The Church That Became a Submarine

Once upon a time in the 20th century there was a church that became a submarine. It wasn’t as difficult as it might seem. One day it just plain shut the hatch on the outside world and submerged into its own sea. Occasionally it ran up the periscope to see where it was going. Of course, it only allowed one person at a time to look and, since the perspective was a bit limited, it never really found a reason to change course. Once the captain got a real vision through the periscope, but when he demanded that he get back to the surface fast, the crew quickly developed the bends. The sub stayed down.

While submerged there was much for the group to do. In fact, they were kept on alert and asked to make maximum effort. They tinkered with the machinery constantly, they overhauled the kitchen (the mess, that is), they inventoried their ammunition at least once a week (but never used it), paid salaries to the officers, and went through endless drills occasionally interrupted by prayers that no depth charge would disturb their isolation.

Because they were always underwater, there we continual reasons for taking emergency measures. They could not afford to surface until they were better drilled anyway Some thought they should pay for the submarine first or the bank would foreclose on tem when they surfaced for air. The air did get stale too -- as did the routine, but they put up with it because the alternative were too tricky. Several committees even decided that the stale air· was good for them.

The last entry in the captain’s logbook read: “Have proudly set a new record for being submerged and maintaining predetermined course. So no reason why we should change directions. Crew continues to give maximum effort. We did sight an enemy (we think). Appointed three committees to study situation.”

Did you ever see a sub marine sink--right in your own neighborhood?

--Robert E. Peterson

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