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We have an answering machine on our home telephone.  My cell phone number is posted and regularly published at our church.  Our office phone will actually call my cell phone when someone leaves me a voice mail.  In short, I am absolutely available 24/7, even when I’m out of town.  But, despite my urgent assurances that I want to know when someone is sick, in the hospital, or has a crisis, here’s what happened:

Last Wednesday night I walked into our fellowship hall for our Wednesday night dinner.  Two people greeted me with questions:  Is so-and-so out of the hospital?  (names changed to protect the innocent)  Of course, I didn’t know so-and-so was in the hospital, which had apparently happened the night before.  No one called me.  

Just the day before I received a similar call — Did you know so-and-so died early Monday morning? (this was Tuesday).  So, my question is — are you as a pastor the last to know what is going on with your congregation?  How do you solve that problem?  I’d be interested to know.  And, not last this time.  Thanks.