Pinterest A Grateful Life Lived: How to lay your church bulletin to rest

Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to lay your church bulletin to rest

     First of all, don't you dare "throw away" a church bulletin.  No.  You did not just sing of the love of God only to dispose of a verse-containing-pamphlet-of-hope with such disdain.  In the church, we "lay to rest" our church bulletins after Sunday worship.  However, even this is very tricky to maneuver.  Here, I'll lay out for you the best methods for laying your bulletin to rest:

1.The Praise and Slide
     In this first method, it is crucial to stay after service.  Loiter a bit after the last song, making sure to righteously sing along to the last song, and smile at the worship team to acknowledge that, yes, you are the only faithful one still praising.  Next, pick up your bulletin and sandwich it in between your notebook and Bible (if you don't have a notebook for the sermon- then you should be keeping the bulletin containing the sermon notes anyway!).  Also, do not forget your pen, as it is crucial to the plan.  Greet some of the elderly and fellowship your way down the center aisle at a meandering pace.  Make sure to throw out a few 'Praise the Lord's on the way.  Spur of the moment is fine, just make sure you blurt it out there at least three times.  Finally, as you gleefully pass the sound booth you've been aiming for, peer in to "check a song name."  Under that cover, lift your notebook and pretend to write a song title.  At the same time, stealthily slide the bulletin from your Bible into the trash, humming a new Mercy Me song as you go.  Straighten up, keep humming, and make your way to the snack table for some more intense fellowship-ing to rid you of any remaining shame.

2. The Judgement Re-directer
     This method only works if you have a sibling or close friend to throw under the hypothetical bus.  Spend the last few minutes of the service in deep prayer over which brother/sister in Christ to choose.  This will decrease the level of guilt you may experience later.  Once the decision has been reached and the service has concluded, fellowship for 9.4 minutes and then grab the bulletin and clutch it to your chest like the holy-treasure-of-God it is.  It also helps to walk up to an established believer and discuss the power of the verse on the bulletin this week.  Make sure they know you took notes on the sermon outline insert and are attending every single church event listed for this week (you'll see them at the Men's Life Group on Wednesday).  Still talking, look down at the bulletin with a puzzled face-- it may help to rehearse this beforehand-- and call to your "chosen one" in a sweet voice: "Oh Joe, I must have picked up your bulletin by mistake!"  Don't give them a chance to register that their bulletin is still in the pew, but rather continue, "I was just mentioning what a blessing the bulletins always are to me.  I wouldn't want you to miss out on that!"  Hand the puzzled victim the bulletin and smile at the brother/sister in Christ you were talking to.  Tell them to have a blessed and highly favored week, then mention your need to go find and pray for the boy who was sick last week.  Crisis averted!

3. The Praise Offering
     With this method, the steps are less comprehensive, but it only is effective if you have previously established a squeaky clean image.  Otherwise, you will come across as cognitively deficient or self-righteous (note: mentioning that you pray for the self-righteous while completing this method, increases the success rate by a mythical 22.7%).  Carefully gather up all remaining bulletins of the heathens who've already made a beeline for the cookies and snacks in the fellowship hall.  Mutter prayers of forgiveness for them as you labor through the pews of the sanctuary.  To anyone who asks, sweetly explain that you are gathering the sacred bulletins as a praise offering.  If they look confused, stare in disbelief that they are so weak in the faith to not know what you are talking about.  Follow up with a light pat and word of encouragement.  Ceremonially make your way towards the main entrance of the church, allowing the flocks of curious children to flank in behind you.  This will occur more so after three successive weeks of your praise offering.  Next, open wide the doors and let the "little children come."  Tell them to rip up the bulletins in little pieces and put them all in the little basket that you have them go fetch.  Recite a powerful verse about the Holy Spirit, and then fling the shreds up into the sky.  Although a windy day is quite helpful, you also have the option of bringing an industrial fan or just throwing the papers into a bush-- drawing a comparison between the burning bush of the Bible and this bush, which is now covered in the holiness of God.  This method gains you quick approval, but also can be hazardous around eco-friendly believers.  If this is the case, assault them with the manna from God story and ask, "was that considered litter!?"

     I hope these all provide a few laughs, and that you are a little more lighthearted the next time you "lay to rest" a church bulletin that you don't need.


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