With the recent change in pastoral leadership here in our congregation, some necessary changes have been instituted.
Church Attire – It is requested that you come to church dressed as you can afford to dress, based on your salary, so church leaders can get a better feel for the amount of tithing we can expect. If we see you wearing Manolo Blahnik shoes, we shall assume you are doing well financially and therefore should be giving more; say, enough to pay for the 16-person, 9-day mission trip to China in January. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better through sacrificial giving; therefore, you will be expected to increase your offerings. (Please be prepared to submit a financial statement to deacons so they can help you eliminate any financial chaff that may exist.) If you are lucky, though, you’ll be dressed exactly as you need to be and therefore you do not need to give any more than the usual 21%. We figure that if you can tip 20% to those pagan waitresses who (failing to honor the Sabbath) serve you lunch on Sunday after church, you can afford to give the church a little more.
Prayer requests – In order to get through prayer meetings a little more quickly, we will no longer offer prayers for healing for those who are present. If you are able to show up and raise your hand, you’re doing well enough. In a related note, please do not bring up recent deaths during prayer request time; it’s a little late for those folks.
Also eliminated are “unspoken” prayer requests; all things will be made known on Judgment Day, so why not go ahead and get it out there?
Special Sundays – Special Sunday events will be limited to significant spiritual occasions in the life of the church: Flag Day, Autism-Spectrum Disorder Day, Christmas, Homecoming, Election Week, Easter, Mother’s Day, 4th of July, Youth Camp Testimony Day, Memorial Day, High Attendance Sunday, Blood Drive Day, and Building Fund Drive.
As such, neither weddings nor funerals will be allowed on Sundays. As far as we are concerned, neither event edifies the body the way more traditional events will; in fact, one could argue that weddings and funerals increase the church’s work load. After all, marriages require counseling, and funerals require receptions. Both, apparently, require lawyers.
Backing Out of Sunday Duties – There are very few acceptable excuses for missing Sunday responsibilities. For example…
Surgery (your own, non-elective, done Sunday morning)
Death (your own)
Super Bowl party “outreach”
Recently placed under church discipline
Dismemberment in the last 12 hours (your own)
Shipwrecked on island of Malta
Demonic possession (your own, not to exceed 3 possessions a year)
Rapture (documentation required)
Here are some unacceptable excuses…
Out of town funerals: As discussed above, funerals contribute nothing to a Christian’s life. As well, what exactly are you planning to do for the deceased? He’s gone; he won’t know if you are present at his funeral, but we’ll certainly miss you in church.
Children’s regular season soccer/baseball games: Save your absences for the playoffs.
Hospital/Hospice visits: Sundays morning are no time to be expressing love for folks; instead, it is church time. Besides, hospital patients will still be there once worship is over; hospice patients might not be, but if that’s the case, they probably wouldn’t have remembered your visit anyway.
Home/Neighborhood Bible studies: Sunday morning is to be reserved for things that encourage church growth and participation, not Bible studies. Do that sort of thing on your own time.
Toilet Use – Entirely too many people are visiting the toilet during worship time. We have considered locking the toilets in the building once the sanctuary doors close, but there was some concern over those who allegedly need to use the facilities between 10:45 and 12:00. Therefore, starting next Sunday we will lock all the bathrooms in the building except for a port-a-potty placed on the platform immediately to the left of the pulpit. Congregants who “require” a bathroom break will be allowed to use the port-a-john freely throughout the entire worship and preaching experience. All they have to do is approach the altar via the center aisle in order to access the door of the toilet.
To avoid certain forms of abuse of this privilege, we will also do the following:
-Block cell phone reception in and around the toilet.
-Require parents of minors (17 yrs and under) to stand next to the toilet door while their child is using it. Unaccompanied minors will be assigned a low-ranking staff member to stand on the platform; the youth director, for example.
-Require a “love offering” donation in order to receive toilet paper.
If you are experiencing gastrointestinal issues on Sunday, please visit the Methodist church.
Nursery Notifications – In years past, we’ve given parents a numbered tag when they deposit their children into the care of our child care professionals. If an issue arose during worship, the appropriate number would discretely flash on a small screen near the organ. However, too many parents seem to delay reporting to the nursery.
Therefore, the numbered tags are out, as is the discrete screen.
Starting this Sunday, problematic children will be shown directly on the 50” screen directly above the pulpit, either in real-time video, GIF format, or JPEG file. If little Johnny has diarrhea and Mom didn’t provide enough diapers, you’ll know. If Suzy the Serial Biter goes off, there will be no doubt.