A few weeks ago, I was privileged to share my pastoral ministry with other colleagues of mine in the Gallia County area at our annual Thanksgiving Service at First Presbyterian Church. The host pastor, the Rev. Tim Luoma, wrote a beautiful service of worship that was probably the finest, most eloquently worded liturgy I have ever heard. Pastors Doug Stockton and Bill Thomas from Grace United Methodist Church provided an equally effective witness of faith with devotion, prayers and a homily. My part of the service was to provide the printed program (Worship Bulletin, Worship Guide, or Program). In my effort to provide for the service I found myself challenged to have the printed work accomplished on time (I'd had the service for a week!).
And in spite of my best efforts to punch a few buttons on the copier and fold, the program I failed. What followed was an absolute comedy of errors that was nothing short of a Keystone Cops adventure or an episode of the Three Stooges as I arrived at the church minutes before the service asking to have the program printed there. As is the case with Murphy's Law, when anything goes wrong, trying to correct it always makes it worse.
I did, however, have the aid of three other well educated and highly trained pastors on my side (and dare I say the power of God Almighty) and one helpful layman of the church. Murphy won, the printed program was a loss, and the congregation gathered to worship and celebrate Thanksgiving did so without falter.
I would like to make a public apology to the members of First Presbyterian Church and all my colleagues in ministry for a wonderful display of incompetence and unprofessional behavior on my part. While no one voiced a word of dissent, disappointment or disapproval, this kind of leadership on my part is an embarrassment and I would like to offer my sincerest apology for my ignorance and arrogance.
The Rev. Jay Tatum