Pastor Disguises Himself

This story is from a Facebook thread:

Pastor Jeremiah Steepek (pictured below) transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service, only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food - NO ONE in the church gave him change. He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit n the back. He greeted people to be greeted back with stares and dirty looks, with people looking down on him and judging him.

As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and such. When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation. “We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek.” The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation. The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. The clapping stopped with ALL eyes on him. He walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment then he recited,

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

'The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame. He then said, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?”

He then dismissed service until next week.

Being a Christian is more than something you claim. It’s something you live by and share with others.

I wouldn’t have disturbed the homeless in appearance man sitting in the pew. I would have let him sit just as I let all the other parishioners sit and pray before mass. He has the same right as them to be there. I would ignore aimless wandering as well. Some types of homeless are “walkers” who walk about talking to themselves and gesticulating. Unless they disrupt the service or request help, leave them to enjoy the parish building as we all do.

Now, if he was aimlessly wandering when there was no service, then I might ask him if he was looking for someone or for assistance, just as I would anyone who looked rather lost.

If they approached me directly and requested food I’d lead them to the refrigerator in the other room. I’m not sure most parishioners would know that this would be “okay” for them to do, though. I feel enough ownership of the refrigerator to do so, if that makes sense.

Great story, but this is probably urban legend.

That said, I have in fact seen a speaker who does this.

We’ve had homeless people, homeless families most recently, stand in our parking lot or just outside of Church as parishioners enter or leave. Our congregation has been instructed to direct them to St. Vincent de Paul and the help that they need. Usually, somebody in attendance at Mass is a member, but if not, Father can help, so the person or family will get help right away.

He is not another missing Robertson from the Duck Dynasty Clan is he? He has quite a resemblance to Phil and Si :smiley:

Probably, but the photo is definitely not the Pastor. It is actually a homeless man according to Snopes.

Pastor Present

Unfortunately, this probably is an urban legend, but it is a story with a powerful reminder of what is the centre of Christ’s teaching. I thank god that in the last three popes he has given us men who represent different aspects of catholic doctrine. John Paul II, a testimony and example of unshakable faith, Benedict XVI has given us a thoughtful and perceptive reminder of how theology can support and reaffirm faith, and now Francis reminds us by his example and homilies that faith is put into practice by serving Christ in the least of our brothers.

Doing well, keep it up.

This is a story that All should read. Wore a WWJD bracelet for years, this article provokes the same cry for soul searching.

As long as people are informed at the outset that the story is a fictional parable. I’m not a big fan of the stories that put themselves out there with no such disclaimer. It feels deceptive to me.

As the website is “hoax” I thought that it was apparent that it was not a true story.

Well, yes, if people were pointed to the “Hoax Slayer” website for the story. But the OP re-posted this from Facebook. It was only later posters who posted the links to Hoax Slayer and Snopes to point out that the story is likely not true.

No, this is not urban legend. It happened at s church in Clarksville, TN not too long ago. it made the local news.

As for the name of the pastor, I don’t know. Maybe it is a different man who took the legend and decided to do it in real life. I just wish more people would do this, and maybe even a few Catholic priests as well.

When I was homeless I was turned away from more than one Catholic Church when my son and I showed up for Mass. People have no idea how hard it is to keep the faith when you feel so much shame

I’m so sorry this happened to you! Such a thing would be truly crushing not to be welcomed at a church. I feel angry about this. :banghead: I guess maybe people are scared of homeless folk. It is so hard to understand.

I sometimes think and daydream that if Jesus Christ came back as he was 2000 years ago, he would be kicked out, ignored and/or looked down upon in 90% of the churches he visited. :frowning:

There is an old Johnny Paycheck song that comes to mind when he went into a Church with Long Hair and beard and went in with what he had. In the end as he got kicked out of Church he noticed a picture of Christ with the Long Hair, Beard, and sandles. Like he said in the song. Lord I’d hate to be in that crowd when you come back to get your people. Just sayin’ God Bless!!!

:smiley: Imagine what John the Baptist looked like… :bigyikes:

:thumbsup: you are right again Joe, it was a later poster that showed the hoax website !

I need to be more observant before I post.:frowning:

Eh, being observant is over-rated. :wink:

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