Every voice in the 200 voice choir surges with inspired energy as they lift up to heaven every single word and note of Jan & Dean’s “Surf City“.
Pastor Matthew rewrote the lyrics for this hymn years ago. The original opening phrase “two girls for every boy” is now “one Lord for every soul”.
The music stops. The vast sea of parishoners settles into their seats. Pastor Matthew approaches the pulpit.
My dear Bros and Wahines. We are gathered here today in the year of our Lord twenty fourteen—and we are seriously stoked!
As you know, this week marks the 50th anniversary of the foundation of our blessed ministry. Before we begin, let me once again, as we do here regularly, bring our roots to the forefront of memory.
What began in a drive-in theater in Vineland has grown into this magnificent megachurch—this gathering of thousands of souls here in the City of Angels — this miracle we call the Shepard Of The Surfboard Church.
From that young man in the front seat of his dad’s car—one eye on Beach Party, the other hanging five on his girlfriend’s bra strap—to here, being your shepard—herding your spirit away from wipe outs and toward the Lord’s sheltered barnyard. A long strange trip.
That unusual location is where Jesus chose to bring me his epiphany.
There it was, floating atop that outdoor screen like a 3D movie illusion.
Frankie’s name horizontal, Annette’s vertical. The N in FraNkie and the second N of AnNette formed . . . a cross!
In the movie boys were surfing and girls running around, but I was captivated by that bisecting truth.
Vision! Vision! — the flock chants, arms raised, doing the wave.
The Vision stayed with me when I was back home in my room, pushing aside thoughts about beaches and breasts. Hoping not to yet again fall into the sin of Onan I reached for the Bible on my shelf.
It came to me that my name and Annette’s had seven letters—and — that there were double t’s in both! Noting that Frankie and Annette’s names together equaled fourteen I flipped to Matthew 14.
And there it was—after John the Baptist’s dismembered head and the…