Churches are offering more ways to have fun

The cowboy way.

That’s how Dee Coleman describes the coming church service at Faith United Methodist Church in Humboldt.

“This day and age, people are looking for something, and sometimes they don’t know what,” she said. “We’re inviting people to come and join in a relaxed atmosphere with no pressure. After some music and fun, Big Slim has a short message, following the cowboy way.”

And after all that, there’s grub in the bunkhouse. Now, that’s really the cowboy way.

Big Slim is Gary Ehrle, husband of Christy Ehrle, co-pastor of the Methodist Church grouping in Humboldt County. That’s Humboldt, Rutland, Gilmore City and Livermore.

“Boots and hats are encouraged,” Dee said. “There is good old gospel and country music, and a visit from Daisy Shoefly keeps everyone laughing.”

The Ehrles have been at Faith United Methodist since last July, working with the Rev. Charles Luers and his wife Cherie. The idea for this cowboy church rode into town with the Ehrles. It’s held only on the fifth Saturday of a month, which comes about every three months.

Entertainers represent all four churches. They are The Trailriders, Joyous Abandon Dancers, Marlys and Dee (the Saggy Bottom Girls), Ron Smith, Lois Ann and Friends, and Deb Tilton and Bobby Johnson.

“You don’t need to know the Bible,” Dee said. “The service is intended to extend hospitality to our neighbors and to welcome the stranger.”

The next Cowboy Church is at 5:10 p.m. Saturday at Faith United Methodist in Humboldt. You don’t need boots or a hat to go, you know. Just the time and the inclination.

Years ago, churches held a Sunday morning service, Sunday school and classes for youth. These days there’s so many more activities. Like the Cowboy Church.

On St. Paddy’s Day, a bunch of us at Grace Lutheran led craft making and had a big bunch of fun doing it. I showed how to make yarn angels. That just seemed the thing to do, angels in church and all.

I keep a bag of angel-making stuff in my attic room, and any time I don’t want it, it’s right there underfoot. So when I needed it, there was no panic in my mind until I started to look. That sack of stuff had disappeared. For 10 days I looked every day, then on the day before I absolutely had to have it, I said aloud, “I’m going to look pretty stupid making angels with no angel-making stuff.”

I turned around, and the sack was sitting on top of the box I’d just looked in. Trouble is, the hot glue gun wasn’t in it, nor was the yarn. I found the yarn immediately, but had to buy a new glue gun. When I got to the church, a big tub of glue guns sat on my table. I guess the youth group uses them a lot.

Anyway, everything had fallen into place and we were having a good time.

Until the hot glue hit skin instead of yarn.

I still have that blister.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at