I have been AWOE (Absent without explanation) these past few months. No need to explain much these days, of course, given a pandemic, a failed coup, and a world in disconnect, but in addition, I am in the process of retiring from my fulltime job as a pastor for the Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. I expect I will do a lot more retrospect in the days ahead, but I am wrapping up this week. This evening, given my love for all things Garrison Keillor and my penchant for funny stories, my celebration committee is having an event they have titled “A Gary Home Companion.”
I don’t know what all will happen, but given that the deacons sent me out of my final deacons meeting with a kazoo orchestral version of “Bad to the Bone” Sunday evening, I think it is fair to say this will be a lot of laughter, celebration and fun. After nearly twenty eight years together, we have continued to laugh–at ourselves, together, and joyfully.
Humor, especially self-deprecating kinds, is in great shortage today. Churches and preachers tend to take themselves seriously to the point of idolatry. Most highminded religiosity is in need of a good puncture to its hot air balloon now and then. God is to be taken with ultimate seriousness. God’s self-appointed spokespeople–not as much.
I love this church. No one has been more fortunate than I to serve here. Anyway, it will be livestreamed and you are welcome to join us at 6 pm CST. You can find us on YouTube or on Facebook. Brent Warren and I will play a couple of songs and we will, I am sure, have some laughs at my expense. Why not? Join us. More information here.
One of the songs we’ll do is from our latest CD, and it’s perfect for the retiring types.