Friday, July 15, 2005

an unintentional message

I have just begun serving a new church--First United Methodist, in Stanley, NC--and just down the road from our present facility on Main Street is property we own, 93 acres of it and, we hope, the expanse for a long-dreamed of expansion. We still do most of our work on Main Street, but we make use of the "property," too--there is a youth soccer league, an annual rodeo, a walking track--and most every month (though we are thinking about cutting back to once a quarter) there is a "singing." Now, in some places, a church-sponsored singing is kind of like a hymn-fest or revival, with lots of call and response and audience participation. When we say "singin'" we mean a concert and so we gather out there at the property with our lawn chairs to listen to gospel groups who give us their best work and sell their CD's. We have a concession stand, too, and the smell of grilled hot dogs and hamburgers seeds the southern gospel breeze coming from the stage. Pretty much fun.

There is a sign out there on the property which announces upcoming events, and this last month someone got to playing with it. The sign was supposed to read, "1st United Methodist Church," only the letters got pushed and pulled a little and how it came to read was: "1 Stunited Methodist church," which to my eye as I drove past looked for all the world like, "1 stunted methodist church."

I laughed out loud, but please, God, save us from being a stunted methodist church!

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