So I visited a Naz church while on the road...you know...it's what we do, it's what we do. It was actually a nice break in my weekend of horrifying-non-shopping-boredom. But really...it was a surreal experience. This church, which shall remain (forever) unnamed, may as well have been a time warp, because once I drove onto their property, I'm pretty sure it became 1995. This place had EVERY stereotypical 90's church thing going for it, and it was made evident from the moment I walked in the doors.
I was greeted outside by a 55ish man, who asked my name, and said "Welcome, Janet!" When I went in through the glass doors with the black crash bars (of course), an 85-90ish TINY lady extended her arm for a hug. When I gave her the welcome-to church hug, she kept her arm wrapped around my waist (that's how tall she was) and said "Are you new?"
Pause for a moment to say that I'm so glad I wasn't some stranger who just thought "I don't know...maybe I'll try church today." I would have left as soon as some stranger tried to hug me.
Anyway, I told her I was new, and she guided/pushed me over to a Welcome Table, where another older lady was standing. I told her that I was from Point Loma, and she said "Poynnt Laoma?? Oh maaah...maa daw-tuh awlmawst we-unt theyrr, but ayt thuh layst sec-und, she dee-sided teau gaugh teau Ow-klugh-how-muh. Nah-ow she's murried aynd hay-us the cuh-yutest bay-bee Ah hay-ve aver sayne!!"
Texas and THEN some!! What are you doing in Reno???
Anyway, as it turns out, I know her daughter, who works at a church near Sacramento, and the best part about that is that they actually have two kids, but one of them is older and apparently not a big deal anymore, now that they have a baby. She didn't mention the older girl once, but proceeded to talk about the baby for a few more minutes.
So she made me fill out a Welcome card with all my personal business on it, then gave me some cookies and a free coffee coupon at...wait for it...the Holy Grounds Coffee Cart.
Do it, 1995!!
I could write about 10 pages about how awesome it all was, but in order to leave my office before it gets dark and because it's likely that no one has actually read this far down, I'll bullet point the rest.
--I was introduced as "Sharon Hutchinson"
--the "worship team" was ordered boy-girl-boy-girl-boy, and all the boys had dress pants, and all the girls had long dresses or skirts on
--the "worship band" was made up of a piano (leading, of course), drums, a guitar and three flutes. Awesome.
--they had special music. It was a piano solo from a girl who was home from college, and her new college boyfriend sat with her and turned the pages when she nodded very indiscreetly
--during the special music, the screen that typically had the words to the songs had a PowerPoint slide that was a close up of piano keys
--there was a sermon outline with at LEAST 30 blank spaces
--the pastor had an alter call in the middle of the service and said "you don't have to be a member of this church to come and pray"
--multiple people said "Amen" (including three when I was bringing greetings from PL).
--the carpet was pale-ish pink
--the sermon included three humorous-and-not-quite-relevant illustrations
--the bathrooms had "please don't flush your fem products down the drain" signs with clever Publisher clip art of a toilet freaking out.
All in all, although I openly mock, it was a warm fuzzy shout out to my entire childhood, and I'd do it again!!!