The Decision Whether to Call Off

When you are in a position to call off an event, I have first hand experience that you have several scenarios going through you head. There are also several factors that need to be taken into consideration as well.

snow-dayJust to let everyone know, parking lots and untreated roads are very slick.  The first thing when I woke up this morning, I looked out the window and there was a dog running across the parking lot in the apartment complex I live in.  He slid about thirty feet, looked to see if something was around, and got back up and started running again.  It was my laugh for today.

Our church, Calvary Baptist Church in West Frankfort made the decision to cancel church services today at 11 pm last night.  I received notification of a handful of churches that called off at the last minute this morning.

I am going to take this from the perspective that I have learned from being a pastor, substitute teacher, basketball official, and now a sports writer.  One thing that is a guarantee, there will be someone will gripe about the decision.  This is not always the case, but it is the norm.  When it was circulating around on social media last night our church was canceling, everyone agreed with the decision and some said they were going to shut their alarm clock off.

Since it is a Sunday, I am going to talk about the experience in the decision of whether to call of church or not.  Two of the churches I pastored everyone was on the same page.  There were three of them; well there was one and always one person that griped about the decision one way or the other. They were the type of individuals, that if you gave them a $100 bill, they would find something wrong with the serial number.

There is the old cliché “the devil won” when you call off services.  In fact, one church I pastored, there was someone that would go to the church and put a 1 up on the Sunday School board for the devil being there that morning. This individual did this in the midst of a Heavy Snow Warning.  When he pointed it out the next Sunday to me, I had a good one liner back at them.  I bit my tongue though.

Here are the things that I always considered when throwing my two cents worth into the decision.  First the elderly in the conversation needs to be considered.  They are the ones that are usually are there every time the doors are open.  It is not worth them breaking a hip.

Second, is it worth someone getting in a fender bender or worse?  In my point of view, attending a worship service on mornings like this, it is not a necessity.  It would have killed me inside personally if someone was in a wreck on the way to church.

Third, I pastored small churches. The risk of heating an empty building was taken into consideration.  The last church I pastored was a small congregation in a huge building.  For the sanctuary to be warm enough on Sunday, the heat had to be turned up Friday.  If snow was in the forecast on Friday we made the decision then.  There were a couple times the snow missed us, but I have no regrets in the decision we all made.

Whether there will be school in Franklin County tomorrow your guess is as good as mine.  As of now, I say the odds are 50-50.   I know several school administrators personally and I have had the conversation before of the factors that go into the decision that has to be made whether to call off or not.

You can rest assured knowing that altering child care plans is taken into strong consideration.  Also, there is a concern that students might not get a hot meal, in which they can have two on each school day.  No matter what school your child attends, they are well loved by the administration, teachers, and support staff.  They do not replace you as a parent, but every child’s welfare that walks through the doors is the reason why they make every decision they do.

Administrators travel the country roads inside their district before the decision is made.  Several do not take into a consideration that we are mainly a rural county.  There is a huge difference than driving a school bus down a gravel road than driving a four wheel drive down Main Street.

When the decision that is made there are always some that will  not like it.  It seems like it is the same circle that will take to social media and gripe whether the decision made is yea or nay.  It is also usually the same individuals that posts the question, is this for me?  To avoid this question any post I will make, if all county schools are closed, each school will be in parentheses.

Last, there was one basketball game played in Southern Illinois last night.  Massac County beat A-J last night.  The rest were postponed. This Thursday night seems like a popular night to reschedule games across Southern Illinois.

There is an epidemic of an official shortage statewide.  In fact, Murphysboro had to call off their game with Herrin Friday night because the officiating crew could not make it from the Metro East because of slick roads, replacements could not be found.

When a game has to be rescheduled transportation, other events, and yes  officials have to be considered.  Most of the games on the docket last night were non conference games.  It would not surprise me if there are some that are cancelled, or only playing a varsity game only because officials could not be found.

If you like sports, I encourage you to call the IHSA or contact a veteran official.  The seven years I was one was a very rewarding experience for me.

I hope this did not appear as a negative rant, I just hope that I shed some light on the logistics of decisions that are made in regards to cancellations.  From being there first hand on some, it is not an easy one.

I am taking everyone’s word for it that it is cold outside.  Just make it a sweat pant day, and enjoy the time today if you choose to stay in.  What ever you do make it a great day.

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