Makes me sad

Spring and the Purim Moon

Tuesday gratefuls: Vince and his helpers. Jill the needler. Acupuncture. Safeway and pickup. Furball Cleaning. Mailing taxes. The Equinox. Spring. A good Winter. Ruby in the deep Snow. The occasional frozen dinner. TV. Young Sheldon. True Detective with Jodie Foster. Deadly Tropics. Bull. The Furies. Alexandria First Methodist. Hometown memories.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The calm after the Storm

One brief shining: Take off all my clothes, get up on the table with the clean sheet, stick my face in the round bit built for it, wait for Jill, soon needles go in on my feet, along my legs, clustered on the right side of my back, this time some of them connected to an electrical device that sends current into my body, twitching and tapping my muscles greet it.



The church I grew up in. Sold as a venue for events and making art and whatever else occurs to the new owners. Makes me sad I wrote to Mary and Mark. Sister and brother. Don’t expect the video will interest too many of you, but the very first part does show the church as it was before this woman and her husband bought it. The sanctuary is still mostly intact. My family sat in the third pew about halfway in under the large stained glass window of Jesus at Gethsemane.

Another mid-America tale this one not so much the rust belt apres the foreign cars story as an older one of faith and sexuality gone toxic. Used to be the big church in town. The woman in the video says it has 24,000 square feet. I believe it. Alexandria First Methodist had the largest church building in town and probably the largest membership while I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s.

It survived Rev. Clayton Steele’s oh so stereotypical fleeing to California with the organist or choir director. It survived the tumult of the late 1960’s and early 70’s. But it did not survive the question of ordaining queer folk. Ironically one of the key supporters of LBGTQ+ ordination was the son of Clayton Steele, a local dentist. The entire Methodist church, once the biggest denomination in the U.S., fractured, too. So not odd that Alexandria’s franchise went as well.

As a result, the church was on the market.

I had Boy Scouts, Sunday School, Sunday worship in this building for the years I lived in Alexandria. Which were all but the one and a half I lived in Oklahoma as an infant. Through 1965. When I left for college. My mother had her stroke in that building. While helping serve a funeral dinner. Confirmation. Communion. Tenebrae services. Christmas Eve and Easter. Regular, weekly attendance. As significant a part of life as school.

Once a month we had a church supper in the basement. To this day I remember Mrs. Stafford’s grapes. Green grapes coated first, I think, with egg white then rolled in sugar. Of course, fried chicken and mashed potatoes and peas. Jello, too, with a variety of foodstuffs embedded. My least favorite? Olives.

Now that I see this video I understand for the first time desacrilizing a church building. The building is not the church. No, it’s the people. However. Over time, like the Velveteen Rabbit, if enough people love a building, worship and pray in it, experience weddings and funerals there. the building becomes real, too. And when discarded, as Alexandria First now is, its reality continues adhering to that pew, those lights, those night time immersions in darkness during the Tenebrae services.

Protestants, with the exception of the Episcopalians, don’t desacrilize, but I wish they did. It would make this easier on my heart.