St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Ft. Collins, Colo.

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Chosen because…went for Pentecostal but service times didn’t suit my needs so swapped it with another “al” denomination.

Well I Never

I’ll never stay in Colorado. I’ll never read the Bible. I’ll never go to church. I’ll never get married. I’ll never get divorced. Never say never. Lesson learned.

Since the Redeemer Lutheran experience, I’ve put my pissy pants on every Sunday morning, bitched and moaned all the way to church and resisted pre-service temper tantrums. But when I left St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, I was calm. Like abnormally, once-in-a-lifetime kind of calm. Why? Because it turns out that I’m getting dumber, not smarter and for that I’m grateful. I’m so sick of thinking.

Age: The Great Eraser

I don’t know anything about Episcopalians and that’s fine as knowledge taints experience. I love the church interior. Basic. A few stained glass windows. A cross draped in white cloth hanging from the ceiling. This is the first church I’ve been to with organ music, which I love. Very traditional. Love that too.

Service starts. A choir cloaked in white, wooden crosses hanging from necks, floats down the aisles. Priests or whatever take the stage. There are many. They have hoods on the back of their white robes. I’m not in the deep south or Michigan. I wipe KKK from the brain. During meet your neighbor the preachers step into the aisles, shaking hands as they go. I like this but am trapped between an old woman in a powder blue suit and a crabby note taker who nearly clips my toes every time she pulls down the prayer bar.

Most of the congregation will be chillin’ with God soon. Perhaps that’s why the preacher chose John 3:1 – 17. Here’s the story. This arrogant dude, Nicodemus, meets with Jesus at night because he’s ashamed to be seeking advice from a lowly country boy but he needs counsel so he does it anyway. Nicodemus thinks he knows everything but in his later years, after Jesus dies, he doesn’t say anything. He kicks his know-it-all attitude, which suggests that as we age we either lose our minds or realize we don’t know a damn thing about anything.

I believe it’s the latter. I’ve realized this in my own life, particularly within the last few months. I’ve ripped the blanket off some of my more gregarious opinions and stereotypes, but I still use “you’re wrong, you’re just wrong” when backed in a corner during arguments. Turns out I’m usually wrong, which I hate especially when my mom hauls out the dictionary as backup. You can’t argue with Merriam.

Never Say Never

I didn’t want to go to church, assumed it would suck, thought “I’ll never enjoy this” but like I said, it really chilled me out. I liked the sermon but I also didn’t feel any pressure to share my non-existent relationship with God with other people. I’m not sure I’ve gotten that from any other church.

Example. Rather than harping on Bible studies, the pastor focused on Foyer Groups, groups of eight-to-10 people who meet for dinner etc. to get to know each other. I like that. I need friends but I don’t want the Bible getting between us.

I never thought I’d use the prayer bar or reply to the preacher as outlined by the bolded text in the leaflet, but I did it. I kind of want to get baptized so I can receive communion. But I’ll never do it. I’ll never stick with organized religion. And I’ll never say things I don’t mean. Ever.

I try not to celebrate the raping and pillaging of other cultures however, Thanksgiving 2010 was fantastic. Good food, wonderful family, the Book of John and Jorianne, the Coffee Psychic.

For five days, I had access to three guideposts — family, religion and the occult. They all said the same thing: Have faith. It will all work out.

But as Jesus and Jorianne demonstrate, it’s extraordinarily difficult to know without seeing and do without knowing.

Jesus says: “None of you will ever believe unless you see miracles and wonders.”

Jorianne says: “You’re being pulled in two and you don’t know which way to go.”

All true but Jorianne’s coffee/tarot reading provided something more tangible than the Bible. That doesn’t mean I’m going to make any decisions, but I’m more comfortable with the idea of not doing anything, which is something.

Some are as skeptical of psychics as I am the Bible, but Jorianne knew about my foot surgery and stomach issues without my saying a word. But, as with the Bible, her visions are open to interpretation and I’ll take what I want and leave the rest.

My Life According to Jorianne

My stomach issues involve female organs, possibly a collapsed uterus. (I’m sorry. This is foul. The uterus should never be discussed, not even on ThumpMe.)

My U will be righted soon and then I’ll start cranking out kids, likely twins. (Multiples run in my dad’s family. Damn.)

Don’t trust Michael. (Who?)

Go back to school. (No.)

Though I don’t eat sweets I like wine, which is “OK” for me. (Thank God. I can check alcoholism off my list of worries).

There’s something with the Coast Guard. (I like ripped men and can’t swim…)

I will meet a Dimitri or Demetrius, possibly in a work setting, possibly a doctor. He will be a positive influence, role model and man of great integrity.

An imposter is threatening my safety.

I will travel a lot this summer. (Yes. And it will involve unshaven men and rigs.)

I will travel to many “weird” places, including Iceland. It will take my writing to a whole new level. (Totally down.)

She mentioned the Dimitri/Demetrius thing multiple times, which is fascinating because I’ve never met either. She also said “If you need time, be by yourself for a while and sort things out,” which is interesting because this is my only plan for 2011.

I’ll also “make the correct choice” and am hanging around someone who is “not willing to make sacrifices, is self-centered, conceited, has little regard for others, only for themselves,” which answers one question.

Jorianne is a modern day prophet. Like prophets, psychics predict events. People listen to the predictions they like and ignore those they don’t.

So, in taking what I want from Jorianne, this is what will happen. When I return from my island of self-discovery Dimitri, the Coast Guard surgeon, will fix my womb so I can travel to weird places and raise a brood of twins. In Iceland I’ll open a vineyard and, since I’ll have a PhD, I’ll do what all PhDs and writers do — sit on my ass and think all day.

Sounds pretty good. Now I just need to find Dimitri. Casting call starts today.

Stopping Point: The Acts of the Apostles

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