This is a picture of the chancel area of my church. img_0618_edited.JPG You are looking at the pulpit and the small lectern in front of the pulpit. As you have probably already deduced, everything is done at Calvin in an orderly and well thought out fashion.  When the bulletin says it is time for the offering, we have the offering. Four deacons march down the middle aisle and come to attention in front of the chancel area.  The one deacon who the bulletin announces is going to pray before the offering, leaves the other three and walks up to the lectern where he or she explains the purpose of the offering, the budgeted amount for that particular cause, how far we have come toward meeting the budget, and then prays.

On this occasion the deacon happened to be a “she”, and apparently a newly elected one at that, and even more apparently rather nervous about her first time assignment. When she left the protecting company of the other deacons she became flustered and walked around the main pulpit and started to mount the stairs to that lofty pinnacle. About half way up she realized her mistake and quickly back tracked.

She should have known that you must be ordained to mount those stairs!!!



  1. Barbara said,

    July 27, 2006 at 1:42 pm

    I wondered why you had sent the pulpit pictures among the house pictures!! You know, I bet the building wouldn’t have collapsed or a thunderous voice wouldn’t have made its presence known if she had made the annoucement from those lofty reaches!

  2. setty said,

    July 27, 2006 at 2:09 pm

    Where did you stand when you gave the eulogy for mom?

  3. Bruce S. said,

    July 27, 2006 at 2:53 pm

    In front. We were legal.

  4. RubeRad said,

    July 27, 2006 at 3:09 pm

    We have had women mount the pulpit to give announcements (for womanly things, like choir or VBS or pot-providence picnics). We don’t have a separate lectern, so a special mike would need to be set up for extra-pulpitar announcements.

    Until recently we also had monthly sunday night ‘expressional’ (they called them I Cor something — psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, and encouraging the brethren, etc.) services, with mikes on the floor for anybody of any gender to share from.

  5. RubeRad said,

    July 27, 2006 at 3:11 pm

    And currently we have a woman (the pastor’s MDiv wife) teaching an adult sunday school class. Women only. John Piper’s Desiring God. And there was this one time when somebody’s crazy aunt came and held a special Sunday School event discussing Islam.

  6. Bruce S. said,

    July 27, 2006 at 5:15 pm

    Your pastor’s wife isn’t an MDiv. She has a MA of some sort. Westminster excludes women from the MDiv program.

  7. setty said,

    July 27, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    Wait a minute, this wasn’t about women. It was about ordination. If one of the men deacons had done the same thing would have been no difference. When the custodian fills the glass of water (placed there for the preacher to cool his throat during his fire and brimstone sermon) he uses one of those grocery store devices that lets him reach the pulpit from the ground floor. I am not sure what the punishment is for the young kids who mount the puplit after the service to pretend to be preaching, but it must be severe.

  8. Barbara said,

    July 27, 2006 at 11:28 pm

    Yes, I know it was about ordination not gender, but somehow the two are at least tangentially related. Someone’s crazy aunt is teaching a whole quarter S.S. on the Abraham chapters of Genesis (and really looking forward to it as well) this fall. However, the class will have to be advertised as taught by both your aunt and your uncle even if it isn’t truth in advertising (I will probably do essentially the whole thing) cause women can only teach adults at our church in the context of male something or another.
    Ruberad: Pot-providence picnics?? You don’t really call them that, do you 🙂

  9. RubeRad said,

    July 28, 2006 at 4:45 pm

    About half of our church always does say ‘pot-providence’, although always tongue-in-cheek!

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