Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Everything but the Garlic

A few years ago five of us from the leadership of The Gathering were at a large church conference in Philadelphia. During the conference our Southern New England District had a meeting in a restaurant near the hotel convention center.

We sat at a table with a lady pastor, and her husband. They also were attending with a couple who were in the leadership of their church. We small talked about church life, and what was happening in our congregations. Their church was fairly active in community outreach, and so we had this element in common. So we thought.

We discussed upcoming events surrounding the Halloween season in Salem, and how we were organizing our stage, our free hot cocoa booth, and our outreach counseling tents. At some point during the conversation things turned remarkably surrealistic.

I think the room suddenly turned to black and white like an old silent horror movie. Okay not really, but it should have.

At the mention of Halloween, the lady pastor and her husband suddenly formed a cross with their fingers, leaned forward to threateningly brandish their spiritual weapons at in our faces, and hissed. I thought to myself, "Wow, this is like a bad vampire flick." I probably laughed, which would not have helped defuse the moment, but that is usually how I respond to bizarre circumstances such as this. Heck, they had everthing arranged for warding off evil except the garlic garland around the neck.

Do pastors actually teach their congregations to behave in this manner?


zaque said...

They hissed? You're kidding, right?

Pastor Phil said...

I know this sounds like a exaggeration, perhaps a wonderfully humorous tale, but I've got witnesses.

The room did not turn black and white unfortunately, but the hissing was really there.

And Christians thought Witches were weird?

Webb Kline said...

That would have really been cool if everything turned black and white.

Actually, it took me quite some time to shake off similar fear and hate mongering after attending a fundamental Bible church in my early Christian years. The sad part was that if the devil was anywhere, he was in that church--big time. It would take a book to tell that tale. Come to think of it, in my mind's eye, maybe everything there WAS black and white...theologically anyway.

Anonymous said...


Pastor Phil said...


Yeah you caught my pun in the black and white comment.

Pastor Phil said...


That's exactly what Bev, Jeff, Diane, and Rennie said.

Mike Murrow said...

yeah that is SOOO silly. don't they know that it has to be like a real cross made of wood or maybe silver?

the hissing may have been the air escaping from their heads.

Pastor Phil said...

Fletch, (Mike)

You just created my blog response of the month. That was cool.

Marieke said...

Wow...I don't even know what to say!