[photopress:Family_Picnic_Cartoon_1009.jpg,thumb,pp_style]by Dave Ellis
A friend of mine, we’ll call him “Doug” (because that’s his name), recently told me that his bishopric had to address an issue in their Sacrament meeting. The issue was people bringing food to the meeting. I first thought it might be people not bringing enough food because I have a scarcity mentality; but really the problem is people bringing too much. When I first heard of this complaint my immediate reaction was guilt (thanks Mom). I wondered if my wife and I had crossed the line on Sacrament picnics. Since I am ever so helpful I decided to make a useful list to help you know when you are overstepping your bounds with food at church. I call it DAVE’S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO KNOWING WHEN YOU ARE OVERSTEPPING YOUR BOUNDS WITH FOOD AT CHURCH!
Issue 1 – A Time and a Place
If you choose to sit closer to the pulpit not to listen better but so you can reach the outlet for your crock pot, you might have a problem. Plus a crock pot is totally inappropriate at church, you’d barely have time for it to warm up! But really folks, if your ‘snack’ requires basting and a license from the Health District then I’d advise you to move to dry packaged goods. Which brings me to issue 2…
Issue 2 – Know Thy Packaging (and thyself, duh!)
If the packaging on the crackers is louder than the crying kids in the ward then you need to do some pre-meeting transfers. Plastic tubs, used properly, really don’t burp so they are safe. Crinkly plastic on the other hand has this unique property: it sounds louder the farther you are away from it. Trust me. In fact, you hardly notice the noises your own kids make (thanks therapy!) but everyone around you is very aware. Especially those whose kids are grown. In fact, they will tell you that their kids never misbehaved in sacrament, just like their elders told them when their own kids were acting up. Point being – just live through getting your kids out of the house and you can have made-up memories too.
Issue 3 – The Land of Many Waters
I see more and more people bringing their own bottled water to church. OK, I admit I’m guilty of this. We do bring a water bottle in the church bag. Not because I’m thirsty but because at some point my son will start a fire (thanks Cub Scouts!). I want to be able to put it out faster than the overhead sprinklers. But outside of small fires you do not need to drink water in the hour and ten minutes we are in the room. You will not die of dehydration, I looked it up.
Issue 4 – Family Preparedness
If you do have little ones that can’t make it through the meeting without a treat I have some, um, workarounds for you (thanks me!). Bring little crackers in a plastic storage bin, but you control it, that way they stay in the bowl and you can sneak some too. My favorite maneuver is to pretend to yawn and then cover my mouth while palming some crackers. If you need a drink don’t lift up a bottle to your mouth, that’s too obvious! Instead get one of those hats that holds two bottles and has a long straw going to your mouth. That way you never lift a bottle and no one is the wiser.
If you’ve enjoyed this article please submit your favorite cracker and gummy bear recipes to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise use the sting of guilt to fuel a productive endeavor.