Moons have passed since I’ve passed on to you some of the little items readers send me. These collections of errors, mostly typographical, are a popular, often requested feature of this column. (Why do people prefer the reproduction of other people’s errors to my own errorless prose?) In any case, these are dated items, which I’ve carried over from the previous millennium. Yet I can safely say that they are as relevant now as they were back in 2000. To protect the innocent we’ll identify states but not churches or people.
New Mexico: A newspaper’s “Around Town” church news section headlines a “TRUNK OR TREAT FALL CARNIVAL,” but the ensuing story makes it more interesting. A church “invites all young people . . . to the “Trunk or Teat Fall Carnival.” We won’t be cowed.
California: In a church newsletter “Men of Hope” advertise a new mode of trading with the IRS. No money needed: “November 18: Tax Strategies with Steak and Eggs.”
Kentucky sectarianism: In Advent an Episcopal bulletin listed the hymn “On Jordan’s Bank the Baptists Cry.” And they have a lot to cry about.
California: A Roman Catholic seminary advertises a position in a “multicultural community of 85 seminarians and 15 dull-time faculty.” Seminarians might ask, multiculturally, “Are there other kinds of faculty?”
Pennsylvania: A church newsletter informs us that a certain woman who has had surgery needs prayers. It adds, “A cheer cad will do mush to keep her spirits up.” The cads we know don’t mush.
Texas: Here is affirmation on the disability front, a tribute to the hearing impaired: “The congenially deaf represent half a million people in this country.”
California again: Under a picture is the caption, “The Rev. N.N. heads Central United Methodist Church, the largest Methodist in N. County.” Check that on the scales.
Living Lord Lutheran Church, in whatever state, celebrates with a song: “When the Holy Ghost Shoes Up.” To come in at half-time?
Oregon: A presbytery informs its members about an upcoming luncheon. “If your diet does not allow you to have port,” a sentence begins. We thought they’d offer sherry, but it’s less interesting than that. “Lunch for the day will consist of pork barbecue,” we discover.
California yet again: The J. S. Bach year has passed, but not before a church gave the composer a new title in a headline: “BACH—GOD’S COMPOSTER.”
Michigan: King Solomon is needed here. A church bulletin announces: “Due to the growing size of our nursery we will be splitting the infants and toddlers.”
Nebraska: Cannibalism at a church that has a chili cook-off contest. Says its bulletin, “The winner will receive a ‘grand’ prize. Then will be served to the congregation for a donation following 10:45 worship.”
Indiana: I reproduce as we received it this memorandum: “Every afternoon our Health Care residents look forward to receiving fresh ice water from the familiar, but not frequently seen, faces of different Manor residents. These volunteers pass water once, twice, maybe three times a month. So as not to overburden those who help us with this project, from time to time, we solicit additional volunteers. If you are interested in giving one hour a month to water passing, please contact . . .”
Here am I, send me, send me.