Good morning, y’all. I am reminded of Will Rogers’ famous quote about his political affiliation, “I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat“. Funny as heck, but oh so true. I see by the news that the Bernie supporters are marching on the DNC in hopes of getting everyone to change their minds and nominate Bernie. I love the passion, but is it worth the risk of the return of the Third Reich to get your way? Maybe Trump does understand the millennials better. They’re used to getting their way, and right now. Just like rich kids. We’ll wait and see if the millennials have the maturity to vote for their second choice, as opposed to staying home. The stakes are high.
Speaking of high stakes brings us back to the retelling of the history of the Full Gospel Original Church of God. Elder Cheatum took his place at the table of the board meeting and looked at the other members of the board.
“Well?”, he asked.
“Well, you did about as good a job as you could explaining the dilemma”, said Elder Wiley, “I just think the older members are going to want to stop the broadcasts and ultimately stop the growth.”
“Yeah, you might be surprised that some of the old timers would be willing to give up Reverend Helena to get things back to where they were,” said Elder Diggum.
“Mulva?” Elder Cheatum asked.
“I see both sides”, the secretary/treasurer responded. “I can see that the money allows us to reach out and spread our mission as far as it will go; and I can sympathize with the people that just want their Little Church In The Valley back.” “You know the older you get, the less change you like, and our congregation was pretty old.”
“And that’s my point, when we die off, that’s it”, said Elder Cheatum as he looked around the room, “Without these new members, eventually the church will die, and I will feel like I’ve failed if that happens while I’m alive.”
Elder Cheatum’s voice took on a different tone as he continued, “I’m not saying I have all of the answers, that’s why I ask for your help, and that of the congregation.” “Some one in the audience tonight might have the perfect solution to our problem and write it down on the comment card on Sunday.”
“We hear you Buster”, said Elder Wiley, “but you can’t lead a blind horse to drink, you know?” “If the people in the valley don’t want to move forward, we may have to do it without them.”
“Are you saying move to a different location if the opportunity presents itself?” asked Elder Diggum.
“I am”, said Elder Wiley. “If the older members can’t or won’t be part of something that’s moving forward, we leave them behind.”
“The old Eskimo approach”, replied Elder Cheatum, “if they’re too old to be of use, we leave them behind for the polar bears.”
“Wait, wait, wait”, said Mulva, “Y’all are upsetting me.” “I’m friends with all of these people, and I don’t want to ‘leave them behind for the polar bears'”
“We won’t, Mulva”, said Elder Cheatum, “We’re just venting our frustrations.” “Hey, I had a crazy idea, y’all tell me what you think about it.”
Elder Cheatum continued, “I was thinking that since we’re getting so much traffic from the Atlanta area that we might talk one of the tour companies down there into putting together a package for folks coming from Atlanta that might include, ‘Lunch with the Reverend’.” “I’m thinking it could be any day or days of the week.” “Reverend Helena has got to eat anyway, right?” “Why not have her show up at a local eatery and break bread with a bus full of folks brought in from the Atlanta environs?”
Since no one had jumped and yelled ‘stop, stop’, Elder Cheatum forged ahead.”Obviously, Helena and the bus driver would eat for free, and we’d share the profits from ticket sales with the tour company and Reverend Helena.” “There’s folks in Atlanta making a living off of Zombie tours; I think this would get us a ton of exposure in the Metroplex without spending a dime.”
“Buster, as your attorney, I advise you to go home and get several nights of sleep”, said Elder Wiley. “I appreciate your creativity, and your steadfast attention to the bottom line, but I think we need to back-burner the tour idea until such time as there is a reason for folks in Atlanta to want to meet Reverend Helena in a coffee shop, in her jeans and tennis shoes.”
Elder Cheatum gave his old friend a look of resignation and said, “You’re probably right, I was just trying to maximize the potential of our asset.” “Having the tour company on the hook for all of the expenses was just too good to not at least mention to you all.”
“Ok, what else is going on?” Elder Cheatum asked as he looked around the table.
“Well, we got the bookmarks in and they look real good”, said Mulva, “the Ladies Auxillary are ready to stuff envelopes whenever we start getting requests.”
“Channel 99 is running the ad this Sunday during collection, so by next week’s meeting we should have a pretty good indication of the ad’s success”, said Elder Diggum.
“Very good”, replied Elder Cheatum, “By the way Mulva, how are things coming with your uninvited guest?”
Mulva studied Elder Cheatum’s face for a second before getting the clue. “Bud says he’s got the security tapes of Reverend Dale’s coming and goings.” “Bud’s scared somebody is going to shoot him for ‘sneaking around.'” “You know we’ve got more guns at TackyToo than the National Guard Armory”. “It’s not unlikely that one of the tenants will shoot Reverend Dale and ask who he was later.”
“Well, if it’s God’s will”, replied Elder Wiley.
Backing away from the stern looks of the other board members, Elder Wiley takes back his comment, “Just kidding, really.” “I want Dale Bread to live a long prosperous life, so he can take care of his wife and kids.”
“Ok, I’ve just got one more thing”, Elder Cheatum said, “Mulva, I know that Bud dabbles in the internet, do you think you could ask him to do a webpage for us?” “We could offer him a couple of hundred dollars, if you think we should.”
“No, I’m sure Bud would be happy to do it for free”, Mulva replied. “He’s up all hours anyway, might as well be doing something useful.”
“Well thanks, Mulva, I appreciate your kind offer”, replied Elder Cheatum, “and could you make sure that Bud keeps those security tapes of Reverend Dale safe for us?”
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.