Monday, October 8, 2007

Being Episcopalian is Free

I am in the Bible Belt, let's face it.

Here, people are forever asking us, "What church do you go to?" Um. None. First of all, Marvin Gardenstein is Jewish, and if you think there are any whatever-Jewish-churches-are-called around here, you are sadly mistaken. And I was raised by Godless hippies, so I have never been a churchgoer.

Technically, though, that is not true. My parents, the Godless hippies (my mother is now very active in her church. I feel I must clarify this before she shoots off an angry reply in the Comments section, providing she can figure out how to send a comment), wanted me to live in an integrated neighborhood, which was fine until eventually I was the only white kid in my public school and all the other kids (rightfully) resented the hell out of my middle-class, white self and started beating me up every day.

Enter the Lutheran private school in my neighborhood. I went there from third through sixth grades, attended church each Wednesday morning and any time the children's choir was requested to appear. Which by the way included funerals. I was 10 and attending like two funerals a week or something.

So I was a churchgoer for four years, and to this day nothing comforts me more than a church rec room. I have all sorts of happy memories of waiting there for Christmas or Easter pageants to begin, the smells of the heater and coffee and winter coats.

At any rate, at the top of our horrid hill on our street is a beautiful Episcopal church, built in 1834 (above is a photo of it which includes horrifying snow). I always like coming to it because it is so pretty and because it means I am done climbing that hill. I thought about going to it one Sunday, but felt weird about it.

Then last week, not one but two members asked me to come this Sunday. And do you know we had the best time? Everyone was so nice to us, and the sermon was so interesting! He talked about The Wizard of Oz, Mark Twain and Mother Teresa. I'm telling you, this minster was fascinating.

And why did no one tell us there was food? Afterwards, you go into the recreation room -- my favorite place -- and have coffee and delicious snacks. Had anyone told me snacks were involved, I'd have visited much sooner. We were surrounded by the nicest people at that snacky social.

Someone even offered Marvin a biscuit with country ham. I got far away from him at that point, certain he was going to be struck down. Yes, Jewish husband standing in an Episcopal church, please have some HAM now. See you in the afterlife.

So, I think I will go back. Alone. Safer that way.

To recap the weekend: Friday night, free homecoming parade. Saturday, free German festival. Sunday, church (although I did put two dollars in the basket; it was all I had. How much are you supposed to put in there?) and later Sunday, a free pumpkin patch visit, which is a whole 'nother blog entry. Now, I know this was not dinner at 21 and dancing at -- whatever counts as a fancy place to dance. It was not a weekend in the Hamptons. But still, free, fun, and including country ham. What more do you need?


Linda .. the Aussie one! said...

I love going to Goldstiens Bagel Bakery in La Canada .. now doesn't that sound like a good jewish establishment? But they serve up the best .. umm .. whats the name of those dang things .. morning glories .. hehe nope not that .. morning sunshine .. ah morning sunrise bagle things and they have ham on them. I have come to the conclusion that Mr Goldstien sold his bagel bakery .. either that or he handed back his yamaka and became a member of the Church of England.

Glad you enjoyed the church .. also glad that they showed you good southern hospitality and welcomed you into the throng .. as Christians all over the world SHOULD do but sadly don't.

Frankie said...

I need to hear this bra-apron story already!

jtcosby said...

I'm grinning right now...just thought you would like to know...grinning...can't wait to hear about Church next week ;) We love going to sure are nifty my friend June CutoffCash ;o)

dcrmom said...

Oh, yes, that's the only reason I go to church -- the food. ;-) ;-)

That is a gorgeous church building. LMAO about them offering Marvin Gardenstein ham. HI-larious.

June Cutoff Cash said...

You know, dcrmom, when I was typing that, I thought, "dcrmom is going to be annoyed that I was so in it for the food."

Hawaiian OBrien said...

My mother wanted to piss my catholic dad off, so after they divorced she baptised me episcopalian just to rub his rhubarb. so welcome to the flock, sister...

Anonymous said...

At the top of the"horrid hill" is the church. Isn't that just the way it goes, at the end of the journey there is a place of comfort and welcoming- even the smell of winter coats at times. I am so happy for you. Church should always feed us and then send us out into the world to feed others. That's what it's for.

Tee said...

So glad you found church a welcoming place. Are you sure you weren't in a Baptist church with all that FOOD? If you REALLY want to eat, visit a Baptist church, they eat ALL the time. LOL when they offered MG ham. Just tell them he's doesn't eat ham. Looking forward to more church stories. I'm sure you will meet some really nice people there.

Kellie said...

Because I am a list maker:

1. You crack me up!! I am still laughing over 'The ham incident!". I love me a good June story!

2. Really, for someone from LA, you have been sheltered. Church = food. All the time. Day or night. Sunday, Wednesday and any day that ends in "day". It's just the way it is. People won't come other wise! ;)

3. Every time we have moved on to another city, going to church has been the best way to get to know people. Like you said, you can meet some of the nicest people there.

4. I wouldn't worry about giving to the offering right now. I don't think they would worry about either. But if you decided that you like to give, than any amount is perfect!

5. (This is a Jewish-Hippie- Epsicopalian-Snackers confess?) I joined Girl Scouts as a 3rd Grader because I heard they had snacks. Good ones too. But I quit when I found out you actually had to EARN those stinkin' badges. The snacks weren't that good.

sabrina duncan said...

you know, marvin and bosley don't strike me as the type to turn down some FREE food... ham or otherwise. Bosley's only complaint would maybe be that it wasn't cooked to his perfecting standards...

M.I. Susan Harris said...

Hey, June.
You'll probably be surprised to hear that I, too, attended church last Sunday. I've been taking my girls so that they can better understand faith and religion. Those things are hard to teach in the abstract. Your right about the incredibly nice people. The snacks at my church could be better though.