Funny Things that Actually Happened in Church

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Mystic

Well-Known Member
You have a long-standing joke thread here. So I thought I'd start a thread about actual events that happened in church or involved church life. I'll begin with 2 sermon bloopers made by my boyhood pastor.

(1) The pastor of my youth was a good preacher but had no sense of humor. So (at age 13) I was shocked one Sunday when Pastor Barber was preaching on John the Baptist and suddenly declared, "Then Jordan baptized Jesus in the John!" He kept going, unaware of what he'd just said. When I looked around the whole congregation just sat there, stone-faced. Their failure to react struck me as funnier than the pastor's blooper. I thought, "Didn't you just hear what Pastor Barber said?" That's how I learned that parishioners don't pay close attention to sermons.

(2) About a year later, Pastor Barber was preaching on David. I don't recall the specific sermon theme, but I do recall the moment Pastor Barber exclaimed, "And there David stood by the gate of the sanctuary, breathless and pantless." Quietly giggling, I again looked around and again all the people just sat there, stone-faced--until, after about a minute, one guy near the front looked back at us with a wicked grin on his face. I sighed and said to myself, "Well, at least one guy besides me was listening closely."

As a boy, I then fantasized about putting together my own sermon that would be full of amazing bloopers and blithely continuing after each one as if I didn't know what I was saying.

Several more true church stories to follow.
 
3 CHURCH ANIMAL STORIES

(3) This happened at my first UMC church in East Otto, NY. It was a hot July day and the church lacked air-conditioning. So a large fan was placed in the center aisle near the front doorway. As the service progressed, a black cat strolled through the open door to see what was happening. As the cat passed the fan, it got the tip of its tail caught in the fan. Startled, it meeow-yelped loudly and leapt high in the air. Shrieks of dismay could be heard throughout the sanctuary. What a way to wake the parishioners up!

(4) On another occasion about a year later in the same church, the service began when we noticed a large bat asleep high on the wall out of reach from a broom. Since it was asleep, the ushers decided to wait until the service was over before dealing with it. But I sometimes preach as if truth is measured in decibels. My preaching woke up the bat and it began dive-bombing the ladies in the front rows, making them scream! I later joked that every church needs a bat to keep parishioners awake.

(5) When I was 15, I visited Thunder Bay, where my Uncle George was holding meetings in a campground church. One night I sat with my cousin Eldon in the 2nd row. There were 2 ladies sitting in front of us in the first row. I noticed that one of them wore a little lace hat and a large spider was using it as a base for spinning its own web in her hair! I waited until the spider was finished and resting quietly and then I tapped the lady on the shoulder and told her what had happened. She screamed, frantically brushing the spider away from her hair! I'm not proud of how I handled the situation, but hey, I was only 15!
 
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(6) Now the first of several amusing incidents that happened in my 2nd UMC church charge, 2 churches in New York's Finger Lakes region. My kid brother (a doctor) was visiting me from Colorado and I had just introduced him to my congregation on Sunday morning. Then I made the mistake of introducing the first hymn I had selected for morning worship, "Nothing Between." After I did, my brother shouted, "Oh, a song about your ears!" Grrr.

What made his wit special was not the humor but its impact on Maguerite who was sitting next to my brother in her wheelchair. She laughed hysterically, something she had not done in a long time. Maguerite had the most severe type of diabetes and this disease had blinded her and forced the amputation of her legs. Beyond that, she was constantly being brought to the emergency room, where I was present at her eventual death. So it was so great that my kid brother provided her with this moment of profound amusement.
 
Sounds like the beginning of anima's and animated stories that might move the dead ... or not!

Depends on how the myth passes digested or just a flash Poe ... Poh?
 
