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50 States Church Surch, Week 36

Yemassee Baptist Church
"The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well watered garden, like an ever flowing spring."
Is. 58:11

First a Rant. Even if you have a teensie weensie church and have no website, there's a new phenomenon called Voice Mail.  When someone calls after hours, leave an outgoing message of your address and service times. Unbelievable struggle to (a) find a church with service times and (b) confirm the address, since two came up through different searches. After getting bogus directions from (PP!) Google Maps, I stumbled upon the church. A block off of Church St.

YBC gets high praise for friendliness from E.F. Smith to Steven to Pastor Page. The building, brick outside with dark green carpets and padded pews, was almost full, probably eighty people attended. YBC gave us a couple of firsts today.  The service started with announcements; don't think anyone's done that before. Next, they conducted the Annual Business Meeting, with the budget. If they don't get more pledges, they'll have to get the mortgage from the general fund. Their budget is $109,000. Wow, that's not much money to run a church for a year. Another first: This week is Pastor Page and Mrs. Wanda's last week, he's retiring. Wanda spoke a bit and the sniffling and hankies appeared throughout the room. They will be missed. A woman gave Pastor a gift, and he unwrapped a cane with a goose horn on it. The church has a sense of humor. That's good. God does, after all. He made Emus.

The worship was condensed because of the business meeting (funny, they never cut the sermon) so the singers (8 wearing choir robes) sang one song and we all sang, 'Go Tell It On The Mountain.' Next, Pastor tried to jam 48 years of preaching into one sermon. His words. What I picked up was many are not serving or assisting like he thinks they should. Perhaps he's not aware of the 80-20 rule. 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. Or the analogy of a church is like a football game. 64,000 people greatly in need of exercise watching 64 people greatly in need of rest.

As for giving, he told a hilarious joke. A worn out hundred and a dollar bill were headed for the furnace. The dollar asked the hundred where he'd been. "I've had quite a life, going to the finest casinos, Broadways shows, five star restaurants, fancy hotels and spas. How about you?" The dollar bill said, "I've been exclusively in the Methodist Church, the Episcopalian Church, the Baptist Church...I've been through a thousand churches."

We celebrated the Lord's Supper, and Pastor Page missed it. He spoke about Jesus giving His life, but could have talked about the last meal they shared together, and tied it into their last communion together. He could have morphed right into his message. Ah, well.

At the conclusion, he told us not to cry, we're not saying goodbye, we'll all be together on the other side where we'll never say goodbye. I spoke with a fellow after the service and he indicated they haven't found another pastor. Easy for me to Monday morning quarterback their church, but haven't they had a significant amount of notice from their pastor? Perhaps he could have been active in the selection process. I hope they get someone younger, as the church looks to be aging and shrinking by attrition. Too bad because it seems like a great church and nice family. And just about everyone has those wonderful accents, which seem to work even better in church.  


1 comment:

Mel said...

Having the Annual Business Meeting in church on Sunday morning? Haven't heard of that one before. Reminds me of the story of a young pastor who stood at the pulpit and tried his best to get participation in the pledge drive by saying, "Come on, people! I've upped my pledge... up yours!"