Monday, March 12, 2018

The Holiest of Places

Don't freak out. I forbid anyone to freak out. But I may have found a church. I am not ready to bring her home to meet the CWC family just yet, but I have attended four times and am hesitantly optimistic.

Since I am not ready to review this church just yet, I decided to review the holiest place I went to this week. The Church of Biscuit Acres Dog Park.
Dog Park People are the Best People

This is my dog Bella. 
She loves Dr. Pepper and warm laundry

This is Bella arriving at her church

This is my rescue pup, Charlie (pink collar) 
Just hanging with her friends.


Why does every church show off
weird, phallic shaped statues.

Danger lurking

This is Edward. Saint Edward.
I love him.

Edward had a naughty moment when he dug this hole.
 But like any good church, we forgave him.

I hope everyone is having a great
Lent and a wonderful week!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Review: Occupied Church

1.  I was hoping Occupied Church had been born out of the Occupy movement. I could not have been more mistaken.

2. The church is downtown, which opens it up to serving a homeless population~something I consider a particularly holy responsibility. It also is located 10 quick steps away from the second best donut shop in the city.

Don't get freaked 
out by all the beanie babies

3. Occupied Church has invested in THE most comfortable chairs. They are like hammocks for your ass. And you will need a comfortable chair because their services run very close to 3 hours long.

4. The single stall bathrooms are located IN THE SANCTUARY. They are just. right. there. So if you are fighting a diarrheal virus, you have been warned.

5. Worship is a very personal experience here. Some people bow down on the ground, some people lift their hands, one man inexplicably just cackled. Holy Cackling. 

6. Today was Baby Dedication Day which was awesome

because of babies.

And sucked because I kept getting hit 
in the head with this balloon.

7. Speaking of diarrhea, if you have it then there is a problem. Occupied Church believes, 

" Sickness and disease is a result of sin and the curse of the law and healing is a Divine benefit. We believe the lying symptoms of sickness and disease may be removed and replaced with healing through faith in the will and Word of God."

Last week, Pastor Tim Earnhardt explained that if his kids are sick or call home from school not feeling well, he tells them to go sit and pray. Tim himself does not take sick days from work and he doesn't go to a physician because he has The Great Physician (God). Tulsa may have found flu-patient zero. 

At the Baby Dedication, a mother said that her baby had a seizure that morning and Pastor Tim, in kind of a pissy tone, demanded that everyone pray for this baby. I just wondered if maybe the baby should have gone to the hospital. 

 Also, just a quick aside, the Tulsa District Attorney will work very hard to throw your neglectful-ass in prison if you refuse to get your children life-saving medical care because your faith tells you not to.

8. This church really does not like gays. 

"We shall not sanction or conduct any marriage between persons of the same gender. God instituted marriage between male and female for the propagation of the race, the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex between a man and a woman in marriage. These “sexual preferences or alternative lifestyles” are unnatural, sinful, unacceptable to God and inconsistent with the Christian life."

They don't say how they feel about Tulsa's Transgender population, but I think it is safe to take a guess. This church is not a safe place for Tulsa's gender and sexual minority community. They referred to The Equality Center as "The LGBT Headquarters." Gay United Nations. LOL. 

9. They had the church pray over a couple of handkerchiefs. One for someone who has leukemia and one for someone who was sick with something else. 

Like everything, they have a bible scripture to back this up. 

10.Occupied Church is a good place for any Rhema grad. If you believe that God wants you to be rich or if you are a cis-gender person who has a consistent digestive system and a whole lot of time on your hands to listen to Pastor Tim talk about nothing substantive for 2 1/2 hours, this is the place you want to be. If unconfirmed, anonymous healings are your thing or if you like to scream occasionally at God, but in a nice way, maybe check them out. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Open Letter to Reverend John Grant

Dear Father Grant, 

During your Ash Wednesday homily last week, you commented that "Giving up chocolate for Lent is the equivalent to being a spiritual sissy." Please clarify:

Sissy: A person regarded as effeminate or cowardly synonyms: effeminate, effete, unmanly

Sissy: Wimp, pussy, weak, can't fight or is scared to do something

Sissy: A boy or man who enjoys little girls clothing. 

