News From Terre Haute, Indiana


June 8, 2012

THE JOY LADY: Leaders have decided to schedule Excuses and Complaints Sunday

TERRE HAUTE — We have lots of special Sundays: Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. We even manage to slip in Parents Day, Grandparents Day, Friendship Day, Bible Sunday, and a Clergy Appreciation Day. We have Sundays that are wrapped in celebrations of Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Whew! So many chances for covered dish dinners and family gatherings. Will somebody start peeling the potatoes?

But some progressive church leaders have proposed a new Sunday celebration. It’s to be called Excuses and Complaints Sunday and it will be celebrated at that cute little church on the corner just down the street from your house. You are cordially invited to bring all your excuses for not attending church and leave them in the special Pardon Me offering plate conveniently placed at the end of each pew.

For those who say that Sunday is their only day to sleep in, the entire worship service, including the whispers and rustling candy wrappers during prayer and offering time, will be taped and run continuously on the large screen at the front of the church. A special section will be roped off and provided with pillows, blankets, and privacy screens for those who might still be in their pj’s.

Special exit doors have been installed every five feet for those who say the preacher preaches too long. That way an effortless getaway will be possible. Several nurses and at least one doctor have graciously volunteered to be in attendance for those who say they can’t come to church because they are too sick.

For those who don’t attend church because they don’t like the minister, it’s been arranged for all ministers to wear dark jackets with bright red targets appliqued on both the back and the left front lapel. Hortense and Horatio Hateful, who hold the patent on a particularly helpful sharp-tongued, oops … er … sharp-pointed dart of criticism, will be able to give pointers on proper aim and delivery. Over the past 30 years, Hortense and Horatio have used these darts so successfully that four families and one minister left the church.

The sermon will be “Things You Will Never Hear in This Church,” and the main points are, that at this church, you will never hear: 1)“Hey! It’s my turn to visit the shut-ins;” 2)“I love it when we sing songs and hymns I’ve never heard before;” 3)“Of course I’ll accept the preacher’s challenge to memorize two Bible verses every week.”

Seriously, when it comes to church attendance, the one Scripture we must remember is Hebrews 10:24-25. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

The church leaders have decided to hold the very first Excuses and Complaints Sunday on the sixth Sunday of the 13th month. Bring your complaints with you — no excuses.

Verna Davis, speaker and writer, maybe reached at


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