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Source: (consider it) Thread: Get me to the church on time...
the giant cheeseburger
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quote:
Originally posted by roybart:
The tide of opinion on this thread is running in the direction of embracing a laid back attitude towards lateness for worship.

Questions:

Does this position also embrace those responsible for opening the church, setting up the service, donning the appropriate clothing, preparing the music, stationing themselves at the doors to welcome congregation and visitors, etc.?

Should these people have an equally free hand as to performing their roles on schedule?

No, of course not. The key is that they've volunteered to be held accountable to a position of responsibility while ordinary attendees have not.

quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Not all late comers, just the type I've learned about on this thread. People like Ken. It stands to reason that if he finds a church with lots of people arriving late "less stressful," then he must think a church full of people who came in on time is more stressful. So it would seem that by being there on time I'm causing stress for the Kens of the world.

I don't know about more stressful, I would just go for describing a church where 100% of people were on time as less full. They've obviously scared off everybody else by saying (implicitly) "fuck off and go to hell, the Kingdom's not for you."

It's a good thing to encourage people to come on time, and also a good thing to silently extend grace and warmly welcome those who are less able to achieve that. The single parent struggling with moody kids acting up on a Sunday morning, the person so poor they have no other option than walking a long distance to get there and the mentally ill person for whom even getting out of bed was an achievement are the ones who need the church to welcome them the most.

If you have it all together and you can get to church on time, your purpose is to welcome those who don't and who can't.

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Erroneous Monk
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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:
So I agree with Anslemina that nobody (or very very few people) chooses to be deliberately late just as nobody (or very very few people) chooses to be deliberately overweight/unhealthy.

I think the comparison between being late for church and being unhealthy is a bit of overkill. All we are talking about is people turning up at different times. Its no big deal.
I was reflecting on other areas of life where we do things of our own volition, aware of the likely outcome, but without intending, or willing that outcome. ie the whole issue of what it means to do something deliberately/on purpose.

(And I was told on Tuesday that I have impaired fasting glucose ("pre-diabetes") and am beating myself up about it because it is, of course, my own fault. That angst is probably showing [Smile] )

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
The people in the local Methodist, my husband's church, come and go through out the service. The pastor himself usually starts about five minutes late. They bring food and drink with them and snack through out the service, the children bring toys and play with them rather loudly, passing of the peace is like a small party with everyone moving around the church for about 20 minutes. Most people wear jeans in winter and shorts and flip-flops in summer. The whole thing lasts almost two hours with lots of music and drums and tambourines. It's the fastest growing church in the conference. I think it's probably the wave of the future and those of us who have always looked forward to church as a quiet hour away from chaos will probably be out of luck soon.

What an interesting experience of Methodism! I'm also guessing that it's not an 'ethnic' church, so the relaxed atmosphere can't be 'blamed' on an influx of people from a different culture, which is what would normally happen (at least, that would probably be the issue in a British Methodist church)!

I think the problem some have is that MOTR to high forms of church practice often assume a high degree of precision as to what actually happens, and when, during the service. That being so, it's inevitable that lateness, interruptions and unexpected events are seen as undesirable aberrations. But there are other forms of church where time is almost always deemed to be elastic; the Holy Spirit is said to lead proceedings, and the Holy Spirit can't be controlled! This isn't exactly the justification in your case, but there's clearly something of that going on. What I sometimes wonder is, if a preacher is late why should people need to sit tutting for 10 minutes? Why can't they can sing, or pray, or share testimonies! What's so awful about that?

Would you say that your church's way of being developed organically, or had someone (i.e. the pastor) deliberately and theologically tried to create a new atmosphere or attitude in the church?

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Tina:
The point is that the children and their teachers have missed hearing the Gospel because they were doing an age-appropriate version of what hearing the Gospel is intended to do for the adults (although, sadly, there's more than a grain of truth in Karl's comment [Hot and Hormonal] ). This, I'd argue, is different from when one misses the Gospel because one isn't at the church on time.

If Spike had said that, I would have agreed. I assume he's capable of saying what he means.

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Spike

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I didn't feel the need to say that as what Tina described is what Sunday School is in most churches.

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mousethief

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Most low-candle Protestant churches, maybe.

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Jon in the Nati
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quote:
I don't know about more stressful, I would just go for describing a church where 100% of people were on time as less full. They've obviously scared off everybody else by saying (implicitly) "fuck off and go to hell, the Kingdom's not for you."
I just want to be clear on this. Are you suggesting (and correct me if you are not) that a church where everyone arrives by the time worship starts is in some way spiritually inferior to a church where people are popping in the side door for the first half of the service?

Because that is what it sounds like you are saying, and if so, it is one of the more ridiculous things I have heard lately. And I'm in TEC.

[ 07. March 2013, 22:40: Message edited by: Jon in the Nati ]

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Twilight

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:

What an interesting experience of Methodism! I'm also guessing that it's not an 'ethnic' church, so the relaxed atmosphere can't be 'blamed' on an influx of people from a different culture, which is what would normally happen (at least, that would probably be the issue in a British Methodist church)!

