What every parish needs, is an IT guy known to his friends (including the Rector) as "Mad Dog"...I'm just sayin'. It adds such cachet to the Rector's Report. "And on the following week, Mad Dog Jenkins came by and adjusted all the security monitors on the doors..."
What is it with people, that they figger they are entitled to tell the preacher what to say at a funeral?
Either what to say about the deceased: "Bob is going to talk about his business, and Earl is going to talk about his golf, so we'd like you to explain how important he was to the church..."
Or, "We'd like to keep this really a celebration of life, so we don't want you to talk about death, it's so gloomy and morbid. And please don't say too much about God..."
Or -- and this is the one that really gets me (and it's happened more than once):"Grandma and I have always been people of faith but nobody else in the family is, especially not my father/mother/brother/husband, so I'm sure Grandma would be very pleased if at her funeral you could really emphasize how important this is." (Variant: "and in your sermon we'd like you to point out how essential it is for everyone to have a Personal Relationship with Jesus")
What do they think I'll say? "Either straighten up and fly right and start going to church and tithing OR YOU'LL NEVER SEE YOUR GRANDMA AGAIN"????
Crass, crass, crass, crass.
Days like this, I'm tempted to get Mad Dog to wire the pews...