The word in the news
At offering time, preacher does the giving
The Rev. Christopher Baldwin of the Vine Wesleyan Church in Depew, N.Y., took a passage from the good book to heart. "The Bible says, 'It's more blessed to give than to receive,'" Baldwin told the Buffalo News. That's why he handed out envelopes on Sunday to congregants over 18 on Sunday, and explained that the contents were in lieu of a traditional Christmas season special offering request. Inside the envelope was $100. "You give as God enables or empowers you." The recipients are encouraged to use the money to help someone else over the holidays, but are free to spend the money if they need it.
God gave you two lips ... start kissing
Pastor Maurice Johnson of the Winners Church in Queens, N.Y., knows how to get the attention of the congregation. His sermon title "The Power and Pleasure of Romance," is probably enough to fill some pews. But it is interactive! Johnson calls four married couples to the pulpit, and they are asked to make out for five minutes. Then a winner would be determined by applause. No pressure there. "God created a desire for love and romance," Johnson told the New York Post. "Public displays of affection aren't wrong. Adam and Eve were naked, and they were not ashamed." Frantz and Makeetah Cochy won the contest. "I wasn't embarrassed, but I guess I felt a little awkward," Frantz said.
Mom gets in way of a porky pitch
In the spirit of food-related celebration, we bring you this item from Union City, Tenn. The Messenger newspaper reports that Brenda King and her son, Emanual Cordell Kennedy, had gotten together to share a meal one day last week, when Kennedy heaved a ham that hit his mother in the back. Police were called and a domestic assault charge was levied. Kennedy had a totally reasonable explanation. See, he admits to throwing the ham down the hallway, he just didn't realize that his mother was in the hall at the time. Who hasn't done that? Police arrested him anyway.
Shampoo no sham, so man gets $100K
Authorities in Australia thought it was highly suspicious when Neil Parry made his way through security upon his return to Darwin Airport with bottles of Pantene Pro-V shampoo and conditioner last year. Why they thought this was suspicious is unclear, but they were pretty sure he was smuggling ecstasy and arrested him. He spent three days in jail, and officials searched his boat and the homes of two friends. Then they found out that all he was smuggling was Pantene Pro-V, which is totally legal. Parry has been awarded almost $100,000 in compensation for the incident.
Compiled from wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.