My leetle church

by Ellen in

OK, so every time I go to this place, I love it more and more. It is the kind of church that I have only made up in my head...but it actually exists in real life. This place has all the things I like: humor, dancing, singing, love, food, realness. And BUTTONS! Everyone wears a button with their name on it. And everyone has a different colored button. You should see the button closet. I wanted to take a picture of it, but there was always someone standing in the closet when I wanted to take a picture.

Speaking of pictures, I finally got around to taking some on Sunday. They're not the best, and there aren't very many of them. I felt weird taking them because there was a weird lady who was visiting who took pictures the ENTIRE TIME we were in church. And her camera was loud and the flash always flashed. It was VERY distracting and rude, and I didn't want anyone to think I was like her. What a loving attitude towards someone you meet in church, right? She should have known she was being rude and been respectful of the service. Biiiig pet peeve of mine. If you're going to have a big, noisy, obtrusive thing attached to your face, please be considerate of others while wielding it.

Anyway, you can see that it's not very big, but where it lacks in size, it makes up in prettiness. It's this lovely wood building with the "dancing saints" painted on the walls...they all look very Byzantine and they range from people like Jesus to Eve to a guy in a wheelchair. I still haven't figured out that one yet. They are all dancing because dancing is fun and celebratory and we do it as our recessional. It's pretty fantastic. I feel like I'm at a Jewish wedding and that Hava Nagila will soon take over. Orrrr that I'm living out a dream of getting to sing and dance in a group on a regular basis.

Anyway, we start out around the altar...there's no service bulletin or anything. The priests and deacons announce what we're doing next. But if you've been going to an Episcopal church for a long time, you know what's coming next. Everything follows the liturgy, just with a little more singing and dancing and moving around. And sermon time is awesome because the preacher will talk for a little while, and then ask the congregation for a story relating to the Gospel. And only a opinions allowed. It's really quite moving. PS the people who run this place are HILARIOUS, and hearing them preach is so fun. And again, if you've been going to an Episcopal church for a long time, you know that this would normally NEVER happen. Traditioooonnn. Tradition!
I also really like this. "The only thing truly worthwhile is becoming God's friend."

See? Wheelchair guy on the right. I'ma find out who he is.

I'm a big fan of St. Greg's and feel so loved when I walk in there, as everyone does, I think. The people who are there are the real deal...trying to be an example of God's love.

Going to church in SF is very different than in the South. In the South, it's part of the culture to go to church. Everyone pretty much does it and if you don't belong to a church, people look at you funny. Here, people look at you funny if you DO go to church. Going to church is counter-cultural, which is how I think it started out. Something about it feels more genuine. Not to say that my church community in Memphis isn't genuine. Those people are my best friends and my family, and I don't know a more authentic crowd of people. Then again, I've always felt that the Calvary people ARE more special than other church communities. But I'm biased. They would love this place.

I love church, and I'm not ashamed of it. I love being in community. It makes the world go 'round, and I'm so glad that God has brought me here.