Things You Don't Want to Hear at a Church Social

Cliff Simmons, organizer at St. Paul's United Methodist Church
Cliff Simmons, organizer at St. Paul's United Methodist Church
Church socials usually draw a big crowd with neighbors and church members
Church socials usually draw a big crowd with neighbors and church members

Church socials and me

There was a time in my younger years that a church social was viewed by the community as sacred. I never really understood that idea, but when I grew older I thought it might have stemmed from the event being held at a church. And that's not a bad thing.

I never got to attend a church social because I had very strict parents. In their day, box suppers was the place to be if you were a young person. Box suppers were held at community school buildings on a Friday or Saturday night and it was big fun. Guys who were "sweet" on a certain girl would bid on her basket of goodies and the highest bidder would not only get the goodies, but spend some time with the girl while eating the food items that she prepared at her home.

Fruitcake is just of the delicious food served at a church social
Fruitcake is just of the delicious food served at a church social

Things Permitted at
Church Socials

  • Quietly talking to members of the opposite sex
    Eating moderate-amounts of light snacks
    Drinking tasty sodas of various flavors
    Listening to soft music
    Casual dancing (within supervised guidelines)

Source: Kenneth Avery

Church socials and rules

Church socials were in reality not that different, except there was no bidding and no baskets of great food. But there was plenty of clean fun had by single girls and boys as well as the married couples as well. The older married couples served as chaperone's for this event. As if a boy and a girl were going to "cross the line" of decency and act naughty in a dark corner of the church basement.

So with that being said, let's envision for a moment a quiet, peaceable church social event entitled, "Church: We Are People Too!" and everyone is getting along great and the chaperone's have little or nothing to worry about.

That is until . . .some deep bass voice comes blaring over the church basement speakers hung high in each corner and begin to announce . . .

Things You Don't Want to Hear at a

Serving one another teaches humility at the church social
Serving one another teaches humility at the church social

Things Forbidden at
Church Socials

  • Openly or secretly kissing members of the opposive (or same) sex
    Gorging on light snacks
    Drinking beer that has been sneaked into the social
    Showing no self-respect dancing to wild music
    Telling vulgar jokes in front of others

Source: Kenneth Avery

  • "A car thief has made-off with a cream colored Buick that was parked in the church parking lot."
  • "Did you people in the basement know there is a flu epidemic going around?"
  • "Food being used in the church social all went past the expiration dates."
  • "A sex offender was seen near the church this evening."
  • "Our local police will be checking people leaving the social for signs of drinking."
  • "Be careful for rats, ladies and gentlemen. We forgot to pay our monthly exterminator bill."
  • "Our church historian found out this morning that our church building is sitting on an old cemetary."
  • "Watch out for the big water pipe in the basement ceiling for we feel it may burst at any moment."
  • "If you guys are trying to sneak a kiss from a young lady, we installed video cameras last week."
  • "If anyone sees a Boa Constrictor in the basement, have your chaperones to escort you outside."
  • "If you feel the building shaking, do not pay it any attention."
  • "Patty Dillon" is missing! If you know of her whereabouts, tell a chaperone immediately."

I saw tomorrow look at me

From little children's eyes;

And thought how carefully we'd plan

If we were wise.

— --MYRTLE BURGER

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Comments 6 comments

MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 20 months ago

"Eating moderate amounts of light snacks" indeed. I grew up Baptist, and we pigged out, fried chicken, ham, potato salad, baked beans, pies, and the best cakes in the world. What kind of church did you attend, anyway? I never heard of a box supper until I read Ozark history. It appears those went out in the late 1920s where I lived. One night a carload of us teenagers sneaked away and drove off in a Buick belonging to one boy's dad. We went for a joy ride and on a long stretch of highway, somebody look at the speedometer. We were going 108 m.p.h. Jesus must have been riding with us than night because we made it safely back to church. I guess he got a thrill. Fortunately, we didn't get into trouble, and my daddy didn't find out about it because he was an atheist and didn't go to church.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 20 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

MizBejabbers,

I must say that this comment alone would make a great book. Look at all of the elements.

Fun-loving kids riding 108 MPH in a Buick who belonged to one of the kid's dad who was an atheist.

And Jesus riding with you that night and protected you from the law.

Great stuff I am telling you.

As per box suppers, from 1955 through 1961, the place where I had my first day of school: New Home School, a wooden frame, proverbial two-room schoolhouse with a man and woman, married to each other, were THE teachers. The man was also our principal.

Okay. That is the scene.

Box suppers were big prior and in those last years I mentioned. You see? I grew up in a place far smaller than Mayberry where Andy Taylor and Barney Fife were the sheriff and deputy.

But the church socials were fewer than box suppers and for a reason that I am guessing. No bidding on baskets of food made by a pretty girl and no walking with her if you won and NO stolen kisses for sure.

Ugh.

Thanks for your kind words. I just love your comments.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 20 months ago

Thanks, Kenneth, actually it was MY daddy who was the atheist. I've written about him. It would make an incredulous short story, wouldn't it? With a little embellishment, of course. I grew up in a little town called Batesville, Arkansas, population about 5,000 when I was in high school.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 20 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

MizbeJabbers,

Okay. I see. But still, I am talking another "Sling Blade," without the blood and violence. Batesville, AR? Oh, you are already in a prime location to author a book and a screenplay. I heard Billy Bob Thornton tell about the small Tennessee town where Sling Blade was filmed and he was a friend to a lot of the people in this town and now look at him.

Miz, I am serious with you. If I never "make it," myself, I want one of my great friends and writers to "grab the brass ring."

At least think about it. Deal?

I would love to buy your DVD of the story you have in your imagination.

FYI: Did you know that Batesville, Miss., is famous for making coffins?

The first time I saw one of their trucks roll through my town, I almost ran and hid.

You see, success is all around us.

Take care and please do this.


travmaj profile image

travmaj 20 months ago from australia

i grew up in a small village in England. As we belonged to the congregational church we had Chapel Socials. I remember how we looked forward to them, most exciting at the time. Dressing up and dancing - all ages, yes parents went too

Of course Elvis came along and changed all our lives, we rebelled, but sadly, only in imagination. Love your story and MizbeJabbers - what fun.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 20 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

A SINCERE THANKS . . . travmaj,

for your sweet comment. I appreciate your input. Yes, Elvis did change a lot of lives, but not mine that much. The Beatles did change parts of my life, but all in all, I am still me.

Thanks for your input and visit with me anytime.

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