I think the problem some have is that MOTR to high forms of church practice often assume a high degree of precision as to what actually happens, and when, during the service. That being so, it's inevitable that lateness, interruptions and unexpected events are seen as undesirable aberrations. But there are other forms of church where time is almost always deemed to be elastic; the Holy Spirit is said to lead proceedings, and the Holy Spirit can't be controlled! This isn't exactly the justification in your case, but there's clearly something of that going on. What I sometimes wonder is, if a preacher is late why should people need to sit tutting for 10 minutes? Why can't they can sing, or pray, or share testimonies! What's so awful about that?

Would you say that your church's way of being developed organically, or had someone (i.e. the pastor) deliberately and theologically tried to create a new atmosphere or attitude in the church?

I'm not sure I understand all your questions but I'll try my best:
1) No I don't think this church has changed in ethnicity at all. It is now, as it always has been, in the middle of farm country inhabited mainly by people of German descent.
2) I really am not the person to determine whether or not the Holy Spirit has decided to bring about the changes but I believe it was always present.
3) I haven't witnessed any tut-tutting when the preacher is late. I do see lots of talking. No singing or testifying though. I may be one of the few people who even notices he's late and I hardly think it's awful.
4)I'm pretty sure the change is organic. If the preacher was deliberately late (assuming it was humanly possible for someone to be deliberately late or late on purpose, there's been some question) then he is doing the same thing with finance meetings and choir practice.

This preacher is very popular. The church has grown in membership since he started and the relaxed atmosphere he creates, not just from being late but his style of preaching and singing and the fact that he rarely follows a liturgical program and only had communion once during his first year all work together as appealing features for lots of people. He just wasn't right for me in many ways. The casual atmosphere was just a small part of what I didn't like.

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roybart
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posted by the giant cheeseburger:
quote:
quote:Originally posted by roybart:
The tide of opinion on this thread is running in the direction of embracing a laid back attitude towards lateness for worship.

Questions:

Does this position also embrace those responsible for opening the church, setting up the service, donning the appropriate clothing, preparing the music, stationing themselves at the doors to welcome congregation and visitors, etc.?

Should these people have an equally free hand as to performing their roles on schedule?
_________________
No, of course not. The key is that they've volunteered to be held accountable to a position of responsibility while ordinary attendees have not.

Mightn't it be possible that some of those volunteers have their own problems with the expectation that they should be on time?

If someone values something highly enough, and is willing to work and pray on it, many things are possible.

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"The consolations of the imaginary are not imaginary consolations."
-- Roger Scruton

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bib
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Methinks that those carrying on about being late because they can't find their keys, shoes etc protest too much. We are all running late at times, but if you are constantly late then maybe you need to look at how you organize your life. If there isn't time to have another cup of tea or walk the dog before church, then don't. It is a matter of priorities.

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Twilight

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quote:
Originally posted by the giant cheeseburger:


quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Not all late comers, just the type I've learned about on this thread. People like Ken. It stands to reason that if he finds a church with lots of people arriving late "less stressful," then he must think a church full of people who came in on time is more stressful. So it would seem that by being there on time I'm causing stress for the Kens of the world.

I don't know about more stressful, I would just go for describing a church where 100% of people were on time as less full. They've obviously scared off everybody else by saying (implicitly) "fuck off and go to hell, the Kingdom's not for you."

It's a good thing to encourage people to come on time, and also a good thing to silently extend grace and warmly welcome those who are less able to achieve that. The single parent struggling with moody kids acting up on a Sunday morning, the person so poor they have no other option than walking a long distance to get there and the mentally ill person for whom even getting out of bed was an achievement are the ones who need the church to welcome them the most.

If you have it all together and you can get to church on time, your purpose is to welcome those who don't and who can't.

I'm glad you said all that. Some people thought I was being far-fetched to suppose anyone would see me sitting in the pew on time and imagine that I was saying to myself "fuck off and go to hell, the Kingdom's not for you." Clearly that's what you think, at least, and if I'm thinking about my week or praying to myself, that's bad too. Because, according to you, I should be getting up and welcoming the late-comers because they have it much harder than I do. You know that, it's proven by the fact that they're late.

I keep thinking of a shipmate who used to post here quite a bit. She was autistic to some degree and she said once that she loved church as long as it went exactly to plan but when anything unexpected or out of the usual order happened it got her shook up and it was very hard for her. there are all sorts of mental illness. Some types may cause lateness and other types may cause this obsessive need for order.

Giant Cheeseburger I don't have you ability to assess needs and determine who should be comforting who based entirely on church arrival times. I don't know that the single parent is having a harder morning with the kids than the married parent. That the poor person who walked to church had a harder time getting there than the wealthy one who lived thirty miles away and ran out of gas. Or that the person with depression who had trouble getting out of bed deserves more sympathy than the one with OCD who is nervous over the late start time.

