Good morning, y’all. Man o’live it’s cold! Maybe it feels so intense because the cold snuck up on us all of a sudden, with it being summer time in December and all. The air seems much colder than the Coca Cola Thermometer outside the Rec room indicates. How cold is it you ask? Well, just let me say it took me a few minutes to chisel Butts the wonder dog off of a lamppost this morning. He was greatly relieved.
Anyway, the cold weather would certainly be a great excuse for folks to avoid their heavenly duties this week and not attend church. At least that’s what I thought until I tuned in to Channel 99 in Blairsville to catch this week’s broadcast of The Full Gospel Original Church of God. Once again, the little church was packed to the gills. In fact, with people bundled up against the cold, wearing multiple layers and all, there was even less room on the pews than before. I mean, I bet I saw more elbows being thrown in ten minutes of the telecast than in a whole NBA game. Space was already at a premium, and the folks that were Pentecostal, before Pentecostal was cool, are not taking kindly to being displaced from their traditional seating spot.
Some of the good folks at The Full Gospel Original Church of God are fourth and fifth generation church members. They are not used to sharing the pews, where their family has sat for years, with outsiders. Most members can point to the initials of their granddaddies, and daddies, carved in the pew in front of them as proof of ownership. In church real estate, “possession is nine tenths of the law”. Displacing folks from their traditional spots could result in life long enemies having to share their place of worship in close proximity. That sounds like a good thing, in one respect, but with open carry in Georgia, you just can’t predict how that’s going to turn out. It would be a sad thing indeed to hear a breaking news story that involved shooting and snakes. The Full Gospel Original Church of God might never live down that notoriety.
One of the aspects of the burgeoning attendance figures has been that the demographics have tilted towards the under thirty set. Most of these new comers are coming to church in clothes that look like they were pulled out of a Goodwill box. They wear these super tight skinny leg jeans, which are totally inappropriate for worship, in my opinion. I am amused at how many of them wear Chuck Taylor’s or Converse All Stars. Inappropriate, but it’s kind of cool to see these young folks appreciating the old standards. The thing that hit’s me the weirdest with these new folks is that they all went to the same Super Cuts and picked out the same style from the pictures on the wall. Men and women, they’ve all got the same hair cut. This is quite a departure from what we consider “Sunday best” to be. I know the Elders appreciate the new folks fellowship, and certainly appreciate their tithe, I just wonder how they feel about how the newcomers are effecting the old-timers. I’ll have to follow up with Mulva on that one.
Mulva did report, that by the narrowest of margins, the congregation has agreed to move to the abandoned Crystal Palace as soon as possible. The Elders will be sending trades people in next week to clean up, repair and to paint. I vigorously stressed to Mulva that they needed to put plumbers and HVAC people at the top of their list. Nothing will spoil an ecclesiastical experience like a backed up toilet. By the same token, bringing folks into a new worship hall without heat will not engender folks to dig deep into their pockets. Getting the right trades folks in to cross the t’s and dot the i’s before inviting the world to come is just prudent, in my estimation. We’ll see how she goes.
There has been some talk of keeping the little “church in the valley” going as a satellite while the transition fully implements. Maybe even longer. Ironically, the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread might be called in to pinch hit at the old location. I sure hope so. Getting him employed has got to increase my chances of getting his brood out of TackyToo, or at least me getting paid what I’m owed. I haven’t pulled so hard for a satellite since Explorer 1.