I went to church with my brother in-law and future sister in-law yesterday to a denomination called Disciples of Christ. What's interesting about the name of the church is how anyone can call themselves disciples when no one living has ever seen Jesus. Apostles seems to be a more appropriate term, but that doesn't have a certain ring to it. I guess that's why I don't run a church, well that and other reasons.
The three of us sit down and were warmly greeted by a middle aged woman who wanted us to feel welcome at the church. What was surprising about this is that the congregation was a large one, as per usual in the Dallas area, and somehow we had 'newbies' written on our foreheads. She asked us to fill out a contact information card and gave us welcome bags, which she claimed had Starbucks gift cards.
She lied, or was simply misinformed. There were free coffee in store for us. The bag contained literature, such as the Gospel according to John, and others associated with their church's doctrine, but it also contained a package of Grandma's peanut butter cookies.
Like the other churches I've visited in the area there was no traditional choir nor was there much audience participation in the singing. Like the others it had an electric band with singers that drowned out the drones of those in the pews. It was the first time I heard a guitar solo to a Christmas song in a place of worship.
My brother in-law nudged me and noted how many ugly red Christmas sweaters were apparent. He was correct as there was a sea of them donned by elderly women. It was so bad I almost felt over dressed. I'm not sure why gaudy Christmas sweaters became popular at any time by any generation, but they still reign amongst the geriatric set.
This church, unlike the others, had communion. We were given a wheel well like platter with a small cup of grape juice and a bowl with a tiny cracker. Being raised Catholic I always expect the true vino, but most denominations prefer not to serve alcohol to their parish. This is a damn shame I feel.
"You Catholics use the real vino!" - Kevin, after attending his first Mass.