I always answer, “Shepherd of the Coast Lutheran Church; this is Pastor Douthwaite.”
“Hello, pastor. This is K**** (name changed to protect the innocent). I visited your church on Mothers’ Day and I was hoping you could tell me more about the ship’s bell in your entryway.
Sometimes we have unusual items in our entryway, or narthex, especially when we are promoting Vacation Bible School. One year we actually had a ship’s wheel on display. I thought really hard about what might be out there, but finally said, “We don’t have a ship’s bell here.”
“Sure you do. You must be mistaken, pastor.” Really. You’d think I’d notice something like that, especially since I’ve been through the narthex almost every day for the last six years.
I decided to investigate a little more. “You attended Shepherd of the Coast?”
“Yes ma’am.” Respectful, but just a little off the mark.
“On Pine Lakes Parkway, on the west side of town?”
A moment of silence. “I think I may have called the wrong church.”
“Maybe.” Click. Conversation over.
Attend the church of your choice this weekend. Take note of any nautical items you see. Glance at the church sign. Pin the location on your maps app. And have a great week!