The winding path of faith.

Well, my compatriots, yesterday was a interesting day on my journey...
 I set off in the saddle riding with my mate to visit a local chapel, as he had been called in to listen to the sound system there and trouble shoot it. The best way, of course, is to see how they use it in action.

As I said before, one of my quests and interests lay in Cathedrals and Temples....as a Wizard, I do enjoy learning and growing and the customs and cultures of others.

When we walked in, the ushers greeted us immediately, and asked to show us to our seats (the church is not big)...
and one asked Harry, "Which side would you like to sit on?"
To which he smart ass replied: "The Bride's side".
Which I thought was funny, but sort of stumped the usher.
Then of course, Merlyn, being the walking encyclopedia of useless information, proceeds to say, "That would be the LEFT side".
The usher looked at me incredulously. I said, "In days of olde, most men were trained to sword fight with their right arm/hand. The scabbard is worn on the left so he can pull it from the right. The groom would be able to pull his sword and fight with his right hand, while holding tight to and defending his Bride with his left hand."

"Oh". she said.

Ok, so I was gonna try to make it fun. It was a long shot this morning with that cause. Now, know you, I've been to LOTS of services in my day. All kinds. It matters not. But this morning, was the most tedious, joyless, going thru the motions service I think I'd ever been too.

Excerpts:

The kids sermon was over their heads, and the lady pointing out how to find the passage they were looking up together, couldn't find the book of 1st Peter in the Bible she had, because: "This is not my Bible, I'm not familiar with hers". (??!! They are laid out all the same, lady!) OY.

The pastor started to read from the New Testament for one of the gospels, and one of the congregation ladies interrupted the pastor to tell the congregation to find the passage: "It's in the Bible".
(???!! WOW. Why didn't I think of that?)

The mother behind me let her baby kick the seat and talk instead of using the "crying room". I hate that. While it's great you take your kids with you...be sensitive of other people. No one wants to adore your baby when the time is for personal meditation. Be respectful.

The service ran long, and they hadn't done the Offering yet, and it was also "Communion Sunday"...so the pastor thought it best to just "combine the two" and "when you are coming up for Communion, you can put your offering in the plate by the altar." (I, ah, thought this was a free salvation...usually the Offering is done at the beginning of the service and not bumped up into the Communion. I felt it was crass. Harry was thinking of going up for Communion, but not after that. No way. Didn't want to commune with that.)

They didn't sing the Doxology (one of my favorites) but skipped it for time's sake.

The sermon was about tithing...and the pastor informed the congregation that her "commitment this year would be "close"...but not so, because the Church doesn't know all the things I do." (she is paid by the Church. If you want people to tithe...be an example...)

The gift of the Church ladies was to "send blankets" to a third world country because they need them." How'ere, the blankets they were sending were gray, scratchy army blankets with the Church logo on them. Good grief. Send them soft, plush velour ones for God's sake. And lose the emblem. If it's a gift of the spirit, it's the thought that counts. Not advertising. Ugh. 

The closing hymn, was "This little light of mine" an old FUN spiritual...was hopeful to Harry & I to actually have fun to sing with something before we left.  (we did enjoy "Sing with all the Saints in Glory" and that was good)...but the last song...this little light.... resembled NOTHING about the song in tempo or melody...except the words. Who changed THAT? And WHY??? It certainly didn't improve the song.

Needless to say, after giving up my free hour for this service, of which I felt deprived of ANY spiritual input..and of which it ran LONG....I realized that my services that I do at the UU are so much more fun, giving, and touching. 
So I guess I did get something out of it after all. I did enjoy the space, the candles, the organ music, the smell of everyone's mingled perfume and the vibes of all the anticipation. Harry & I enjoy singing, and we were complimented on our lending our voices to the hymns. There were several people who reached out to us as newbies there, with a smile and a handshake and that was nice. But...that was the extent of the good parts.

I didn't say a word. I got to the car, shut the door and before I could say anything, Harry spoke it precisely for me: "That was the worst church service I have ever gone to in my whole life."

Bzinga.
At least he was able to listen to their wireless mic and check their sound system out to help them to be heard a bit better. For what it's worth. I admire their faith and their mission, but I think they missed the point.
 JOY. SPIRIT. LOVE.

So we traveled homeward having had the wide world in front of our eyes.

I planned my week ahead for my Wizards Journey this week.
There is much to do.
There are problems to fix.
There is magick to work.
There is joy to be found in the mundane.
I made a plan for each day of the week and what to try to accomplish.
I will then just take each day as it comes, with the sun, and do my best.
There is a saying in my bathroom (filled with quotes and pictures) that says:

"Keep on keeping on. It takes faith. It take courage. It takes integrity."

We had company over of my good friends Lori and Chris and Nick.
We cooked, we ate, we drank, we laughed, we spoke of cabbages and kings,
we communed with each other.
We felt feelings, we cried, we hugged and we loved.

And that was the best Church of all for me.

2 comments:

MissLorieO said...

It was a pretty awesome Sunday service for me, too. Love you.

Dorothy L. Abrams said...

Your post reminds me of lots of churches I forgot about. No matter how much we struggle now, we have escaped THAT! EeeeeeHA!