At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Church shopping

Still hunting for a good church, I attended services yesterday at a local sectarian Presbyterian congregation. They're a mission parish with a handful of families meeting in a shabby little church owned by the Seventh-Day Adventists. Since I disagree with most of the distinctive features of Reformed piety and doctrine--its iconoclasm, its anti-sacramentalism, its rationalism--I wasn't expecting much, and indeed, although I enjoyed the lavish attention that most visitors to struggling parishes receive, the service left me cold. A few hymns, some long extemporaneous prayers, a very very long sermon, and a communion service prefaced with the dismal assurance that the elements remain "just ordinary bread and wine." Yuck. Still, at coffee hour I enjoyed talking to a lawyer who, like myself, is a recent immigrant from the Midwest and who, again like myself, finds Plainview to be extraordinarily dull and ugly. He asked for my email and said he would get in touch. Of course I've been in Texas long enough to treat these vague promises of hospitality rather skeptically, but since he's not native perhaps the offer is sincere.


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