Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lutheran Economic Stimulus Plan

In these tough economic times, there’s a need for belt tightening all over, including in the Lutheran church. Even though in many Lutheran churches it would appear to be impossible to cut costs any farther without disconnecting the heat, air conditioning, and/or running water, we have found a way!

For many churches, the priciest item in the budget is full-time staff. In the past, this cost could only be cut so far before your pastor(s) and/or teacher(s) look for employment elsewhere because they don’t love Jesus enough to live in a cardboard lean-to in the church parking lot and eat nothing but potluck scraps from the dumpster. Those ingrates start coveting the studio apartments of fast food managers and turn their backs on their “ministries” and very generous $10,000 annual salary from the church. This created countless headaches for the church in finding and breaking in new staff. UNTIL NOW!

How would you like a pastor without the exorbitant cost? How about a pastor who won’t take up space in your building for his office? A pastor who can be present whenever needed? Sound too good to be true?! It’s not. It’s…

VIRTUAL PASTOR

VIRTUAL PASTOR saves money! Instead of every congregation paying a pastor, a synod would only need a handful of paid pastors.

VIRTUAL PASTOR promotes unity! If your synod is looking for unity in doctrine and practice, look no further. Your synod can have absolute uniformity with VIRTUAL PASTOR! Every congregation can hear the same sermon and Bible class each week!

VIRTUAL PASTOR doesn’t need sleep, days off, or vacations! Unlike old-fashioned pastors, VIRTUAL PASTORs can be in more than one place at once and will never take time off!

How does VIRTUAL PASTOR work?

VIRTUAL PASTOR is a combined package for your total pastoral care. Your kit includes:

~Subscription to the VIRTUAL PASTOR DVD series. Each DVD includes the current month’s collection of services, with a called and ordained pastor conducting the liturgy and preaching. All you need to do is insert the DVD each week at the beginning of the service.

~Vend-a-sacrament kiosk. The kiosk is user-friendly and easy to assemble. After a congregation member inserts the sacrament-specific fee (Lord’s Supper $10, Holy Baptism $25), the product (prepackaged wine and bread or water bottle) will be dispensed and the screen will automatically begin the rite led by one of VIRTUAL PASTOR’s called and ordained clergy. Simply follow the on-screen instructions to receive your sacrament.

~Access to the 24/7 VIRTUAL PASTOR phone center. Just call 1-800-437-3842* and follow the prompts: wish to confess and receive absolution-press 1, in the hospital-press 2, dying-press 3, thinking about a divorce-press 4, living in sin-press 5, just want to kill time-press 0.

While the cost of a full-time pastor can extend into the tens of thousands of dollars, VIRTUAL PASTOR is dedicated to helping congregations end every year in the black. Just because your congregation is non-profit doesn’t mean it can’t make money! For the low, low price of just $5,000 plus $25 per month for the DVD subscription, your congregation can have its very own VIRTUAL PASTOR!

But wait! If you order now, we’ll also include, at no additional charge, a free year’s subscription to the VIRTUAL PASTOR Bible class and confirmation class DVD series.

CALL NOW!

VIRTUAL PASTOR-WHERE THE BOTTOM LINE IS THE LINE IN THE SAND

*That’s 1-800-HERETIC

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh Angry Ones,
Would you mind if I reworked this post into a radio spoof?
tony@wretchedradio.com if you aren't liking the idea.
thanks!
tv

Angry Lutherans said...

Not a problem, Tony! We'd just ask that you give us credit for our "work".

Thanks,
ALs

Sister Kate said...

“Amazing stuff ...” Something of the sort has been going on for years in an out-of-the-way area of the country. A certain Lutheran congregation of a certain synod televises its DS via some kind of technology (satellite TV, I think) to a small parish located miles away in a semi-remote outpost. The “receiving” congregation can see and hear the “sending” congregation, and vice-versa, on their respective TV screens. The “receiving” congregation, who has no actual flesh and blood pastor (at least not the last time I checked) participates in every aspect of the service right along with the “sending” congregation ... and I do mean *every* (think cyber-sacraments.)

Angry Lutherans said...

Venerable Sister Kate,

Yikes! Have these congregations thought through the implications of their practice in regard to the Incarnation?

Your story has persuaded me to head back to the AL HQ top-secret beverage cooling unit for another beer.

Cheers,
AL3

Sr. Kate said...

Oh, BTW AL3, in case you were wondering, it's not ELCA.

Cheers!

Ted Badje said...

Surprisingly, a number of non-doms and mega-churches seem to be doing this already, with remote locations receiving a preachers' message from the main church.

You can't even have good parodies anymore, they're often true to life ;-). Hopefully, our congregations aren't going to be that stingy. I have noticed an uptick in people in my church, maybe due to the economic news. Prayer is needed, as always.

Angry Lutherans said...

Ted,

There's at least one Lutheran congregation of a relatively insignificant synod that's doing something similar which is what inspired the post. This is a Lutheran congregation that has been aping the mega churches for some time, so their "new" practice is not a big surprise.

You're right. It is impossible to parody those who have become parodies of themselves already. As you wrote, prayer is needed.

More than the stinginess, what does this practice say about the Incarnation?

AL3

Elephantschild said...

The only problem being, of course, is those few cretinous congregations who are paying their poor flesh and blood pastor less than $5k per year.

On the other hand, the Virtual Pastor Corporation could point out to said congregation that VirClergy would never take the congregational president's son to task for shacking up with his girlfriend...

Anonymous said...

Terrible idea! Who would the congregation persecute? What good is a church without an official whipping boy?