In Steve Rabey's In Search of Authentic Faith
, he quotes the following e-mail sent by Coastlands Church
pastor Evan Lauer. (The Church's home page includes a quote which paraphrases the Divine Mercy novena!) He ministers to the "sun-and-surf" subculture in California, but this could as easily translate to Catholic Churches in the oceanless midwest, and those of the snow-and-slush subculture (if there is such a thing). It seems excuses obtain across denomination and culture. He wrote the following in an e-mail to his congregation:
To make it possible for everyone to attend church this Sunday, we are going to have a special "No Excuse Sunday."
Cots will be placed in the foyer for those who say, "Sunday is my only day to sleep in."
There will be a special section with lounge chairs for those who feel are pews are too hard.
Eye drops will be available for those with tired eyes from watching TV late Saturday night.
We will have helmets for those who say, "The roof would cave in if I ever came to church."
Blankets will be furnished for those who think the church is too cold, and fans for those who say it is too hot.
Scorecards will be available for those who wish to list the hypocrites present.
Relatives and friends will be in attendance for those who can't go to church and cook dinner, too.
We will distribute "Stamp Out Stewardship" buttons for those that feel the church is always asking for money.
One section will be devoted to trees and grass for those who like to seek God in nature.
Doctors and nurses will be in attendance for those who plan to be sick on Sunday.
The sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those who have never seen the church without them.
We will provide hearing aids for those who can't hear the preacher and cotton wool for those who think he's too loud!
Hope to see you there!
Speaking of excuses, I heard a joke this weekend which was funny, but also somewhat sobering:
On Sunday morning, a mother wakes up her son (let's call him "Mark").
Mother: Mark, it's time to get up for Mass.
Mark (grumpily): I don't want to go to Mass.
Mother: You have to go to Mass.
Mark: Why should I? The people there don't like me, and I don't think I like them. Give me one good reason why I should go to Mass!
Mother: I'll give you two. You're 51 years old, and you're the pastor!