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Home Sunday Schooling

By Tom Hale

Here in the Hoot Palace, in addition to home schooling, we do home Sunday Schooling. We are home-churched people.

And a fine church it is. Instead of Ten Commandments we have Eleven Really Good Suggestions. We’re not big on taking orders, just never could get comfortable with that antiquated authoritarian thing, but we’ll listen to anyone’s ideas if presented sanely. In that spirit, instead of “Thou shalt not,” we say, “Hey, why not?”

1. Hey, why not have bubble baptisms?

2. Hey, instead of gettin all gussied up once a week (for some only on Easter and Mother’s Day), why not look our best every day and wear our Birthday Suits?

3. Hey, why not admit that eternity, by its very definition, is already going on and instead of fretting about where we're going to spend it, give some creative thought to how we're going to spend it?

4. Hey, instead of sending ten percent of our money to a bunch of strangers, why not invest it in making ourselves a bunch stranger?

5. Hey, why not have our special Christmas program tonight? I'm as jolly an old elf as you're likely to find, anyway. Lively and quick too.

6. Hey, why not liven up the altar call with a little Irish Folk Dancing?

7. Hey, why not supplement the saints with statues of Honor Blackman and Tom Robbins? Or—and I like this even better—each of us can be a living icon. Lord knows we've earned it.

8. Hey, instead of putting on airs, why don't we take off on Sammy? “Who can take a rainbow, wrap it in a sigh, soak it in the sun and make a groovy lemon pie? The Candy Man, The Candy Man Can....” *

9. Hey, why not seriously pursue Dave Gardner's idea that every night’s a Saturday night and every day’s a Sunday?

10. Hey, instead of sending out missionaries fostering limitations, why not send out permissionaries facilitating liberation?

11. Hey, instead of giving me that old time religion (we already have so much of that we had to rent a storage locker), how about giving me a full-body massage and a free snowcone?

My goal is to have these Eleven Really Good Suggestions posted in every government building. I want every American to memorize them, throw them away, and come up with their own.

Home Sunday School lesson topics:

If Oscar Wilde was right (and I think he was) when he said, “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future,” then our paths should be crossing right!

In his beautiful book, God’s Trombones, James Weldon Johnson tells of an old-time preacher who announces, “Brothers and sisters, this morning—I intend to explain the unexplainable—find out the undefinable—ponder over the imponderable—and unscrew the inscrutable.”
That’s pretty much what I have in mind, but let us furthermore boldly attempt to eff the ineffable.

(You’ll need your Carnac hat for this one.) A cow, Toledo, moley, and smoke: Which is the holiest?

“Money” by Pink Floyd or “Money (That’s What I Want)” by The Beatles: Which one makes the best offertory music?

When we sing “Amazing Grace” to the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” why does the mood change?

* “The Candy Man,” as performed by Sammy Davis Junior. Written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. God bless You, Sammy, wherever You are! Sammy: Patron Saint of Groovy Cats.

-- Read more of Tom Hale's Campfire Tales at


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