30 or 31 years ago, I went on a summer mission trip to the Bronx, New York, New York with our church’s youth choir. Our activities for the week included teaching Vacation Bible School at a couple of locations throughout the Bronx, performing our musical in a number of venues, and doing a little sightseeing.
On our first full day, a Sunday, we worshiped at Bronx Baptist Church. We had stayed Saturday night at the YMCA in Manhattan and had pastries from street vendors for breakfast. The church building wasn’t very large and was unair-conditioned. There were open windows, but there was only about a foot between the church building and the next door building on one side. Otherwise, it was a rather pretty and traditional church.
Our choir sang a couple of songs. We did a toned-down version of our choreography because, of course, it was Sunday morning. We needn’t have worried about the choreography. There were a couple of groups that sang after us that danced with far more energy than we were at all used to on a Sunday morning in our very suburban, very “white” church at home!
Our youth pastor, Richard, preached the message that Sunday morning. By the time he started, it was already getting late because of all the music that we’d had. Not only that, but we were quite warm and getting hungry. Richard started preaching and about the time he hit his stride, the congregation started “helping”. The men tended to say things like “Preach it, Brother!” and “Go on!”, while the ladies said, “Yes”, and “Oh, Lord!”
Unfortunately, we choir members weren’t feeling so spiritual. At least, I wasn’t. I was hot and hungry. And the congregation members kept yelling, “Preach it!” And Richard kept preaching! They said, “Go on”, and he went on! I wanted to stand up and yell, “Stop preaching – we’re hungry!”
Of course, being the well-behaved church girl that I was, I did no such thing. But, I was incredibly relieved when we were allowed to go downstairs to the fellowship hall for a delicious homemade spaghetti lunch!! And we went on to have a great week.
P.S. This is the only time I remember wanting Richard to quit preaching! He really is a very good speaker and I enjoyed my years being in youth group.