Remember Sunday night church?

Once the Sunday night sermon kicked in, it was time for me to check out. I would weirdly do a butt-scoot slide down the pew away from my father’s firm grip. And once I slid down the pew a bit, I could lie down. If I couldn’t catch some Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday night TV, I was going to catch a snooze. At this point, I could also call the old Sunday night option play. I either took a nap or escaped all the church stuff by slyly slipping down to the wonderfully fantastic world beneath the pews. THIS is where Sunday night church got good. Below the pews were feet and legs to slither past like live land mines. Like a cave waiting for an explorer, the space beneath the pews called to me. It was a video game without the video. Like an army man maneuvering on his belly, the goal was to see how far to the front of the sanctuary I could go. Getting past the Peters family war zone was the real test. Bill and Thelma Peters had nine kids who all sat in the third row from the front, left side of the sanctuary. They all behaved perfectly.

“Alan Ray!” Dad whispered through gritted teeth. “Get up here right now! What in the world are you doing down there anyway?” Dad yanked me up off the cold tile and walked me outside the auditorium. The faithful few of Sunday night church turned away from the sermon to see the shame of another kid being escorted out. The embarrassment was an essential part of the punishment.

But the truth is, Dad needed a break as much as I did. We both would sit outside in the fresh air until the sermon wrapped up. Dad didn’t say much. I was thankful my father never took his belt off at church. That was the best message during Sunday night church.

Thankfully, Sunday morning is Cumberland will be NOTHING like my Sunday night church experiences growing up.

In fact, Sunday will be rockin’ with our very first Family 5th Sunday. All our kids (3 and up) will be jamming the auditorium this weekend. The Creative Team, Communication Team, and Family Ministry Team have all collaborated for a spectacular service. This will be one for the books. Seriously, someone will write a book about this Sunday. Not one kid will be climbing under the pews—if we had pews. I promise.

We’ll be ending our I John series with a very creative look at chapter five, verse 21. Take a look. But get ready. Raise the bar. Set your expectations high for Sunday. I’ll also be introducing Cumberland’s new Lead Pastor – who will begin his work on June 1st, 2031!

Y’all. This really is gonna be good. See you on Sunday!

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