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Turn In Your Hymnal to Hymn #Voice123
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My wife and I recently moved, and we love our church. Yes, we are churchgoers, and I ain’t ashamed to admit it. People tell me, “Oh Josh, you silly simpleton. Don't you know Christianity is just a crutch?” They are right. And I am a hapless but loveable stumblebum-cripple...with a strangely peculiar gimp and a penchant for wicked tomfoolery.
I need help! I have so many issues that are beyond Oprah, Dr. Phil, or any powerful ointment to fix. Unless you have any of that Super Mega Ultra Maximum Strength Troubles-Be-Gone spray that I can coat my children with to make them stop bickering. I will take that in bulk please. Pfffffffft. Peace. Done.
My wife and I are so very grateful for our new church. It provides community, we are serving in various capacities (she with a story ministry, weekly bulletin prep, and the youth ministry; me with worship and playing the Sunday morning host guy, go figure) and we are integrating well and making new family and friends. Indeed, I hosted this past Easter in one of my first Sunday morning quasi-standup routines, and I very much enjoyed saying to the audience, “One of the things that I really appreciate about this church is that they will let pretty much anyone up here on stage!” And they will. This past Sunday I went dressed in my battle thong, my feather boa, and my cape. The announcements were of course riveting. And the offering baskets overflowethed as a result.
But as much as I love my church, there are always politics at play, as there are pretty much everywhere you turn these days. Except of course the local pub, which is my trusted go-to source for a wealth of mindless drunken blather from ill-informed silly nincompoops.
The Church and Politics
Used by permission from Z1 via Pixabay
The church is a wonderful community of like-minded people, all sharing a common faith, belief system, and values. However, the more entrenched you get in the system, the more you notice that they are all, still, utterly human beings: flawed and opinionated to the core. I am no different. I am flawed, and that is my opinion. (My wife will happily help certify that it is not just an opinion.)
The beliefs we have in common will certainly stay in common. But we are still our own unique entities with our own unique preferences. For instance, I very much enjoy wearing a T-shirt to church that says, “When this virus is over, I still want some of you to stay away from me.” And I mean it. We all play favorites, even in Christian circles. Some people are a little different from me, and you will recognize them when you watch me quickly give them a fist-bump and briskly walk past - rather than stop and engage in conversation - which in Churchese means “Nice to see you, but I am entirely good with not seeing you again until The Rapture. Take care, and don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.”
That is just relationships. But church politics? I despise them. I recently collided with them again when I was preparing a joke for my recent Sunday morning announcements, and had to broach the subject of “rompers.” For myself, I was entirely unfamiliar with this curious new fashion, except for a dim awareness that there was a Room for them somewhere in the 1970’s when I was growing up. I had to actually look up the definition in Webster’s:
Romper (“RAHM-purr”) - noun
Definition: Thing that Joshua Alexander will not ever wear.
Next I took the liberty of browsing Amazon to see what I was missing. Nothing, apparently, except for a queasy disdain and an insuppressibly juvenile desire to mock like a giddy schoolgirl in knickers.
Anyway, later that Sunday our church was having a “Lake Day” at a local park, and, concordantly, one of my required announcements was literally to encourage people to look for the pastors in their rompers. (This makes sense to me because one cannot generally romp without something to romp with. Ergo, rompers.) So, I strapped on my graphic design helmet and proceeded to make an Amazon screenshot of romper listings, crudely Photoshopping the pastor’s heads from the church website onto some of the muscly, half-naked male models that were adorned with colorful rompers.
When I presented my intrepid finished PDF to The Esteemed Church Director, I was told, essentially, that “the church isn’t ready for this." My reply? "Oh, so... you mean, not ready for shirtless guys, who we will all be seeing tons of later at the lake today you mean? Shirtless men in real life, dripping and shirtless, without shirts? Is that what the church isn’t ready for, O Thrice Worthy and Beloved Church Director?"
So, in short, my creative genius was vetoed, and I would not get my much-deserved laughter and hallowed praise. I was also asked to never wear my battle thong again. Some people.
Church politics. I mean really: what is church without a little quasi-nudity? If memory serves, the very first two people who ever lived got to walk around naked all the time. Now, the only people who are allowed to do that are my 3-year-old, and that drunk on the corner. By the way why are crazy drunken people in the news who are getting arrested always naked and eating other peoples' faces? I have questions.
