A Visitor in the Hall

January 7, 2010 Leave a comment

“Any announcements for today?”

You can tell the size of the church based on the format of the announcements.  If they are strictly regimented, read off a piece of paper, with no extemporaneous audience comments allowed, you’re at a big church; over a hundred where inviting in the peanut gallery would bring mayhem.

If they ask for announcements, and the congregation rambles on about their own stuff, you’re at a small church.  An extremely small church.

“I just wanted to say I hoped everyone had a great and safe New Year, and wanted to welcome any visitors we have with us today,” the woman said, staring right at me when she said the last bit.

At extremely small churches they also know who the new guy is.

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More Sausage

December 30, 2009 Leave a comment

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Once Again, Ignore the Sausages and Laws

December 30, 2009 Leave a comment

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Woodside’s Christmas After Christmas

December 30, 2009 Leave a comment

The Project returns after a two week hiatus caused by the celebration of some deity’s birth.  Surprisingly, a time that is pimped out as a joyous occasion of family and friends, to celebrate the savior of humanity, people are amazingly bitchy.  Like most bloggers, I work at menial, entry level, retail job and use my blog to make me feel important.  So, I can vouch for the intense frustration and rudeness exhibited this year.  I know, like David Foster Wallace preached, I need to avoid my default programming and think why the people act that way and not myself but I want to point out something: we are a generation of food service workers raised on Fight Club.  What you imagined on your worst days is our starting point.  Just keep it in mind you curse out your server because they are out of envelopes for their gift cards.

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Pretend This Says Something About Woodside Bible Church

December 11, 2009 2 comments

Let’s talk about espresso and cappuccinos again.  The reason most church-type bars fail is because they use the equivalent to consumer espresso machine.  Try as you might, it won’t taste good.  A really good professional espresso machine will run you about 15 grand.  This was the crux of my argument is my last Kensington post: the Church unsuccessfully trying to imitate popular culture to draw people away instead of going out and influencing people by living in the culture.

Let’s start with Woodside, and my prejudices.  I attended a Woodside service at White Lake a few weeks before starting this project.  We got the time wrong, arrived late, but still caught the message.  Wasn’t overly impressed, but not immediately turned off.  The newsletter was a trip: movie reviews that totally missed the point, a science column that pimped a “creationist USA tour”, and a column to review Christian fiction.  I know, I laughed really hard at someone actually wanting to read Christian fiction, too.  The newsletter—a whopping 44-pages this month—details the ongoings of the 5 Woodside campuses and various aspects of Christian livelihood.  They even have their own TV show, “Get Real: A Christian Take on Current Events” which is pretty self-explanatory.  So, walking into Woodside in Troy Sunday I mentally prepped myself for the worst.

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Five Points Is Like A Gruesomely Mutilated Dead Baby…wait what?

December 1, 2009 1 comment

I don’t even know where to begin this week.  No idea.  I mean I bailed right as Pastor Tobias started his closing prayer.  No promise of any off-key worship song could keep me in my seat.  So, I have no idea where to start.  So, this is what I have so far.

“Now the story of a Church that loved Armageddon and weird metaphors, and the one guy who had to sit through it.  This is The Awesome God Project.”

The day started weird when Pastor Tobias (not his real name) started his sermon with his usual (I assume) 15-minute pregame prayer.  He started out with some gruesome imagery:

“LORD! You know that the most heinous crime a person could commit would be to slaughter and mutilate an innocent new born!  LORD!  You know this horrific act, of killing a child, is an affront to you!”

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A Bluth Family Guide to Five Points

November 23, 2009 Leave a comment

I don’t know if this is awesome, or an issue.  All I know is that it exists, and I have to deal with it for one more week.  The lead pastor at Five Points Community Church is a hybrid of 3 different people:

  • Ed Cordry, former Daily Show Correspondent
  • Buster Bluth, from Arrested Development
  • Tobias Funke, from Arrested Development

Hearing a Pastor talking about reflecting the glory we receive to God, while throwing hand motions similar to Buster describing a seal attack mixed with the facial expressions of Tobias discussing his career as an analrapist, and Ed Cordry calling bullshit on a politicians enhances the message with—what I’m sure are unintended consequences—hilarious references and connotations.  The first unintended consequence was me spending the first 15 minutes (which was actually his opening prayer) trying to figure out who he reminded me of.  By the time we started the sermon, I then had to prevent myself from breaking out into fits of laughter for the remaining 45 minutes.  Oh, and did I mention I was late?

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