Monday, February 13, 2012

Extra credit for a front pew seat at church?

I attended church yesterday and sat on the very first pew. Do I get extra credit for that?

As a church visitor these past eleven Sundays, my practice has been to find a very comfortable back pew and I've been fairly successful in doing so.

Yesterday, my wife was asked to fill in for the regular pianist at a church nearby, so I took a spot on the front pew near the baby grand piano rather than put a dozen pews between us. For those who keep up with it, her playing yesterday made the score for having a leading role in a worship service since I retired is now, Plodder 0, Plodder's Wonderful Wife, 1.

I know a few folks in this church and have been there a few times before, just not on a Sunday morning. I love their building, a square, domed, brick building that is 99 years old.

It has magnificent, triple-paneled stained glass windows on all sides. Someone had some money in that church a century ago.

On the interior the floor is sloped down towards the rather smallish platform containg the pulpit and a few chairs for a choir. I'm no architect but I'm almost certain that the slope is steeper than is permitted by present building codes.

Permit me to speculate that no serious Calvinist would ever pastor this church because a worshipper might accidentally step out into the aisle during a service and be propelled by gravity down to the front. On the other hand gravity is God's creation so the Calvinist pastor might just consider such an incident providential. My Calvinist friends might give that some thought in designing their new worship centers.

The acoustics in this building were splendid. There were quite some less than 100 in attendance (I usually count heads but it would have been rude to turn around and do so from my front pew seat) and the singing was very robust. The music minister, with a cold, sang well and did a great job leading. My kind of guy.

In ten Sundays as a church visitor, I have heard exactly two Biblical messages, one of them yesterday. Last Sunday the pastor announced a text and came back to read it thirty minutes later and never did preach from it. The Sunday before the pastor announced several texts, read them all, and hit one or two of them a lick before he was finished.

The pastor yesterday announced a text, read it, and then preached from it. Good.

He had a wonderful baritone voice. That pang I felt, yes, a pang of mild envy. A pastor can go some distance on his voice alone.

This church follows the practice of taking the offering up at the end of the service, so my wife played a very nice offertory. It was really good and the congregation applauded her.

The pastor stood to end the service and told her that she was welcome to come back and play any time she wanted...and that "he," that would be me, was welcome to come along if I wanted.

Alas, I'm used to that.


Anonymous said...

The aisle and gravity part was a real hoot!

Anonymous said...

I liked the part about, they really want wife to come back but don't care whether Wm does or not.

Anonymous said...

I feel you pain William. I once preached at a church here in Gordon county and my wife sang. A lady gushed over my wife's singing and said "Come back and sing anytime." She looked at me and said "oh and you too"


Tim Dahl said...

It just makes sense. Every minister I know "married up," so to speak. The churches recognize that just as much as our fellow ministers do.

They really are our better half. :)