What a good idea this is. I'm sure we all have some stories to share. My most memorable happened when my son was very small. I helped out a lot in the church office and took him with me. There were always people around and he got a lot of attention. Our minister was a favourite and he would often take my son into the sanctuary for a tour. I peeked in one day after hearing something to discover the minister holding my son up to the microphone in the pulpit. My son was babbling away (he wasn't quite talking yet). A few months later, another woman and I were doing the children's story on Easter Sunday. I always took my son up to the front for children's time and this Sunday we had about 20 children of all ages. We were just getting to the dramatic part of the story (complete with puppets) where the caterpillar turns into a butterfly. I had noticed some quiet giggling among the children but didn't realize until that moment they were all just about rolling on the floor with laughter. My friend looked at me in alarm whispering 'what do we do?'. Keep going, I said. Just then a little girl beside me tugged my arm. "your baby is in the pulpit", she said quietly. I turned to look and saw my son had crawled up to the pulpit, climbed on the chair and was reaching for the microphone. There was a blur of movement as the minister ran across the chancel and grabbed him. My friend and I managed to finish the story, just about bursting with our own giggles. I went over to get my son from the minister but he wouldn't come with me. The minister said he could stay with him until the sermon. We had an anthem and a scripture reading. I went to get my son and he was sound asleep in the minister's lap. I picked him up and carried him back to the pew. The minister joked that this was the first time he put someone to sleep before the sermon!
 
Called preparation for quiet time ... some integral emotions are beyond such comm ...

They cannot be talked into anything of reason ... it is all about passions ...
 
(7) THE YOUNGEST LITURGIST

As a UMC pastor, I often composed unison and responsive prayers as part of worship. I never dreamed that a 6-year-old's creative imagination would be fired by this routine practice. Well, after one Sunday service, little David (age 6) approached me and said, "I wrote this unison prayer and I'd like the congregation to say it next Sunday." How could I say no? So the following Sunday parishioners were stunned and amused to find a unison prayer in the bulletin with the caption, "Composed by David, age 6." I only had to correct a couple of spelling errors. So cute!

(8) In my country UMC church in the Finger Lakes region of New York, we needed to dig up pipes in the dirt driveway to fix a plumbing problem. When we unexpectedly unearthed the skeleton of a large cow, everyone was shocked. One attentive spectator was a 3rd grader named Joey. Without telling him the bones belonged to a cow, I pointed to thelarge sharp ribs and asked, "Joey, what do you think those are?" I got the answer I hoped for. Joey said, Teeth!" I then asked Joey what kind of animal would have large pointy teeth like that. Joey gulped and replied, "A T-Rex?" Then I dryly replied, "Yes, Joey, a T-Rex. And if they're buried here, don't you think there might be some T-Rexes wandering around that large field behind the church?" Joey's eyes widened as he exclaimed, "Whoah!" That memory often makes me giggle.
 
Amazing the chimera that some ministry will give rise to!

I was told that such monsters did not exist and then was directed to the outsized demands of economic value in the church that eliminated to lesser folk ... thus I became a believer in threatening theology ... the answer is a late quiet period ... a spot wher your donkey comes to a halt permanently as a displaced mule in the system! Some say give the a*se ND a go at it ... and it SET! Give it a seat and it will become a throne ... out there!

Thus bare things in the woods ... not in public ... if in company of folk that see odd things ... clairity prevails and the wisp clears ... in a wiz!
 
(9) The sound system in my Finger Lakes UMC church was someone connected with the phone line of an elderly woman next door named Mabel. She never
attended our church. But if she was on the phone during our service, occasionally one of her sentences would sometimes come through our sound system without her knowledge. These interruptions were of minor concern--until one Sunday her loud voice interrupted a key point I was making in my sermon. As I paused to let my big point sink in, Mabel's voice suddenly shouted, "That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard!" The congregation just howled with laughter. But this embarrassed preacher felt compelled to defend my point against Mabel's unintentional critical comment! The elders had till then resisted my request that they tell Mabel her conversations were occasionally leaking through, but, frankly, they didn't want to because they found Mabel's interruptions so amusing. I think she was horrified when she found out that we were unintentionally eavesdropping on her telephone conversations.
 
One Christmas Eve in a Saskatchewan church I was leading some part of the service when the congregation got agitated and someone shouted fire. The crepe paper forming a base around the Advent candles was on fire. I quickly extinguished it. There was some moisture in the wick of one of the candles that exploded causing a burning blob of wax to shoot off the candle. Only minor damage was done
 
One Christmas Eve in a Saskatchewan church I was leading some part of the service when the congregation got agitated and someone shouted fire. The crepe paper forming a base around the Advent candles was on fire. I quickly extinguished it. There was some moisture in the wick of one of the candles that exploded causing a burning blob of wax to shoot off the candle. Only minor damage was done

Did it follow with an expansive missal?
 
