Pastoral Computing

A friend of mine, the Reverend J. Bedrock Toalston, has always spent hours preparing his sermons, using nothing more sophisticated than a dull pencil and a pad of lined paper.

Now, Toalston’s board of deacons is primarily made up of successful businessmen, and it did not escape them that their pastor was slightly behind the times in his methodology.

“What he needs,” said the board chairman, “is a computer. Why, with a good word processor, he’ll be able to compose even better sermons in half the time. It wouldn’t surprise me but what he’d have enough time left over to take on the church cleaning chores.”

“And if we get him a spread sheet program,” chimed in the treasurer, “he could keep track of offerings and the accounts payable in the rest of the time he saves.”

So a computer was purchased. In no time at all, Reverend Toalston learned the difference between bytes and bits, RAM and ROM, log on and log off, floppy disks and hard disks.

The deacons beamed with anticipation when Toalston stepped behind the pulpit on the following Sunday, clutching a flawlessly neat printout.

However, their pastor launched into a recital of dull drivel that was interspersed with references not to the Bible, but to things like “Wordcomp Program 1.2 as revised in January 1983.” And in conclusion, instead of his usual pithy poem, he simply said something about “logging off.” And his face went blank.

An emergency meeting of the board was called immediately after the service. Following brief debate, the deacons voted unanimously to trade in the computer on an electric pencil sharpener.


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