A small church building on a service road off the main highway. A congregation of 200; a ministry staff made up mostly of volunteers. Inside the building: a faithful part-time secretary and the church pastor, screen legend HARRISON FORD.
The first Tuesday of the month. Deacon’s meeting. The stewards of the modest congregation arrive on their lunch break to meet in the pastor’s office and discuss a list of concerns. It it here that these chosen servants check the pulse of the church body.
CHURCH SECRETARY: Pastor Harrison, the deacons are here.
CHURCH SECRETARY: So, should I just send them in, or…um…have them wait outside?
After a few moments of awkward silence, the secretary waves the deacons into the pastor’s office. The four men file into the room, eagerly offering handshakes and smiles to Ford, who returns them only steeled silence. One by one their exuberance melts.
DEACON #1: Pastor, we have a sexual issue to talk about.
DEACON #2: We’ve found out that brother Smith has been having an affair. We need you to confront him in love…
DEACON #1: …and set up some sessions with brother and sister Smith to see if their marriage can be saved.
DEACON #1:(looks around, uncertain of how to proceed) So…uh…yeah. We’ll just leave that one with you.
There is an uncomfortable silence, followed by several moments of the deacons making nervous small talk between themselves as each of them try to goad the others into bringing up the next matter. Finally they resort to a game of rock-paper-scissors with the loser having to address the minister.
DEACON #3: (went with paper; lost to scissors) And…uh…Pastor…we don’t want to make you angry, but… we were talking in the lobby and we had some ideas to stretch the budget by possibly–possibly, mind you–cancelling the landscape service that cuts the church lawn and going to a rotating schedule of volunteers. What do you think?
DEACON #2: (tentative; almost a whisper) So…should we just ask the elders…and let them decide?
The deacons can take no more; they rise and hastily make for the door, tripping over their chairs and jostling each other to be the first through the doorway. The four men rush out past the church secretary, who becomes alarmed. She grabs her purse, switches off her computer, and follows the men out of the building.
The church is still. Pastor Ford looks around at the fallen chairs and at the abandoned front desk. There are squealing tires in the parking lot as the deacons and secretary drive off. Then all is quiet. Pastor Ford has pushed everyone away, and he is completely alone.