We are in the heart of hurricane season
Why is there such a declining trend in church attendance across the land?
Well, the answer could be an absence of “grey-haired” members. And, that is also true right here in Atmore and the surrounding area.
Yes, Sunday after Sunday, you can look around the congregation and see fewer elderly members. And, the reason is because they are simply dying out. Also, there is a noticeable absence on younger folks.
So what are pastors to do? The initial answer, of course, is to pray. Or you could encourage the elderly to eat properly, exercise or work more cross word puzzles to strengthen the brain — anything to extend a longer life. You certainly do not want to see your pastor move on because he no longer identifies with his congregation.
The real answer is getting younger people aboard. Give them leadership roles and let them help soliciting peers into the Sunday morning services. Find out what they want to hear and preach to them in a manner that creates a desire of their wanting to hear more and to do more.
So have patience with your pastors. Let them know you will help them in their efforts to sustain a balanced and dedicated congregation.
Now, how about this hurricane season?
You know right now we are in the very heart of this cyclonic season. Having worked over 30 years in storm-related work, I still have contact with a couple of storm chasers now affiliated with weather-related work. And, they are very concerned about the current activities in the waters below us. I am told atmospheric conditions are very “suitable” for hurricanes and tropical storms. They say it has been several years since conditions were so favorable for storms. That westward leaning crown of high pressure over the cyclone is the culprit. It will not allow the storm to curve northward away from us. Or that was the thinking on Monday when I wrote this column. They also have reason to believe that the season is far from over.
They see even more storms forming out there. And, pretty soon they say storms will occur closer to us in the Gulf or Caribbean.
So, stay on your toes and be prepared if anything comes our way.
In some news from 1954, folks flocked to town from near and far to see Alabama gubernatorial candidate “Big Jim” Folsom. The towering politician made a campaign stop here and brought with him “The Strawberry Pickers,” a good-sounding country band.
The band provided a few tunes prior to Folsom’s arrival and when the big guy came, he perched himself down on the sidewalk in front of Wheeler Crooks’ café, leaned back and removed one of his shiny boots.
Spectators climbed on parked cars and pick-up trucks to get a glimpse of him. One very loud stout lady appeared overjoyed at his appearance and tried to get on a pick-up truck, where he was standing, but she would have had better luck auditioning for a “DealDash” TV commercial. Actually, Folsom did not give a speech that day; he just exclaimed to the crowd, “Y’all come,” an identifiable slogan that helped propel him to earlier campaign victories. He shook hands with many of those supporters and probably garnered several hundred votes that day.
Atmore First Baptist Church staged a gala Sweetheart Banquet that year. Singing duets by Robert Maxwell and Virginia Keller and quartets of Glenn Jernigan, Alan Davis, Maxwell and Tommy Forte highlighted the event.
Football season definitely arrived this past weekend. I suppose most games went as expected and there were a few surprises. The prognosticators are already predicting outcomes for many teams. But, you can rest assured no one can actually predict football games. Over the next three months you will see anything and everything happening.
A starting quarterback will be injured, key players will be suspended and a coach or two will be given the door. So, I think I will sit back and enjoy those games featuring my favorite teams.
By the way, did you notice the shellacking dished out to the Florida Atlantic team? That’s the team coached by former offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. Already, predictors are writing him off as a failure.
My gosh, Paul Bryant lost his first game when he came to Alabama. Give him a chance.
More next week.