we did something really radical today.
we went to church.
here in smalltown, usa there are a surprising number of churches to choose from (and bars, too- another time, another time). however, the congregations of most are as you would expect... well, small. this means 'dating' churches can get a little tricky.
i'm from a place where you can disappear. become just another face in the crowd. admittedly, the slow fade has always kind of been my thing. but here, if you were there on sunday, then on tuesday you'll see an elder at the grocery store, and on friday you'll be sitting across a restaurant from the pastor.
today was our first date with a church that was formerly known as baptist, which didn't discourage me from the get go. i was dedicated (read: baptized) in a baptist church after all, folks. this also means i was raised unaware of the stereotypes that are synonymous with the baptist religion, i.e. bible thumpers, snake wranglers, etc, until recently.
well, here's a clear breakdown of how it went.
10:20- drop graham off in the nursery. get matching bracelets... so no one steals him or something, right? flag.
10:25- get introduced to the husband-wife duo, who were becoming official members of the church this morning. the wife says they've been attending for about two and one half years. they decided to go through the process and complete all the steps to join. FLAG.
10:30- proceed into the auditorium for the service, where a war scene is playing on a large overhead screen. something about martyrs and muslim terrorists is being said, then the philippenes (?). the crummy sound left a lot to the imagination... so. FLAG (seriously, i almost panicked and bolted here).
10:35- worship music commences.
11:05- the singing portion of worship ends. i've calmed down a bit now, as we pray for the new members. the sermon begins, passover and the exodus.
11:25- i am appreciating the passover refresher, and i think the sermon will be over soon.
11:35- things are starting to get slightly more passionate. the pastor's words get louder and i'm pretty sure he shouts. i try hard not to laugh out loud, as i watch a baptist stereotype come to life. flag.
11:37- john the baptist is abruptly mentioned. flag.
11:40- the pastor begins a rant about how the bible is true in a literal way- flag, and that everything we need to ever know we'll find in it's pages. flag. he says some flippant things about 'nominal christians', whatever that means. flag. john the baptist. flag. john the baptist. flag. and then he starts thumping the bible... literally, you guys. literally. FLAG.
11:41- i look at husband figure and mumble, 'we've got to get out of here.' he looks relieved that we're on the same page. i begin eyeing the nearest exits.
11:47- the sermon ends and the band comes back to the stage. we immediately beeline for the door.
11:49- we pick up graham and powerwalk to the car.
11:50- i can't stop laughing or believe this is how our first date turned out.
so if you see me at dinner on friday and i look uncomfortable, and i pass on dessert, well, now you know.