Tomorrow I fly from PDX to SMF, and from there my dad’s pickup truck will drive from I-80 to Highway 121. On a certain bend in the twisty highway, we will turn off the paved road and bump and bumble over gravel for a mile and a half, until we pull into the driveway of my parent’s house. The house my parents live in is 100 yards from the house my grandmother grew up in, and it’s 20 minutes to the nearest grocery store (but only 15 minutes from the nearest fine restaurant, and 10 from the nearest winery).
So, hey, not just a fun song lyric, but a true subject line!
And I’m so ready to be far from ‘civilization’, on retreat with my extensive, extended family. I caught myself this morning thinking how much easier my life would be if I could be one of those ‘spiritual, not religious’ people. Sleep in on Sunday, read Digg.com instead of Titus 1:9, care more about what Nick Lachey and Paris Hilton said than what Pope Benedict XVI and Katherine Jefferts Schori said. Heck, this week of vacation could truly be that for me, I could even leave my prayer book and bible in Portland!
And as soon as that thought had crossed my mind, I said to myself, “But then I wouldn’t go to Little!Church.”
The first Episcopal Church I ever attended was Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento. The first Episcopal Church that welcomed me and invited me to share all of my time, talents and treasure was Little!Church*. I walked into that church, and I was immediately welcomed as a long-lost family member, given a place at both the Eucharistic Table and the brunch table. And the hardest part of moving to Portland was giving up the Little!Church family that had nurtured me through so much in the short years I was there.
I’ll be returning to Little!Church exactly 365 days after I left it. And yes, there will probably be some changed faces, but I’m absolutely 100% certain that, no matter what happened at General Convention, no matter what happened in the Diocesan Convention, no matter what happened at the last vestry meeting, no matter what politics have tried to do to the Church I love, there is a seat for me.
*I’d tell you what church it was, but since it really was teeny-tiny and EVERYONE knew me, and I’m still trying to preserve my anonymity, it’s Little!Church. If you’re in the East Sacramento Metropolitan Area looking for a parish, email me and I’ll point you to it.