September 23, 2013

View from "My" Pew

I am beginning a new chapter in my life this week--starting a part-time hospital chaplain internship. There are four other students in the program, and I am the only non-clergy.

We were talking on Tuesday, getting acquainted, sharing church stories. Someone mentioned how people are attached to a certain pew, always wanting to sit in the same place each week. 

I shared that my only anxiety the first Sunday in a new church was that I would sit in someone's pew. However, I quickly added another perspective, "Sitting in the same pew every week might be the only consistency some persons have amid the chaos or suffering happening in her/his life. Knowing  the same place is waiting each week may provide comfort and eliminate having to make a decision."  
There have been times when I have faced personal challenges, and I sought "my pew" the same way I would greet a close friend or family member. The familiarity of place, of having my seat in God's house, offered me grounding and stability when parts of my life were crumbling, especially since I usually sat by myself.
Although I have heard stories of persons asked to move or change places in a pew, I want to offer another perspective to consider.
Jacquie Reed, 
Fishers, Indiana


  1. Thanks Jacquie. I'd never thought of it that way.

  2. As a pw, I face the same challenge whenever hubby is assigned to a new church; it literally causes anxiety and panic attacks for myself.

    Some years ago, hubby was asked to officiate a funeral at a church near the one we were serving; I went in and sat down; a few minutes later, an elderly man started carrying on and hollering; come to find out, I was sitting in his pew. I was told to leave and escorted out. Hubby witnessed only part of it, but had to go on with the funeral/graveside. I have never forgotten it and never will. Because of that incident, I believe that's why I have panic attacks and anxiety over a 'pew'.