|A very different chuch service - FSB Anne - April 1970|
This time yesterday I was preaching.
My bride would say that this is nothing new, but when I say “preaching” I mean the full Monty – in a church, in front of a congregation.
Even stranger, this was an Anglican church. I’m a Mick.
It came about through a bizarre set of circumstances. I had a speaking gig at this parish, which was to happen after their regular once per month Wednesday morning service.
I’d prepared a PowerPoint, but when I got there, found that the necessary technology wasn’t installed in the hall where I was to speak, but in the church.
The minister suggested that I show that part of my presentation in the church instead. This seemed OK, except that one of the pictures I was planning to show was actually taken in a Vung Tau bar, and I wondered how that would go down in a church.
Bar girls and morning devotions didn’t seem entirely compatible. When I showed the presentation to the minister, he laughed off my concerns, explaining that they were a broad church with broad minds.
Broad bums came to mind as well, but I didn’t think it was appropriate to mention it, so I didn’t.
That wasn’t all he negotiated in that conversation. He was a stand-in minister and hadn’t prepared a homily, so he suggested that as I was already going to be on my feet, I might as well deliver the homily.
He was very persuasive, and I agreed. After all, I’ve been attending mass every Sunday for the last 65 years, so I had an idea of what was required. That’s about 3300 homilies I’ve sat through – do the maths.
There was some furious mental gymnastics going on in my head, which resulted in a resolve to make a simple point about reconciliation. So I did.
I can’t really remember what I said, but they listened, the body language was good, and nobody nodded off.
The service was indistinguishable from a Catholic mass. I don’t know why we just don’t amalgamate. It worked with councils.
They were a great group of people, and I enjoyed the tucker and conversation that came later. Anglicans always do good spreads. I sold a few books and won the lucky door prize – a good morning’s work.
You should always do something new every day – I can recommend preaching.