The beautiful weather has enabled the congregation of St. Francis Episcopal Church, 5001 Hickory Road in Temple, to meet in its outdoor chapel but, when they return indoors, it should be with some contagious laughter.
Social distancing in the pews will be observed as mandated — but with a St. Francis and Father David Krause spin on it.
“I’m not sure where we got the idea. Other churches are doing something similar,” Krause said. “We tried to give it our own spin and a lighthearted look at some directions.”
Krause shared some of his personal favorites.
A sign on the front pew says, “The front pew is blocked off but it’s OK. Episcopalians don’t sit here anyway.”
One of his favorite signs comes from the Book of Acts.
“Apostle Paul and his companions set sail and came to Persia and Pamphylia. John Mark left them, however, and returned to Jerusalem. Why? Because he sat in a pew that had been marked off. Don’t be John Mark,” Krause wrote.
Saint Augustine of Hippo said you could summarize all of Christian ethics with the simple phrase, “Love God and do as you please.”
St. Francis’ pew version says, “Love God and do as you please — in every pew but this one.”
Saint Francis couldn’t be left out since the church is named after him, according to Krause.
“Start by doing what’s necessary. Then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. Choose another pew.”
In the book of Genesis, Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age in the time that God had promised, Krause said.
“If he were here today, he still wouldn’t be allowed to sit in this pew,” he said.
Krause said he feels blessed to be in Temple. He described it as a great place to be — since he’s been a priest for just over 30 years and has served a variety of communities.
“Although Temple is in many people’s eyes not the golden prize of Austin and doesn’t reach the spectacular heights of New York and San Francisco, it has a charm, a loveliness and a rollicking, good-natured feeling that stands up to any place I’ve ever been.”