This pic comes from Sunday morning. The boys and I got up, got ready and headed off for the late service at one of our favourite churches in Cinci. The church is about 45 minutes across town. It takes about 25 minutes of driving time if you know where you’re going but I usually get lost so I allow a little longer for the ‘where the heck am I’ time. This is a church that is to the Kingdom what Home Depot is to the world of hardware. It’s vast. People are out in orange vests in the parking lot helping facilitate the coming and going with as little hassle as possible. Once you park you look around for the little trollies that shuttle people from their car to the entrance and realize that’s King’s Island; here you’ll just have to walk it.
Near the entrance we chose there are small spaces reserved for motorcycles and you get an impression of what the church will be like by the Harley’s parked next to the Vespas beside the ‘Crotch Rocket’. Inside it’s bigger than the outside and cool A.C. is pumping down from the ceiling. There are internet stations set up, closed circuit T.V. of the service currently going, 2 stations with free, serve yourself coffee (4 kinds to choose from including de-caf for the sissys), tea, fountain pop (which every serious pop drinker knows is to canned pop what draft beer on tap is to canned beer) and juice. Plush couches and chairs are scattered around the vast space in little clusters to facilitate conversations among friends, some are vacant others are being used. There’s an info island with bright, shiney, happy people to answer questions and give away info packets and free Bibles. By one wall there’s a big table set up with piles of cds of the last 3 Sunday talks all free for the taking all carrying the same laser printed message on their label, “please duplicate”.
The boys and I were approached by a, um, plus sized and very friendly lady who spotted our ‘we aren’t from here’ look and she gave us a personal but brief tour of the massive lobby and all it’s features. She was very nice in a decidedly un-weird way and made us feel like there was at least one person in this giant place that was genuinely glad we were there. “By the way,” she added as she headed back to where she’d walked over to us from, “Brian’s talk on the desert was excellent, you should pick up a copy.” So we did. We’ve been there before but it always feels a little weird when you walk up to the table and just start pulling cds out of the bin. Something inside me apprehensively strains to hear someone say, “hey, just a second, you gotta pay for those…” but no one ever does, they just smile.
Finally the doors opened and people streamed out of the big auditorium/theatre and into the enormous (have I said it was big yet?) lobby. A few minutes of clean up and the doors opened again and we could go in and find a seat. 3 levels (two balconies), dark, no windows, massive, 2 big screens, giant stage that’s bare except for some band gear, stage lighting, a little fog, very cool. The band comes on and plays a couple tunes and they’re brilliant, the girl singing has an amazing and powerful voice. It’s a group that I would say ranges in age from 20 something to 50 something but it’s all rock n roll and I like it. When it comes time for the offering we’re told they don’t want money from any visitors, this is a freebie, the collection is for people who’ve made this church their family ‘home away from home’. (This church once, on a Sunday we missed unfortunately, took up the offering and then had all the offering taker uppers bring the booty to the front, to the stage, added some money to it and told anyone who had need to come and take, people were reluctant but some finally got up and grabbed a handful of the answer to their question of how they were going to make rent that month.)
Then the talk started. Brian, the guy who had the regular speaking gig, was away so a special guest speaker from California was on. He was a very good speaker, easy to listen to even if the content was, well, a little skimpy. The gist was that we’re all created to be superheroes and the way we do the hero thing is by doing what superheroes do and we watch what we say and we live a pure life. I was really hoping for some kick-butt karate moves or the ability to cloud men’s minds but no such tips were forthcoming. I’m still not sure how ‘heroic’ it is to say nice things to my family instead of jerky things or how not watching porn makes me a hero but hey, give me a cape and call me Captain Fantastic.
So, yeah, I didn’t get that cd but I’ll crank some more on the topic when I show you the slide from our trip to the Christian Family Bookstore – shudder.
On the way out I re-filled my coffee cup with a tasty blend and hiked back out to our car and headed back to have a family lunch together before heading out to visit my family in Illinois. Slides from there coming soon.