I remember when …

I remember when:

* children sat in church with their parents and doodled on the tithe envelopes with a golf pencil found in the pew.

* pastors wore suit and ties, but when the preaching was really good, he would take off his coat and throw it to his wife on the front row.

* cutting edge Sunday school technology were felt boards.

* there was a little sign at the front of the church that told the attendance, offering and how many visitors we had at church.

* we had church Sunday mornings, Sunday nights and Wednesday nights and to miss any of the three meetings was next to heresy.

* the only instruments in the church were a piano and an organ. Guitars and drums were for the nightclubs and bars.

* favorite songs could be identified by the page number of the holy hymnal. My favorite was #267 or  “I’ll Fly Away”. For some reason, though, we never sang the third verse of any song.

* you could get in big trouble if you got your “church clothes” dirty before church started.

* it was considered a “great Sunday” when the preacher did not preach and people prayed at the altar instead.

* people who sang “specials” never sounded that special and always had to read the words of the song off the back of a cassette label. They would say “don’t listen to me, just listen to the words.”

* the church building always smelled like sheep actually lived there during the week.

What do you remember?

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  1. I could go on for hours with this. Let’s see….

    *I remember I had the coolest youth group director in the world.

    *I remember how he took some of us camping and mountain climbing. One time, me, a buddy, my youth director and his two oldest sons (then young kids) got stuck on the side of a 100-foot cliff. We didn’t get home until real late and found out that night our parents and his wife had called the park ranger and they had people out looking for us.

    *I remember donuts in Sunday school.

    *I remember trips to A&W for Root Beer after church, then Sunday naps (which I hated as a kid but grew to love as a teenager).

    * I remember thinking “sex” was a dirty word, and talking about it was even worse.

  2. 1. I remember standing on a wooden box behind the Podium to be tall enough to direct the accapella congregation before I was a teen.

    2. Sitting up on the front few rows laughing with the other kids my age, and mom walking up and sitting BETWEEN us.

    3. The baptisms with the curtain that was “pulled” revealing the preacher standing in the baptismal awaiting the arrival of the person.

    4. Never singing the 4th or 5th verse of a 6th verse hymn from the “Great Songs of the Church” hymnal.

  3. Filling up communion cups with a squeeze bottle…. after communion sticking our candy stained tongue in the entire little cup to get out ever last bit of juice. 😀

    If you were laughing uncontrollably or sleepy you could always kneel at your chair and everyone would think you were praying….

    ladies with wigs on backwards (the give away was their “bangs” would be on the back of their necks)

    being saved and baptized a baker’s dozen of times…..

    getting a hole stared in you by the blue hairs if you didn’t go down for alter call. 🙂

    Soloist asking for prayer claiming spiritual attack all week long as a disclaimer in case they tanked….

    Peeking even when told…. “head’s bowed, eyes closed and no one looking around” 🙂

  4. Revival meetings Sunday-Wednesday…that lasted what seemed all night!!!

  5. 5. The “songleader” having the “pitchpipe” secretly stowed away in his pocket as to disguise the “musical instrument”.

    6. During the “song service”, when you wanted to “really praise God”, you sang louder while your body remained motionless.

  6. *I remember communal communion, where we’d move our chairs into circles and pass the cup around.

    *I remember racing to the communion tables after service with my sister and downing the rest of the grape juice and french bread. Then Mom would be frustrated when we got home that we weren’t hungry for lunch.

    *I remember when it was Foot Washing Sunday, and all the women had wet nylons from the calves down.

    *I remember Mom and Dad up on the platform. Dad would lead worship and sing his heart out, and Mom would back him up, playing that tambourine as hard she could.

    *I remember loving the line “The horse and rider are thrown into the sea” because it was such a great image to think of.

    *I remember looking down the aisles, swooning with my first-grade heart over Brian Cudmore, but thinking he was probably swooning over Rachel Keagel because she always had the nicest clothes and the cool new jellies. (Now that I have boys, I know they don’t swoon over anything in the first grade except legos and nerf guns.)

  7. I remember – My sister and I only went with our grandma (meme) and she usually only went to church on Easter and Christmas and when she was sick. So church to us was something you did when you needed something from God.

    I remember – attending for a few years at an Episcopalian church and going up to the alter to get communion. The Father had a golden goblet with real red wine in it and he would hold the cup to our lips one at a time and we would drink. I thought it was gross that each person drank out of it and he just wiped it with a cloth before the next person drank out of it. Oh and he would put a wafer on each of our tongues with his hands. Yuck!

