Today we attended a "Palm/Passion" Sunday service at church, which was the first at SunCreek United Methodist's new sanctuary. I prefer the old term "Palm Sunday", but the minister explained that some have difficulties going from triumphal entry into the Easter story in one week. I do not have that problem. I am all for triumph, before, during and after.
The congregation seems to have outgrown the sanctuary from its very inception. They gave us all plant leaves to hold and wave, but they were not palms. I wanted to ask what they were, so that we could rename the Sunday. I remembered childhood church services where we paraded in with leaves, and then spiked them into ashcans filled with dirt.
The opening hymn was one familiar to me since childhood, "Hosanna, Loud Hosanna", which I find was written by Jeanette Threlfell, who found a place with relatives after being orphaned as a child, and who found time to write her hymns and poems because she was rendered an invalid in an accident.
I like the way the song praises "hosanna, loud hosanna" as the simplest song, which even children can sing.
The stained glass windows are not in yet. The sun shone through one right into my eyes, just about the time the building fund chairman was taking a bow. I deleted the sentence I wrote with a metaphysical wisecrack.
The "confirmation class", people on the cusp of teenagerdom, did a play which featured no violence, no scourging, and no special effects. It will not earn any money at the box office, but it simply told a story in an interesting and non-controversial way.
We went to the Allen Cafe for a late breakfast, where the blond Albanian-American waitress with the cool accent recognized us. I suppose we have become regulars.
I drove twenty miles north to Celina, a town of roughly 1,800. It was founded in the 1870s, although the physical location of the city had to move once, in order to link up with the railroad. On April 20, 1932, the Clyde Barrow Gang burglarized the local stores. Now Celina is a football town in farming country, winning four consecutive state championships until the string was broken in 2002.
I parked in the empty town square, just by the gazebo. I saw they had an entire store dedicated to clothing which shows 'Bobcat Spirit'. I walked about and snapped photos of the grain elevators, an old house, a windmill and the home of the 2002 baseball state champions. I thought it would be fun to try a "hiking trip" in a small town instead of a nature trail, and it was, indeed, fun.
I feel connected to small towns like Celina because I grew up in just such a town. Celina has vintage homes, lots of little places to eat, and quaint little churches. It's only fifteen miles north of a sprawling suburb, but it does not feel like a suburb of anywhere. It is its own town. I'll post pictures in another post.
I took a long nap this evening, after one of my wife's friends stopped by and chatted with us. We had a soy frozen pizza, which had all the delights of pizza with little of the cholesterol.
I'm reading an obscure James Hilton novel, and thinking of next weekend.