SUPPORT  4'2m?f Small groups, pastoral care, church membership

TOM -- (enters carrying briefcase, begins crossing)

BOB -- (follows) Pastor?

TOM -- (stops, turns) Yes?

BOB -- We need to talk.

TOM -- Sure. (extends hand) I'm not sure we've met. I'm Pastor

BOB -- ...I know who you are.

TOM -- (offers hand) And who am I talking to?

BOB -- My name doesn't matter anymore. I'm leaving the church.

TOM -- Oh, I'm sorry. I guess I didn't know you were a member of
this church.

BOB -- Don't you want to know WHY I'm leaving?

TOM -- Yes. Yes, of course.

BOB -- I just got out of the hospital.

TOM -- (pauses) I'm sorry, but if one of the church staff was
responsible for your injury....

BOB -- It wasn't an injury! I had my gall bladder removed!

TOM -- Do you think that somehow the church was responsible for
your hospitalization?

BOB -- You really don't get it, do you?

TOM -- Actually, no, I don't. Can you fill me in?

BOB -- The reason I'm leaving the church is because the entire
time I was in the hospital, not one single person from the
church came to visit me!

TOM -- Oh, I'm sorry. We're usually pretty efficient at visiting
people in the hospital. We have a whole ministry whose purpose
is to visit home-bound and hospitalized people.

BOB -- Well, they missed me! And now I'm leaving!

TOM -- I'm sorry! I don't know how this could have slipped
through the cracks.

BOB -- Yeah, right! (turns) Good bye! (starts toward exit)

TOM -- Listen, I... do you have time to talk about this?

BOB -- (stops, turns) What is there to talk about?

TOM -- Well, if we slighted YOU somehow, it's possible it could
happen to others. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?

BOB -- Make it snappy.

TOM -- Do you know anybody in the church's pastoral care

BOB -- No.

TOM -- Did you notify anyone that you were going to the

BOB -- No.

TOM -- Did you notify anyone in your small group that you were
going into the hospital?

BOB -- I don't belong to a small group.

TOM -- (pauses) How were we supposed to know that you were in
the hospital?

BOB -- It's your job to know!

TOM -- You're right, of course. One of our pastoral care
ministry people is a volunteer at the hospital. She usually
gives us a heads-up when one of our people is listed in the
hospital census.

BOB -- Well, I should hope so!

TOM -- So, Evelyn missed your name from our membership roles.

BOB -- My name is not on your membership roles.

TOM -- It isn't?

BOB -- No. I don't need more junk mail.

TOM -- Well, perhaps she would have recognized your name from
the checks you give during tithes and offerings.

BOB -- I don't give checks.

TOM -- Well, how would she recognize your name?

BOB -- Forget my name! Didn't anybody miss my face Sunday

TOM -- I guess the job of recognizing your face is MY

BOB -- You got that right!

TOM -- You know, I'm quite good at recognizing faces. And quite
frankly, I can't remember seeing your face in church.

BOB -- It figures!

TOM -- Where do you usually sit?

BOB -- In the back.

TOM -- Oh.

BOB -- Yeah, that's the only seat available by the time I get

TOM -- What time do you get there?

BOB -- Just after you pass the offering baskets.

TOM -- That's a half hour into the service!

BOB -- Yeah, but I save a lot of money that way.

TOM -- I suppose you leave early to...

BOTH -- ...avoid the traffic.

TOM -- Which explains why I've never had a chance to shake hands
with you before.

BOB -- (exiting) And you never will again.

TOM -- Just one more thing.

BOB -- (stops, turns) Make it snappy.

TOM -- Well, if you never gave us your name, and you never
interacted with anyone in the church, just how did you expect us
to miss you when you went into the hospital?

BOB -- (shakes head, exiting) Pffff! Because it's your job!

TOM -- (exiting opposite) Well, I guess he just made my job a
little easier.

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