2.18.2007

Pride (In the Name of Love)

U2charist
This Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday, and is being celebrated at a local church by an interesting event.........the U2charist. It is a service involving the Eucharist (communion) and the music of U2, and all of the offering for the evening is given to the UN's Millenium Development Goals, which focuses on global poverty, HIV/AIDS prevention & treatment, and women's health issues. It sounds pretty great, and I hope to be there. For all you Santa Cruzans......this Tuesday, Feb. 20th @ Calvary Episcopal (red church downtown, next to the Nick), 7:00pm.

"Low-Church" or How I Survived a Happy-Clappy Sunday School
I took a quick trip around the Googlesphere, and this U2charist thing seems to be all the rage in Episcopalian circles. I am not an Episcopalian. Though I grew up going to church, I don't think I even heard the word 'Episcopalian' until I was an adult. We were very low church. I am drawn to the beauty often found in the music, liturgy of these churches. My earliest church memories are at Beulah Park, a run down old church camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I think I was 5. It was always very cold, and our church met there for cheap. My Sunday school class met in one of the outbuildings and I distinctly remember singing the Father Abraham song really loud, but with some confusion. (Father Abraham had many sons. Many sons had Father Abraham. I am one of them, and so are you! So let's all praise the Lord! Right arm, left arm, right foot, left foot, turn around, sit down !) Who is this Father Abraham guy? Is he my father? If so, why do we only talk about God and Jesus? Is this church thing really about Father Abraham? I think around this time I heard the song 'Rock-a my soul in the bosom of Abraham' and that really creeped me out. Am I in some sort of Father Abraham cult? (I don't know how I even knew about cults, at age 5, but there you go. Growing up in Santa Cruz in the late 70's.) And the 'You can't get to heaven on roller skates' song I think I took literally for a little while, too. How did we survive the theology of our Sunday School songs? 'Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam'? Or the 'I'm in-right out-right up-right down-right happy all the time' song, now there's some classic denial for you. I think the songs we teach our kids could stand some updating, like the end of 'Jesus Loves the Little Children'"....all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight." I cringe a little bit with that one. I'm so glad Jesus is real and all the nonsense sounding songs actually pointed to something true. Someone true. He was worth the slog through all the confusion, insipidity and happy-clappy-ness that often characterized my early church life. I didn't know He was with me then, sitting next to me, and helping me not to feel so alone, so confused, so self-conscious. I hope G. can feel Him with her, too.

photo by my personal friend, Tim Swanson, taken off the Ayrshire Coast.

4 comments:

the elevens said...

two bits of trivia:

1) the interior of the Beulah Park meeting hall was used as the vampire cave in the movie Lost Boys.

2) When my mother was in sunday school in the 1940s she sang "if you don't go to Sunday school, you'll grow up to be bad". I wasn't sure I believed this story until she dragged out the sheet music and showed me.

Mr. Eleven

Rosa said...

Yes, I can see it as a vampire den- totally cavernous.I wish Beulah Park could rise from the ashes, because it really is a cool old place. But cold. Really cold and drippy. Ultimately, I think that's what led our church to move to it's next low-shurch facility, the gymnasium of Virgil Hossett Memorial jr. high. It DID have bells and smells, just not the right kind...more stinky gym socks and bad acoustics than cantors and incense. Our Sunday School met in the science room and we used to look at strange things in formaldehyde when we were supposed to be memorizing bible verses, or singing 'I've got a river of life flowing out of me.'

Camille said...

I visited a church when I was a kid that met in a Masonic Temple. While we were singing "the Old Rugged Cross" painted eyes stared at you from the walls.

What about the Countdown song? And the big picture books the teachers held with the words? The Countdown song had an image of a 50s era rocket, as if Jesus was going to come and rescue us from space.

Rosa said...

I don't think that was a "Calvary Chapel Non-denominational" approved song, Camille, so I don't think I know that one.
I have my own Masonic tales to tell, but that is another post. (If I can live to divulge such secrets...)

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.