Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My Visit to Snobville UM Church

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we profess no faith in the basement waterproofing process! Call me skeptical, but there are still puddles down there. Whoever the God of Waterproofing is, he's not up to the task. Or maybe it's the revenge of the mold.

But, on to today's sermon!

This week I gave blood. And they actually took it. Half the time I'm anemic. But I've got a rare type, and they take my offering straight to Children's Hospital (so I'm told), so I do try to let them tap me fairly frequently.

The blood drive was at the Snobville United Methodist Church, where I was formerly a dissatisfied and disbelieving church lady. Considering the amount of time I forced my poor daughters to spend at that place, it's a miracle they still speak to me. They don't miss it, that's for sure.

Since I heard the voices of the Bored Gods and left Snobville UMC, the church folks there have embarked on an ambitious building project. It's finished now. The blood drive was set up in a dizzyingly tall and wide room, all brand new. (It even smelled brand new.) I suppose it's the new fellowship hall.

After they tapped out my pint, I slogged up the stairs to the first floor, towing my bad hip as always. I was met by the Grand Poobah Church Lady who, I presume, is now paid to be kind to everyone who enters Snobville UMC, no matter how bright the Tinker Bell t-shirt the guest may be wearing.

She was keen to catch up with me and the daughters, but keener still to show me the fancy upgrades to the facility. She walked me into a posh parlor with fancy chairs and carpet and cabinets lovingly displaying old stuff from the former incarnation of Snobville UMC.

She said: "Isn't this beautiful?"

And I said, "Yes indeed! It looks just like Versailles!"

I pride myself on the ability to craft insults that pass right over peoples' heads.

Truly, that room did look like a place where rich people would gather to eat cake while everyone else starved.

So, maybe the church lady understood my implication, because she launched into a long story about how the church is subsidizing a monthly breakfast for the homeless folks in nearby Camden. The crux of her argument was that breakfast for 200 people only cost the church $165 a month. (How the cooks do it she doesn't know.)

Well, I looked at the 14 guilded and pristinely upholstered chairs in the drawing room (no way would I ever sit on something that perfect, you know how I feel about stained upholstery), and I figured the cost of those chairs would feed those breakfast folks in Camden for a year, maybe two, maybe three. But it's more important to have pretty chairs for people to sit in when they come to worship -- and a sanctuary given a facelift of rosy red carpet and matching pew cushions.

Isaac Bonewits is right. What is a church except a big building that always needs either maintenance or upgrades or expansions, or at very least a new roof? Why not just go outside and greet the Bored Gods where they're most likely to see you -- under the sky!

I left the Snobville UMC with the feeling of one who had come to a crossroads and picked the better path. Still, if they have blood drives there, I'll go. But I won't eat their cake.


yellowdog granny said...

what?..they didn't ask you if you've found Jesus?...they always ask me if I've found Jesus...I always say, "hell, I didn't know he was lost."

Aquila ka Hecate said...

I'm O neg, and I'm ashamed to say I have never given blood - voluntarily.
I would volunteer some other people for it, though.

terri in Joburg

Anonymous said...

$165 for a once-a-month breakfast for 200? Hell, I've cooked a full dinner with more than one course for 200 people for not much more. What exactly are they serving at this breakfast? Oats harvested by fairies and milk from sacred cows flown directly from India? Sheesh.

It reminds me of the local Catholic church that erected a 'monument to the unborn' in protest of abortion rights. That 'monument' cost $8,000 (15 years ago). They took umbrage when I asked if they knew how many diapers that $8,000 would have bought for women who couldn't afford to care for the child the church insisted they should bear.