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VOLUME 2 • ISSUE 4   |   Release date: September 15, 2004

In This Issue
Resurrection in Question!
Announcements Display Members' Tithe Amounts
Pastor's Schedule "Really Hectic"
Madonna Declares Herself Messiah of Kabbalah
Christian Pledges to Public Radio
Survey Results
Sept. Church Sign of the Month

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Christian Accidentally Pledges to Public Radio
Woman Thought She Was Listening to Local Christian Station, May Shirk Pledge

ANN ARBOR, MI – It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in August, and local resident Nora Locke was flipping through the FM dial on her way home from Sunday services at Ann Arbor Free Methodist Church when she landed on one of her favorite songs.

"It was a sort of blue grass version of I saw the Light," Locke says, her voice betraying a twinge of regret. "I love that song, and when the guy came on after and talked about how it's the pledges of listeners like me who keep the station on the air, well, I just felt the Lord leading me to do something."

Locke says her state of mind was altered by the sermon she had just heard on stewardship, so when she got home she immediately ran into her home and called the number she had just heard on the radio.

"I just assumed I had been listening to the local Christian station's semi-weekly shareathon, so I pledged $100 before the girl on the other line could say a word," Locke recalls, head in hands. "Then she was trying to tell me about some free book bag I was eligible for, but I just told her, 'Honey, my treasure is in Heaven,' and I hung up the phone."

Locke says she was feeling good about her donation until she got in her car the next morning to drive to nearby St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, where she works as a nurse.

"No one had been in the car since the day before, but there was some program on about transsexuals living in Greenwich Village," Locke remembers with a mystified look on her face. "I just figured a preacher was gonna come on any time to condemn that sort of behavior, but instead they were almost acting like it was normal."

It was then Locke peered down at her radio and realized she had really been listening to 91.7 WUOM, the local NPR affiliate, all along. What she thought was a Christian music broadcast the day before was actually the closing song on WUOM's weekly Sunday broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, hosted by Garrison Keillor.

"I almost drove off the road when I realized what I had done," Locke says, almost in tears. "For us, $100 was a sacrificial gift, and I had just pledged it to one of the most liberal organizations in the country. I mean, people who work there are probably voting for Ralph Nader for crying out loud!"

Luckily, Locke had not yet sent her pledge when she realized her error, and she is now thinking about pretending the whole thing never happened.

"Pledges are certainly not binding," said Harold Best, a spokesman for WUOM. "And we certainly don't want someone to feel obligated to pay up when they were pledging under a false assumption."

Ernest Locke, Nora's husband, says she has somewhat of a history of impulsive giving.

"This one time at Christmas she just shoved a $10 bill into one of those red kettles outside Kohl's without even saying a word," Ernest remembers. "I didn't say anything at the time, but looking back I guess I should have. I've thought about making her pay the $100 anyway. You know, so she'll learn a lesson about being more careful with her giving. But there's a fishing reel down at Dick's that's been calling my name.

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