church things.

Thing 1: Field trip.
We had a good time on Pancake Shrove Tuesday at church. We ate pancakes and gumbo and talked to nice church people. People have been very friendly and inviting without being terrifyingly outgoing. Someone took our picture, and our smiling faces later showed up in the monthly newsletter (Glad Tidings, not to be confused with the weekly newsletter, Sunday Tidings). A lady came by and asked if I was interested in going to Drag Bingo. DRAG BINGO. You know, where men wear dresses and lip-sync, and we all play bingo for a good cause. She pointed out several little old ladies that went with her last time. You know, usually I'm a little bashful about signing up for stuff, but I was all about the church field trip to see drag queens.

Man, I love the Episcopalians.

Thing 2: The elements.
One Sunday morning, we were sitting in the pews waiting for the service to start when the parish coordinator came and talked to us. She asked if we'd be interested in taking the elements up to the altar. We said sure, she said great, and after she left, I asked Josh what the elements were. Not only did he not know, he wasn't even sure if that was what she had said. Maybe this was the Sunday when they have the traditional walk of the elephants.

As it turns out, the elements are the wafers and wine. We found this out when we were being instructed as to how and when to take them to the altar. Our hearing and comprehension were clearly off that day, because we managed to flub our first assignment in the Episcopal church. We were supposed to follow right behind the ushers, but instead we did a slow stutter-step up the aisle as we held a whispered argument about whether we were supposed to go now or not (we were). We were so late that we messed up one of the acolytes who was supposed to take the elements from us. And then we giggled all the way back down the aisle, while sympathetic church-goers smiled at us. That'll teach them to ever ask us to do anything again.

Thing 3: Special service.
But I guess those people must be hard up for members, even ones that can't hear or follow simple instructions. Josh got a long and thoughtful email from the priest the next day, asking us to consider joining up. They were having a special service that next Sunday, where all the new members would stand up and make promises and have hands laid on them (or whatever they do). Josh was gung-ho, ready to sign up. I was reluctant for no particular reason other than a general fear of commitment. But since I didn't have an actual reason, I said okay, too.

As it happened, we were already signed up for a special service full of standing and promising and hand-laying, but that was two weeks away. However, the Sunday with the special service was the morning after Josh was going to a special men-only service with lots of beer and grilled ribs, though he explicitly stated no strippers.

So Josh had to write back to the priest and say we were interested in joining, but he couldn't do it that Sunday, because he would be sleeping off his bachelor party. The priest cheekily responded that he wasn't supposed to confess until after the sinning.

Bonus Church-Related Thing!
A gift from one of my new grandmothers. Open to birds of all faiths.

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