A couple of years ago there was a big virus scare across the United States and, even the world, for that matter. It was a flu virus strain that was beyond the normal and several people died from it. It was a true concern for lots of folks and, rightly so, since many folks got sick that season and the antidote was scarce compared to the normal flu shot. I often look at these things as overhyped and beyond what we need to worry about, and I don’t get a flu shot normally, so this didn’t make me start getting a shot.
Enough with the history lesson about a past virus strain...wake up - sorry I made you dose off for a minute.
The big story, that I really remember with this virus, has nothing to do with the virus itself, but with a Wednesday night service at our church. We normally have a prayer sheet with requests on it and then people add to a list in the vestibule (did I really just type that? Did I have a flashback to 1627 in the jolly old mother land?) - I mean lobby. The new requests are read in front of the congregation and we add them to the list.
The person who read the requests that night mixed up the virus title and called it the HINI virus (they put I’s (pronounced - eyes) instead of 1’s (ones)) - great spreadsheet formula I just typed, with all the (brackets). So the virus was not H1N1 virus, it was HINI virus - pronounced hinny (yes, rear end, bottom, derrière, buttocks, etc.) virus. This brought so many funny connotations to mind, that most of the group there that night could not contain themselves, as they thought of Montezuma’s revenge or other issues. We had to have our church laughs going, since we could’t just burst out laughing at the “hinny virus” prayer request. The person who added the request just melted in their seat...
Finally, that story, reminds me of the time, when I was a youth pastor intern, just after college, for a summer at my home church. I was responsible for announcements on Sundays and enjoyed getting up to share the info for the week, but one time, as I finished the announcements, I was completely distracted and closed the announcements like this...”Saturday’s youth activity will be at 4:00 PM, Sunday we will have prayer meeting before the service, tonights service is at 7:00 PM...in Jesus name Amen!”
Yes I did! I closed the announcements “...in Jesus name, Amen!” I got distracted by some shinny thing and thought I was praying, so I finished praying like I normally would, "in Jesus name, Amen."
The worst part of this is that no-one noticed! I asked several people afterwards and not a single person was paying attention, so the next week, I reminded people to wear their pajamas to church on Sunday morning...
Lessons Learned: Keep up-to-date with current events or be sure to clarify what you are reading. Make sure you know what you are doing in public.
Thoughts: Have you ever read an announcement incorrectly?