Note from the author: The following is part of a satirical series, “Subscription-Based Faith,” which revels in particular and peculiar PNW stereotypes, consumerism, and social anxieties prevalent at the woefully maintained intersection of belief and culture. Nothing in this missive failure should be taken seriously without a heaping dose of ethically farmed rock salt.

A Subscription for Success

Last time, we introduced “Prime Pastor PNW,” a subscription-based service for clergy in the gloriously passive-aggressive Pacific Northwest.

Like Jesus upturning the tables at the temple, this product is a true market disruptor. Prime Pastor PNW offers a weekly artisanal sermon of a parishioner’s choice without all the angst and unease, and without ensuring one arrives exactly twenty-six minutes early to secure their preferred seat on the aisle.

This allows the subscriber to enjoy the salvation the Lord has meticulously orchestrated through endless space, across time, and that He has fearfully and wondrously woven into every fiber of everything everywhere from the comfort and confines of your insular existence ( i.e., a really comfy chair).

An audible version is also available for an exorbitant fee, which is still less than

Prime Pastor Premium

For those independently wealthy congregations, or those that simply have not been sued yet, there is Prime Pastor Premium.

Pastors everywhere (*not available in Wenatchee or Beaverton) can sign up whole churches and take the considerable burdens of free will and fellowship off shoulders already sagging with the unbearable weight of smartphones and lattes, and replace it with a guilt-free experience. Or at least an experience that frees up more space for smartphones and lattes.

But how can you comfortably hold a smartphone or latte if your hands are wringing from guilt? Which guilt? All of it.

Because every parishioner worth their weight in communion wafers knows guilt is the most uncomfortable aspect of the church experience. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if the clergy, in their abundance of grace and lack of budgetary constraints, absolved the sheep not through confession, but through a really nifty subscription service?

For just the cost of a silent retreat’s worth of venial sins, Prime Pastor Premium includes Curated Guilt and Highly Individualized Bible Studies.

Curated Guilt

A team of international Guilt Experts (including jilted lovers, mothers-in-law, whoever makes those sad Humane Society commercials, and those responsible for the intrusive memories of the stupid things the subscriber did in the past that pop up just as they’re falling asleep) will assess each church member’s profile before assigning each their own package of assorted guilt.

Depending on where they rate on the guilt threshold (ranked from United Methodist to Orthodox), they will get to choose their own topics to feel guilty about. Then they may customize the precise amount of guilt they wish to feel, ranging on a scale from “Perpetually Borrowed Netflix Password” to “Subject of an ABC News Special Report.”

But wait, there’s more…guilt.

We guarantee your flock won’t receive any sermon on any topics they opt out of. In fact, we will attempt to counter lingering doubt or regret on particular sins your congregation is awash in with the best in hermeneutical rationalization:

  • Struggling with lust? Here’s our ten-part series on the biblical basis for concubines.
  • Anger issues? Let’s delve into 1 and 2 Kings and prepare to feel better about yourself.
  • Love gossiping? So do we!

Rest assured, your congregants will never have to feel guilty about whatever they’re guilty of ever again.

Bonus: Highly Individualized Bible Study

If you unknowingly wander onto X (formerly known as Twitter) and decide to act before the clearly imminent Apocalypse, we will add our highly popular Highly Individualized Bible Study pack.

We will take all provided sermons and remove any sense or reference to “community” and distribute it to each congregation member.

AND, each congregant will receive a fancy, embossed Bible Study Leader nametag and five fictional Bible study members with juicy backstories to follow along with. Additionally, each fictional member of the Bible Study will be matched to best suit the leader to avoid any cross-cultural, socio-economic, gender-based, or other potential social discomfort.

Imagine how much time this will free up for other clerical activities AND how much you can boast about at the next Cufflinks and Collars Conference:

 “Oh, your church has five established weekly Bible studies?
That’s nice. MINE has 742 of ’em.”

What Are We Even Doing?

The ruins of institutions lay scattered around our feet. The dust of trust fills our cynical nostrils. The, uh, sodden toilet paper of civil discourse keeps sticking to our fingers, no matter how hard we try to fling it off.

What we believed in all our lives—churches, leadership, STRUCTURE—clearly wasn’t worth our belief, time, or money. Especially money.

Our faith falters because that which we had faith in crumbled under some horrific controversy, persistent bigotry, or blazingly stupid social media posts.

But what happens to all we hold in our hearts: the human gamut between despair and joy? Where does it go? Do we keep it to ourselves, never to share with anyone else?

“Sure, keep everything to yourself. That’ll work.” 

All that makes faith difficult is nearly impossible if we bear the burdens ourselves. The Church was not formed to be a system of [man] caves, no matter how well appointed they might be.

The Church should be a community to hold each other up, even on days it’s difficult to get out of bed. Especially on those days.

The Church must be annoying people, terrible casseroles, crying children, and occasionally having to sit *gasp!* in the middle of the aisle—wedged between an annoying person wearing waaaaay too much perfume and a sobbing and malevolent toddler about to start flinging their parent’s tuna noodle monstrosity ‘round the rectory. Or something like that.

Really, the point is that the longer we hold (hide?) it ALL to ourselves…we start foolishly believing that’s all we need.

Or, you can just ignore everything and add another subscription—your choice!

Finally, Freeze the Flock

Whether you sign up for Prime Pastor PNW, Prime Pastor Audible, or Prime Pastor Premium, rest assured your parishioners will never feel the discomfort of personal connection to their faith again. Thus, they will live the PNW dream of a diverse community of believers who leave each other the hell alone at the café, at work, and especially in our faithfully fragmented communities.

Next Week:

We will discuss the 7 Habits of Highly Successful Nuns.

Want more? Want to PAY for more? Check out DP’s new novel The Other Door.

Cover photo credit: Sandra Grünewald



  • DP Wauchope

    DP Wauchope is a PNW-born, raised, educated, indoctrinated, and inoculated author, humorist, and amateur cartoonist. Whether it be the workplace, the church, or any other structure waiting for satirical deconstruction, DP enjoys playfully poking organizational, theological, and philosophical bears of all kinds--just not real ones. You can follow DP at your discretion on Twitter @nomaplebar and his website: His new novel, The Other Door, is now available on Amazon.

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