Church Trekking

I have been visiting a lot of churches lately, so much so that folks I run into from the Hill tell me that they miss me when I‘m at HEB or Target  and The Youngest Daughter wonders if I will ever find a home church.

“Are you ever going to settle down?”

“You sound like you’re middle aged and waiting for grandchildren before you die. You might consider getting a driver’s license before you worry about that.”

“Wait… before  your  grandchildren or your church, because I don’t want kids.”

“never mind…”

All the nagging aside, there are some  things that I want to make clear:

  • Yes, I am still going to church regularly…
  • Yes, I consider The Hill Community Church my home church
  • And yes, I have been very, very, unfaithful…

to the Hill I mean…

As you have seen from the blog, I paid a visit to Live Oak Presby, (The Church in the Movie Theater) and I mentioned that I have been to Austin Stone (The Church that Concrete Built). I even dropped in at Celebration NW (The Church Formally Known as Celebration Cedar Park), and I am going to Shoreline this Sunday at 9…



Because Shoreline is having a Storytelling who is going to go full makeup and do a John the Beloved thing, and I am a sucker for storytelling, John the Beloved and full makeup.

If you are asking me why I am visiting so many churches all of a sudden, the real answer is…

I want to see what is out there, especially before seminary.

I want to know what ‘church’ is and what is can be and what people are calling church nowadays.

I want to know that there is a place for a woman to use their gifts without being relegated to the Woman’s and Youth Ministry Ghetto, which I found is your only choice if  you are a PCA Presby or a follower of Mark “women are more gullible that men and as such shouldn’t be Pastors (Good Lord, I feel sorry of the gal gullible enough to marry him)” Discroll .

Seriously, that jackbag’s articles had me scared, and when I found out that his church Mars Hill kicks out folks that don’t agree with him and had the following to say about women in ministry, I was unwilling to join Austin Stone, which is sister church and a member of the same church plant group Acts 29 as Mars Hill. It took me back to my [Cult]Church days.

If you think I’m exaggerating, this comes from a from the Mars Hill Booklet “Church Leadership”:


Without blushing, Paul is simply stating that when it comes to leading in the church, women are unfit because they are more gullible and easier to deceive than men. While many irate women have disagreed with his assessment through the years, it does appear from this that such women who fail to trust his instruction and follow his teaching are much like their mother Eve and are well-intended but ill-informed.. Before you get all emotional like a woman in hearing this, please consider the content of the women’s magazines at your local grocery store that encourages liberated women in our day to watch porno with their boyfriends, master oral sex for men who have no intention of marrying them, pay for their own dates in the name of equality, spend an average of three-fourths of their childbearing years having sex but trying not to get pregnant, and abort 1/3 of all babies and ask yourself if it doesn’t look like the Serpent is still trolling the garden and that the daughters of Eve aren’t gullible in pronouncing progress, liberation, and equality (p. 43).

Wow… yeah… sorry about the tangent, but folks like that give me a reaction akin to poison ivy.

I want to know why there aren’t more house churches and why megachurches seem to give some pastors spiritual hard-ons I have heard more than one pastor, when told that I didn’t want to join a BIG church, get wide eyed and state “There’s nothing wrong with a BIG church” in a voice just slightly too loud to fit the circumstances.

Uh huh. Cover it with the hymnal and side step to the bathroom so you can finish off. We can wait.

I want church to be more like libraries or local bars, a place where people show up to find peace, instruction, a few answers and even some entertainment.

I want to see where I fit in that.

I want to see the lay of the land and where my path lies in it.

And I want to see a cat in full makeup doing his John the Beloved thing.

Live Oak

When I walked into the theater, It was like walking that surreal portion of my imagination, where churches were smack in the middle of where people were. Not secular, mind you…. Not the McWord of God where you can have it your way, but the Word and the Truth where it was accessible.

Like a movie theater.

Inside, there was everything you would imagine in a modern church. The screen was there waiting for worship to start, the instruments and mikes were there for worship, and worship music was the going through the speakers getting us ready for the service. People were milling around and more than one person introduced themselves.

The worship started and I started to sing ( I should stop here to remind you that even though this was in a movie theater, it was first and foremost a Presbyterian Church. This means that if they sing at all it is very, very quiet.) I got more than a few looks, the most embarrassing one from the gal who was actually singing. I don’t believe that she was mad that I was singing in as much as she was surprised that I was singing over a whisper.

With worship over, the tithe and offering was collected, lead by a female pastor, Chesney Szaniszlo. This is big for me for a reason that I will cover at another time.

Then there was the sermon. The pocket-sized pastor, Caz Minter (swear to you that I could have walked off with him in my purse, but I would’ve had to remove the Austin Stone folks from last week first) was engaging, humorous and drew you in. The sermon, part of a series on prayer, interactive and involved among other things, putting our desires and worries into a stone and casting it into water. It was pointed out later on that this was not a typical service. It figures I would show up on play date time.

After service, I assisted in tear down and the on to Rose’s Tortilla factory for fellowship.

I enjoyed it and would return. As the second denominational church I have attended during my search, it helped me reconsider what I am thinking about them (‘run away’) and that is a good sign.