Even though I have faithfully heeded the spirit’s call to address the subject a number of times in past weeks, it looks my Sermon this morning is once again going to focus upon the importance of giving generously to one’s Church. This time, however, general parish expenditure will play no part the reasons underlying my carefully-considered exegetical emphasis. (Look: with the price of gas what it is these days, it costs a lot of money to keep my Hummer filled, ok? And it what sort of message would it give to the world if the World’s Most Orthodox Christian couldn’t just drive straight over the top of anyone getting in his way?)
No, this week will see the launch of a special new project – one even more exciting than all the other special new projects I’ve been called to launch here at St. Onuphrius’. In fact this one is so special, new, and exciting, that I can already sense everyone reaching for their plain brown envelopes and cash. That’s because I’ve just learned that Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral is on the market and, My Beloved Sinners, by some miracle of what can only be described as divine timing, this sale coincides with a vision that has come to me - one involving St. Onuphrius’ expansion beyond dear old Ichabod Springs.
Of course nobody should for one moment think my decision to start jumping diocesan boundaries has been taken lightly, even if the idea did just first pop into my head a few minutes ago. Respect for Anglican boundaries is ancient part of the faith delivered unto the saints - one even older than the principle of fearing those different and/or less affluent than oneself. As such it can only be discarded in the most serious of circumstances. Like, for example, those experienced by layman Martyn Minns upon finally realizing his nagging purple itch would never get scratched if he didn’t do something drastic. Or the pressing needs of the former Archbishop of Rwanda, who correctly understood that taking over North American congregations would prove a vastly more lucrative (albeit less spiritually satisfying) substitute for his countrymen’s traditional pastime of butchering the women and children of unrelated tribes.
Needless to say, my reasons are every bit as valid. Firstly; I have always been a great admirer of Robert Schuller: it was his famous aphorism “Turn your scars into stars” which prompted an extremely profitable investment in a chain of tattoo parlours – my “Post-surgery Package” specials revolutionized industry returns. Although I’ve still to experience similar success with his other catchphrase “If you can dream it, you can do it!”, since I have yet to find myself falling down an endless tunnel with Elvis. Although I have on a number of occasions found myself naked in the shopping mall.
Secondly; I have for some time been hearing rumours of the dearth of Biblical teaching in the Los Angeles region. It grieves me deeply to report these were recently confirmed by my discovery that The Friends of Jake - a blog run by a number of people either currently or previously living in California, or who have perhaps vacationed there (or almost certainly know somebody who has once visited Disneyland) - have removed me from their blogroll!!!.
That’s right, and don’t ever dare to think that I don’t notice these things. No stench of apostasy is too subtle to escape my theologically-heightened olfactory senses, and if all you Liberal Homosexualist Christ-following Atheists and your friends think you can escape the two-edged sword of My Teaching that easily you’ve all got another thing coming. One that you ingrates had better believe an Hour of Power on my 236-foot Prayer Tower will teach you for good. (Stop rolling your eyes Consuella – I’m trying to convict these Sinners of their need for repentance!)
Finally, any members of the Crystal Cathedral’s remaing congregation (until now I’d thought only little Don Armstrong or admirers of the Jensen family were capable of shedding 90% of their congregation in just ten years) reading this needn’t worry about my arrival bringing any drastic overnight changes. Bishop Quinine and Brother Richthofen’s Friends from Seminary are already looking forward to bringing Pastor Kok’s Kigdness Korner new vigour (although I’m not sure if that’s because they misheard my saying “Pastor” as “pass the”, or because they’re unaware the man’s family name is spelt a little differently to how they’d assumed).
And admirers of the delightful Kristy Cavinder can rest assured that former Miss California’s liturgical dance ministry will most definitely continue. Although I dare say the girls in the Pole Dancers’ Fellowship may help add a few new moves to her repertoire…
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.