I remember going to Christmas Eve services at the little church I grew up in.  That church is a whole lot bigger now than it was back when I was a kid.  The Brethren are renowned pacifists, but our preacher had been in the navy, prior to becoming a preacher.  So even though the church voted down a certain hymnal, one with “My Country ’tis of Thee” in it, our preacher spent a Saturday afternoon printing out copies of the song and gluing them in the back of every hymnal.  And yeah, I helped him.

One Christmas Eve service, our preacher was lighting the advent wreath and got a little too close to the big white candle in the middle.  He didn’t notice that the arm of his jacket caught fire, and he started preaching about Christmas and Jesus.  Next thing I know one of my sisters (the one that was playing piano at the service) leaps up over her bench and starts putting him out with her sweater.

At least she didn’t use the hymnal.


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