John Lennon’s Imagine.
John Lennon’s Imagine.
Alright, what do I have to do to summon a skeptic or whatever they’re called on short notice? We’re talking Brené Brown at the church I’ve been visiting lately and her “”discoveries”” have been driving me up the wall.
trying not to burn yourself with a candle that has one of those cheap paper wax guards because the church you’re at didn’t get the good plastic ones
Here’s the plan for next time: 1) Visit the church with no pews or pew back shelves for book storage. 2) Forget to pick up a hymnal on your way in. 3) Pick a seat next to where you know the cutie usually sits. 4) Ask if you can look over and share their hymnal book during the hymns, creating an excuse for the two of you to stand closer together.
Y’all, I was this close to successfully executing this plan after legitimately forgetting to pick up a hymnal, but then someone noticed I didn’t have one and gave me one before I could get to step four. Bummer.
Me and the cute kid did chat for a bit before the service though, and they even asked if they would see me next Sunday, so, seems promising?
I forgot to tell y’all about this church sign I found that just says “EPIC FAIL?” over a stock photo of a man with his head in his hands.
This is a real thing that I passed on the road.
the engineer friend: Because it’s really hard to find a LGBT-affirming church that isn’t…
me: Unitarian Universalist?
the engineer friend: Basically, yes.
Too often, non-aces will speculate about what it’s like to be ace under the gaze of one of the most politically powerful religious groups to date, making assumptions about what we do or don’t face, without asking those of us who have the relevant experience. This zine, “Aces in the Church,” is intended to be a compilation of ace experiences with & within Christianity, to bring our stories together into one place and close the door on any need for speculation.
Who can submit content?
Anyone who fits both criteria:
If you’re interested but you’re on the fence about whether you or your experiences count, you are invited to submit something anyway.
What content can you submit?
Any personal reflections, mini essays, vignettes, stories, short comics, or other works dealing with being ace while engaging with Christians and/or in relation to Christianity. For example, you might submit something about:
There is no minimum length requirement. A couple of sentences is fine. A short note saying that the subject is too difficult for you to talk about can count as a contribution.
All submissions will be subject to the editor’s approval prior to publication. Pieces with objectionable content, such as antigay sentiment, will not be tolerated. You can opt to supply a contact method if you would like to resolve any issues that may arise.
The editor will add content warnings at its own discretion, and you are welcome to specify some yourself. There is only one mandatory rule about this: please place a note at the top if your submission includes sexual content.
How can I submit something?
You have two options! Either drop the full text into Coyote’s askbox, or email the file/document to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “zine submission.” These methods can also be used to send questions about the zine, but in that case, make sure to include a contact method for the reply, unless you’re a regular reader of The Ace Theist.
Please specify what name (if any) you would like the piece to be attributed to for the byline. In other words, please say who your submission is from. Your submission can be from “Anonymous.” If you choose not to remain anonymous, you may use an alias or a url, or both.
When is the deadline?
The current deadline is August 15, but that’s subject to change depending on the response rate. Feel free to drop Coyote a note to request more time.
[note for people who don’t read the tags: full text copying of this post is permitted & encouraged so this will spread]
You: Not all Christian denominations practice intinction as one of the methods of receiving communion.
[cw: Christianity, alcohol]
While our various ceremonial remembrances of the meal may be meaningful in their own right, it’s a shame they aren’t accompanied more often by actual feasts, complete with bread baskets and wine bottles, elbows and spills, cleanup and candle-light, and big fat serving bowls of mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and fresh green beans. For many, such feasts are a stable of their informal church life — those planned or improptu gatherings around Chinese takeout or a backyard grill when the people of God just hang out together — but the dichotomy between the sacred and the secular is a Western construction and one I suspect those first disciples of Jesus would find a bit curious given what we know about those first Sunday meals.
–Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday, p.129-130
I don’t know if that dichotomy is actually a Western construction (seems so), but, this hits on one of my pet topics.
Because on the one hand… on the one hand, liturgy is very… pretty. It can create a very gripping, somatic experience. I think of church bells, solemn and clamorous, and of the resonant “bowl” I would ring as an acolyte during Eucharist while all else was silent, paying rapt attention to the timing and how to strike, to be loud enough, without being too loud, and pace the blows, letting some ripples of vibration fade before striking anew — and how the sound would fill the space of the sanctuary and it was beautiful. I loved that part of the service, even though I was anxious about it because there were no diversions to cover my mistakes.
But also? Usually? The liturgy can be cold and distancing, and so… lifeless. It’s a facade, and it’s stiff, and it’s the same every time, and that makes it tedious. It can be good for invoking muscle memory and nostalgia and sometimes (sometimes) quiet reverence, but for me, usually, it just feels empty.
And I remember being frustrated even as a, what? a preteen? a young teen? …about this, even then, even though I had a very underdeveloped sense of what was bothering me. I was noticing that people mostly didn’t want to talk Godtalk without being formal and vaguely scripted about it, like it was this far-removed thing to be held at arm’s length, quarantined to designated hours and structured participation, not a natural part of their actual everyday lives. I kept feeling this uncomfortable divide between how people handled themselves during Church Stuff and how they handled themselves when talking about literally anything else. In trying to express my interest in suturing those two worlds together and maybe even collapsing some of the divide, trying to talk to some adults about it, I… didn’t express myself well.
And eventually, I gave up.