Garrison Keillor on "Those People Called Methodists"
"We make fun of Methodists for their blandness, their excessive calm, their fear of giving offense, their lack of speed, and also for their secret fondness for macaroni and cheese. But nobody sings like them....If you were to ask an audience in New York City, a relatively Methodistless place, to sing along on the chorus of 'Michael row your boat ashore' they would look daggers at you as if you had asked them to strip to their underwear. But if you do this with Methodists, they'd smile and row that boat ashore and up on the beach! And down the road!
"Many Methodists are bred from childhood to sing in four-part harmony, a talent that comes from sitting on the lap of someone singing alto or tenor or bass and hearing the harmonic intervals by putting your little head against that person's rib cage. Its natural for Methodists to sing in harmony. We are too modest to be soloists, too worldly to sing in unison. When you are singing in the key of C and you slide into the A7th and D7th chords,all two hundred of you, its an emotionally fulfilling moment. By our joining in harmony, we somehow promise that we will not forsake each other.
"I do believe this: People, these Methodists, who love to sing in four-part harmony are the sort of people you could call up when you're in deep distress. If you are dying, they will comfort you. If you are lonely, they will talk to you. And if you are hungry, they will give you tuna salad!
'Methodists believe in prayer, but would practically die if asked to pray out loud.
"Methodists will usually follow the official liturgy, and will feel it is their way of suffering for their sins....You know you are a Methodist if when you watch Star Wars and they say 'May the Force be with you,' you instinctively respond 'And also with you.'
"Methodists think that the Bible forbids them from crossing the aisle while passing the peace.
"Methodists believe in miracles and even expect miracles, especially during their stewardship visitation programs or when passing the plate.
"Methodists believe their pastors will visit them in the hospital, even if they don't notify them that they are there!
"Methodists are willing to pay up to a dollar for a meal at church....They drink coffee as if it were the third Sacrament.
"You will know you are a Methodist when its 100 degrees outside with 90% humidity and you still serve coffee after the service.
"Methodists still serve jello in the proper liturgical color of the season and think that peas in a tuna casserole adds too much color."
"Methodists feel guilty if they don't stay to clean up after their own wedding reception in the Fellowship Hall.
"You know you are a Methodist when doughnuts are a line item in the church budget, just like coffee.
"You know you are a Methodist when it takes at least ten minutes to say goodbye!"