Writing a Book

I have thought it would be fun to write about some of the extraordinary experiences all pastors encounter from time to time.  What were the most unusual weddings and funerals?   What were my biggest ‘slips of tongue’ in the pulpit?   What ridiculous things have I found myself doing?  For those who read this blog, what are some of your unusual experiences?

Just a few examples of some of my unusual experiences:

— As a young pastor, I once accidentally served the wine before the bread during communion.  Nobody in the congregation said anything because they thought I was trying to make some kind of point.  In admitting my mistake, we all had a good laugh.  I was also embarrassed beyond belief!

— At a rural cemetery, being handed a shovel to help in digging a hole for the interment of ashes.  I later learned this would not be an unusual request for those who regularly inter ashes.

— The time the pall-bearers dropped the casket….and my involvement in helping to ‘straighten out the body’ in the casket after family members departed.  Nothing funny about this.

— At a wedding, dealing with a drunk groom and groomsmen….

— A host of fun experiences in working with staff, custodians, organists and choirs  (The trust walk with a secretary at a conference)

— The funeral of a non-member when gang paraphernalia was placed in the casket to honor the deceased (a gang member)  – including a switch blade and a can of beer.

I would also like to write about some serious topics.

One example the list of things I learned early in my of ministry in how NOT TO DO MINISTRY!  I have seen and experienced colleagues who have done some pretty stupid things….

On the other hand, I have also been blessed with many wonderful mentors who helped mold me into what I would become as a pastor.  This would be a long list of mentors with hundreds of pages of great experiences

There is a lot to be said about my numerous health issues through the years.  I am a good example of how not to take care of myself….and I am not prepared to write on this subject.

After 28 years of serving the Warren Avenue Presbyterian Church in Saginaw, I made the decision to write about this experience.  I have finally turned some of this experience into a book.  This book was written mostly for myself.  I also thought a few friends, family and colleagues might be interested in hearing what about these experiences.

The book available at Amazon.com:

Come and See What God has Done – Before, Then and Beyond

By Thomas Cundiff

I didn’t write this book to make money.

Now that this book has been published, I am contemplating:  What’s Next?

And back to the question I ask those who read this blog:  What are some of your unusual experiences?

Making A Difference

I’ve been thinking about this sermon[1] (http://www.fourthchurch.org/sermons/2015/110115.html)  by Shannon Kershner now for a couple of weeks.   It’s still with me!

This was a stewardship sermon delivered from the pulpit of the Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago – a memorable message that reminds me that my giving to the church really makes a “holy difference” not only in with those who are served by the church but also in my life. I do feel the joy in giving as a holy experience of God presence in my life.

Pastor Kershner asks this important question: “What kind of holy difference does our giving make in us?”   Do we experience God’s “holy presence” through what we give?  Seriously!  Think about the holy things God does through us and the blessings we receive through our giving generously for the benefit of others.

To quote the sermon:

So this week, as you continue to prayerfully consider what you will pledge, give, to this church for God’s work in this world, for the building up of God’s kingdom, God’s reign, God’s community of love, or as your reconsider what you have already pledged, take into account what kind of a holy difference your gift will or will not make in your life.

[1]   Give, Grow, Become!  Joy and Generosity, Shannon J. Kershner, Pastor, Fourth Presbyterian Church, November 1, 2015.