More restaurants should open Sundays

Published 9:35 pm Friday, January 25, 2013

Growing up I was known as a PK — a pastor’s kid. Since the day I was born, my dad served in the ministry and worked as the youth pastor at the church I grew up in for more than 10 years. As a pastor’s kid I was always tagging along with my dad on youth group activities, even when I was in elementary school, and boy, did I think I was something else.

As I grew older, much of my social life began to revolve around church activities — Wednesday night church services, jr. high Bible study groups, church retreats and of course one of my favorites, playing in the sanctuary on Saturday afternoons with my sister, pretending to bring a revival or lead worship while my dad worked on next Sunday’s sermon in his office.

Much of my childhood was spent in the church, and I learned from an early age that fellowship and socializing with other members of the body of Christ, were a big part of our Sunday routine.

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On Sunday mornings, under the watchful eye of my mother, I would sit near the front with my hands folded and try my best to focus on the message from the pastor. When the pastor lifted his head from the final prayer of benediction, and the last praise song had come to a close, ladies grabbed their purses, men shut their Bibles and everyone filed out of their pews and began discussing where they would spend Sunday lunch.

Growing up Sunday was the one day each week when my family would eat out at a restaurant — something I looked forward to all week.

Sunday is the day of rest and worship, and in our house it meant mom didn’t have to cook and my sister and I wouldn’t be responsible for washing the dishes. It is still one of my favorite Sunday traditions — deciding where to go for Sunday lunch after church.

Since moving to Selma, I have visited multiple churches. Each Sunday when the pastor says the final prayer and we are released, people flood the aisles, and I wonder to myself if anyone has similar memories about Sunday lunch?

I wonder this because I have tried, each Sunday to find somewhere to eat and fellowship with friends, but my expectations are often sold short.

Most restaurants in town, I have found, keep their doors closed on Sundays. And while I understand that Sunday is the Lord’s day, I think restaurants around town could have a whole new demographic to serve if they would just open their doors on Sunday afternoons.

When people pour out of churches across town each Sunday they have to decide whether they will go to one of the few open establishments, go home or drive to a neighboring city like Montgomery or Prattville for an afternoon of fellowship over lunch.

We talk so much about the importance of shopping and eating local, and I think this is an area where we could improve.

I hope more restaurants will see that Sunday lunch is a key ingredient to the routine of many of Selma’s residents, and will choose to open their doors.