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.

What I was going to talk about…

Back to religion. I was at the Half Price Books at 1431 and 183 when I saw the sign for a church, pointing in the general direction of the movie theater. I walked by the sign to get to the Bundt cake shop (Nothing Bundt Cakes… get it? HA!) and walked back, stopped at the sign and looked at it for a minute.
A Presbyterian Church in a movie theater? Is that even allowed? I thought that they couldn’t have music in church… what does Church, any kind of church, look in a movie theater?
I went the theater the next day at 9:30am, walked by the parents trying to get their issue to the Cars 2 matinée before they could get out of their early morning stupor, into the lobby, past the concession stand to find a very churchy table with coffee and literature just before the ticket taker.
Two well-manicured and accessorized ladies smiled and introduced themselves, asked if I was here for the movie or the service (which tickled me…. Who asks this sort of thing?), I say the service, they hand me a flyer and I walk by the ticket taker, who shoots a nervous look at who I can only assume is her boss from the reassuring nod he gave her as I walked by.
“you’re in theater 2” she says.
I thank her and round the corner and was met with the Children’s Ministry check in just outside theater 8. This well-manicured and accessorized lady smiled and asked if I was checking in.
“Nope, Just looking in… looking in at the Children’s Ministry… in a movie theater” they smile (I’m sure that have heard that before) and I make my way to the theater proper…
To be continued…

What was supposed to be here…

What was supposed to be here was my celebration on how I finally got it. After 20 years, and more than a few good stories later, I finally found my calling. And about going to a presby church inside an active movie theater (there was Optimus Prime action going on in the next theater over during worship).

But what replaces it is the realization that my time with the Tribe is over. I want to say it’s because we’ve had a good run or the conflicts that have happened, but the truth is is that I have just outgrown the entire mess. I try to get in there with the rest of the passive aggressives, but it just feels puny, too small, and childish. The denial is too rich for my blood.

And I shake my head at what people are willing to fool themselves into believing, thinking that their lives are just fine and everything is beautiful in their own way… as they march confidently off a cliff they refuse to see but are more than happy to point out to the next person.

Does that mean that I am perfect, free of flaw and blemish? *scoff*

fuck no.

I see them and acknowledge them. Some are badges, some are embarrassments, and others are work in progress. And they can’t be used against me. Exclusion can’t be used against me because there are people out there that I don’t spend nearly enough time with that I like better than you. And (this is the most disappointing and shocking) I can’t be manipulated because none of you have a fucking clue about what I want and what I’m really after…

None of you…

Even after you were told!!

Yes, after you were told what you needed to do to get me to do just about anything, y’all each ignored me and tried some tired assed tactic that got results that you didn’t expect. I stand over to the side and shake my head as the slings and arrows land limply long before reaching their targets.

What does this have to do with religion and the Church, Sean?

nothing. nothing at all. This is the 5 am ramblings of a womna that has been up all night thinking about the last couple of weeks and seeing who has been at her side, who has let her down, who she wished had the guts to do or say something (anything), and those who just need to stop (please).

or maybe it’s her passive aggressive way of not being passive aggressive. lol