I would never dream of telling someone else what their purpose was in church. Yesterday, one of my church friends lost her husband. She's always early to church because she likes to sit and pray for awhile. I'm sure she will be early Sunday if she manages to come -- would you dare tell her she had to get up and welcome other people?

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
That the poor person who walked to church had a harder time getting there than the wealthy one who lived thirty miles away and ran out of gas. Or that the person with depression who had trouble getting out of bed deserves more sympathy than the one with OCD who is nervous over the late start time.

My ex-SIL had OCD and was late for everything. She had to do so many checks before she left the house that her life was taken over by it [Frown]

Maybe we are overthinking folks reaction to timeliness and to lateness? We don't ever really know what other people are thinking of us, and they rarely say.

Going to Church isn't a job, so maybe we need to be more laid back about it? The Church I attend for a few weeks every year in Mexico has a vague start time. One musician will start, the others slowly wandering in to join them. Then the congregation will drift in and join the singing. Eventually, at least an hour later, the pastor will turn up and begin!

All is cultural when it comes to worship, me thinks.

<typo>

[ 08. March 2013, 06:07: Message edited by: Boogie ]

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Lucia

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:

All is cultural when it comes to worship, me thinks.


I think that often can mean the culture of the individual church as well as the surrounding culture and that of the participants. In some churches being there at the beginning of the service is less of an issue than in others.

I would say that in a church where being on time and starting on time is generally valued it is good to be on time, or at least to make an effort to be so. If you are late you should enter in such a way as to cause as little disruption to others as possible. I would not expect those on time to interrupt their participation in the service to go and welcome the latecomers! That would be a)more disruptive to the people there on time and b)cause more embarrassment for the latecomer who is trying to slip in late.

Attending church is a voluntary activity so for some will not carry the same sense of pressure to be there on time. For those who find punctuality relatively easy to achieve because they are naturally good at it or have developed effective strategies that work for them this lack of pressure to be on time may not make much difference, but for those who struggle with time keeping for whatever reason the removal of pressure means that they relax a little more and are less likely to make it on time than for things where that pressure is there eg work, school etc.

To me it seems some over-magnifying of what we perceive others to be thinking has been going on on this thread. I very much doubt there are many of the people who are on time who are more than mildly irritated when latecomers come in. They are allowed to be irritated. There are lots of habits and behaviours that people do in life that we find irritating. I think that those of us who are prone to lateness for whatever reason tend to react to this because we do feel guilty about it in some way, we recognise that it would be better to always be punctual and are perhaps frustrated by our own inability or failure to do so. If someone didn't care about being late or the effect it had on others I think they would just shrug their shoulders and say 'so what?' if others find it irritating. Instead we find ourselves trying to justify and explain our failure because we feel bad about it but feel powerless to change it. Isn't this something that many of us do one way or another about different issues in our lives?

Perhaps we should just hold up our hands (figuratively not literally!) and say "I'm sorry, I'm crap at time keeping. I will try my best and ask you to accept that I am trying my best. I will try to cause as little disruption as possible when I am late and ask your forgiveness for the irritation or inconvenience I have caused by being so."

Lucia - another crappy timekeeper

[ 08. March 2013, 07:10: Message edited by: Lucia ]

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Kelly Alves

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quote:
Originally posted by Lucia:

To me it seems some over-magnifying of what we perceive others to be thinking has been going on on this thread. I very much doubt there are many of the people who are on time who are more than mildly irritated when latecomers come in. They are allowed to be irritated. There are lots of habits and behaviours that people do in life that we find irritating. I think that those of us who are prone to lateness for whatever reason tend to react to this because we do feel guilty about it in some way, we recognise that it would be better to always be punctual and are perhaps frustrated by our own inability or failure to do so. If someone didn't care about being late or the effect it had on others I think they would just shrug their shoulders and say 'so what?' if others find it irritating. Instead we find ourselves trying to justify and explain our failure because we feel bad about it but feel powerless to change it. Isn't this something that many of us do one way or another about different issues in our lives?

This is the best thing I have read in a long time. You are so absolutely right it hurts.

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Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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St Deird
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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
Methinks that those carrying on about being late because they can't find their keys, shoes etc protest too much. We are all running late at times, but if you are constantly late then maybe you need to look at how you organize your life. If there isn't time to have another cup of tea or walk the dog before church, then don't. It is a matter of priorities.

Gosh, you mean I need to ORGANISE my life??? That will help???

What a profound concept that I've never encountered before!!!!

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by St Deird:
quote:
Originally posted by bib:
Methinks that those carrying on about being late because they can't find their keys, shoes etc protest too much. We are all running late at times, but if you are constantly late then maybe you need to look at how you organize your life. If there isn't time to have another cup of tea or walk the dog before church, then don't. It is a matter of priorities.

Gosh, you mean I need to ORGANISE my life??? That will help???

What a profound concept that I've never encountered before!!!!

It's like you, me, Ken, Boogie etc. hadn't bothered to try to describe our daily lives, isn't it?

I certainly shan't waste any more time trying to explain.

