Monday Morning Quarterback

Monday Morning Quarterback

Note: Monday Morning Quarterback is a weekly post reviewing Sunday, the busiest, most stressful, most gratifying day in the week of a pastor/parent/spouse/citizen

 Song of The Day:


6:00. Up. Snoozing is for suckers.

6:02. Hobble down the stairs, the pinky toes on both feet aching from having clipped them, alternately, barefoot, on the same chair leg the day before. Had to put the chair down.

6:41. Put the finishing (and beginning) touches on the Junior High Youth Group outline for that afternoon, and email it to volunteers, assigning the easiest parts to myself.

6:42. Breakfast of bran flakes with fiber pellets on top of shredded wheat. Whinney.

7:14. Decide against the turquoise blue tie I picked out the night before. That’s a more confident man’s tie.

8:07. Stop at the grocery store to pick up snacks for the high school Sunday school class, because the teacher who normally gets them texted yesterday that she’s sick.

8:10. Mini bran muffins and rice milk in my cart, confident this is cook kid food these days.

8:59. The other Sunday school teacher arrives, and he’s carting a box of donuts. Yeah, cool. Whatever. Those muffins were for decoration anyway.

9:22. Snap a picture from the back of the adult Sunday school class as the speaker explains, “I’ve often thought that the greatest moment in my career was writing that speech for Martin.” Measuring my life’s accomplishments in light of the awareness that “Martin” is Martin Luther King, Jr., I die a little inside and slink out the back door.

9:41. Stroll past the the church’s newly emerging coffee klatch of parents milling outside the Godly Play room. “Hey guys. I see you’re drinking some coffee. Some java. Heyyy. Drinkin’ coffeeeee.”

10:06. Giggle with the visiting Rabbi during worship announcements about the time, two years ago, when he brought a Megilah scroll to show the children and I assisted him by unrolling it so far as to nearly break it. Realize he’s not giggling.

10:08. Acolyte struggling to light the middle chancel candle. Heroically leap from my seat between the visiting Rabbi and Head Pastor, striding towards the struggling child to bring light into the wo—-oh, wait. It’s lit. I’m just gonna sit down now. I’m sure nobody noticed.

10:16. As it is our annual exchange Sunday with the local synagogue, pronounce, “The peace of GOD be with you” to a congregation conditioned to receive “The peace of Christ.” Mentally rehearse my explanation for this while I shake peoples’ hands.

10:19. Introduce the Rabbi to the children. “Children I want to introduce you to my friend Rabbi Jonathan. Uhhh, this is Rabbi Jonathan.”

10:20. Rabbi Jonathan is fumbling with the handheld microphone and the Megilah scroll he’s once again brought. Hesitate. Hesitate. Finally go to help, grabbing the microphone and holding it in front of his face like Phil Donahue.

10:46. Realize during Rabbi and Head Pastor’s sermon that this annual exchange, though sometimes clumsy, though sometimes uncomfortable and uncertain, is a good, good thing nonetheless. Wonder if anything really good is easy.

11:17. Defending the church’s openness to gays and lesbians to a church member, recalling my first job interview after seminary. The committee asked how I felt about homosexuality in the church, and I, unprepared, stuttered out some answer about The Bible not allowing it. To the committee’s great credit, they never called me back.

12:47. Lunch at a local restaurant with a new couple from church and their young daughter. Our daughters play together under the table, behind the window curtains, on top of the bar . . .

1:29. Drive home over a shrieking melody of protest from 4 year-old, who preferred to drive home with her mother.


1:43. 4 year-old still screaming, gagging on her tears.

1:56. Mommy returns with “Princess dress” from the Goodwill. Tantrum over. 4 year-old stops crying as well.

2:55. Dozing off while family watches The Rescuers Down Under, slipping into dreams of Newhart.

3:30. Head to grocery store to get youth group snacks. Forgot my wallet. Turn around.

4:44. School three consecutive junior high students in Connect Four. Can’t Touch This.

5:32. Talking to junior highers about the dangers of misrepresenting yourself online. Speak through me, St. Rushkoff

7:08. A member of the Indonesian church with which we share space hurriedly invites high school youth to join in a memorial service reception meal in the Fellowship Hall. I go. Shake a few hands, decline numerous offers of food, explaining about the youth group meeting, then leave, confident that I’ve just set relations between our churches back several steps.

8:11. Students planning for next week’s Souper Bowl of Caring. They want to perform a parody soup song in church. They’re considering “99 Bowls of Soup on The Wall,” “Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Soups,” and, my personal favorite, “Aye, Aye, Aye, Aye! Yo Quiero Sopa!” Adult volunteer’s suggestion of “Gizpacho, Gizpacho Man” goes politely unheeded.

9:39. Gleefully reading Matt Schultz’s blog post on the outrage that is Commercial Dad.

10:14. 4 year-old is still awake, crying now for the stuffed animal she left in the car (see video above).

10:21. Return to bed with stuffed animal. “Thank you, Daddy.”



4 thoughts on “Monday Morning Quarterback

  1. Stev says:

    I have no doubts you will be writing speeches for someone noteworthy someday, and laughing at yourself for overthinking every damn thing.You awesome, Rocko.

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