How to Survive for One Hour in an Un-air-conditioned Church

From the Lutheran Handbook, Pages 18 and 19.  This is from an enjoyable 240-page book from Augsburg Fortress Publishers (April 2005),  ISBN #0806651792, and $10 from  We recommend you buy the book.

“Getting trapped in an overheated sanctuary is a common churchgoing experience. The key is to minimize your heat gain and electrolyte loss.

Plan ahead.
When possible, scout out the sanctuary ahead of time to locate optimal seating near fans or open windows. Consider where the sun will be during the worship service and avoid sitting under direct sunlight. Bring a bottle of water for each person in your group.

Maintain your distance from others.
Human beings disperse heat and moisture as a means of cooling themselves. An average-size person puts off about as much heat as a 75-watt light bulb. The front row will likely be empty and available.

Remain still.
Fidgeting will only make your heat index rise.

Think cool thoughts.
Your mental state can affect your physical disposition.  If the heat distracts you from worship, imagine you’re sitting on a big block of ice.

Dress for survival.
Wear only cool, breathable fabrics.

Avoid acolyte or choir robes when possible.                                 
Formal robes are especially uncomfortable in the heat. If you must wear one, make sure to wear lightweight clothes underneath.

Jesus survived on prayer in the desert for 40 days. Lifting and extending your arms in an open prayer position may help cool your body by dispersing excess heat. If you’ve been perspiring, though, avoid exposing others to your personal odor.

Be Aware
Carry a personal fan-or use your bulletin as a substitute.  Worship services scheduled for one hour sometimes will run long.  Plan ahead.

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