Last Sunday in that "other" church, the following joke appeared in the bulletin insert.
I'm not sure it's funny - and if you are not sure it's funny, then I'm not sure it is.
Well, let me put it this way: Had I first heard this in any other context but while sitting in a church pew, having said my prayers, and preparing myself for worship, I might have laughed right out loud.
Instead, I found myself gasping.
Then, I looked around to see if anyone else had read what I had just read and if they had, what was their reaction?
Let me put it this way - the joke, in and of itself, is fairly harmless. The fact that it's about a clergy person - a young clergy person and his young wife - and procreation . . . well, that's part of what's funny, too.
Had this been a joke directed at a certain clergy couple who used to be Episcopalian and are now getting ready for their fifth child in eight years . . . well, it would either be hysterically funny (if you don't like them) or in very bad taste (well, even if you don't like them).
Might my problem with this joke have had anything to do with the fact that there were two clergymen at the altar and both were gay?
Then again, let me ask you this: have you ever found church humor really funny? I can't think of one story involving church that has ever brought forth more than a snicker from my lips. Never a full belly-laugh.
So, what do you think? Is this funny? Is it appropriate to be read in church as people are preparing their heart, mind and soul for worship.
If so, why so? And if not, why not?
Off you go then. I'll be at the beach while you are pondering these weighty questions of a gorgeous Saturday morning. I'll wave at a few waves for you.
Not funny. I know.
A pastor's wife was expecting a baby, so he stood before the congregation and asked for a raise. After much discussion, they passed a rule that whenever the preacher's family expanded, so would his paycheck.
After 6 children, this started to get expensive and the congregation decided to hold another meeting to discuss the preacher's expanding salary. A great deal of yelling and inner bickering ensued, as to how much the clergyman's additional children were costing the church, and how much more it could potentially cost.
After listening to them for about an hour, the pastor rose from his chair and spoke, 'Children are a gift from God, and we will take as many gifts as He gives us.
Silence fell on the congregations.
In the back pew, a little old lady struggled to stand, and finally said in her frail voice, "Rain is also a gift from God, but when we get too much of it, we wear rubbers.'
The entire congregation said, 'Amen."