Zombies Attacked Our Church Sunday Night

The typical zombie.Image via Wikipedia
Well, to be honest, they weren't actually "zombies."  They were persons acting like zombies.  And, to be clear, they weren't the "Night of the Living Dead" - type zombies either.  They were very much alive, but infected by some horrible virus that turned them into rabid monsters.

But, why were they in church?

A new outreach program?

An odd sermon illustration?

The result of a particularly bad worship experience?

Not exactly.

I have always thought it best for clergy folk to hang out with non-Christian, or at least non-church going people.  Too often we can get wrapped up in our own religious worlds and forget that there are folks out there who believe differently or believe nothing at all.  And it's a good thing for us to find a group of people we like to interact with who aren't going to be the people you see in the pews (or chairs, as it were) on Sunday morning.  They have different expectation and can offer different perspectives that aren't so rooted the usual religious stuff.  It's not so much about evangelism as it is relationship and friendships.

I like hanging out at the coffee shop.  It's "The Grind" and is run by a guy known as "Gator."  I like sitting there, coffee in hand, iPad on lap, interacting and chatting with the folks who make their way down to get a latte or Americano or just to tap into some WiFi.  Gators's a great guy and I've loved the staff he's had work in his shop.  So, I go and sit and make small talk.  The point, really, is not evangelization, but friendship and keeping me from being so insular in the work of being a pastor.  I enjoy those folks.  I call them "my coffee shop friends" and I do care about what they have going on in their lives, how their various businesses are going, and what brings them joy.  And I truly believe they care about me and what I have going on.  I love it.

Well, Gator is a creative guy.  He's somewhat of a nerd and a fan of pop culture, things about which we have wonderful discussions.  Well, he's also a man obsessed with making a movie.  He has a storyboard that flows through several notebooks, each scene mapped out entirely.  It started, first, as kind of an Alaskan wilderness survival movie, since that's something he knows a few things about.  But, it evolved into something more than that.  The reason persons were trying to survive in Alaska is that there has been an outbreak of some virus that causes those infected to turn into rabid-Zombie-like creatures. 

I got involved because Gator said he'd like me in his movie.  He wanted to have a scene with zombies breaking in the door of the church were I and some others have gathered for safety.  I would be all dressed up in my clergy attire...what Gator calls my "uniform."  The scene was to have me holding back the door with zombie hands trying to get through.  And then three zombies would breach the door and run towards the folks gathered at the front of church where we we have a couple of guns and an ax.  There would be, he assured, no zombie contact.

I didn't want to do this in the new church since I'm not sure I could have handled the imagery in that space I've worked so hard for.  But I also didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to support Gator and his friends and participate in something that was going to pull in community members I've only shared coffee with and, frankly, whose company I enjoy very much.

So, Sunday night we filmed the scene in the old church.  We had two of my girls with me.  We had four other church folks and several of the coffee-shop crowd, including three zombies.  The zombies had chocolate syrup for blood, since it was filmed in black and white.  People acted frightened behind me.  I learned more about holding a shotgun than I'd ever learned before.  And, in the end, the zombies never touched us.  It was over in 90 minutes and then Gator apparently spent all night piecing together 90 seconds of video.

In advance, I did tell a couple of our church leaders that I was going to do this at the old church.  I thought I should explain myself to a few folks first.  I'm not sure everyone would have appreciated this.  But I had fun and I think some of my non church friends appreciated that the church was able to help them out.  I got to share some of my life and what's important to me while they got to share some of their life.

That's why zombies attacked our church on Sunday night.

And it was a blast.
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