Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Hello, My name is.....
Have you ever been a so-called 'new member' of a church? You show up for Sunday services and the Pastor will generally allot some time for you to stand for all the congregants to recognize. Oh, and the obligatory 5 minute intermission in the service for turning to your neighbor on the pew, shake their hand and say, "Peace be with you!" as though you really meant it?
My church went out of its way to make new members feel welcome. I mean, it all REALLY came down to dollars in the offering plate, but it was a good front. We'd have 'Fellowship' socials after services where bad punch and stale cookies were served....people would meet and get to know one another. Outings, committees, choirs...anything to help a new member to feel part of their church community.
My dad was an enthusiastic member of my church's welcome wagon. As such, he generally wore a name tag so new members knew he was the 'go-to' guy for the 411 on church stuff. The name tag was one of those "Hello! My name is ....." stickers. He'd arrive at church, fill in his name and don it on his label as a badge of christian honor.
One week we were running a little late arriving at church. He needed to help our Pastor prep for services and asked me to make his name tag. I walked over to the sheet of stickers. Initially I went to write his name, but instead opted for "Jesus"...as in "Hello! My name is 'Jesus'". I walked over to him and slapped it on his lapel. He was in a flurry of activity and didn't notice....
He wore it the entire morning as he smiled and shook hands. He handed out service bulletins as I'm sure the real Jesus would have. He even helped serve communion...Well, it goes without saying Jesus would have helped with that too, right?
Anyway, the entire morning passed before he realized what his name tag said. He discovered it after removing his jacket when he got home. Needless to say, I got an earful...It was worth it. Am I going to hell for that? (Making devil horns with index fingers...)