Hah. Walk the bloody dog, have another cup of tea. As if. It's more like the fucking dog still hasn't been walked, I've had to leave half my only cup of tea and I'm still running bloody late.

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Barnabas62
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There is an funny comment about personality differences and attitudes to punctuality on one of the DVDs associated with the HTB Marriage Course, presented by Nicky and Sila Lee. They use the Myers Briggs factor J/P (preference for order - J - at one pole, preference for flexibility - P - at the other pole). Here's the extract.

"Sila is a J. When we need to catch a train or a plane, she wants us to leave not with just with sufficient time to catch the one we're booked on, but the one before. I am a P. I like to give the train or the plane a sporting chance".

Church services are not really the same as trains or planes. For the latter, barring delays in departure, you are better being there half an hour early than one minute late. We all know that really. But if we are J-ish, that train/plane punctuality thing can spill over a bit. We tend to see all start times as deadlines. I'm a bit like that. I hate to be late.

In my local congo, where there is no tradition of sitting in quiet reflection before a service starts, people chat a lot until there is a request from the front to "please take your seats". A NF congo I visit from time to time uses a countdown clock. People arrive and find church notices displayed on a screen on a loop, with a countdown clock which will reach zero at start time. I quite like that. It's information, plus an implied request to take your seats. Seems to work very well.

Both in my congo and the NF one there is no overt discipline from the front. There's a recognition that most folks turn up in good, or reasonable, or the nick of time, and if they don't there's probably a reason. But then in neither place is there a fixed liturgy - or a tradition of filling the seats from the back. Latecomers don't have to walk to the front to get a seat. Normally they can join unobtrusively, without the embarrassment to them of interrupting proceedings.

That stands in sharp contrast to a bit of Spike Milligan lunacy I saw when he was performing in "Oblomov" in the West End. There was a stunt. Some folks arrived late and had seats two rows from the front. As they went to take their seats some folks had to stand up to let them pass, and there was a bit of rustling. Milligan called "lights", the theatre lights came on and he had a real go at the latecomers.

"How dare you be so rude, interrupting the show, spoiling the enjoyment of others, causing a disturbance, you should be ashamed of yourselves, now we'll have to restart the whole *** play!!" Bill Owen, acting the part, put his arm around Spike, calmed him down and after a struggle he agreed to pick up where they had left off. It took a little while to cotton onto the fact that it was part of the show. Anyway, about 5 minutes later, some real latecomers arrived and the whole place (including the actors) fell about laughing!

Sure, I think there are some issues of personal responsibility and respect for others in getting to the church on time. And I think these may be more important when there are clear liturgical structures, including e.g. an early corporate confession.

But the words of Rabbi Lionel Blue come to mind at this point. "Don't take it too heavy".

[ 08. March 2013, 09:15: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
Going to Church isn't a job, so maybe we need to be more laid back about it?

Hell. Yes.

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roybart
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Posted by Lucia:
quote:
quote:Originally posted by Boogie:

All is cultural when it comes to worship, me thinks.
___________________________
I think that often can mean the culture of the individual church as well as the surrounding culture and that of the participants. In some churches being there at the beginning of the service is less of an issue than in others.

Agree ... and agree. All is cultural. And, often, all is sub-cultural: i.e., specific religious communities and settings.

In this case, as this thread makes clear, there are huge differences between communities which express themselves in a relatively informal worship styles and those which do so with more formal liturgies.

At one end of the spectrum might be the Mexican church described by Boogie, or Twilight's husband's church in the U.S. At the other end of the spectrum would be what I am used too: a formal mass, whose structure has a clear beginning and end, and which usually (not always) begins with a period of private meditation.

Individuals probably are happiest, most comfortable, in worship settings which fit their own personal style/preferences/abilities as to time-keeping.

[ 08. March 2013, 11:50: Message edited by: roybart ]

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-- Roger Scruton

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goperryrevs
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
Going to Church isn't a job, so maybe we need to be more laid back about it?

Hell. Yes.
Defos.

I'm still trying to understand what is so upsetting and distracting about people arriving late anyhow. Stuff is distracting in church. The person sniffling with a cold. The person breast feeding (heard a few complaints about that one). The distracted kid. The person with Tourette's. The disabled person. The person who sings out of tune. Need I go on?

The only way you can make church not distracting is to make it not inclusive. And that's waaaaaay to high a price to pay.

If I get distracted by someone else, first and foremost it's my attitude that needs to change. That's what 'bearing with each other' is all about.

Of course, if people are expecting the church to wait until they've arrived to start (though I've never come across that, EM, so your experience is unique I suspect), or it's people involved in the service, that's different. But that's not about lateness, that's about responsibility.

I think there's been a bit too much seeing through a window into each others' souls in this thread. Various reasons have been given for being late here, mostly negative, as if arriving late is a failure. There have been times when I have purposely arrived late for church. My wife and I separated last year, and one thing that I sometimes don't want to face at church is the awkward small talk that happens. I want to go in, sit at the back and be part of the service, then leave at the end. It's either arrive late so I don't have to face too many watery smiles, or not go at all. There may be a whole host of other reasons why people are arriving late, and I doubt we've scratched the surface of what those might be here. Rather than assuming that it's because they're either failures or rude, why not assume the best of each other?

