Saturday, May 21, 2016

Last week my pastor, or whatever... I don't even know what she is, I guess she's A pastor... not MY pastor. I don't have a pastor. I don't know what a pastor is for. Anyway, that woman who runs my church said that young families were the future of the church. That's not true. They aren't. That's just something that somebody said. Having young families in the church is no vaccination against decline and boredom. In fact, I am not sure that concentrating on young families results in anything more than a general dumbing-down and neglect of worship and study. Look, I like seeing the little ones in church too. I think it's nice to have them there, even with their child-like antics. They are children, after all.  But this near-worship of the young, nuclear, dominant-paradigm like family is sickening. They require more pastoral care, don't have as much disposable income, and less time to volunteer.  Honestly, what's there to love about them? 

There's an edge of sour grapes in there, I know, because I want people to believe that middle-aged lesbians are the future of the church, or I at least want them to want us there. But we are not in anybody's desired demographic. No pastor has ever gotten up on a Sunday morning and prayed, "Oh, dear Lard Gesus, please send us some middle-aged lesbians." That has never happened. Yet, we typically have more disposable income, more time to volunteer, and we don't require all the servicing of a young family. What's not to love about the middle-aged lesbian? We're great. 

You know who else is great? Old people. Look around at your congregation tomorrow and tell me how many heads are grey or bald and how many are more youthful. You'll probably see more grey heads than youthful ones. And that does not mean that the church is dying. It just means that the people there are old. And, yes, they will die. That's a given for pretty much all of us. But people are getting old all the time, there is an almost inexhaustible supply of old people because there are more and more all the time. Just because the people in a church are older doesn't mean it has one foot in the grave. Old people are like lesbians, they are easier to care for, have more money, and more time. Plus, there's the added advantage of them being closer to dying so they might be a little more serious about, you know, God. I love 'em! I'd go to a church full of old people.

You know who else is SUPER at doing church? Drag Queens. We are there to think about the transforming love of God, to imagine how our lives could be fabulous, to gaze upon the divine. What could be more helpful than to see a gorgeous drag queen come down the aisle? I'm not talking about trannies, I'm talking about real queens! If I were making up the rules for church we wouldn't have a procession without them! 

And we should get some trannies too because they want to be included. And they are so excited about their new sex that their enthusiasm spills out onto everything they do. So, I'd get some trannies too. But, I'd encourage them not to do too much to their bodies. It's not healthy. But just wear the kinds of clothes you want and act like you want... nobody cares. Just don't hurt yourselves. But, come in and be one of us and have a donut. I'd give everybody a whole donut. We only get half a donut in my church. 

Also, I love seeing homeless people at church. In my parish I only see them outside the gate, and I enjoy visiting with them. They are the kinds of people Jesus would have been talking too. Some of them don't have fingers or a leg. One is blind. They're all poor. But they are always happy to see me. I give them money, that's true enough, but I like to think they actually like me too. We always have a little laugh together. The homeless guys call me by name. Some of them. I bet not one person in my parish church, a church I've been attending pretty regularly for about a year, knows my name. Really, I am totally invisible. One day after church somebody saw me giving them some money and told me that I'd given them too much, and the other one said that I shouldn't encourage them. Really? Couldn't they see that it was ME who was getting encouraged? Makes you wonder who's the blind one.

Of course, the downside of single people is that they may actually have time to study the lectionary readings, to read church history, and to sort of be "with-it" in terms of what's going on. They might not be sufficiently stupid and therefore harder to control. So, I do see the wisdom of excluding single people. God knows the very last thing we want in church is people who know what's going on. 

Anyway, that's my rant about the young families. I kind of hate them. I mean, I'll try not to. But, really... 


  1. Several new same sex couples are enlivening my former parish. It's encouraging. You are correct!

  2. Thanks, Linda. As an old person, I really appreciate what you said. You're right that there is an endless supply of us, and the death rate is 100%...for all humans, not just old people. I was once involved in a number of ministries in my church, but I'm not involved in any now, except the occasional ministry of presence. I wonder how long I could be missing from the congregation before anyone inquired about me.

  3. Well, presence is really the job of the laity. It's not all the things they tell us to do. Meaningless little things like make a rota, or read a psalm, or whatever. But to show up, and to pay loving attention to the minute of the liturgy... that is the highest gift we can offer. Sometimes when I see people in the nave yucking it up and slurping their drinks and such I just wonder where were their mentors? I remember when I became an Episcopalian Anne Landry and Gerogiana Greeley sort of took me on and they made sure I knew how to do things and what everything meant. I always tried to hand off those traditions with as much care as they did. Apparently, I didn't do a very good job, though, because it's all a mess now. Keep showing up. You're doing the heavy lifting when you do that.

  4. I haven't gone to church in 3 months for health reasons. I informed the rector early on. I have not heard from a single person in the congregation which I've belonged to for 20 years, nor has the pastor called back to ask how I'm doing. What surprised me is that I don't miss going, and now I doubt if there's any community for me to return to.

    1. I find that I don't miss it either. Not really. What I miss is the idea that I had about it, but the idea has been found to be false. I am sorry that your church has not been more supportive to you during this hard time. They really failed you.

      In the early days of God, God would instruct people to make an altar of unpolished stones or dirt. In any event, it wasn't supposed to be a lasting structure. I wonder what that God thinks of our buildings and our altars. God is everywhere. The whole planet is an altar. If the church is in one place or another place, then it doesn't really exist at all. You have the church because you are the church, as am I. But I am sorry about your lovely little parish.

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  8. Sorry. I messed up again. I'm on my ph

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  10. Linda, sorry for messing up your thread. I tried to post the comments from my phone and failed...obviously and spectacularly. What I was trying to say was that I've done the same, too often not following up when people were missing from the congregation, so I was part of the problem, too, at least since I've grown older. I no longer know what the church is, and I don't see its relevance in my world today. God is still present, and I'm grateful for that. My family and friends both in real life and online are still with me, too. Thanks for reading and for your patience.