Wednesday, September 14, 2016

In The House

I forgot to go to church last Sunday.
I forgot to go to church the Sunday before that.
As a matter of fact, it's been forty years since I went to church. That's about the time my family gave up on the house of worship thing. After spending many years getting used to the architecture and sounds of the First Methodist in Boulder, we walked away and put our church-goin' days behind us.
Well, not completely. My mother might have preferred if we had found a way to stick with a service now and then if only to keep up appearances. If what we were after was being devout, this was the wrong family in which to make that claim. We kid, you  see. We are kidders. When you are trying to show up as a god-fearing group of individuals, it helps if you can get through dinner without milk coming out of somebody's nose.
Which didn't mean we didn't think about it. We talked about it too. My father maintained that having a house of worship was antithetical to his vision of spirituality. My mother kept going to bible study with her friends. For us three boys, we were happy to sleep in on Sunday mornings. Instead of going out for doughnuts after church, my parents were now hosting brunches on the Sabbath. In the 1970's in Boulder, this was a more commonly accepted form of conduct on the Lord's Day. Loaves and fishes. Lox and bagels.
During this time, there was also a great deal of movement among my peer group toward Christian Youth Organizations. My congregation was having Eggs Benedict. Not that Hollandaise sauce is a sin, even if the way my father made it was sinfully delicious. There was a lot of music played during those brunches too. A lot of it had a spiritual bent: Odetta, Mahler, Andrew Lloyd Weber.
But we didn't go to church. After my older brother's wedding, I didn't find my way back inside the First Methodist Church until my father's memorial service. When our son was born, my wife figured she should try and get our little boy some of that old-time religion, even if it came in a New Age package. I stayed home. Without my active support, going to church never became a thing  Many of the discussions around our house reminded me of the debate that took place in my parent's so many years ago. Sometimes we have brunch. Sometimes we sleep in. And we talk about what it might mean for us to go to church.

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