Today is the first time we get to go to church after the ward split last week. We lost over 240 members of our ward and are gaining 50 or so from another. So our net change is going from well over 500 members to just over 300. This means that people who have historically sat in the over flow in the Gym are now able to move into the Chapel.
We get to church about 15-20 minutes before the meeting starts. There are 2 reasons for this. One to teach out kids the importants of being on time. We all have a friend no matter what the event dinner, church, child birth or going to the movies they are going to be late. We love these friends and we have learned how to manage them over the years. You lie to them and tell them everything starts 30 minutes earlier than they really do. Unfortunately, with church they will figure this out and start coming late after a few weeks. I was in the the bishopric with a brother whose wife was late every week. We would be on the stand getting ready to start the opening hymn and prayer and she was nowhere to be found. After several weeks of this we started to take bets, or "guesses" on when she would show up. To his credit it took almost 3 months for him to join in. Up until them he would always say "no.. I think she will be on time". If money had been involved I could have totally paid for my kids' college education.
The 2nd reason is that we want a padded bench in the chapel. One big enough to fit our family and the occational stray our kids pick up from someone else's family. When I was released from the Bishopric my family had grown in the 6 years I did not sit with them. We still had 5 kids, however their bodies got bigger and we could no longer all fit onto the same bench when I sat with them... cue fat joke. My solution was to get to church early and take over the benches other families historically sat in. A game of who could be displaced and watch the domino effect. However the peacemaking wife said no. Sometimes I wonder if she feels like she has 6 kids instead of only 5. Well that is a conversation for another day.
Back to my original thought of where to sit today. All the families we normally sit by have been moved to other wards. I am sure it will take a few weeks for the new territories to be established. We will likely sit where we always have if for no other reason I can see my deacons and insure they are not messing around before the sacrament.