February 05, 2007

BTW, you're preaching again...or, How I got a Bishop's ring

I was scheduled to preach at the 8 and 10:30 services this Sunday. Being Super Bowl Sunday, that was no small task. I was about ready to go out to lunch after the coffee hour.
My field ed supervisor says, "You're preaching for the afternoon Sudanese service, too, right?"
Archer: "Uh...sure. I hadn't planned on it, but OK."
Field Ed Supervisor: "You know you'll have a translator, right?"
Archer: "Nooo...but I guess can deal with that."

St. Paul's has a regular Sudanese prayer service on Sunday afternoons, with my field ed priest presiding at a Eucharist once or twice a month. Turns out, yesterday was a meeting of the regional Sudanese for their annual birthday party service and dinner. Most of the Lost Boys have the same birthday, 01/o1, because fleeing genocide with records being destroyed, the government just had to guess. Turns out that folks had come from all the way over in Michigan and Indiana.

Sure, no problem. I can adapt sermons on the fly.

It gets to the point in the service for the sermon after the gospel reading where The Archer walks up into the pulpit. We join this episode already in progress:

What is actually came out of my mouth: "In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen...Please, be seated"
What very nearly came out of my mouth: "Holy Mary mother of God, I'm going to die. There's 3 purple shirts in the audience." For those of my readers not familiar with that color reference, there were 3 Sudanese bishops visiting.
The Monty Python voice I hear in my head: "Noooobody expects the Anglican inquistion!...Our cheif weapon is surprise!"

No pressure.

Make it through my first paragraph. Pause for translation. Still alive...this is good

Make it through my first page...we're rolling. No lightning bolts from ceiling...this too is good.

Bishops are making eye contact and nodding. I think I actually just pulled this off.

After the service, everyone is invited upstairs for the Sudanese dinner. Everyone seems to have liked my sermon. People are coming up and talking to me...way cool.
A Bishop comes up with a big plate of food and sits next to me. He begins eating with his hands, as is Sudanese custom. Uh it comes. He didn't like my sermon.
Bishop "Please, tell me what is this thing called Superbowl?"

Well, that was unexpected.

Apparently someone had brought a birthday like cake for a Superbowl party. The cake had a plastic toy Superbowl Ring on it. After laughing and trying to explain it, the Bishop says: "You can take the ring...I have another one."
So, there you have it.

How I got a Bishop's ring.


Raisin said...

Thanks for a great laugh!

Wozzeck33 said...

For your news nugget:

Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

Great story!

Mary Sue said...

Heee. Good story!