Weirdest Church Ever

Weirdest Church Ever May 5, 2010

It’s pretty obvious to anyone paying attention that Calvary is not a typical Baptist church.  I don’t think people appreciate, however, how completely weird this place is.  I could tell story after story, of course, about the strange things that happen here, but I could never do the reality justice.

Example: lately I have been engaged in what I would call a mild difference of opinion and others would call a war with some of Calvary’s young adults over the television show Lost.  

I tried to watch the first season on Netflix–I got 9 episodes into it, actually, trying to do due diligence to the task–but I just didn’t like it that much.  When I expressed this humble opinion to members of my community of faith you would have thought I burned a Bible or something.  They were collectively outraged and seem to still be harboring resentment about this matter.

Since then, I have become what I consider to be an unjust victim of Lost.  For example, I must now endure conversation after conversation about the show; no one is ever available on Tuesday nights; anytime a theological issue comes up in conversation I must hear about how that theme played itself out in season two, etc., etc., etc.

Apparently, last night was a particularly riveting episode or something.  I was not watching–I was at home, minding my own business, giving the young adults their space.  Then, I received the following email:

Subject: Service of Light in the Darkness after Pentecost???
I have a request/idea…
As you know, May 23 is Pentecost.  What you may not know is that May 23 also happens to be the series finale of LOST.
Therefore, a large portion of our community with be in mourning the week(s) following Pentecost.
I propose that, since we seem to always have a Service of Light in the Darkness associated with the high holidays, that we have a service on the Tuesday after Pentecost to grieve the end of an important era.
I have spoken with Rachel Johnson, Chair of the Worship Team, and she agrees that this would be an important ministry to our community.  She also suggests that the service be held at 9pm (8pm central time).
Thanks be to God.  Amen.

This only confirms what I have already learned many times: it’s dangerous to empower laity.  They can go completely crazy, harass the pastor using her very own words, and cause all kinds of trouble.

See what I mean?  WEIRDEST.  CHURCH.  EVER.

And I love it so much.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I think it is time for me to come out of the closet on this issue and stand in solidarity with my Pastor. I too, tried and failed to develop an attachment to Lost. So I’m free on Tuesday nights…

  • Holleyanne

    Huh. So, not the instructions to volunteers about under which circumstances one is to call the police about the sometimes volatile homeless man currently sleeping on the stoop between the games at the children’s street fair? Not the random super-hero in spandex in the sanctuary? Not the woman speaking gibberish and poking people for daring to sit in the pew behind her? Not the fire alarms in the middle of the service when the congregation was not inclined to evacuate and the minister of music was herding people out of the building? But instead it’s the young adults’ obsession with Lost that riles you up?

    Yeah, I’m kind of with you on that one. Seriously never understood the appeal of that show. And, on a more on topic note, do you get more symbolically “bringing light in the darkness” than Pentecost to begin with? It’s the arrival of the Holy Spirit in the absence of the physical incarnation… :-) Ah, well. To each her own, I suppose. :-Þ

  • Amanda

    Have you noticed that The Wire’s theme song definitely rings religious notes (“Way Down in the Hole”)?

    When you walk through the garden, you gotta watch your back

    Well, I beg your pardon, walk the straight and narrow track

    When you walk with Jesus, he’s gonna save your soul

    You got to keep the Devil, well you gotta keep him down in the hole

    He’s got the fire, people he’s got the fury at his command

    Oh, you don’t have to worry, hold on to, hold on to Jesus’ hand

    We’ll all be safe from Satan, when the thunder, when the thunder starts to roll

    We got to keep the Devil, keep him on down, down in the hole

  • Julie Greene

    I feel honored that I made it on your blog. :)

    And I still think the idea is a great one. Just sayin’…

  • Leah

    We’ll be free on Tuesdays nights soon enough. Please just be nice to us when that time comes.

  • Todd Adams

    I stand with you my sister in the faith. I too tried…never got into Lost…don’t get Lost…I guess I’m lost, but then again…amazing grace I too might be found!!!

  • Amy Dale

    I have to admit that I’m getting used to our weirdness. Other churches now seem a little boring to me.

  • Rachel

    Imagine if you will a group of people who have been changed by an experience. There they were going about their daily lives – medical professionals, religious leaders, scholars, lawyers, fishermen – when something unexpected and unimaginable enters their lives. Some where brought in early on, others picked up along the way. But what they all had in common is that their imaginations were captivated by a riveting message, unfathomable mysteries were presented to them that they yearned to unlock, the way they lived in the world was fundamentally changed. And in this change they found meaning, forged bonds of community and fellowship. They come together again and again, perhaps share a common meal and discuss that which has had such an impact in their lives. Then, one day, its gone. How disorienting must that be? To no longer have that experience among them must be like emerging from a dream. What are they supposed to do next? Go back to life as it was before?

    Penetcost is supposed to be the response to this experience, a reassurance and a charge. But this year, for a significant number of people it will mark the beginning of a process in which we will feel truly lost. Surely the church is the place for us to look for comfort. Is a little understanding too much to ask? :P


    One of the wierdos

  • You have to keep trying! I watched and couldn’t get into it the first time either and now I’m a junkie. Just keep trying!!

  • Alan Rudnick


    A great idea. The empowerment of the laity can really take you places!

  • Lost without LOST

    From a NYTimes interview with two of the show’s creators:

    “Q. Your show traffics in a lot of big themes — fate versus free will, good versus evil, faith versus reason, how often Sawyer should be shirtless. Ultimately, what were the most important themes for you in this series?

    DAMON LINDELOF If there’s one word that we keep coming back to, it’s redemption. It is that idea of everybody has something to be redeemed for and the idea that that redemption doesn’t necessarily come from anywhere else other than internally. But in order to redeem yourself, you can only do it through a community. So the redemption theme started to kind of connect into “live together, die alone,” which is that these people were all lone wolves who were complete strangers on an aircraft, even the ones who were flying together like Sun and Jin. Then let’s bring them together and through their experiences together allow themselves to be redeemed.”

    Sounds like church to me.