MONTCLAIR, NJ - Last Thursday, the congregation at Lake of the Holy God Church and Worship Center in Montclair, New Jersey installed a massive gong next to the podium from which the pastor delivers his sermons.
The intended purpose of the gong, which is nearly four feet in diameter, is to warn the pastor that he's entered theologically dubious territory.
"There was talk of installing a digital buzzer," says church sound guy Ben Ferber, "but we thought the gong was a little more respectful."
According to a congregant who spoke on condition of anonymity, it was the elders who pushed for the gong.
"By the time the elders are finished listening to complaints every Sunday, the after-service potluck has been ravaged," said the anonymous congregant. "That's not fair to them."
When reporters reached out to one of the elders for comment, he replied: "We made a tough call, but anything is better than another pastor search. Besides, ringing the gong will finally give the deacons something to do."
At publishing time, the gong had been rung 27 times.