    I remember – kneeling for a very long time during the service at the Episcopalian church and my knees would get very sore so I would “fake” kneel. We also couldn’t understand a thing the Father said because he was old and he mumbled. I didn’t learn much from him in the short time we attended.

  8. I remember –

    on your birthday week, you got to stand in front of the Sunday School class and drop the number of pennies that were equal to your new age into a white plastic church shaped bank.

    Our church had a charismatic invasion…at Easter, the non-Charismatics would say, “He is risen indeed” and the Charismatics would say, “Hallelujah, He is risen indeed.”

    “Sword drills” in Sunday School.

    Singing “I have the far out faith that freaks out Pharisees down in my heart. Where!?! Down in my heart . Where!?!?….

    Praying that no one would pick “I wish we’d all been ready” when it was a 5th Sunday All-Church Sing service. My prayers aren’t powerful enough to override free will, someone always picked it.

    Church potlucks!!!! These are like a sneak preview of the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.

    Sitting in the back row with my friends and reading Song of Solomon in the pew Bible….eyes darting back and forth, for fear of getting caught.

    Our church had thin, round communion wafers. The pastor would say, “And Jesus took the bread and broke it” and the whole congregation would break their wafers in half. It made this glorious sound – like a bunch of marbles hitting the floor. Visitors would nearly leap out of their skin. I still break my communition “bread” even though it is much harder with the holy chicklets that NLC uses.

    Singing “Come Ye Thankful People Come” at the Thanksgiving service. And the Doxology after the offering was collected. I still love both of those songs.

    Getting in trouble for singing “Amazing Grace” to the tune of the Gilligan’s Island theme song. The older ladies thought it was blasphemous.

    I’ll confess to kissing my boyfriend in the back of the church bus on the way home from Christian skate night. We’re married now so you can’t really blackmail me with this information.

    In the summer, I would climb the plum tree next to the church office (former parsonage) and read my library book and ate plums. This was normal and accepted behavior for kids at our church.

    Getting an excused absence from school because I was the “junior CE board member” and had to / got to go with the adult CE board members to look at and select new Sunday School materials.

  9. Just to name one of many…

    I remember acolyte training and wearing a strange gown as I commenced to ceremonially light (and later extinguish) the candles.

  10. I remember when I was between the ages of 8 to 10, my mom had a friend who gave us (mom, 2 sisters, and me) a ride to Protestant chapel on Sundays (along with her 4 children) at the American post in Italy, where dad was stationed. Mom didn’t drive and dad wasn’t a church goer back then. We were all squished in the tiny compact 60’s Volkswagen; the floor had a hole in it and I remember looking at the worn rubber floor mat, in the back seat, watching the pavement, as we traveled along. Our family probably went a total of 15 times, including VBS.

    I also remember visiting a few Catholic services with our Italian landlords. It was an old, huge, cold, stoney church, with tons of lit candles and always alot of “old” people speaking only Italian.

    The church bells seemed to ring constantly; we lived right across the street.

    During my teen years, we got to go to Sunday Protestant Chapel on the American Kaserne more often (now stationed in Germany) because we were in walking distance. It was always packed. Everyone would head to another building after the service to eat snacks and talk. I remember the Chaplain and his wife were friends of my parents; little bit of pressure???? We were blessed.

  11. from my early childhood:
    1. I remember my dad driving the Church bus to pick up the elderly and young while my mom prepared lesson plans to teach Sunday School to the high schoolers.

    2. I remember singing “Father Abraham” and doing ALL the motions.

    3. I remember in my AOG church a lady who would be “moved by the Spirit”. She walked around the church and literally looked like a chicken nodding her head. And then she’d be “slain in the Spirit” and that was the end of her chicken run. Somehow I think we were all relieved at that point.

    4. I remember volleyball every Friday night at youth group – which i LOVED!

    5. I remember singing one line in a hymn very loudly that says “Angels unaware” – my brother and I changed it to “Angel’s underwear” HAHA! Made me smile every time.

    6. I have many memories at church because my parents made it a priority. Thanks Mom & Dad! (BTW, my mom wouldn’t let my dad buy a boat, because that would steal us away from church on the weekends sometimes…which would have been heresy.)

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