"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Catholic School Mom

Yes, that's me.
Seriously, I'm not pulling your leg.

This year we decided to send our middle son to a very (very, very) Roman Catholic school instead of homeschooling.

They don't have nuns (though I joked with a friend that once they met my middle child they might rush out and get some nuns... mean ones) but in no other way are they lacking in their Romanness. 

On the first Monday of the school year, the bishop showed up to bless giant hole that will become the foundation of their new building.

The BISHOP!

Not the person we know as the bishop.   It was his RC-Purpleness.  (And admittedly, I think he's cool.)

They have mass every day.  Which my kid can't receive.  (And Pope Francis, if you're reading (okay if the Pope is reading, I'll faint, but still... maybe he ego-searches and will find his name here) I think that Roman Catholics and Anglicans not being able to receive the same sacrament is a crock and we'll all answer for it in the judgment.  I hear you call people... give me buzz and we'll talk.)

And here's what I think is funny and blog worthy about all of this Roman Catholicity in my son's life....

On the way to drop him off at school, I am still dropping my eldest son off at study center.  It is literally on the way, just on the other side of the park from the catholic school. 

And the study center is so blinking Presbyterian (of the We Love John Calvin type) that it is not funny.

And so in the car I get to field out why the Rosary is not heretical but maybe not the best focus of our prayers.  (I like Mary, I do... but you know...) and why John Knox, while also not heretical, strikes me as mentally ill.

And of course the catholics pray like we do but the Presbyterians read the Bible like we do.  Hmmm....

And mostly, I love everything both institutions are teaching my kids.
And the people in both places are the nicest people on earth and really truly love Jesus.
And both claim a classical curriculum and love educating kids for the glory of God.
And the principals of both are women who are no doubt cut from the same cloth, which is why I smile every time I see either one of them.

And while neither is a perfect fit, both are really close, for really different reasons.

And the best  part is when we are reviewing all of that in the car on the way two or from school/study center.... because the coolest part of being and Anglican is being the tiny little bit of space where both of those worlds collide.

My eldest (the one in the Presbyterian study center) is looking at catholic colleges.  Maybe I'll send the second one to a conservative Presbyterian college.  Ha.

And as I said this morning, if only I could find a nice Eastern Orthodox school for the youngest, our Anglican Educational Tossed Salad would be complete.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A little creepy?

At our local county fair, I came across two protestant, Christian (very westernized American) type churches that were running booths where they tried to draw in kids with give-aways.   Swell.  My kid of course liked the candy.  He liked the popcorn, too.

But I was shocked, really, shocked... at how utterly creepy I found both these churches seemed to the outside (albeit Christian) viewer (me). 

The first, JesusLovesMe Church (names changed to protect the blogger) gave out candy to the kids.  The person giving out the candy wasn't creepy himself and just saw my kid and said "can he have some candy."  What was creepy was the brochure about how heaven was better than candy, that was stuffed in the candy bag.  Okay, heaven is "sweeter than candy" nice.  But indoctrinating random seven year olds that "some people won't go to heaven because they don't believe Jesus" is a little much, don't you think?  Is this really the first impression you want to have, a fleeting one at that, with the non-Christian passerby?  Is your faith really all about fire-insurance and how some people (not us of course) will suffer an eternity in hell (yup, they said that to kids) because... blah blah blah. 

Now I'm not saying heaven and hell aren't orthodox beliefs.  They're just kind of creepy first impressions, don't you think?
And then we went over to JesusRUs (again named changed because I think I'm clever) where they told a gaggle of kids that they had popcorn and movies at church.  The creepy guy giving out popcorn (really it sounded kind of like child-luring the way he did it) turned to my child and said "would you like to hear a story."  My kid silently shook his head, no.  The guy offers me some tract... to which I replied "we already have a church" and then succumbed to my urge to grab my kid and relocate to another part of the fair.

Wow.  I bet we're doing some awesome evangelizing with that material.

Both of those churches have been at the fair for years.  Same schtick different year.  There are two others that come too, in their defense, they have utterly forgettable booths, but at least they don't actively freak people out.  One likes to raffle off a giant teddy bear every year.  My kid likes to enter.  And oddly enough they don't cold call all the phone numbers they collect.  I'm thankful.  The other is a Lutheran church of some sort, being typically mild mannered Lutherans, even at the fair.  Nice. 

And while I'm all for getting Christians out in the public square, it makes me wonder how this can possibly be effective.  Four churches that come to the fair every year, have the same place, all doing the same thing year after year.  Two totally unmemorable, two actively freakish. 

People remember the Christians that come alongside when you're needy, not the ones that make random fair appearances.  They tend to attend the church that ministered to them, not the one with the funniest sign.   They tend to stay in the church that takes them deeper in their faith and connects them to a community present and eternal, not the one with the loudest clang-bang excuse for a band. 

It makes me feel like the church, not all of the church but a visible majority here in America, has totally lost touch with what it is they have to offer and who it is who needs to receive.

Alas.

(Home from church today with a sniffly child...  When your church meets among elderly residents in an "independent living" facility, sometimes a sniffly child is just a fine reason to stay home... still, not being really sick myself, I feel like a schmoo.  Maybe that's making me cranky.  Maybe.)