The combination is toxic, a perfect homiletical storm. A recent seminary graduate comes to her first parish, moving halfway across the country with her fiancé soon to follow. Sermon after sermon includes a story about a seminary classmate, about how much she loves the place where she used to live and how different “home” is from her new community and, inevitably, about how her wedding plans remind her of something in the epistle. In another pulpit, a preacher approaching retirement has discovered that while he cannot show you pictures of his grandkids from the pulpit, he can tell you about them. So he does—week after week after week. “A funny thing happened to me on the way to the pulpit today” is as familiar a remark in some churches as “It was a quiet week in Lake Wobegon” is on Saturday radio.