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Z was the recipient of tickets to a game feed:  venison, pheasant, bear, elk, raccoon....
jtj608 joined us, but head-injury D was busy (Sunday is WhoNight).

To say that a Men for Christ event at a Lutheran church was Not My Scene is...a major understatement.

Mom had a falling out with Dad's church when I was quite young; my only childhood memories of church are vague recollections of a room with some toys in it.  Currently, I can recall being in church seven times in the last 40 years:  four weddings and three funerals.  Well, and today.  I don't think Mom wanted me to grow up godless (after Dad died, she went back to her Lutheran church).  But she never pressed anything on me one way or the other while I was growing up, so I was free to make my own way.  That's priceless to me.  But it does mean whole segments of culture that many people (especially around here) take for granted are completely alien to me, and I am at a disadvantage at every social event that touches on that segment.

If someone invites me to their house for dinner, I am polite and I defer to their preferences.  Their house, their rules; I am just a guest.  I feel the same obligation when I am in someone else's church.  But it gets weird, because I have virtually no context for what their preferences are.  Mostly I just try to be as un-noticed as possible.
I'm not sure if my dislike of ritual stems from my lack of experience in it, or if it's the other way around.  Ritual bands people together, and helps them do more than they could do individually.  It has power, and I am wary of power.  The roots of this go way beyond anything church-related, but it factors heavily into my wariness of all organized religions.
And yet...my personal belief system says that I must appreciate even the people and things that I personally don't like.  Because diversity is essential.  And it isn't diversity if you get to pick and choose.  If I am flatly negative about organized religion, then I need to check myself and examine those feelings.

When in a church, I am self-conscious about my lack of familiarity, irritated at people for not thinking for themselves, irritated at myself for being so bigoted, and thoroughly baffled.

It was a church event, so there were a couple of prayers.  Interspersed through the evening were a few bad religion jokes (and no I don't mean the band).

That said...meats.  The bbq raccoon was interesting, but I'm fine with never having raccoon again.  Z suggested that raccoon vindaloo might work - she could be right.  The bear meatloaf was good.  Many of the dishes suffered from an excess of sauce - but, they had a lot of people to feed, and anyway one doesn't need that much meat.  The elk stroganoff was good.  I liked the venison sausage - no shortage of venison in this state.  I did think it was a shame that the pheasant was buried in a sauce, even if it was by far the lightest sauce of the evening.  When I was young, we sometimes had rabbit, and pheasant.  And once, woodchuck..

The feed also had door prizes, and raffles.  Z and I each got a hand saw as a door prize.  Raffle items included a convection oven, a couple of quilts (not as good as Mom's), a couple of guns, binoculars, and a chainsaw.  The final drawing was for a crossbow.  On the one hand, cool toys.  On the other hand...a gun raffle is kind of like giving a pet as a gift:  both are responsibilities that should be properly prepared for.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
randomdreams
Feb. 1st, 2016 05:48 am (UTC)
Okay that is by far the weirdest Lutheran BBQ I've ever heard of, especially the raffle items.
ersatz_read
Feb. 2nd, 2016 02:55 am (UTC)
You'd think, but around here it doesn't stick out much. Try googling
game feed wisconsin church
or
gun raffle wisconsin church
The fire department that did a gun raffle to raise funds did cause a small stir...but I guess they'd had booze raffles in the past.
Ah, the Midwest....
randomdreams
Feb. 2nd, 2016 05:55 am (UTC)
Somehow when I saw raccoon bbq and gun raffle I came to the conclusion you were in alabama. Totally didn't expect wisconsin.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Friending welcome, but lurking is fine too.

Constructive criticism is also welcome - whatever it is, trust me, I've heard worse.

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