Monday, July 14, 2008

The Lutherans Got a Good One

I had the pleasure to attend the ordination of a friend of mine this weekend. As you are probably all too well aware, I am not a religious person and have in pretty much decided that atheism is where it is at. That being said, it was an honor to be invited to witness such an important event in the life of a truly wonderful person. If there is going to be religion in the world at least there will be kind, honest, open, non-judging, intelligent people like my friend Kendra helping to lead the way.
Having never attended any church service other than for weddings and funerals the whole experience was a bit strange to me. I kind of felt like there was a blinking light above me that flashed "Non-Believer, Non-Believer" over and over again so that everyone could tell I didn't belong in there. There was one point when everyone spontaneously got up and started shaking hands with each other and going to other pews and greeting people. They were saying things involving words like "peace be with you" and something about "blessing" and all I kept thinking was "what is going on here?" and (most importantly) "Don't make eye contact. Don't make eye contact. If you don't look at them they won't come over here!". I saw one parishioner out of the corner of my eye look like he was going to try touch my hand and say church-y things to me but my deft use of uncomfortable body language and the lack of eye contact saved me from interaction. Needless to say this interacting with your neighbor thing made me a little uncomfortable. Come to find out, this happens at services all the time. I was totally unaware.
Oh, and the Pastor referred to the non-baptized (hello, sitting in one of your pews) as "enemies of the church". Nice to know I have a title.
Seriously though, I wish Kendra all the best in her calling. I admit to jealousy that someone feels so strongly about something she is willing to devote not just her career but her entire existence to a particular calling. I wish my path in life were that clear. Rarely do we get a chance to celebrate those kinds of moments in our lives and I am proud to have helped Kendra celebrate hers. You Lutherans got a good one here! Treat her well.

9 comments:

Michael said...

Enemy of the church, huh? Wow. Pretty strong words.

So when did you decide you were an athiest?

kath said...

Peace be with you! I have done this bit at H's Lutheran churches before. I loooove going to churches and participating in all the rituals. It's like an anthropological study combined with a personal "passing" test. (I'm convinced I pass as Christian because I can say the Lord's Prayer and hum along with lots of hymns.) H was horrified that I did the call/response bit for some guy who was becoming an official member of her parents' church in Texas. Apparently it was totally inappropriate for a non-member to do this. Heck, I was just following directions!

kath said...

One more thing. I wasn't exactly the enemy of the church, but at the Christmas Eve service in Iowa, I did flaunt the very clearly printed rules about non-baptized folks taking part on communication. I marched right down the stairs and ate my body of Christ cracker. Darned if I was going to let H's mom think I was a heathen!

Myself. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

Isn't the term communion, not communication?

Are you sure you pass, Kath? You don't even have the lingo down...

Ann-Marie said...

Apparently just by not-being Baptized you are an enemy of the church Kathy. Perhaps you, Mike and I could all get shirts or form a gang or something.
I can't believe you ate the body of Christ!! I just told this to a Lutheran friend and he said he was pretty sure your insides should have liquified right then and there.
I did try an unconsecrated wafer one time for a scavenger hunt. Not much flavor. They should use Ritz crackers or something.

kath said...

Ah yes, typing too fast.

kath said...

I drank the wine too.

Michael said...

Maybe for the baptized people the body of christ tastes better.