Church, Lunch, and a Movie

Today we went to church, had a so-so lunch, and went to a movie. The dogs weren’t happy that we were gone for so long, but they forgave us anyway – maybe because it’s Sunday, but more probably because dogs forgive everyone almost immediately once you pet them and let them go outside. It’s just the way they are. Too bad people aren’t that way, too, don’t you think?

This morning Diane, Diane’s Mom, Jean, and I were forced to sit in the front row at church because Larry and Shirley sat in our seats. It was so … so … un-Lutheran of them. I mean, they usually either sit behind us, or a couple of rows back. This morning, however, they arrived before us and decided to move into our space. The nerve of them. Both Larry and Shirley were ahead of us in High School so I guess they were just exerting their superior position, although they’ve never done so in the past. Perhaps they were punishing us for being a little bit late. That could be it, too. So, we moved to the front, where Mabel, Nancy, Kim, Kevin, and Lisa usually sit, but they weren’t there today, so it was OK.

While listening to the sermon I got to thinking, something I don’t usually do in church. Usually, I just listen to the sermon, try to figure out how the ‘Message’ pertains to me, or how I can make myself a better person by making it pertain to me. Then, there’s the music. Old hymns that have historical meaning, written by people hundreds of years ago, that actually tell a story. Our pastor, Rory, is a wealth of knowledge regarding hymns, and regularly gives us background on the person who wrote a hymn he’s about to help us sing. Without failure, the story is compelling and filled with vivid evidence of spirituality, and the author’s un-questioning belief in God, even in the face of incredible adversity. True believers, all. They humble us.

After church I talked with Pastor and we both be-moaned the current lack of attendance by the most current generations at our tiny little church. He was saddened that he couldn’t generate more interest in spreading the Word of God to the countless scads of reportedly “un-churched” people, while I was more along the line that we could generate more interest and subsequently reap the benefit of increased offerings, allowing us to pay our bills without fear. Two different takes on a common problem.

Pastor’s ‘take’ was far more pastoral than mine, as one would expect. I did, however, have this thought about why we don’t see the younger crowd.

It’s about the music. We have the old classic hymns, we don’t have a band, and we don’t have microphones hanging from the rafters, or standing at rigid intervals across the stage. No, we have a pianist (Barb), an organist (Jeannie), and a raised area where we kneel around he altar for communion, every other Sunday, with wine and bread. The other Sunday’s we have communion by intinction, where we receive wafers which we dip into the wine as we file past Pastor. It’s fairly traditional.

We’ve been to the New Age services over the years and heard the powerful messages given by very charismatic speakers accompanied by their bands, and band of singers. The music is pleasant, but has never really struck a chord with either Diane or me. Now religious groups are growing exponentially, and it’s moved into the rap realm, something I’ve just never enjoyed. Rap, that is. I can appreciate the effort, and the      subject matter of their music, but I just don’t get “reference” from it.

That could be simply because I do not understand what they’re saying almost 100% of the time. The frequencies are all wrong for me, and the tempo, and the volume. I’m more attuned to the old stuff. Things I know.

So, I know, that makes me old fashion to the Nth degree, and that’s OK. I get it. Things change and, dare I say, evolve over time. So it goes with music and lots of other stuff including the style of churches, and their services.

I apologize if any of that upset any of you. It’s a free world, after all, mostly, so you are free to syntactically retaliate to your heart’s desire.

That’s not a dare, by the way.

It’s just a fact.

So, fire at will …

About lunch – we went to Zhen’s on Columbia Blvd here in town. For the three of us, we got a #3 and a #4, which was about six times as much food as we really needed. So, we packed up a bunch of it which will be enough for two more meals each.

Then we went to the Columbia Theater to watch “Turbo”. It’s the first movie Jean’s been to in a few years, so it was special for her. More special was that it was free, and, since we had just eaten lunch, we didn’t feel compelled to eat a mess of popcorn. That’s usually what I do in the theater and I always regret it. But I always do it, until today. It was good to just sit there and not be distracted by all that crunching noise, and greasy fingers that I always tell myself to NOT wipe on my pants but somehow always do because I forget. Without the popcorn I got to see the entire movie, without interruption.

We went with Jennie, Jeran, Cedric, Lydia, and Chris, Lydia’s friend. Actually, we went because of them. The Columbia Theater has a special deal where parents can buy kid’s tickets for 8 consecutive matinée movies for $8, which is an incredible deal. Additionally, each kid can bring an adult, so all us of us old folks got in for free. Pretty nifty, huh?

Another plus, since we were some of the last people to enter the theater, is that we got to sit almost right up front, very close to the seats Debbie Reynolds sat in when she was in town filming “Halloween Town”, many years ago. Maybe that should be many, many, years ago.

As I stated early on, the dogs were really happy to see us after our six-hour absence. I’m sure they thought we had gone to Mexico again, and were surprised when we returned so soon. Since our return, we’ve not done much but sit and vegetate, watching some of the shows that were recorded while we were gone. We’ll catch up, soon, then we’re going to turn in our old DVR, that can only record two shows at a time, and get the one that records 4 shows at a time, while you watch a 5th. That’s going to be something. We both think it’s very important that consumers should be able to records about six times as many TV shows than we can possibly watch unless we stay glued to our TV all the time. Kind of like we do now, but more so.

Ya know?

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