Storytelling, John the Beloved and Full Makeup…

coming through... the last thing you want to see before your morning tea...

Sunday the 7th of August had me going to Shoreline Church for a special theatrical performance by Jim Miles preforming John the Apostle. I am a HUGE fan of storytelling, especially when there’s full makeup and a Bible story, so I was absent from the Hill yet again. They don’t even bother staying up anymore. This saddens me a little.

Shoreline was the first megachurch I had heard of here in Austin, mainly because it was right around the corner from where I living when I first moved here and secondly because you couldn’t pass a car without one of their bumper stickers on it (which is only slightly better than the little white apples or My child is an Honor Student at [that school]).

Located North near the Howard Lane / Wells Branch area, Shoreline features a nursery, a school, a sanctuary that seats about a thousand easily, a coffee shop that feature Starbucks (the Green tea Chai was just the thing I wanted to see early Sunday morning), a book store with a full array of books, videos and CD’s from the pastoral and worship staff, and a children’s area with a ship coming out of the wall (which was the last thing I was prepared to see first thing Sunday morning before my tea)

This church is also different in that I wasn’t the only black person there… this was a multicultural church and it showed all through… from the blonde wearing the sari to the near gospel worship, to the female Hispanic Associate Pastor from the south campus who came for the service. Even for the size, the fact that I wasn’t ‘the only one’ gave me comfort. It was still huge, though.

Jim Miles, an actor and storyteller, then appeared on the stage as John the Beloved, sitting at his desk on the island Patmos, greeting the thousands to come to see him.

“You know you’re an old man when a thousand people can sneak up on you…” it was met with a laugh and then to the story of the Gospel from a good source…

“Because I was there”

And for a moment, just after the Justin Bieber joke (don’t ask), I believed him and he took me there with him, as good theater should.

It took me back to one of things I missed about the [cult]Church. Every year we would trek to the District Convention, where one looks mainly to find a mate, perhaps get baptized and/or listen to sermons for 8 hours a day for three days. The highlight, other than baptism on Sat morning(because you were something if you got baptized at the District Convention),  was the Drama on Sunday afternoon.

A full makeup production, it told a story of a Witness in a modern day dilemma that reflected a bible principle (‘good association’, ‘moral cleanliness’ and the like). Then the bass toned narrator would chime in and intro the Bible story that illustrated the point of how we as Witnesses should act. It was heavy handed, but it was designed to be that way and I enjoyed it because it was a story, like the Bible.

And as everyone knows, I am a sucker for a good story.







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.