Sissy: An affectionate female nickname derived from the word sister; for female sibling.

Sissy: a pejorative term for a boy or man who does not conform to male gender stereotypes

Sissy: approximately the male converse of tomboy. a girl with masculine traits or interests, but carries more strongly negative connotactions.

Sissy: In the BDSM practice of forced feminization, the male bottom undergoing cross-dressing may be called a sissy as a form of erotic humiliation, which may elicit guilt or sexual arousal, or possibly both, depending on the individual.

Sissy: In paraphilic infantilism, a sissy baby is a man who likes to play the role of a baby girl.

Sissy: Historically used among school children as a "relentlessly negative" insult implying gender or sexual deviance. It has been identified as sexist in guidance to school and described as "just as unacceptable as racist and homophobic language."

See, Father, words have power and just because a person may use this kind of hate speech in their daily, personal conversations, I, as a parishoner, would prefer that hateful slurs not be included in your religious homilies.  Know better, do better.



Sunday, February 18, 2018

Review: Spirit Life Church

Today we attended Spirit Life Church, located near 51st and Peoria, right across from this Tulsa landmark

1. Seen from the parking lot.

Jokesters. Y'all crack me up

2. Really old, stable building.

pretty uplighting
Nice area to hang out

Super Fluffy Bible

3. This was a little weird:

4. Alyssa was "waiting in the wings" to sing a solo and the pastor started talking and forgot all about her. They called for her several times but she had disappeared. 
No one knows.

5. Not hating. A lot of churches, or, well, some churches interpret the book of Acts this way. Just in case you haven't heard a speaking in this kind of tongue and their interpretation of those tongues... 
here ya go. 

6. Tongues are not so harmful, I don't think. What is scary is their security guard. He was sitting in a  really tall chair, like scoping a deer in the woods tall, and he was using binoculars...indoors. 

I didn't get a picture of the security guard so please enjoy this picture from Wikipedia that teaches white folks how to give a high five (with finger guns) 

 7. Norm Wilkie is pastor of this Trump lovefest and his sermon, based on 1Tim 2, was all about prayer. And how we need to pray for Flordia. As a country, I think we have decided we are just going to meme our way through this crisis.

Stupid, and just, racist and stupid memes.

 8. Pastor Norm (NORM!) loves Trump. He loves that Trump loves Jesus. And he preached from the pulpit that God elected Trump and we have a faithful obligation to submit to our rulers good or evil. Even Hitler, even Nero, even Trump. Pastor Norm, even among evangelicals, this is not how Romans 13 is interpreted.

"It is hard for a good man to be king."

9. This church is a really good place for anyone who is a member of a militia or anyone who considers themselves a modern-day minuteman. Anyone else, I would genuinely be concerned for your safety.  Here is a link to their upcoming conference.

10. A few things I want to bring to your attention. Take a second and follow this story of Kaleb Havens, who is spending Lent on a 46-day hunger strike while chained up on skid row in Los Angeles. Drop him a line of support if you have the time. 

Here he is chained to an abandoned Salvation Army building  

FB updates get weird when you are locked up on skid row

10.2 South Dakota Legislature is considering a bill to provide justice to these indigenous children who were sexually tortured and violently beaten by Roman Catholic Priests and nuns. Please make a call and offer your support. The Catholic Church should never walk away from this shame. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Review: The Real Church

This morning I attended Real Church. And as we go through this review, here is the picture I want you to keep in your mind:
Sam's scream. Sam's volume. Sam.

1. Real Church is located near I244 and Sheridan Road. The building was built in 1958 and first held Sheridan Ave. Chrisitan Church. It now is home to Real Church, a church that begins their services with The Hugging Song.

And they do hug. You can opt out with a handshake but its flu season. Maybe just wave at one another from afar.

