Drunk Service

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Two drunk men came into our sacrament meeting today and sat down at the back of the chapel. The bishopric asked me and my counsellor to keep an eye on them and escort them if they become disruptive. True to form, disruption occurred, and we escorted them out.

Then we came back and listened to a sermon on service.

22 thoughts on “Drunk Service

  1. I assume Kim was trying to point out some irony in this post, but I really don’t see one. Is there something they should have done with these two drunken men that would have provided more service to others? If so, what?

  2. There was one (or more maybe) who were being disruptive, but the irony is that these men, in spite of being what many would consider unacceptable (in a respectable place) were being escorteed out of the building, out of the Lord’s house. They actually weren’t being TOO disruptive, and though I do see the need, in a way, I also see the irony, because service isn’t something that is meant to be wrapped up in pretty paper as a present. These are men that the Saviour would love and befriend and show compassion towards. I do believe the reason they were in there was to be in a warm place. It’s most likely that they were homeless too. Yes, they were intoxicated at 9 am in the morning, but that is sad as well. The irony was the message was serving others, and the reality, in this meeting anyway, was that they were turning away 2 of God’s children. So that the rest of us could peacefully listen to a message about service.

  3. Mary, what should have been done to these men, rather than escort them out? Put them on a cot to sober up? Feed them some soup? You say they were turned away, but the bishop was apparently happy to welcome them there right up until, in the judgment of the Priesthood leader with keys over the meeting, they became a threat to the proceeding. Only under those circumstances were they asked to leave.

  4. ltbugaf

    I wasn’t suggesting anything else SHOULD be done. It was just somewhat ironic, is all. I know, I am also not saying I disagree with what was done. What I am saying is, there is much irony in it.

    And actually they weren’t being that disruptive, but that’s really besides the point. Perhaps it begs the question what is service.

    Understand this, I am NOT at all criticising what was done. I don’t know exactly what the right decision is. I just feel sad about situations like this, and not being full enough of charity I don’t know what the whole answer is. Maybe one day I will know.

  5. actually, not too much. one of them came up to the front and lay down at the front bench then got up to get a tissue from the box on the podium. he took off his hat though :).

    a couple of weeks ago one started preaching in EQ. kind of disconcerted the teacher.

  6. I was that “disconcerted” teacher mentioned in #11. It can kind of throw you off your game when someone interrupts your lesson by calling out random comments from the back of the room and then walking to the front of the class and starting to drukenly preach on unrelated topics.

    Not that I would ever promote the idea that guests should not be welcome in church, but at that moment I was wishing that we could lock the doors at 9:00 and check ID when people come in.

    Is there any way to ensure that visitors can freely attend our services while avoiding situations like this?

  7. Such an interesting situation. But then aren’t there many in church? One I recall…Knowing that a child has been physically abused and more by a parent and knowing that parent is still attending the ward. With a small group of folks rallying behind them…but the child feels only fear at the sight of them…Does that mean church is a new “unsafe” place to be for that child?

  8. Nikki, I think the answer is yes, the place is now not a ‘safe zone’ for the child.

    I think the best way to avoid these kinds of disturbances is to basically inform the visitor about how things are done.

    Disruptive during sacrament? Escort them to the lobby and they can listen on the speakers.

    Disruptive during another part? Have someone take them into the hall and explain how things work.

    I think many LDS make too many assuptions about how people act during church. For some outsiders, things which may seem disruptive to the LDS are common practise at other services.

    In regard to the drunk: You explain how things are done, and if they’re willing to follow the guidelines, they can stick around; otherwise they ay feel free to leave or be escorted out. Easy.

  9. Rick, your advice is so sound, I think you’re needed at church. Hope you’ll come.

    Interesting that you mention some things are considered OK at other services but not in LDS worship. I know my mother in law was appalled and nearly walked out the first time she entered an LDS chapel, because people were so loud and boisterous. She had been raised in an Episcopalian tradition where you walk into a chapel, pull out the bench and pray in silence until the service starts. I’m on her side. I try not have my pre-Sacrament meeting conversations in the chapel, but take them outside. However, in my current ward, I don’t seem to be influencing others much on this point.

  10. Except in reverse, right? You were talking about things that are acceptable in other worship services but not in LDS worship services. Here I’m talking about things that are (unfortunately) acceptable (to some) in LDS services but not in other services.

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