One Christmas Eve in a Saskatchewan church I was leading some part of the service when the congregation got agitated and someone shouted fire. The crepe paper forming a base around the Advent candles was on fire. I quickly extinguished it. There was some moisture in the wick of one of the candles that exploded causing a burning blob of wax to shoot off the candle. Only minor damage was done

(10) ANOTHER CHURCH FIRE STORY

I am a mobile preacher and tend to wander around the platform and below for dramatic effect. So when I first arrived at the UMC church haunted by Mabel's voice, I took deep satisfaction in the unusually riveted attention the congregation was paying to dramatic sermon points as I wandered around the platform. I learned later that the congregation was gasping because I was inadvertently and frequently backing up right by the various liturgical candle flames that were posted all over the platform! Several times my suit almost burst into flame! I was unaccustomed to so many scattered candles, but I thought to myself, "I'd better keep up my act of backing up into those candles to keep it interesting!
 
(10) ANOTHER CHURCH FIRE STORY

I am a mobile preacher and tend to wander around the platform and below for dramatic effect. So when I first arrived at the UMC church haunted by Mabel's voice, I took deep satisfaction in the unusually riveted attention the congregation was paying to dramatic sermon points as I wandered around the platform. I learned later that the congregation was gasping because I was inadvertently and frequently backing up right by the various liturgical candle flames that were posted all over the platform! Several times my suit almost burst into flame! I was unaccustomed to so many scattered candles, but I thought to myself, "I'd better keep up my act of backing up into those candles to keep it interesting!
If you caught fire, you could just claim to be possessed by the Holy Spirit. :LOL:

Strangely, I can't think of a lot of funny things I have experienced in church other than ministers' bad attempts at humour. Maybe they all happened to me so I've repressed the memories. :oops:
 
TOEDOE, THE WONDER DOG

Toedoe is the most amazing and spiritual little medical dog I've ever encountered. Todoe, named after the little dog in "The Wizard of Oz, just died at a month shy of 18 and her rmistress Rose is as devastated as if she had just lost a daughter. Rose keeps Toedoe's cremated remains nearby as she tries unsuccessfully to get some sleep. Here are just 4 incidents that may help you understand why Toedoe was so beloved.

(1) Rose has Bichette's Disease, a devastating crippling immune deficiency illness. She has caregivers and moves around with her walker and wheelchair.
I regularly visited Rose for many years and, when I did, Toedoe would rush to greet me and enthusiastically jump on my lap, while I fed her doggy treats. Once, Rose's caregiver was driving her to Wal-mart's and they stopped to greet me as I was walking by. To my dismay and delight, little Toedoe leapt through the front car window into my arms! Our home visits ended with me holding Rose's hands and praying for her. Usually, that stopped her crying and made her feel better for a few days. But one time, my prayers could not ease her pain or stop her from weeping. That's when I first realized that little Toedoe always watched out prayer sessions like a hawk. She had never barked, but suddenly started barking furiously, scolding me because this time my prayers didn't make her mistress feel better!

(2) After church, instead of greeting the people, I used to pray for the sick and disabled who wanted special prayer. One time, I was praying for Dorla who had lupus and cancer. Her cancer was cured, but not her lupus. Then Rose rolled up in her wheelchair and waited patiently for me to pray for her--that is, Rose waited patiently but not Toedoe. When Toedoe saw I was laying hands on Dorla and praying for her, she began barking furiously at me. Little Toedoe considered my prayers for Dorla competition and had no concept of wait your turn! So I apologized to Dorla, who just smiled, and I walked over to pray for Rose. Toedoe just whimpered quietly as if to say, "I shouldn't have to remind you."

(3) I call Todeo "the Wonder Dog" because she actually saved lives. For example, one day Rose wheeled her way into Wal-mart and encountered an unknown woman coming out. Again, Toedoe almost never barks. So it was a shock when she started barking earnestly at this unknown lady. Another lady dropped by who knew Rose, and she remarked, "That's a medical dog; so you better go to Emergency and get yourself checked out!" Later that night, Rose received a call from the Emergency ward. The nurse who had worked on Rose exclaimed, "I'm not supposed to do this because of HYPPA laws, but I just had to tell you that your little dog just saved that lady's life!"