--------------------
"Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole." - David Lynch

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Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
Going to Church isn't a job, so maybe we need to be more laid back about it?

Hell. Yes.
Yes, lets get our priorities right. Mammon is more important than God. He just needs to fit in with the other (more important) things, damn he's lucky I bother with Him. He should be grateful I turn up at all.

--------------------
It is better to be Kind than right.

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
Going to Church isn't a job, so maybe we need to be more laid back about it?

Hell. Yes.
Yes, lets get our priorities right. Mammon is more important than God. He just needs to fit in with the other (more important) things, damn he's lucky I bother with Him. He should be grateful I turn up at all.
Shall I break out the verse about the sabbath being made for man again, or shall I take that point as read?

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

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Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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Talk of the sabbath is a red herring, worship is not work.

We are talking about a the weekly focus of our relationship with God. To which I add this "Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence. This is the most important, the first on any list."

He did not add to that, "when you can be arsed to turn up."

--------------------
It is better to be Kind than right.

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Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:


He did not add to that, "when you can be arsed to turn up."

He didn't say we should 'turn up' at all. Surely the type of worship he speaks of is the 24/7 kind?

--------------------
Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 13030 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:


He did not add to that, "when you can be arsed to turn up."

He didn't say we should 'turn up' at all. Surely the type of worship he speaks of is the 24/7 kind?
Of course it is a 24/7 thing including Sunday mornings. His penultimate act, His last meal was a "turning up."

--------------------
It is better to be Kind than right.

Posts: 9778 | From: The Dark Tower | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
Talk of the sabbath is a red herring, worship is not work.

So why burden it with the artificial encumbrances of post-industrial-revolution workplaces?

All hail the Fordist Church!

--------------------
Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

Posts: 39579 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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quote:
artificial encumbrances of post-industrial-revolution workplaces?
Firstly your basic premise is wrong, people have always been called to worship at a particular time. Again the last meal, the timing is specific. Or; Church Bells called the faithful long before the Iron Bridge in Telford.

Secondly Jesus worshipped in community. We are communal and Christianity is defined by relationship. With each other and with God. Communities need some sort of guidelines to function. I am not in favour of the "law" and I know of my need of Grace.

But this much avoidance and tangential thinking of a basic premis ( It is helpful to community to be on time) smacks of a deeper attitude to worship.

Everybody is late for church sometimes, it is unavoidable. When it becomes habitual then we all have a problem.

--------------------
It is better to be Kind than right.

Posts: 9778 | From: The Dark Tower | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
Talk of the sabbath is a red herring, worship is not work.

It certainly is for the priest, the other clergy, the choir, the organist, the band, the altar servers, the altar guild (delete as required).

--------------------
This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
Talk of the sabbath is a red herring, worship is not work.

It certainly is for the priest, the other clergy, the choir, the organist, the band, the altar servers, the altar guild (delete as required).
I can not speak for others but the day it becomes work is (ironically) the day I quit.

--------------------
It is better to be Kind than right.

Posts: 9778 | From: The Dark Tower | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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Do you get paid for it?

--------------------
This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Do you get paid for it?

No, I recieve a stipend.

--------------------
It is better to be Kind than right.

Posts: 9778 | From: The Dark Tower | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Belle Ringer
Shipmate
# 13379

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quote:
Originally posted by St Deird:
quote:
Originally posted by bib:
...being late because they can't find their keys, shoes etc protest too much. ...you need to look at how you organize your life. If there isn't time to have another cup of tea...

Gosh, you mean I need to ORGANISE my life??? That will help???
What a profound concept that I've never encountered before!!!!

Reading this I had an "aha" moment. One of the sicknesses of modern Western culture is the pervasive pursuit of more, including cramming so much into a day's schedule that having events start at a precise time is critically important so it can end "on time" so we can cram in the next event. Cramming requires a lot of effort at organizing life, people carry calendars and day planners just to stay organized.

But life is not suppose to be organized. It's suppose to be lived. That mean stopping to chat with a neighbor when you are both in front of your houses getting into your cars to go to your churches. It means pausing to admire a sunrise or sunset. It does NOT mean making every moment "productive"!

The fetish with precise timing is a modern Western cultural quirk that leads to diseases of stress. We would be a healthier culture if we threw away the watches with their minute and second hands and went back to approximate time.

Anyway, several of us have pointed out it's not about a second cuppa, we haven't had even a first cup and yet here it is again - "you are just being self indulgent." If that's what people persist in assuming, I think I should stop trying so hard to meet their requirements for acceptable lifestyle and go ahead and indulge in a *first* cuppa, and be even later but relaxed and healthier. :-)

Posts: 5830 | From: Texas | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
Shipmate
# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Belle Ringer:
quote:
Originally posted by St Deird:
quote:
Originally posted by bib:
...being late because they can't find their keys, shoes etc protest too much. ...you need to look at how you organize your life. If there isn't time to have another cup of tea...

