|Sun Lakes United Methodist Church|
I have now attended church for the first time in this century.
My church attendance, prior to this century, occurred in the last decade of the last century at a Rock 'n Roll Church in Portland, Oregon.
Today's church in Arizona was not a Rock 'n Roll Church.
Instead of Rock 'n Roll it was the Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, which today was under the control of the United Methodist Women.
The sermon was delivered by Nancy Wilsen.
No, not the singer from the Rock 'n Roll duo known as Heart. The Heart singer's last name is spelled "Wilson."
Today's sermon was the first time I recollect actually ever listening to a sermon. Back in the Presbyterian days, of my long ago youth, I did no sermon listening. I just prayed for it to be over.
Today's sermon was quite good. And amusing.
At the start of the sermon Texas was mentioned. Preacher Wilsen asked if there was anyone from Texas in the congregation. There were a couple hands raised. Preacher Wilsen then apologized, in advance, to the Texans, for the joke she was about to tell.
Apparently 3 Texas boys attending Texas A & M met an untimely end. Upon reaching St. Peter's Gate the trio sauntered in without waiting for permission to enter.
St. Peter stopped the boys and asked them where they thought they were going.
To Heaven the boys replied.
You must prove yourselves worthy first, Peter told them, by answering a question.
Can all of us get in if one of us gets the answer right? one of the boys asked.
St. Peter thought about it and decided, considering that they were Texans from Texas A & M, he'd cut them some slack and if one got the question right, they'd all get into Heaven.
What is Easter? asked St. Peter.
The first Texas boy said, "Dang, that's that time when that fat man in a red suit with a beard flies around with reindeer giving away stuff."
Wrong, said Peter.
The next boy said, "That's that day when you give hearts and candy to your girl friend."
Last chance, the third boy said, "That's when Jesus came out of his tomb."
"You are right," St. Peter said, "off to Heaven you go."
The two boys heaped praise on the boy who got the answer right, to which that boy said, "And I didn't even get to the part where Jesus sees if he casts a shadow, or not, to learn if spring will come early or winter will last another 6 weeks."
In church this Texas joke seemed very amusing. Typing it out, not so much.
There were only two awkward moments in church. One was when anyone who was a newcomer was asked to stand and introduce themselves. Apparently I got a bit long-winded.
The other awkward moment came when everyone was told to greet anyone who was in their vicinity. It seemed to me that mayhem momentarily ensued. My mom apologized, saying she should have warned me about that part.
My favorite part of the sermon came when Preacher Wilsen began to say the Lord's Prayer. God, who in the Methodist Church apparently is a woman, kept interrupting the Preacher. I could not tell how this was being done. I wondered if Preacher Wilsen was a ventriloquist.
Later, at the Post-Church McDonald's, others, who had been in attendance, joined me in wondering how the Voice of God was done, also wondering if Preacher Wilsen was an excellent ventriloquist.
I fear the mystery of God speaking is going to one of those eternal mysteries, the answer to which, may never be known. By me.
My sister and my favorite brother-in-law were supposed to meet us at the Post-Church McDonald's, but they did not show up. We were all quite perplexed by their absence.