What's worse than being a highly respected Christian college and having one of your professors busted on drug charges? How about having two of your professors busted on cocaine charges? How about having one of them busted on delivery charges? And how about having that professor being director of the school's criminal justice program? Talk about a public relations disaster.
Preaching record set
Weblog has been to a church where if the pastor's sermon went one or two minutes past its allotted time, parishioners would start fidgeting like crazy, some even offering fake coughs. They would have never made it in Chris Sterry's Church of England parish in Whalley, England—the vicar just broke the record for the world's longest sermon, ending his preaching after 28 hours and 45 minutes. He was allowed to take a 15-minute break every eight hours, but otherwise continued preaching straight through the day and night (he had a special "pulpit potty" installed for the event). "He is doing well. He is not talking rubbish. It's actually making sense," said one local supporter in the middle of the preaching marathon.
As another religious weblogger noted, with Sterry's parishoners coming and going throughout the sermon, it's still unknown what the record is for listening to a sermon. But those who bore easily, like those in that church Weblog attended, should take note of what happens to fidgeters. Firefighters had to be called to rescue an unnamed 16-year-old churchgoer in Edmonds, Washington, after the teen got his finger stuck in a pew pencil holder. "He was kind of embarrassed," firefighter Randy Hills tells The Herald. Apparently embarrassed enough—or reverent enough—to sit quietly, finger trapped, for the 45 minutes remaining in the service before he called attention to his plight.
Some churchgoers could learn from the teen's example. "Religious leaders throughout Southern California are battling the reverence-shattering problem of their congregants' 'cell-vation,'" that is, wireless phones in the church, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Their major weapons: signs outside the sanctuary, announcements, gentle humor and plenty of grace." It was once bad enough that cell phones began ringing in church. Now, apparently, people are starting to answer them. One priest's phone recently went off as he was marrying a couple. And students at Fuller Seminary are told unnecessary ringing will result in lower grades.
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