(4) Rose used to come forward for Communion with Toedoe riding atop her wheelchair. One time, I had just served the Communion wafer to Rose and she had dipped it in the Cup, when Toedoe started whimpering at me in disgust. It was only then that I realized the wafers looked like the doggy treats I used to feed her and she was indignant that, this time, only the humans were getting the doggy treats! I thought to myself, "Next time I'll bring some doggy treats for Communion just for Toedoe. Then then Jesus' saying suddenly popped into my mind: "Don't give what is holy to the dogs." I'm convinced that God has a sense of humor. I replied, "Yes Lord, but I don't think Jesus had cute little dogs like Toedoe in mind when He said that."
 
TOEDOE, THE WONDER DOG

Toedoe is the most amazing and spiritual little medical dog I've ever encountered. Todoe, named after the little dog in "The Wizard of Oz, just died at a month shy of 18 and her rmistress Rose is as devastated as if she had just lost a daughter. Rose keeps Toedoe's cremated remains nearby as she tries unsuccessfully to get some sleep. Here are just 4 incidents that may help you understand why Toedoe was so beloved.

(1) Rose has Bichette's Disease, a devastating crippling immune deficiency illness. She has caregivers and moves around with her walker and wheelchair.
I regularly visited Rose for many years and, when I did, Toedoe would rush to greet me and enthusiastically jump on my lap, while I fed her doggy treats. Once, Rose's caregiver was driving her to Wal-mart's and they stopped to greet me as I was walking by. To my dismay and delight, little Toedoe leapt through the front car window into my arms! Our home visits ended with me holding Rose's hands and praying for her. Usually, that stopped her crying and made her feel better for a few days. But one time, my prayers could not ease her pain or stop her from weeping. That's when I first realized that little Toedoe always watched out prayer sessions like a hawk. She had never barked, but suddenly started barking furiously, scolding me because this time my prayers didn't make her mistress feel better!

(2) After church, instead of greeting the people, I used to pray for the sick and disabled who wanted special prayer. One time, I was praying for Dorla who had lupus and cancer. Her cancer was cured, but not her lupus. Then Rose rolled up in her wheelchair and waited patiently for me to pray for her--that is, Rose waited patiently but not Toedoe. When Toedoe saw I was laying hands on Dorla and praying for her, she began barking furiously at me. Little Toedoe considered my prayers for Dorla competition and had no concept of wait your turn! So I apologized to Dorla, who just smiled, and I walked over to pray for Rose. Toedoe just whimpered quietly as if to say, "I shouldn't have to remind you."

(3) I call Todeo "the Wonder Dog" because she actually saved lives. For example, one day Rose wheeled her way into Wal-mart and encountered an unknown woman coming out. Again, Toedoe almost never barks. So it was a shock when she started barking earnestly at this unknown lady. Another lady dropped by who knew Rose, and she remarked, "That's a medical dog; so you better go to Emergency and get yourself checked out!" Later that night, Rose received a call from the Emergency ward. The nurse who had worked on Rose exclaimed, "I'm not supposed to do this because of HYPPA laws, but I just had to tell you that your little dog just saved that lady's life!"

(4) Rose used to come forward for Communion with Toedoe riding atop her wheelchair. One time, I had just served the Communion wafer to Rose and she had dipped it in the Cup, when Toedoe started whimpering at me in disgust. It was only then that I realized the wafers looked like the doggy treats I used to feed her and she was indignant that, this time, only the humans were getting the doggy treats! I thought to myself, "Next time I'll bring some doggy treats for Communion just for Toedoe. Then then Jesus' saying suddenly popped into my mind: "Don't give what is holy to the dogs." I'm convinced that God has a sense of humor. I replied, "Yes Lord, but I don't think Jesus had cute little dogs like Toedoe in mind when He said that."

Thus the cur say on humanity because we do not share until 4 CID too ... cur sus as subtle ... and the common Johns go down ...

Hommoe pathee ... did you know that pathee was once a word for feeliing, pain, etc, a shared item bi timaeus ... as it goes? Then flattery of the numy inserted itself into the equitable order (that which knows not of the time of departure on that train) ...
 
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