Saturday, March 8, 2014

True Names of the Church

I was thinking of how the religious landscape of the nation is changing rapidly, and the churches we’ve known as we grew up are disappearing, perhaps not fast enough. Actually, it’s amazing how long these churches have held on. I guess the same stubbornness that made them drive themselves in the ground has also kept them in existence longer than we would expect. 

I drive around the neighborhood and look at their buildings with their clever signs and I consider what their names would be if they reflected their nature.  Here are a few that came to me. Perhaps you recognize them:  

The Church of Hateful Condemnation  
Commonly referred to as “The Gay Haters Church.”
Formerly the Church of Racist Bigotry. 

First Petrified Septuagenarian (FPS)

First Errant Church of the Young and Clueless
        The grandchildren of members of the FPS but they're drastically different. They're new and fresh because they play the drums in worship, plus they have a new volleyball net.  

Baptist Bullies of Main Street 
          Sounds more like a bar, doesn’t it? Or maybe a Broadway musical?

The Church of MeTooism
  As in:  
     “We have a new volleyball net, too.”
     “We have an LED sign that looks like it should hang over a strip club, too.”
     “We stood up for Jesus and against the Gays by eating at ChicFillet, too.” 

The Self Righteous Brothers Bible Church
         A split from The Church of Hateful Condemnation because it was getting too liberal.  This is the exciting new nondenominational church that celebrates that good old time religion.     

Lackluster Saints Community Church
Celebrating the sanctity of dullness, bringing people to new heights of tedium

United Hysteria Fellowship
          Even they don’t know what they’re saying, but they’re so sincere



Sunday, January 5, 2014

Flashbacks

This is the place I go to speak the things I can't say to anyone.... 

I was having a good day today until I went to the church’s grief support group. 

This week they addressed the loss of children. Some had lost grown children. Others had lost them when they were small.  My own children are alive and healthy, for which I am so thankful. 

But I had these... flashbacks, if that's the right word.
                       
I remember being with a young single mother who stood devastated as she looked at the tiny body of her beautiful daughter lying in the casket. Less than a year later, I performed her funeral, too, and I listened to HER mother wail the words, “I can’t stand it!”

I remember tears of lots of parents as they mashed tissues into their faces in a vain attempt to squash their sobs. Other parents simply let it all out and wailed uncontrollably.  I remember them all.


The professional part of me looks at myself and thinks, “Post Traumatic Stress.” Actually, a more accurate term is "Vicarious Stress." But how does it help to know that? Say it’s true... what’s to be done?