2. This church is not wasting one penny on the heat. People came prepared with blankets and heavy coats and, a good thing because these services run two hours. It was freezing. 
Freezing but beautiful. The building is lovely.                                      

3. The sanctuary is weirdly decorated in quotes from this country's founding fathers. Our founding, land-stealing, slave-owning, really terrible fathers.
"Poly-Math, Bifocal wearing, hard-glass-harmonica-playing,
kick your ass, Benjamin Fucking Franklin
Did I mention I saw Hamilton in Chicago? Cuz I did

4. As with almost every church, things are amazing until a white man stands up to talk. These were very nice people who had an amazing time dancing to some really wonderful music. 

5. And then this happens.

2 hours of almost constant screaming

6. It should go without saying but
White people 
wearing dreadlocks 
is racist.
Always. Stop it.

7. I am such a sucker for selfless charity. 


8. The sermon was about unity and based mostly the first 8 books of Acts. Teacher Paul conveniently left out this little diddy in Acts 5:
What??? Jesus based socialism?? Yep. 
He also discussed the Super Bowl, Islamic Terrorism, and said the word "cripple." He spoke openly about a time in his life when he was cranky with Jesus, which seemed open and honest.

9. This is my favorite part of the morning. At the end of the service, they throw up this legal disclaimer in case you were injured during the service.
I believe a disclaimer has to go at the beginning of the service to be valid. 

10. This church is for people who need a hug, people who own earplugs, people who love the USA and people who believe the USA was founded on Christian principals.
Goofy shirt for sale
They have a church group called PMS (Profession Mom's Support) and another called PTSD (Papa's Train Sons and Daughters). The titles are ableist and sexist and just not clever.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Review: God's Shining Light Church

Introducing: A Church that is WAY too cool for me.
1. This church has a subculture

 2. And that subculture is biker bar church complete with their own biker gang, The Priesthood. Here is a link from 2014 when they delivered Christmas gifts to foster kids.  

They have a creed:

"I am a volunteer in this army, and I am enlisted for eternity. I will either retire in this army, or die in this army; but I will not get out, sell out, be talked out. I am faithful, capable, and dependable. If my God needs me, I am there. I am a biker-soldier, a prayer warrior, I am not a baby. I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up, pumped up, picked up, pepped up, or patted on the back. I am in this war for souls!"

3. You can thank Pastor Dixie Pebworth for opening this place where leather wearing hooligans gather. There is also maybe a pastor Dave and maybe a pastor Jim, and I have no idea which one spoke today so here is a clip of Pastor Dixie from June of 2017.
See, he's funny sort of.

4. There are pastors in Tulsa who have testimonies that I doubt very much. Maybe they smoked some weed in high school with their best friends, Brad and Nancy, and by the time they are 50, they are giving testimony of Jesus breaking the chains of their drug addiction. This is not Pastor Dixie. This man has seen shit, done shit, stole shit and been jailed for shit.

5. This congregation has also seen some shit. There is pain here and there are hugs here. If you are the kind of person who wants to head to church in sweat pants and a flannel shirt, this is the place you have been looking for. They don't ask you to hide who you are or pretend your life is perfect.

6. This church has a real understanding of how hard life can be. They have a community board with information about mental health services, SNAP benefits and resources for veterans.

7. Wings of Freedom is God's Shining Light drug rehabilitation and life skills program. Here is a review from On one hand, our community is desperately lacking in rehab programs. On the other hand, I am just beginning to enjoy substance abuse.

8. Theology:Pastor Dixie went to the "school of hard knocks" which is not an actual seminary. Is this a safe place for the LGBTQIA gang members? I don't know. Did most of them vote for Trump? I don't know. They recited a basic Apostles Creed sort of theology but beyond that I have no idea.
9. I probably would not agree with Pastor Dixie on everything but I enjoyed being here. The music was fun and the people were friendly and welcoming. They made a point to say that you don't have to own a motorcycle to so take your Vespa and roll on over for a visit.

10. Change of topic: Gardner's Book Store (near 41st and Mingo) now has a food closet. Please be generous or hungry and donate or take what you can or need.
And a quick "fuck you" to whoever
left the can of organic pumpkin puree