Mummers' Strut

            They came pouring out of the double-glass doors of our Educational Building smiling, laughing, humming, and wearing the biggest smiles I’ve seen in a long time. A few were giggling; and some were shimmying. One tried to get me to dance. That’s when I started looking around for someone in charge to bring a little order to this unruly group.

            Was it our Junior High kids bursting out of Sunday night Youth Group? No, sir! These were our senior citizens on their way home from last weekend’s Senior Luncheon. Due to a family commitment that started on Saturday morning and ran into the afternoon, I missed it. I arrived just as lunch was breaking up and that’s when I ran into all those happy, happy people. Everyone I spoke to last Saturday—the seniors, their children who drove them, and Deacons—all agreed that this was our best Senior Luncheon in Thompson’s history.

            As always, our Deacons set out a feast fit for royalty. Amy Brewer again decorated Fellowship Hall beautifully for a party. But it was the entertainment that raised a wonderful luncheon to a whole new level. Our Deacons invited members of the Joseph A. Ferko String Band. You know them as Mummers who strut their stuff down Broad Street in Philadelphia every New Years’ Day. Three members of the Ferko Band played here last Saturday.

            Many years ago a man left our sanctuary one Sunday when we had clapped our hands in rhythm to a chorus of praise we sang in worship. This man was an old school Presbyterian and he didn’t care for the song or the hand clapping. He scolded me, “I heard a Presbyterian minister say once that there should be no clapping in church. No clapping!” I politely nodded but thought to myself, “Well, I’m a Presbyterian minister and I think clapping our praise makes God very happy indeed.” At the end of the day and at the end of life I’m counting on the God of joy.

            It was fair to wonder how a bunch of Presbyterians would respond to an invasion of Mummers. I was told that the 52 people there sang, clapped, and danced. I heard that a conga line formed and the whole bunch of them did the Mummers Strut around Fellowship Hall. It was wild, it was fun, and it was joyful. Praise God, the God of all joy!