Answers to questions you never asked

Then again, doesn’t that pretty well describe a majority of blogging??

Probably in much the same way as, say, September 22nd is, apparently, National Hobbit Day, and March is, among other things, National Frozen Food Month…October is Clergy Appreciation Month. However, this year the church I serve decided to expand that idea and so declared this past Sunday as Staff Appreciation Day. It was a lot of fun — and probably more than a bit uncomfortable for a couple of our staff who do amazing work, but generally prefer to remain well outside the spotlight.

We had a lovely catered lunch and the church bought each staff person flowers and a gift card. It was very kind and thoughtful. We were also asked to complete a “Get to Know Your Staff” questionnaire that a member of the Staff-Parish Relations Committee created. It was silly and fun and thus right up my alley. Even though you, dear reader, never asked or in any other way indicated an interest in hearing my answers to these questions, I thought I’d share them with you.

1. What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?

Seeing our family participate in their passions: Joann running, our son playing baseball, our daughter singing and acting, and my mom traveling. And of course reveling in my geekdom, reading comics, watching shows, and talking about those comics and shows.  

2. Do you live in Woodridge or another community? How long?

Joann and I have lived in Naperville since we got married in 2004. 

3. How long have you been with Woodridge UMC?

I’m on my third job title here since [gulp] September of 1995. It’s a long story, but the shorter version is I started as Assistant Pastor, then was Minister of Education & Youth until my current title of Koinonia Pastor. Duties and responsibilities have shifted several times over the years.

4. What do you think is the best thing about WUMC?

The passion we have for outreach and the many amazing, dedicated, loving adult volunteer Youth Ministry leaders. 

5. What is one thing you would change if you could?

If this means changing something at WUMC: We are great at direct help outreach, but I would have us do more justice work (i.e. stopping evil at its source) — and do it more consistently. Also, I would have lots more people understand what a good and vibrant place WUMC is to worship and serve the world.

If this means changing something in the world at large, then clearly it is to undo the disastrous effects of climate change. Followed by getting the destructive lunatic currently occupying the White House out of there.

6. Which sport teams do you root for?

White Sox (just wait until next year!), LA Angels (because Mike Trout is the best player of my lifetime), and Blackhawks (despite their racist mascot).  

7. What’s your favorite dish to eat?

Tacos! Honestly, have you ever been unhappy with a taco in your hand? Of course not. It’s impossible not to be happy when you have tacos.

8. Chocolate, vanilla or strawberry?

Chocolate with mint, chocolate with peanut butter, or even chocolate with strawberry, but definitely chocolate.

9. Do you have a pet?

No, nada, zilch, nope, nope, nope, not gonna happen…despite our kids’ best efforts. 

10. DC or Marvel?

Oh man! I feel like my entire life has been built to answer this very question! However, I will spare you the full dissertation and just say this (though this will undoubtedly be more than you ever wanted to know):

Marvel Studio (aka Marvel Cinematic Universe) movies are easily the best comic book movies.

But the DC animated movies are really well done — way better than their live action movies.

Marvel puts out more comic books that matter to me. Jason Aaron’s seven-year run on Thor is absolutely amazing. It’s a masterwork in long-form storytelling. I’m quite sad that his work on Thor ends in just three issues. It’s really hard to imagine anyone else writing Thor after him.

However, I think DC takes bigger, bolder risks with their books — and especially with their major events, such as Rebirth. That said, both Marvel and DC tend to try too many Big Events so most end up being mediocre. But back to DC’s bigger, bolder risks: Tom King’s run on Batman is my favorite there. Apparently enough people dislike it and sales are down slightly, so they’ve reduced King’s issues from 100 down to 85. It seems King’s Batman is not for everyone. But I find it terrific — a delightfully weird, deep dive into what truly motivates Batman.

A Halloween unlike any other…

…(said in Jim Nantz voice, of course).

A peek into our office today:

Pastors pic Halloween 2018

That’s Lead Pastor the Rev. Danita R. Anderson with me preparing for our church’s preschool to parade by our offices.

It’s a tremendous gift to work with Danita, who is always ready to laugh. One of the reasons we work well together is that we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

I also like to repost my favorite office Halloween moment from a few years ago. Apparently I like to dress as Batman.


I was feeling a bit silly today, so… Hope you enjoy watching this even half as much as I enjoyed creating it! 🙂

H/T to Colleen Erbach for editing help. Another H/T for inspiration to HISHE, BatDad, and of course, this guy.

Dancing fools

If you’ve been around Woodridge United Methodist Church (the church I serve as Koinonia Pastor) at all during the last couple of Advent seasons, you likely know that I’m a big fan of the song, “The King of Glory Comes.” I liked it well enough on it’s own, but after I found this video, well, it was cemented as my favorite Advent song.

We’ve danced to the video in worship ever since.

There’s even video evidence of my hilariously pathetic dancing skills attempting to replicate the Colbert classic. Might be best to think of it as an homage. Actually, it’s probably best to just avert your eyes. But if you’re a glutton for punishment, here you go. Thankfully, it’s only 17 seconds worth.

Tomorrow is the beginning of Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter when we Christians remember the final few days of Jesus’ life, retracing the story from Palm Sunday through Holy Saturday), so what am I doing bringing up Advent?

Because this piece of video awesomeness surfaced recently. Anything with Colbert is worth watching, of course. But, at the risk of sounding like I’m auditioning to write for Upworthy, at the 5:11 mark the possibility of something spectacular is introduced. Finally, at 5:52, my hopes were fulfilled and my giddiness went totally berserk! Hope you like this as much as I did.

I can’t believe I have to write my own post on my birthday…

I love me some Jim Gaffigan. He’s goofy, weird and endlessly funny.

So to celebrate my 40th birthday today, I’m watching this birthday bit of his. I’ve seen this countless times and yet I still almost did a spit take with my coffee watching it this morning. Enjoy! (But you might want to put that drink down first.)

Laugh break w/How it Should Have Ended

I’m still compiling my reflections on last night’s IL Forum to Combat Human Trafficking, so in the meantime, how about something lighthearted and funny?

I discovered How it Should Have Ended thanks to a Jay Bakker tweet the other day. Needless to say, I’ve spent a good deal of time watching these videos, showing them to our superhero-obsessed son (no idea where he got that from), and laughing. Lots and lots of laughing. Here’s a couple of my favorites, there are more on HISHE site. Hope you enjoy these as much as we did.