Gosh, you mean I need to ORGANISE my life??? That will help???
What a profound concept that I've never encountered before!!!!

Reading this I had an "aha" moment. One of the sicknesses of modern Western culture is the pervasive pursuit of more, including cramming so much into a day's schedule that having events start at a precise time is critically important so it can end "on time" so we can cram in the next event. Cramming requires a lot of effort at organizing life, people carry calendars and day planners just to stay organized.

But life is not suppose to be organized. It's suppose to be lived. That mean stopping to chat with a neighbor when you are both in front of your houses getting into your cars to go to your churches. It means pausing to admire a sunrise or sunset. It does NOT mean making every moment "productive"!
:-)

You are right. And I say that as probably the most organized person you've ever met. Always working 2 or 3 weeks ahead of schedule, always with a list and my icalendar, always on task.

And yet, when I see how my friends in other places (especially Central Africa) live-- in the moment, taking time for conversations, to listen, to walk, to just be with people... I realize all that I am missing. Right now my goal is just to be a bit more interruptible, at least for my family.

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 11242 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by Belle Ringer:

But life is not suppose to be organized. It's suppose to be lived. That mean stopping to chat with a neighbor when you are both in front of your houses getting into your cars to go to your churches. It means pausing to admire a sunrise or sunset. It does NOT mean making every moment "productive"!

But but but but ...

I am much happier, more relaxed, inspired and far better company when I am being productive. I am semi retired now and only work two and a half days a week (=four if I include planning, preparation etc). This is a joy. But I fill the other days with enjoyable productivity.

Sitting around looking the sunset is not an option for the hyperactive!

For example, this morning I woke up at 6am. I don't need to be anywhere (a photography course woohoo!) until 10am. Could I lie in bed? No! I had to jump up and get on with the day.

That doesn't mean I haven't time for a chat, and I am very interruptible (often too much so) - but it does show that not everyone benefits from a slow pace of life.

<typo>

[ 09. March 2013, 06:55: Message edited by: Boogie ]

--------------------
Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 13030 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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I'm getting better at organization in self-defense as Mr. L is hopeless at it (maybe in the resurrection) and LL is eleven and showing the worst of both parents' traits. Still, I'm keenly aware that if I DO ever get sufficiently organized to meet everybody's expectations (boss, church, school, neighbors) I will have lost what is most important to me. I just can't manage to have both, given my time estimation problems.

Case in point: I was thirty minutes late to my Bible class last week because of a clingy six year old godchild freaking out about going to a new class. I put the relationship first there, and trusted my classmates to put up with me (God bless them).

Again, I missed Lent service because of an emotional preteen (and I'm pretty sure this is being counted against me by the PTB, but whatever).

I was late fulfilling my own professional development expectations (reviewing Hebrew syntax, yay) and had to stay up most of the night reading crap because I'd spent the time I should have done this, on a) teaching my husband what he needed to know for his licensing exam, and b) coping with my son's educational issues. But nobody else could do it--I'm the native English speaker in this house, so I couldn't shove the responsibility off on anyone else. My boss will probably eat me for not having ticked off all the boxes until a day late, as my family problems are none of his concern (and rightly so). But Hebrew syntax is virtually irrelevant to my work, and having a functioning family is not.

I'm going to be late to church tomorrow because my godson's father won't let him drive, nobody from church is willing to pick him up (believe me, we've asked), and there's no public transport that runs Sunday morning where he needs it. And picking him up at a reasonable time means missing part of first service. But telling him to stay home is likely to lead to him dropping out of the church community, and we're trying to head that off. So I'll sit in the narthex where I don't disturb anybody with my lateness--as usual.

I figure that at my funeral they'll shake their heads and say "that girl was late for EVERYTHING." But if I did otherwise (spending all my time compensating for my time perception problems), nobody would show up at the funeral at all.

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 20059 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
# 3032

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Both Belle Ringer and Boogie have good points to make. I suppose many of us don't often get the balance right between unproductive busyness and unintentional messiness. But maybe it's just easier for those who err on the side of being organized to hide behind the appearance of being in control?

--------------------
Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

Posts: 10002 | From: Scotland the Brave | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Belle Ringer
Shipmate
# 13379

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by Belle Ringer:

But life is not suppose to be organized. It's suppose to be lived. That mean stopping to chat with a neighbor when you are both in front of your houses getting into your cars to go to your churches. It means pausing to admire a sunrise or sunset. It does NOT mean making every moment "productive"!

But but but but ...

I am much happier, more relaxed, inspired and far better company when I am being productive.

Great! The point is, do what is healthy and life-enhancing for you, not what works for someone else but is damaging for you.

I've had life phases when I thrived on being constantly active and phases when I needed to be primarily inactive and phases in between. None of these are virtues or vices.

If being constantly productive and making use of every minute feeds you health, but someone else trying to live that way is stressed, then neither way is a universal value to be imposed on all others as the One Right Way.

