I do solemnly vow and declare that things are never funnier than in church. And not without good reason. Attendees are usually encouraged, either overtly or tacitly, to stifle levity and maintain a degree of decorum, a modicum of reverence befitting the House of God.
However, I personally find that being told to stifle levity and maintain decorum often results in a spontaneous eruption of laughter. Sometimes it’s easy to restrain oneself; other times, it’s a valiant struggle.
I’ve even formulated my own Law. I figure if Murphy could have a Law (“If anything can go wrong, it will”), then so can I. Janes’ Law states: “If funny things are going to happen, they will happen in church.” Believe me–it never fails. “World without end. Amen.” I’m living witness to the power, for good or ill, of humour in the Church.
It strikes me as significant that the Bible itself speaks about the benefits of humour. The Book of Proverbs declares, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.” On second thought, perhaps the biblical writer didn’t intend this as a reference to humour in church, of all places.
There’s much to be said in defense of church attendance. However, even the most devoted attendee, if honest and transparent, will readily admit that, at times, boredom sets in. It might be during the litany of announcements, a particularly poor musical selection, or, God forbid, a poorly prepared and/or delivered sermon or homily.
After attending the House of God off and on for 59 years–almost 60, if you count the time I was in my late mother’s womb–I finally devised an antidote to boredom in church…scrutinize the bulletin for errors, mistakes, gaffes, misspellings, faux pas, poor grammar, incorrect word usage–in short, bloopers. You might be surprised by what you find! For years, I’ve been collecting bloopers which have evidently appeared in bulletins hither and yon.
I herewith present you with a selection for your reading pleasure and personal inspiration, in no particular order.
* Don’t let worry kill you–let the church help.
* Thursday night: Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.
* For those who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
* The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius Belzer.
* This evening there will be meetings at the south and north ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.
* Tuesday at 4 p.m., there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early.
* Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.
* Wednesday the Ladies’ Group will meet. Mrs. Johnson will sing, “Put Me in My Little Bed,” accompanied by the pastor.
* Thursday at 5 p.m., there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers’ Club. All ladies wishing to be Little Mothers will meet with the pastor in his study.
* This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.
* The service will come to a close with “Little Drops of Water.” One of the ladies will start quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.
* Next Sunday a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new carpet will come forward and get a piece of paper.
* The Rev. Merriweather made a brief presentation at last week’s social, much to the delight of the congregation.
* The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They can be seen in the church basement on Saturday.
* Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in school days.
* A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
* The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing “Break Forth Into Joy.”
* At the service tonight, the sermon will be “What is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.
* The choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.
* The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.
* Evening massage–6 p.m.
* Next Sunday Mrs. Vinson will favour us with a solo in the morning service. The pastor will then speak on “A Terrible Experience.”
* Due to the Rector’s illness, Wednesday night’s healing service will be discontinued until further notice.
* The music for today’s service was composed by Handel in celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth.
* The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.
* The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the church basement on Friday at 7 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
* The audience is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession.
* The concert held in the Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister’s daughter, who laboured the whole evening at the piano which, as usual, fell upon her.
* Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday, from 7-8:30 p.m. Please use the back door.
* This week, why not smile at someone who is hard to love and say “Hell” to someone who doesn’t care much about you?
* Weight Watchers will meet at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
* The 2003 Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 10-11.
* The pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary.
* Eight new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
* Today’s sermon topic: How much can a man drink? Hymns from a full choir to follow.
* The Lutheran Mens’ Group will meet at 6 p.m. Steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread and desserts will be served for a nominal feel.
See you at church
Now, isn’t church exciting!