Article for diocesan magazine: “Lenten Dinner Great Success”
A church dinner, “a sumptuous affair” (as promised in last Sunday’s bulletin), was held last night at Banquets R Us down at the end of town by WalMart.
The organizing committee went for the buffet line because 1) it was cheaper (at $17.95!) and 2) it permitted those who were fasting to take the “haddock in lemon curd sauce” and everyone else could choose from the meats (since it was Sunday).
Musical selections were performed by “The Quartet Four,” who played and sang favorites from the old country and the new. The Parrothead segment was especially a crowd favorite.
After the music program, the President welcomed everyone to the banquet, and especially thanked the many generous sponsors who sponsored full page ads in the beautiful four-color glossy-page program book, with logos and photos and nice articles on the different organizations of the parish. He reminded everyone to make sure that they took their program books home since they took so much work, and wouldn’t it be a waste to leave them lying about like what happened at the last year’s Annual Lenten Church Dinner.
Then the President introduced the first Main Speaker from the evening, who was the new financial consultant from Golden Horizons Faithbase Marketing Partners. Using a very impressive Powerpoint presentation, the Presenter showed how pledges from the parishioners could be used as collateral for the church’s new capital growth campaign – “Vision-Casting for Tomorrow’s New Beginning and Broader Horizons.” We are now entering Phase 4 of the ongoing revitalizing construction project, which will involve a multi-services atrium with an information kiosk, rest and conversation living spaces and a large screen to promote ongoing church outreach programs and podcast presentations by church staff. The Presenter ended his inspirational talk by reminding banquet participants that “people only give when something’s going on, so let’s make sure something’s going on!”
The President got up and told a few jokes which he is famous for. There was a priest who was walking in the woods, and there was this big bear standing there. The priest started running from the bear, and the bear chased him all over. The priest kept praying for God to save him. The bear kept coming closer. The priest all at once skidded to a halt since he was on a cliff and couldn’t go anywhere. The bear kept coming closer. The priest (heh, heh) said, “God, please make this bear a Christian!” And so the bear all at once stopped, knelt down on the ground, put his paws together and started to pray. The priest couldn’t believe this miracle. And then the bear said out loud, “God is good, God is great, let us thank Him for the food. Amen.” And then the priest remembered it wasn't Friday.
Everyone laughed their head off.
Then the President introduced the real Main Speaker, who was a famous and national authority on “How Church Tradition can Make Us Modern.” The Speaker talked about how Church Order is really something called “Western Patriarchal Domination,” and how the really good Church Fathers never wanted this to begin with. The Speaker described how some of the “Fathers,” if you really looked closely and read between the lines (because there's a lot of irony, you know), actually said that there was no gender in humanity before the Fall (whatever that is, because no one who is respectable and serious takes that story literally these days). Gender was really a consequence of the Fall and it was a negative thing (a lot of people cheered here). And then in the Eschaton – which is that thing that happens after Time and History, which we can experience even now if we think about infinity – there is no gender, not even in the Mother of God or her son. Therefore, the Speaker said, there should be the restoration of the female diaconate as soon as possible, and everyone who is respectable and in the seminaries and important published authors says so. If we do this, and be more inclusive about "all the phases of human experience, including sexuality,"then we will open up the human potential in everyone that we really need for all the challenges we have, and everyone will have healthy self-esteem.
Everyone applauded with a standing ovation.
The priest stood up for closing remarks. “This was a really important, significant address,” he told everyone. “I think we’ve all had a wonderful time today, thinking and talking about the future. Remember your pledge to Phase 4, and remember to join the study group this Wednesday evening on what we just heard, ‘A New Anthropology for a New Age.’”
He prayed a benediction, and then “The Quartet Four” started their dance set, starting with “The Electric Slide,” a church favorite.
In the atrium (under the “Margaritaville” kiosk), the priest was talking with the speakers. He was congratulating them on their rousing presentations.
“This whole Lenten event,” he exclaimed, “was simply titanic!”