From: Jonah Jones To: Peter Loftus Sent: Friday, April 9, 20:16 Subject: Welcome, Peter the Shepherd! Dear Peter May I be the first to welcome you to Riverdale Church. I’m delighted that God has finally blessed us with a half-decent pastor, after what feels like an eon. I’m close to wetting my pants with excitement. May we hold you close to our spiritual bosom! My name is Jonah J. Jones and I would like to offer my services as your new Assistant Pastor. I’m aware that the previous inhabitant of this position has been excommunicated for worshipping false goat idols and his long-term cocaine habit. He was a nice enough guy, but he had to fall on his blood-stained ceremonial dagger sooner or later. Kudos to you for sacrificing him. As scripture says, you reap what you sow. So when do you expect to darken my door with a pastoral visit? We can then discuss money, responsibilities, and my official title. I understand that the previous title was ‘Shadow Pastor’ but I really don’t like this term as it conjures up ghastly images of shadow and darkness in my mind. I’d be the obvious replacement. I’m efficient, and my time keeping is exemplary. In fact I’m always the first person in church on a Sunday morning – and the last to leave! I’m also the first to stand for worship and the last to sit down again. Sadistically (sic) a chap named Jonathan Skimpy is the last to arrive – along with Mr Bodmin, who usually sits at the back of the church reading the Daily Mail with a face like thunder. As a rule they both arrive together, puffing and panting like dogs. I’m not sure what’s going on there. Anyhoo, I’m sure you’ll meet a few characters along your pastoral pathway, so maybe you’ll consider uprooting a few more weeds as and when you stumble across them. Just keep an eye on the first arrivals, the first to come up for prayer and the first to offer their services when the darkness falls. For when day turns to night – the last to offer their assistance will surely be the first to make a bolt for the door.