Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Smoke in the Sanctuary

I'm a tad fearful of the picture to the left, hoping that my grandfather doesn't see it. Why? Among other things, I am wearing blue jeans (I'm sure he'd never notice the sportscoat...just the blue jeans). My grandfather has warned me in the past the near-sacrilege it is for a preacher to wear jeans.

Nevertheless, Suzi, aka the Woodward Park paparazzi, took this picture on Sunday night following our harrowing evening assembly, cut short by smoke in the sanctuary.

I told you on Monday that the general consensus was the Sunday evening sermon was "Smokin'." What I didn't tell you was it had nothing to do with my content or delivery!

Near the end of the sermon, the power went out in our building. Within a matter of moments, the power was restored and subsequently, smoke could be seen emanating from the vents above the stage. Several members -- already a bit tense from the loss of power -- had the most horrifying look on their faces, distracting my attention by pointing to the smoke over my head.

The building was immediately vacated and the Fresno Fire Department was summoned.

Apparently, a power surge had striken all of the power supply in the neighborhood surrounding our church property. The firefighters theorized that when the power went out, so too did the heating unit. When the power was restored, the heating unit immediately kicked back on and a piece of insulation was somehow sucked onto the heating unit, resulting in the smoke in the building.

Needless to say, the aftermath of Sunday night has illicited more response (pun intended) than any sermon I've ever preached. It was an experience they did not teach us how to handle at Harding, but a Sunday I'll not soon forget!