Magazine article The Christian Century

Leading from the Belly

Magazine article The Christian Century

Leading from the Belly

Article excerpt

"Seventy-eight percent of all clergy are either overweight (48 percent) or obese (30 percent)."

--Pulpit & Pew Research Project

I was sitting in my usual seat behind the pulpit, famished, thinking, "Will this anthem ever end?" My stomach was growling. Only through heroic spiritual effort was I able to put thoughts of lunch aside and pronounce the benediction.

Have you ever had a wedding reception at the Forest Hills Country Club? Now they know how to do hors d'oeuvres right! The reception food at the Northwestern Hotel is surprisingly good too. Their ham biscuits are to die for.

Speaking of mortality, the best funeral food I've ever had was after the funeral of one of my trustees. Old Sam knew how to do things properly. A buffet for 200! Must have cost a fortune. Of course, what did he care at that point about cost? Carved roast beef. Marinated shrimp. The works. A heck of a lot better than standing in the kitchen with nothing to comfort you but cold fried chicken, I can tell you.

First Church, across town, has a real chef, certified by the Culinary Institute of America, no less. I'm talking crepes suzette for a board dinner. Handmade petit fours for a reception. …

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