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   Paul walks the plank and is unmasked
Paul and Kit

Day 39

He survived beatings, imprisonment even shipwrecks – but nothing could stop St Paul becoming the 10th Bible hero to walk the plank.

The "least of the apostles" was played by Rev. Katherine Ann ("Kit") Carlson, Associate Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA.

"My New Testament professor wrote her dissertation and first book on Paul's letter to the Romans," she says. "When she hears about this, I am dead meat."

After spending her childhood in Michigan and her adolescence on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Kit studied for two years at Michigan State University before transferring to the University of Florida. She received a Bachelors of Science in Journalism from UF in June 1980 – but she did not show up at graduation to collect her diploma, because she was getting married to Wendell Lynch.

Kit and Wendell make their home in Silver Spring, with children, Andrew and Katie Carlson-Lynch. Wendell is a software engineer and inventor for Arbitron, the radio ratings company. Mad Moxie, a rescued racing greyhound, completes the family. Katie gave her mother a little wooden Ark set to keep on her desk for the duration of the voyage - "I guess I'll be packing it up now."

"All the family think this is a lot of fun and have been very encouraging even when I was afraid of being planked," admits Kit. "This is big of them, as I am not a character in Unreal Tournament or Counterstrike – the only online games they think really count!" 

In spite of her valiant efforts, Kit's children still hate Paul.

"It's the effect of too many youth group Bible studies that pull his verses out in dibs and dabs," she says. "I worked on changing their attitudes – by getting down with the apostle!"

Kit also set out to show how Paul was not the woman-hater everyone thought he was.

"He worked side-by-side in ministry with many women," she maintains, "that was why I never made a crude comment to Mary Magdalene, because I saw her as a partner in ministry. The business with Esther was all 'eros'. 

"Paul is quite smug in his letters about his celibacy and I wondered what he would be like if he was tested. The relationship with Jezebel was 'agape'. He really wanted to try to love her like Christ would. Boy, did she make that hard!"

In her professional life as a lay person, Kit was a freelance writer and editor, and is author of three books written for the Discovery Channel. The most recent is Working Dogs: Tales from the K9 to 5 World, which was published in April 2000. She also worked for Manor HealthCare Corp, as Director of Marketing Services, for Discovery Publishing as managing editor of its magazine, and for an au pair agency as a community co-ordinator.

"I have loved since it first launched," she says. "I would love to be a Mystery Worshiper, but I only worship at Ascension pretty much."

The most fun she had on The Ark was the day she and Simon Peter interrupted the romantic supper between Neb and Martha. 

"I was really hoping John the Baptist would play along and we could have a good old-fashioned sit-in, but I had a blast with Simon," she recalls.

Will she able to use any of her experiences as sermon illustrations?

"If you can figure out how to get a sermon anecdote out of lusting after Esther in a wet pink dress, shooting tequila with Simon Peter, or cross-dressing as Juliet... let me know!"

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*Samson not drawn to scale