Thursday, January 1, 2009


It's time to participate in our annual ritual of "which pew do I sit in at Church".

Sunday, January 4th some of us in buildings with multiple congregations will start attending church during a new block period. Our congregation shifts to the 11am schedule while the ward to the south gets to move to the coveted 9am schedule. Personally the 11am schedule just means I show up at 7:30 rather than 6:30 for my meetings. 11am really screws up the Sunday nap schedule, the only activity suggested by the church as a legitimate Sunday activity that I actually follow through on. The 11am schedule typically means lower attendance also, it's like if they haven't made it by 11 it's not going to happen.

I like Sacrament Meeting on most days, my wife and I have a lock on the back pew near the door. It used to belong to my son's grandfather and grandmother-in-law but I'm a big guy and not easily moved from a new seating position once I decide I want it. I used to sit about 5 rows up, on the far right, where I could support my knee against the wall that juts out. That way I could support my teachers manual I had to read if I hadn't prepared for the class that I taught. But I'm a back row guy. I'm thinking about getting a plaque for our seats. "In Memory Of" and then name some long lost relative. Not mine though, most of my relatives only get caught dead in church. My family is from Missouri which make genealogy easy. I just find the names of the pioneers crossing the plains getting persecuted and trace the ancestry of the persecutor's.

Now the back pew, not the one against the curtain, allows you to make Sacrament, well interesting. Passing small children can low five you while you look forward, you notice everyone that walks in late, you see and hear every child that screams, has to go potty 10 times, and you're usually the first to know which kids are going to die at the hands of their parents as they get drug kicking and screaming out of the chapel during the talks. The other day I thought that I saw the parent and kid high five each other after they escaped the chapel during a high council talk. We've hit a point where we can close our eyes when a kid screams and know what lungs belong to which kid. When you sit in the back you can see parents and kids arguing about not wanting to go to Sacrament. The kids usually win and the parents dejectedly follow them into the meeting.

I almost feel bad that I sit on the back row because it makes the people that are late walk in and walk all the way up to the front. Then I remember that we had the same problem when we had kids and I get over feeling bad.

In the Pentecostal church that I grew up in my family was always late for services. I would always fervently pray that the congregation would be standing up and clapping, singing some holy roller tune that had everyone dancing like they were walking on hot coals. Alas, it was usually "The Old Rugged Cross" and my mom, step dad and my six siblings would all make that long walk to the front of the chapel, all eyes upon us. Did you know that "Israel, Israel, God Is Calling" has the same tune as "What A Friend We Have In Jesus"? Sorry, trivia moment.

Now that I'm LDS and out of the house I'm not late for anything. Stake Conference is in a couple of weeks and the wife and I are thinking about camping out for seats overnight. Depends on whether we get a General Authority or not, I don't sleep outside for just anyone.

We could always play poker to pass the time.


Jen said...

Hilarious. And all your reasons for sitting in the back row are mine for sitting in the front. My (four) kids provide enough distractions for me and them - we definitely don't need any more. (My husband doesn't count since he's usually sleeping anyway).

Oh well, they say that someday I'll get something out of sacrament again... *sigh*

OldBoatGuy said...

My schedual moves to 1 PM. So my day goes from 12:30 PM to about 6 PM. This is the first time, because we just split and now three Wards meet. My daughter shares a building with 3 other Wards.

I'm a back row sitter.

Annie Valentine said...

We've left nine for eleven, but we have sacrament last. They like to hop the kids up on candy during sunday school before giving them back to their parents.

I have wanderlust at church and rarely sit in the same place twice. I get a sick satisfaction from stealing other people's pews. Watch out if we come visit your ward, I know exactly where we're sitting...

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Tiffany said...

Hey ,I really need the back row, all you on time folks make that hard for us parents who are always a bit late due to the fact that we have five kids under the age of five. Come on dont you want to help us out and leave the back for us? I know you do. Give peace a chance.