Some voices on this thread seem to insist on One Right Way for all - their way.

Posts: 5830 | From: Texas | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
But maybe it's just easier for those who err on the side of being organized to hide behind the appearance of being in control?

We're doing what now? We're putting on some sort of pretentious show? My plodding effort to get to church on time is starting to sound downright evil.
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roybart
Shipmate
# 17357

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quote:
quote:Originally posted by Anselmina:
But maybe it's just easier for those who err on the side of being organized to hide behind the appearance of being in control?

I'm puzzled. Earlier, you accused those who disagreeing with you of attributing motives (negative motives) to those who defend being late.

Now you are engaging in just the kind of "arguments" that you condemned when, as you saw it, they were aimed at you.

"Err on the side of of being organized" -- when used to characterize punctuality in others -- seems unfair. Just as "err on the side of laxness/sloppiness/or whatever" would be.

"Hide behind the appearance of being in control" is even worse.

These are judgments and speculations about motive (and in the second example, about character) that you are in no position to make. I would not enjoy having such statements directed towards me. Nor, I suspect, would you.

--------------------
"The consolations of the imaginary are not imaginary consolations."
-- Roger Scruton

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Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
But maybe it's just easier for those who err on the side of being organized to hide behind the appearance of being in control?

We're doing what now? We're putting on some sort of pretentious show? My plodding effort to get to church on time is starting to sound downright evil.
[Paranoid] My post has nothing - so far as I know - to do with you. It certainly wasn't directed at you, or inspired by you, or even typed with any vestige of thought concerning you.

My reply is to Boogie's and Belle Ringer's posts. And it's about those people who keep good time but are perhaps not as under control as others may think. They appear under control because they hit the mark, but the chaos and mess that underlies the effort of getting to church on time is therefore hidden. That is exactly and specifically what I'm writing about - no more, no less. I'm not interested in interpretations of what I've written involving words like 'pretentious' and 'evil' because nothing I've posted there connects in any way with such an interpretation. At least not rationally, I think. And it would hardly have been my intention to hint at such a thing. For the following reason - if for no other.

It's my own case. I've already described my pre-church prep on this thread as 'chaotic' - if anything an understatment. I have three services to fit into about three a half hours (including travelling time), and on average less than half an hour before I should be giving the greeting, I'm still folding pew sheets or dragging the dogs in from the garden. Not that that particularly matters. The point stands. And whoever else 'chaotic, but on time' may apply to, on this thread or off it, I don't know. But it is those people - myself included - I'm referring to.

My timeliness is hard won and I believe it's necessary for me to strive for. But it doesn't make me either morally superior or inferior to those who strive in their own way, and are late. And as phobic as I am about my own time-keeping, my choice not to be irritated by late church-attenders is a great release on a Sunday morning which already has enough of its own stresses to contend with.

--------------------
Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

Posts: 10002 | From: Scotland the Brave | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by roybart:
quote:
quote:Originally posted by Anselmina:
But maybe it's just easier for those who err on the side of being organized to hide behind the appearance of being in control?

I'm puzzled. Earlier, you accused those who disagreeing with you of attributing motives (negative motives) to those who defend being late.

Now you are engaging in just the kind of "arguments" that you condemned when, as you saw it, they were aimed at you.

"Err on the side of of being organized" -- when used to characterize punctuality in others -- seems unfair. Just as "err on the side of laxness/sloppiness/or whatever" would be.

"Hide behind the appearance of being in control" is even worse.

These are judgments and speculations about motive (and in the second example, about character) that you are in no position to make. I would not enjoy having such statements directed towards me. Nor, I suspect, would you.

I think I chose the wrong word when I said 'err'. Being poetic I suppose - as in 'erring on the side of caution'. I suppose I meant that just as some folks - try as they might - can't help but be late, so some folks by the quirk of their nature, are almost incapable of being late. And yet both somehow 'err' - neither being perfect. I admit, it wasn't a point well made.

As you'll see from my previous post, this is my own case. I certainly consider myself as 'hiding' my own chaos by being on time. So in fact I do quite directly apply these phrases to myself, and wouldn't be either surprized or dismayed if someone else did as well. I should be more surprized if someone hasn't done so already!

And I think it's probably true that people like me get away with appearing to be more in control than we really are just because we beat Mickey Mouse's hands to the numbers on the watch-face! It certainly feels that way a lot of the time. I should've flagged it up as being a more personal reflection.

--------------------
Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Do you get paid for it?

No, I recieve a stipend.
Tomayto tomahto.

--------------------
This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Do you get paid for it?

No, I recieve a stipend.
Tomayto tomahto.
Maybe. But the difference is that stipendiaries are being given payment, not so much, to be on time at certain hours or on certain days, but to be available for as much of the whole of the time as possible.

However, in the narrow terms of needing to be on time for scheduled things, that amounts to the same thing, in that case.

Posts: 10002 | From: Scotland the Brave | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Niteowl

Hopeless Insomniac
# 15841

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

I figure that at my funeral they'll shake their heads and say "that girl was late for EVERYTHING." But if I did otherwise (spending all my time compensating for my time perception problems), nobody would show up at the funeral at all.

