In the collection plate came a note. It was on one of our pew cards and written in pencil on the blank side. The note said that they were visiting our worship service that morning. They had come into the sanctuary and sat down, apparently what happened next is the horror of any minister; they were asked to move because they were sitting in someone’s spot.
We don’t have assigned seats in the sanctuary. Yes, we have a large number of people who generally sit in the same location, Sunday after Sunday. We even tease them about having their assigned places. But does anyone take that seriously? Apparently they do!
My mind races back to the days when a little white haired lady (Agnus) was alive and active in our congregation. One Sunday upon arriving at worship she made her way down the aisle to her usual seat. A couple (first time visitors) were sitting in the pew. Agnus stood at the end of the pew looking at the couple. Yes, Agnus was pretty set in her ways. The man looked up and said, “Oh, are we sitting in your seat?” Agnus said, “Yes. That has been my spot ever since this sanctuary was built. I don’t plan to sit anywhere else.”
First, that is just bad manners. Second, it is laying claim to something that really isn’t ours to claim. The building belongs to the congregation, not any one individual. Third, it is highly insensitive to visitors and members, alike. Lastly, Christianity is about sharing, not taking, even the pew.
Since the note was unsigned, I have no way of knowing who the visitor may have been. If I knew, I would certainly apologize for the inappropriate and certainly un-Christian behavior of my fellow congregant.