In the end, I had to swallow my pride at losing what I thought would be an enormously good laugh, and instead shift gears to something that they felt would be a tamer, more innocuous substitute. But in my heart, it was frustrating.
The church needs to be OK with half-naked sweaty musclemen pastors in rompers, for the Lord's sake.
The Church of Voiceovers
When you think about it, the voiceover community is…kind of like our very own church. We are all fairly like-minded here:
- pursuing the same faith that we will get cast
- using our God-given voices to affirm, encourage, and motivate
- teaching others how to be better disciples of good performance
- gathering together to improve our crafts
- "encouraging one another daily, as long as it is called today" (Hebrews 3:13)
Now, it is true, there are definitely politics at play in this community as well...and there are always grumps on the fringe...but we take the politics with a grain of salt whenever they appear, strive to grow together through them, and collectively improve. And we kidnap and blindfold the fringe-grumps and hang them up by their toenails on Thursday nights right before we go cow-tipping.
So with that, I propose that we formally start an actual Voiceover Church! LET'S DO THIS!!
With no further ado, here are my appointees for who I think we need to usher us into community, and live the voiceover life well:
Senior Pastor: Paul Strikwerda
For obvious reasons and due in no small part to his powerful preaching, Pastor Paul shall be the shepherd to lead us. All Senior Pastors wear yellow shoes, right?
Executive Pastor: J. Michael Collins
JMC is known for business acumen, prognostication (we will call it, ahem, “prophecy” in this context) and diplomacy; he will be able to reign in all of our different personalities and get us focused for smooth sailing when the seas get rough. I also suspect he walks on water.
Worship Leader: Liz Atherton
Liz is a cheerleader, and heck, all of the southern Baptist churches have worship leaders with great accents. This Texan chick is a no-brainer to get our butts, er, mouths, singin’.
PR Rep: Sumara Meers
Our church will be fabulous! As such, we will need someone well-acquainted with fabulosity in order to convey that to the world and draw in fellow voiceover believers. Sumara’s Fabulous Flair sets the pace, and I think hot pink looks great on any church.
Office Administrator: Carrie Olsen
With Carrie’s organizational skills and ability to churn out sensationally compelling E-Learning, she will be able to instruct all of us in the ways of proper voiceover community etiquette.
Marketing Coordinator: Paul Schmidt
Paul’s unflagging know-how in all things marketing and trends places him at the top of the list here. Combined with the awesomeness of the aforementioned Sumara, they’ll be, ahem, hellbent on huge heavenly happenings.
IT Support: Emmett Andrews & Sean Daeley
I have never met more well-versed and tech-savvy voiceover gear-sluts. (As an aside: we get to say "sluts" in our church!) These guys will rescue us from the dreaded BSOD's, and any equipment failures in our VO pursuits.
International Relations: Craig Williams
He has a cool British accent. This is really all I require.
Security Personnel: Brad Hyland
I have met Brad Hyland. Brad Hyland is big. We therefore need Brad Hyland. Plus his domain name has the word "power" in it.
Youth Pastor: Tom Aglio
Tom’s youthful flair, everyman charm and compelling laugh will be more than enough to whip our youth into shape with proper VO training from the cradle. Plus we want our kids to learn how to pronounce things correctly, and "Aglio" should keep them busy for a while.
Children's Pastor: Amy Stafford
Aside from the fact that she has kids that are my kids' ages and they are cute as buttons, this current outfit reminds me of what a Minion would wear. Kids like Minions. Therefore, kids like Children's Pastor Amy Stafford. Craaaaay-OLA would she be good at this, or WHAT?!?!
Mascot: Scott Burns
Churches have mascots, right? Then I do not need to explain having the mascot be Scott Burns to anyone who knows Scott Burns, because he is Scott Burns.
There! Services are usually held in:
- Atlanta GA in March
- Dallas TX in August
- New York and Canada in September
- Luxurious (for all who tithe accordingly!) accommodation in Switzerland in September with our CEO
- Herndon VA in November
Additionally, daily gatherings can be found on Facebook.
Hallelujah! Please remember to bring your rompers, and leave them politics at home. Can I hear an amen?
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