The senior choir liked King David a lot too but felt anything less than J. S. Bach would be a disappointment. The junior choir, who didn’t read the instructions, voted en masse for Justin Bieber.
The Sunday school wanted Noah too, as long as the ark were part of the deal.
The janitor, incredibly, voted for Mr. Clean—if you can believe it.
Then, at its October meeting the consistory read through all the documents and recommendations. They wrote the names of the candidates on the chalkboard, listing some of the attributes each would bring to the job. Then they started calling. They called and called and called again, but for the most part--aside from a brief, unenthusiastic conversation with a strange man named J. S. Bach in Belvedere, Illinois, they got absolutely nowhere. Couldn’t even talk to a machine.
Finally one of the elders wiped his forehead in the late summer heat and recommended giving a man named Verdean Sands a call.
No one moved.
Brummel explained that when he was on vacation in a little resort town up state he had heard the man preach. Better than passable, Brummel said.
The idea seemed preposterous.
“Nice family. Good smile. Warm.” Brummel hunched his shoulders.
The entire room sat in grave silence.
“Well, I don’t know,” Brummel said. “I guess I just found him really nice—you know, a good heart—human?” they said in chorus.
“Human?” they said in chorus.
“Told a joke once or twice—the people liked him,” he said. “Yeah, human.”
There were misgivings, but that night, fearful of paralysis, the consistory extended the call. Some members chose to reserve their approval, but a few months later Sands arrived in Springvale—encouragingly nervous, but eager.
But, alas, all is not well in Springvale. Some people don’t believe Verdean Sands has the qualities they wanted in a minister. In fact, after hearing three sermons, the support group for reformed, ex-lottery players has already made book on his tenure. They’re giving him two years, at 3 to 1 odds.