Saturday, May 26, 2007

Clergy Session
(or the Thief Takes a Fall)

Who knew that the clergy session would be so exciting? OK, so it wasn’t all that exciting, But when that crazy guy went sprawling across the stage, well, that was pretty good.

Because I passed the interviews, I was brought (along with my entire Ordination class) before the assembled clergy for vote. As our names were called, we were to walk up the small stairway, across a small stage, and down another stairway. As the last one to cross the stage, I managed to get bored while waiting. To make matters worse, there were "jokers" who would do "queen" waves or turns on the stage, to the delight of the assembled clergy. The bishop himself was egging them on to do something "creative" up there.

Whenever I’ve been called on to introduce myself, it’s always given me nervous butterflies. Not because I’m nervous about being in front of people, but because I’ve always wanted to do something unique.

And since I was last in line, I had time to think – but I couldn’t think of something unique… so I did the next best thing. I copied a master. Well, not exactly a master, per se, but I think he was at least a finalist in the voting to be the official "Class Clown" in my high school graduating class.
Speaking of graduating, it seems that Sean Cooper took a pratfall as we graduated in 1990. And I decided that was going to be the way to go. I asked a colleague, "How much will you give me if I trip on stage?" She quickly responded, "Go for it!"

So as I was (finally) called, I slowly walked toward the steps, climbed them, and caught my right foot on the lip of the stage. I have played and watched enough soccer to know how to take a dive (especially the catching the foot on the lip of the stage) and I’ve watched enough professional wrestling to know how to make a fall look (and sound) good. I threw out my arms and made sure to slam my left arm and hand (palm first) on the stage. The only way it would have been louder was if there had been someone else to stomp at the same time.

As the assembled clergy gasped in unison, I quickly popped up and said, "I’m OK!" and walked off the stage and out the door. Nervous laughter followed me out, and apparently the bishop said, "Now that we’re all awake…" (He later told me that he thought it was funny and that he had in a way instigated it by encouraging the waves and bows and so forth).

My friends in the Conference pretty much all knew that I had done it on purpose, though they had debates at their tables. I, of course, implied innocence ("now would I do something like that?") but they knew the truth. Others, thought I had just tripped, and one guy even told me that I had made a "good recovery." heh heh heh.

Various people told me that they will always remember this clergy session because of my pratfall. And I will certainly hereforth be known as the guy who fell across the stage at the clergy session (or the guy who had the guts (or lack of brains) to do so even when I had yet to be voted into full connection). My 15 minutes of fame…

In other news, I had my first true blogosphere meet-up. During the lunch break, I finally met Bryan of Bryan’s Office fame, and he’s a much cooler guy in person than he even is in the blogosphere (for the record, and not just to kiss up to the future Pope of Methodism) I like his blog – it’s the only blog in my top four that isn’t authored by one of my immediate family members. Besides taking the fall (which besides being a good attention getter, got my adrenaline going, too), meeting Bryan was the highlight of my clergy session.


Mary Beth said...


At our clergy session the candidates for ordination wait outside and the clergy in the session have a chance to affirm each candidate's ministry (that they're aware of). It's pretty moving, but I think a little pratfall here or there might spice things up a bit!

bryan said...

Your Chevy Chase imitation, by far, was the best part of clergy session. Consider the "coolness" mutual. See you at Annual Conference, and we'll have your family up, shortly thereafter.

The Sister said...

so you mean in a couple weeks at your conference meeting, everyone's going to know you as "the guy who fell", making me "the sister of the guy who fell"?

Big Mama said...

Shades of High School!! thought you had outgrown that! So did you get voted in anyway in spite of the "clumsy moment"? Or was that one of the hidden tests and you will soon find out that you can't be a preacher cause you don't have a leg to stand on? Couldn't resist!