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Rotating Sabbaths

What's so special about Sunday?
  (+5, -2)
(+5, -2)
  [vote for,

I passed by a church this afternoon and was struck by how dark and empty it looked. What a shame, I thought. They spent all that money to build and maintain such a beautiful building. Why isn't it being used? Well, duh, it's Friday, that's why. The church will be filled on Sunday. There is a wasted resource here that could be used more efficiently.

The church hierarchy needs to decide that henceforward, everyone whose family name starts with A, B, or C—roughly one-seventh of the population—will celebrate Sabbath on Monday. Those whose family name starts with D, E, F, or G—another seventh—will observe Sabbath on Tuesday, and so on.

This will enable any church building to serve roughly seven times as many people. By consolidating parishes, 6 out of 7 church buildings can be decommissioned and turned into libraries, museums, schools, dance halls, theaters, or other useful public buildings.

Jim Bob of Merriam Park, Nov 20 2010

Eccles cakes http://www.google.c...&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0
[pertinax, Nov 20 2010]

eccles http://en.wikipedia.../Eccles_(character)
[po, Nov 20 2010]

Liddell & Scott http://everything2....eek-English+Lexicon
Actually, not the OED in this case. The OED edition that I have refers, misleadingly, to Athens only. [pertinax, Nov 21 2010]

Night as Frontier: Colonizing the World after Dark, by Murray Melbin http://www.amazon.c...AFTER/dp/0029209404
A pioneering study. [Jim Bob of Merriam Park, Nov 21 2010]


       My new job is to sort news based on relevance. My biggest complaint is that if you can't spit out the point in the first paragraph then you're not getting on my page.   

       If you end that first paragraph with //let's parse the usage of Sunday mass based on the first letter of your last name// or something similar, you get my bun. [-]
daseva, Nov 20 2010

       [daseva] //If you end that first paragraph with...// Watch out, you're in danger of becoming a compulsive editor. That way lies madness <wanders off, cackling hysterically>
mouseposture, Nov 20 2010

       That approach may be somewhat culture-specific, [daseva].   

       I read somewhere about a man who had to make similar business presentations to audiences in various parts of the world, and he found that, for American audiences, he had to arrange his presentation as you have indicated - with the punch-line at the beginning, so to speak. For French audiences, on the other hand, his presentation came across better if he arranged it broadly as [Jim Bob] has arranged this idea, with scene-setting first and action points at the end. In the end he came up with a set of slides that he could show to any audience but, depending on which country he was in, he showed them in a different order.   

       Regarding the idea, I think it might run up against problems with running costs. Many churches rely on volunteer labour and very small amounts of money. Those resources might not easily stretch to supporting the opening of the church on days when many people are at work. (Consider the costs of heating and lighting a large building, for example).   

       Also, dispersing church services in this way runs counter to the nature of the church as an assembly. "Ecclesia" originally refers to an assembly of citizens to hear about and vote on matters of common concern. The "voting" part got forgotten some time in the Dark Ages, but it's not beyond hope of revival.
pertinax, Nov 20 2010

       [Pertinax] That's why I prefer the OED over other dictionaries; it gets straight to the point, giving the etymology first, rather than faffing about with definitions. (Goes off to look up Ecclesia in the OED. Wonders if the famous Eccles is connected.)
spidermother, Nov 20 2010

       Mmm... Eccles cakes...
pertinax, Nov 20 2010

       "Pertinax is very choosy about words."
"Yes, he has OED."
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 20 2010

       One of the things about sabbaths is that if they aren't observed by a large portion of society, the pressure to engage in economic activity is higher. Employers would need people to work on the sabbath more because, for example, shops would need to be open, transport would need to be more active, deliveries would need to be made, banks would need to accept money and so on. Also, if a shop's open, it's more likely to be used by customers than if it isn't, and then you get pester power and so on. The kind of sabbath you propose wouldn't serve society as well as one which was observed on the same day of the week by the majority of people.
nineteenthly, Nov 20 2010

