Three Church Observations

I don't blog very often about church because I've been in fairly normal wards that don't give me much blog fodder, but this week, I have three things to share from my ward.

1) For the opening hymn, the pianist started playing the wrong music. It didn't help that the hymn she was playing was also a two-liner and almost the same meter. So some people tried to make the words fit with the wrong tune, but found that difficult when they got to the end of the first line. I couldn't tell what to do because the chorister was not singing. At all. She was completely tight lipped. At half-way through the second verse, the pianist recognized her error and just stopped in the middle of the song, flipped the page, and started playing the right song. It was a good way to get everyone's attention.

2) We had a very male-dominated fast and testimony meeting. And suddenly, another aspect of this ward made much more sense. This is the first ward I have ever been in where the Relief Society lets out on time every week and the Elder's Quorum goes into overtime. Every week. Obviously, in Art City, the men are more sensitive and long-winded.

I'd like to just address a point that I just made, though. Did you really get what I just said? The Relief Society lets out on time. This is absolutely unprecedented. I am a big proponent of the fact that the Spirit leaves the room as soon as the meeting should be over. During overages, people are just sitting there staring at the clock, wondering how much longer the meeting will go. No one is feeling the Spirit. This ward is revolutionary. The sisters end their lessons about five to ten minutes before the scheduled end of class, leaving time for any closing remarks, the hymn and the prayer. I simply have never experienced this before. Ever. I think that maybe my Relief Society presidency should speak at the RS Broadcast in October so that all the Relief Societies in the world can learn from their example.

3. I have had my records transferred to Murray's ward in Springville. So before RS started yesterday, I was sitting in my seat. Two girls sitting near me started talking:

Girl 1: Hey. I just got my visiting teaching assignment. You're my companion.

Girl 2: Oh, that's great!

Girl 1: Yeah, well, you'll have a hard time working with my schedule. I am REALLY difficult to accommodate.

Girl 2: I just normally schedule appointments for Sunday morning before church because that usually works best for everyone.

Girl 1: Yeah, that works well for me, actually. Okay, so what is with this lady who lives in Salt Lake?? Did you see that?

Girl 2: [Pulls out her assignment.] Oh, yeah. I guess she does live in Salt Lake. Weird.

Girl 1: Like, why would she drive down to Springville every week to go to church??

Me, turning around to face them: Uh... actually, I think that's probably me.

Girl 1: Oh, good. I'm glad you are sitting there. So... what's the deal?

I told them "the deal," but after calling me "that lady" I expected at least some embarrassment. There was none however. We simply set up an appointment for Sunday morning.


Squirrel Boy said...

Last week, our church got out a full fifteen minutes early. We have sacrament meeting last, and I guess the speakers didn't exactly fill the allotted time. I thought maybe the bishop would get up and give an impromptu talk to stall for time, but nope. He just ended the meeting. It was great.

Also, there was one time in my last ward when we sang a hymn to the completely wrong tune in elders quorum. It was a cappella, so we just followed the leader. I thought he'd realize his mistake when we ran out of words and had to repeat the last line to make it fit, but he just plowed on ahead, oblivious. It was so hard not to laugh.

Murray Terreno di Amore said...

Cicada knows this but I will tell all of you.....despite the minor annoyances like elders quorum lasting an inordinate amount of time....she makes the rest of church a lot of fun.....well just spending time with her in general is fun.

Miss Hass said...

I roll my eyes A LOT when meetings go over. It is incredibly annoying when a teacher/speaker thinks that what they have to say is more important than whatever is supposed to follow--whether it be a lesson, another talk, or a Sunday afternoon nap.

I am generally extremely intolerant of things that take longer than they are scheduled to or when things start later than scheduled. I think it's inconsiderate and says that you think your time is more valuable than that of everyone else.

Apparently I am just generally intolerant. Perhaps it's because I'm getting old and set in my ways. I don't know.

Anyway, I think it's hilarious that the organist just switched songs halfway through. I sometimes wish the organist would switch songs in the middle. Like when we sing any of those songs about sunshine. I hate those songs.

I might need to eat something so I'm less grouchy...

C. said...

Oh, to have church that gets out on time. What I wouldn't give.

Ginsberg said...

Amen to your views on church ending on time. I feel like something that is supposed to last three hours long shouldn't last any longer than that, especially if it is Elder's Quorum that is going over time.

natali said...

first of all i am so glad to see you are in my little brothers ward. i like to play a game called what meetings will trevor go to and for how long. go ahead and make bets. its my favorite sunday activity. (for the record for next week my money is on 35 minutes for sacrement, 18 minutes for sunday school, and 0 for priesthood). they go over who can blame him.

ambrosia ananas said...

"That lady," huh? Yeah, I'd've been mortified to be caught calling someone that.

i love this blog said...

I'm surprised/impressed you decided to speak up and let them know it was you. I'd have loved to just sit there and listen to them talk about me. Maybe that's wrong though... hmm..

Anonymous said...

So what exactly is wrong with "that lady" and why should she have been embarassed? What substitute phrase would have been acceptable to you. I think the fact that she was not embarassed shows that she didn't speak unkindly.

Cicada said...


First, I'd like to say that I do think both these girls are nice and I look forward to getting to know them better this Sunday. I don't think that any harm was meant by what she said, and I didn't take offense. I did think that it was a funny conversation and situation to share with my blog.

"That lady" isn't the best way to phrase something, especially when "that lady" is sitting right there. (I'm not saying I'd never use it; in fact, I was thinking about blogging about "that old lady" who was falling asleep in the back of the room during yesterday's SLC mayoral debate.) "What's with" was not the best way to start the question. There is nothing wrong with it; only had the person known I was sitting right there, she probably would have chosen to phrase it differently. Here are some substitute phrases that would not have sounded so jarring when "that lady" was sitting right beside them:

"I noticed that one of our sisters lives in Salt Lake. Do you know why?"

"We have an assignment who lives in Salt Lake. Why would she be coming to our ward?"

"Do you know who [Cicada] is? It says here that she lives in Salt Lake."

"We should probably call this person on our list. She lives in Salt Lake. I'm curious to find out why she's in our ward."

"Did you notice the person who lives in Salt Lake? Do you know why she would be a member of our ward?"

Anonymous said...

Nicely put Miss Cicada. I like your suggestions except for #2. I would rather be a 'lady' than an 'assignment'. I was a little afraid that using the term 'lady' had become politically incorrect or something. It's still in my vocabulary...

N.F. said...

I'm guessing these girls were 19, tops?


jennie said...

CRACK UP!!! Can I call you "that lady" from now on? Oh and can I mention that all of Murray's comments to you make me absolutely giddy? YEAHHHHH!