You just reminded me of the time I was driving and saw a hearse pulled over on the side of the road, casket in back with the driver in shirtsleeves under the hood. My first thought was: "somebody really is late for their own funeral!"

You're late (when you are) for the right reasons, not just because you can't watch a clock or don't care. Some things are vastly more important than a schedule or clock.

--------------------
"love all, trust few, do wrong to no one"
Wm. Shakespeare

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Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Do you get paid for it?

No, I recieve a stipend.
Tomayto tomahto.
I am on time when I am not stipended - money has nothing to do with my relationship with God (or my brothers and sisters).

And sorry Anselmina I am not stipended to be more available more of the time.

Lastly; It is not about "productivity" it is about priorities and where we place them.

--------------------
It is better to be Kind than right.

Posts: 9778 | From: The Dark Tower | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Grammatica
Shipmate
# 13248

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quote:
Originally posted by goperryrevs:


There have been times when I have purposely arrived late for church. My wife and I separated last year, and one thing that I sometimes don't want to face at church is the awkward small talk that happens. I want to go in, sit at the back and be part of the service, then leave at the end. It's either arrive late so I don't have to face too many watery smiles, or not go at all. There may be a whole host of other reasons why people are arriving late, and I doubt we've scratched the surface of what those might be here. Rather than assuming that it's because they're either failures or rude, why not assume the best of each other?

Something like this is the reason I am persistently late to church, though it isn't intentional, and it isn't under my control. I wish it was, because I'd like to stop.

I come very late to church, when I go at all, because I am trying to avoid hearing a sermon like the one I heard at the church I was then attending, in 2002, after Gene Robinson's election as bishop. (I am in the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida.)

It was one of those moments of trauma when time stretches out while the experience becomes fixed for a lifetime. I was still very new to the area in 2002, which is culturally the rural US South. The thought came to me that I didn't know my priest or my fellow parishioners at all, and that they were not at all safe. I knew this while it was happening but I haven't been able to do anything since to compensate. It affects everything I do here, but church-going most of all.

I don't ever manage to get myself to church on time, and most Sundays I don't go at all, even though I want to.

Even though I have had assurances from all sorts of people, including the interim priest at the church, that I won't hear something like that in church again.

Even though the Diocese has a new bishop, who has invited the Presiding Bishop to visit, and even though the website now proclaims that DioCFL is a member of the Episcopal Church.

Even though there is a rather lonely woman acquaintance in the choir who was probably hoping to see me today, and even though I wanted to see her.

It's avoidance, pure and simple. That's how I tame my chaos. It's the reverse of Anselmina's method. I don't overprepare; I just don't turn up. I stay home alone, where it always feels safer. (Of course, unlike Anselmina, I'm merely a member of the congregation, and under DioCFL rules, I can't be anything more, so, as I tell myself, if I don't go, I will hardly be missed.)

Posts: 1058 | From: where the lemon trees blosson | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged
Mechtilde
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# 12563

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Grammatica: I miss you. Even though I'm in the opposite corner of the country, I'm really sorry that you're not there, that your light is not there. Sounds to me like it is sorely needed, but this is not a criticism of your decision. Just an observation that when we run off people like you, we are the poorer for it.

--------------------
"Once one has seen God, what is the remedy?"
Sylvia Plath, "Mystic"

Posts: 517 | From: The cloud of unknowing | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged
Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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At my Lutheran church yesterday: A good 40 minutes into the service, and about halfway through her sermon, my pastor's face suddenly lit up and she said the happiest, warmest, "Hi Warren!" you've ever heard. We all turned to see our 95 year-old Warren ducking into the back pew mumbling something about being late. Then she said, "You're not late, Warren! You're here!" and we all laughed and clapped and Warren blushed with pleasure.

I didn't really understand her words but her message of love was well understood by everyone.

Grammatica, can't you vote with your feet? It's what I did and I'm so glad I did.

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Augustine the Aleut
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# 1472

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While my situation is nowhere like Grammatica's, for which I have some sympathy, having lived in a peculiar parish situation for some years, I find that the social chatter before services uncomfortable for me. When I am with my mother in Florida, she revels in this, so I drive her to her parish about 15-20 minutes in advance, so that she can join in it (this parish provides a table at the back of the church with coffee and pastries to facilitate before-service interaction). When I am on my own, I realize that I established a practice of being just 10 minutes late so that I can avoid it. While I know that most of my churchgoing friends greatly value the social aspect, not everyone does.
Posts: 6236 | From: Ottawa, Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Grammatica
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# 13248

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:

Grammatica, can't you vote with your feet? It's what I did and I'm so glad I did.

The thing is, things really have gotten better in the diocese and the parish. But I seem to have frozen up in my moment of trauma. I'm not responding to the "DioCFL Spring" the way I'd like to.

Twilight, that was a wonderful story!

Posts: 1058 | From: where the lemon trees blosson | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged



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