Tuesday, April 1, 2008

An Introduction to the Overflow

I love my mother.

I really do. She's a great example to me of perseverance and dedication to what she puts her mind on doing.


I think she would be late to her own funeral. And I say that with the utmost love and respect.

Ever since we moved into our old ward building about 10 years ago, we've had our seat in the overflow. It doesn't matter if it's a full house, or if the ward is thin because of holidays, we have our section: 3 rows back, in the left set of pews, on the left.

Even when my father became a member of the bishopric, we were still there. When my wife and I flew home to Michigan to visit the family, my mom and brother and sister were still sitting there.

So what does the overflow mean to me?

I look at it as the common mingling place for those who consider themselves liberal or orthodox. It's the gathering of young families with 5 kids under the age of 8 who wear their parents out after 1 hour of sacrament meetings, and the empty-nesters that take a bit slower to get to church.

Welcome to the Overflow - where everyone is welcome (and you can sneak out whenever you want)

1 comment:

mayoroftheworld said...

The idiosyncrasy of the LDS culture amazes me, especially the territorial nature of the seating at Sacrament meeting. I have been in both a Branch Presidency and Bishopric for many years and to observe the members as they prepare for the meeting is fascinating.

Members stake out their territory very early in there Church tenure. They will sit in the same seats week after week and you can almost take roll without calling names. The Bishop might lean over and tell me “the Smiths must not be here today” noticing that their normal seats are empty. The Jones always sit on the right of the stand, Smiths in the Center, and the Bells in the far back. It is almost like we are trained seals.

But the funniest time is when we have someone new who sits in someone else’s territory. The member comes in and is momentarily confused because their normal seat is taken and then they look around the Chapel to find another seat, but they are also aware of the unspoken seating arrangements and they say things like “we can’t sit there that where the Butler’s sit” even though the Butlers are not here yet.

Yes, the LDS Church has many idiosyncrasy, but you just got to love the people, even though their seat is taken, they go out of their way not to offend.