       Sounds like a good way to find a recovery out of an economic slump, to me.
RayfordSteele, Nov 20 2010

       // the famous Eccles is connected //   

       Well, you've heard of Wimbledon Common, haven't you ?
8th of 7, Nov 20 2010

       <Whispers to [pertinax], while eyeing [8th_of_7] sidelong> He's *very* good, you know.
mouseposture, Nov 20 2010

       [bigsleep]//Sunday trading...// You have shown that the sort of caving-in to economic pressure of which [nineteenthly] complains occurred, eventually, even with a very well-entrenched, once a week sabbath. This won't matter where restrictions on Sunday trading have been abolished entirely, but in places where they've merely been weakened, [19thly]'s criticism remains valid: the idea as proposed would lead to further economic encroachment on worker's leisure time.   

       [19]'s broader point, I think, is that sabbaths can be a good thing even from an antireligious point of view. Which seems to be [JBoMP]'s. Hard to tell, though; my irony meter's on the fritz again.
mouseposture, Nov 20 2010

       Baked, I think. Muslims: Friday. Jews: Saturday. Xtians: Sunday. Lunatics: Monday. Chinese Takeaway Owners: Tuesday. Odinists: Wednesday. etc.
pocmloc, Nov 20 2010

       Thor's Day?
baconbrain, Nov 20 2010

       Thor gets bundled into the ‘etc.’ section. Also I don’t know the appropriate ism for his followers.
pocmloc, Nov 20 2010

       Expanding the hours that businesses and institutions stay open is a relatively cheap way to increase economic activity (i.e. create jobs) with almost no new capital investment, because almost no new infrastructure is needed. No individual needs to work longer hours; in fact, no individual should work longer hours if the goal is to create jobs. (Hence there is no encroachment on leisure time.) Businesses will need to hire more workers to cover the extra hours. This is already well understood by economists—my suggestion is innovative only in that it expands the concept to churches, where the effect is dramatic.   

       True, Christians and Jews/Muslims already observe the Sabbath on different days, but that doesn't increase productivity because they don't use the same infrastructure. No building that I know of serves as both a church on Sunday and a synagogue or mosque on Friday-Saturday. (It's a great idea, though.)   

       There are already places where businesses and churches share the same parking lots, and that's better than nothing.
Jim Bob of Merriam Park, Nov 21 2010

       //no individual <i>should</i> work longer hours if the goal is to create jobs. ... Businesses will need to hire more workers to cover the extra hours.// They will have to be forced by the government to adopt that policy, then. Under a more laissez-faire arrangement, the incentive, acting at the level of the individual firm, is to increase productivity as cheaply as possible, which will mean increased hours for the same number of workers, under broad assumptions*.   

       This tendency can be resisted by law, as I've mentioned, or by strong collective bargaining arrangements (undermined, in recent decades, by increased mobility of production) or 3) strong social conventions (e.g. Sunday sabbath). This idea weakens #3 while #2 is a thin reed to grasp, so, if your goal is as stated, to increase employment at the cost of efficiency, I think you require #1. A fourth alternative would be to assert that squeezing more work out of the same number of employees looks bad, but, in the big picture, is better for everybody, because it leads to economic growth, hence increased number of jobs.   

       *specifically, that the marginal cost of labor for current employees is less than the fixed plus marginal cost for a new employee. That will be true unless the fixed cost for a new employee is very low, or the current employees are already working close to their limit.
mouseposture, Nov 21 2010

       Disregarding the title, I think it's a resourceful idea and could be used for other buildings as well. [+]
xandram, Nov 22 2010

       Been done, [bigsleep], (St. Luke's, Holloway), except the partitions don't actually move.
pertinax, Nov 23 2010

       Conversely, there are many large office buildings with massive, impressive atrium spaces which, on Sundays, are empty and could be used for religious ceremonies.
hippo, Nov 23 2010

       University chapels usually serve multiple faiths, unless the school has a religious affiliation.
RayfordSteele, Nov 23 2010


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