Thinking Out Loud

October 26, 2015

Church Office Tech Support

Here is a sample of actual calls* to our church office support desk…

We’re trying to run audio copies of the pastor’s Sunday sermon, and the duplicator isn’t going into the record mode properly.

We’ve had a number of calls about this recently so we did some investigating and discovered there’s a bad batch of product out there. Basically, the cassettes you are using have had the little tabs on the top left of the cassette shell punched out — as is done with commercial albums so people don’t accidentally erase them — and you need to block off that space with tape so the machine will properly record the audio. If you’re recording both sides, you’ll need to cover over the other hole as well.

The typewriter in the church office has a fairly new ribbon, but everything we type is coming out blank. You can see an image of the letters on the paper, but it’s not dark enough to photocopy.

Fortunately, we get this question all the time, as this takes place often in the modern church office. If you look on the typewriter for the ribbon selector — the one where you choose between black and red — you’ll discover that someone has left it in the stencil position. When you’re cutting stencils — which we’re going to guess someone was doing — you need to let the letters tear the paper, so the ribbon is completely disengaged.

I’m filling in at the office this week and the Cross and Crown Sunday School attendance pins arrived, but one of the children’ can’t figure out how to attach his third year bar to his existing pin.

Those pins can be complicated. Our own children, now in their late 20s, still wear their pins to church each Sunday. I’m guessing that the child in your story has lost the Second Year wreath to which the bars attach, and perhaps doesn’t want to admit this. We’ve provided a picture to make it easier to explain:

Sunday School attendance pinsDon’t forget if you have questions, Church Office Text Support is here for you. Call us anytime at 1-800-CHURCH

*Questions from actual calls which were received or which we made up ourselves. Church Office Text Support does not take responsibility for damage to your cassette duplicator, typewriter, Gestetner machine, or the clothing on which Cross and Crown pins are worn.



  1. Actual calls received in the mid-80’s maybe?

    Comment by Clark Bunch — October 26, 2015 @ 9:32 am

    • That would depend…
      …A few years ago I visited a 173-year-old Baptist church. The only visible indication that we weren’t back in the past somewhere was a small cassette recorder used for sermon audio. There actually wasn’t much beyond that in the way of a sound system. They didn’t have a copier (at that point) and a week earlier a soloist had brought soundtracks which couldn’t be used until she brought a portable player in from her car.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — October 26, 2015 @ 9:46 am

      • The church I pastor is a strange amalgamation of past and present. At about 11:50 a 90 year old church deacon rings the bell; a real church bell in a bell tower. But I can also bring in accompaniment music on a flashdrive and play it through the sound system. There is still a typewriter in the office but also a desktop running Windows XP.

        Comment by Clark Bunch — October 26, 2015 @ 11:52 am

  2. *10:50, just prior to 11 am service.

    Comment by Clark Bunch — October 26, 2015 @ 11:53 am

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