Posted in Ministry

The spider and the acolyte

communion spider.jpg“Our Father, Who art in heaven…”


The (not so) whispered voice came from behind me as we began the Lord’s Prayer, just before the Words of Institution in worship a few weeks ago. I glanced behind me, and it was that Sunday’s acolyte.

“…hallowed be Thy name…”

“Pastor, there’s a spider!”

“…thy kingdom come, Thy will be done…”

I glanced back again and said, “Kill it!”

“…on earth as it is in heaven.”

“PASTOR, there’s a spider on the communion trays!”

“What?” I whispered.

“There’s a spider, right there.” He pointed to a 1/2 inch spider crawling up the side of the stack of individual cup trays.

“Give us this day out daily bread…”

I reached over, smooshed it with my finger, and flicked it across the chancel where it wouldn’t bother me any more.

“That’s your job,” I whispered.

“…as we forgive those who trespass against us…”

This true little episode is just one of the reasons why it can be difficult to keep your focus while officiating. It also highlights an important yet unwritten duty of an acolyte: dealing with arachnids. And it gives you a little window into the many unseen and unheard parts of a typical Sunday morning worship service.



Posted in Life

My wife in Haiti (part 4).

The text I received about 2:30 pm today was, “The spiders here are on steroids! Huge spider in the sleeping quarters…and it was carrying babies, too…” Big enough that “the guys were jumping, too.” It probably found its way inside to escape the torrential rains that came down today. Between that and being hot and sweaty all the time, the conditions are difficult to say the least. Just imagine living there in a tent, or less. The generator goes out frequently, so power for the fan and showers is unpredictable. I don’t think the clinic will be open on Saturday, so tomorrow will be the last full day of seeing patients. It’s a little dangerous to leave the compound, so I don’t know what they’ll do before they leave on Sunday. It will be interesting to hear her reflections on the whole experience, which I am sure will not be her last.