Prayberry RFD

Valley church group finds salvation in Andy Griffith Show reruns

At episode's end, under Nancy Cushman's guidance, the congregation ponders just a few of the many life lessons crammed into the 22-minute sitcom: respect for others and yourself, the importance of discipline, appreciation of a job well done and the danger of flirting with alternative lifestyles. However, for one reason or another, short shrift is given to what (by today's standards, at least) are the episode's thorniest issues: the misguided notion that a spoiled child is the product of his own behavior and the suggestion that nine years of poor child-rearing can miraculously be cured with a hickory switch. ("I guess that wouldn't work today," concedes one parishioner. "But the story wasn't really about the spoiled child, it was about Opie and his father.")

Although the Andy Griffith studies will run through January, leaders of Central United Methodist are already looking ahead toward the church's next TV-tie. But what in heaven's name could possibly top The Andy Griffith Show?

"Star Trek!" says Nancy Cushman. "If we could get permission to use that, I'd write the lesson plans myself."

In the immortal words of Mayberry's most God-fearing grease monkey, "Golll-eeeee!"

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