First-year bishop

Dispatch from Birmingham
On my last Sunday in Duke Chapel, after I’d preached to a full church and received a standing ovation after my sermon, a sophomore came up to me and said, “Thanks for abandoning us. What am I supposed to do for spiritual guidance now?”

I told him that God was calling me to a new ministry in Alabama and that whoever replaced me would be great.

“Say,” the student continued, “are you going to be doing much preaching in your new job?”

“Sure will,” I reassured him. “I’ll be preaching two or three times every Sunday.”

“That’s good,” he said. “I’ve heard that you are hard to follow and that your sermons are poorly organized, so now you’ll be able to work on that.”

“Who said that about my sermons?” I demanded.

“Everybody at Duke,” he responded.


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