I know i said i was going to work on this project which i indeed have been. I have cooked something new everyday and have been reading tons about the different perspectives on vegetarianism. At the moment i must say i am actually leaning away from it. It is very strange because i have no desire to eat meat, except fish and wild game. I have never much liked meat and don't know if i ever will, but the evidence out there for taking animal into our diets is a strong one, which i will elaborate on soon. But for the time being i will tell you of my adventures in Columbia, Missouri or the lack there of.
I have been in Columbia for almost two weeks, which is crazy because i am not sure what i have done in this time. The weather has been rainy, rainy, rainy with some amazing storms which i haven't seen the likes of since i was living in Alberta permanently. This weather however has done little to inspire me to go out and about especially in a town (well technically a city) full of rednecks and college farm kids. Of course this is not entirely true. We did venture out on saturday and went to a cute little coffee shop called the underground and met some interesting people. A woman from portland with a hipster-esque vibe. a cute cook with long hair and a pleasant smile. In fact i haven't really met to many rednecks since being here. Justin really wants to take me to the sporty store so i can converse with them in their natural element. I would rather go to a country bar and have a few drinks in me and them in order to converse with them :)
My most Missourian experience thus far though has been going to the Crossing Church. Supposedly presbyterian, though i would agree with Justin that it is more evangelical perhaps bordering on fundamentalist. It has i would think three well developed acres, mainly a huge parking lot and church with some surrounding buildings and park space. A total of 2000 parisioners attend it. Justin's friend Marty whom he went to Korea with invited us along after i asked him a bunch of questions. Upon walking into the church you enter a large lobby with free coffee and pastries and tables filled with information and sign-up sheets for numerous church activities. There is even an actual cafe and you can take your church into the main worship area. Now this worship area is not like any other i have ever come across. It is set up like a theatre with comfy reclining seats on a slope down to the stage. The stage is a high end performance stage with a full band set up and projection screens on either side. This is all controlled by a sound booth and projection room at the back. Like all churches this one is about theatrics but never have i seen one so new and flashy, no wonder the congregation was so young.
The preacher was dressed in plain clothes, a regular looking sort of fellow and the rock band was dressed to impress and maybe show a little curve. As the sermon began i felt rather intrigued and even welcomed. The community was strong and the music was good, the preacher spoke of intellectual things but in a basic and entertaining way. There was no sense of superiority or judgement, as was present by the welcoming of all, not just christians. Justin later said that is more likely that he meant "true" christians and presumed everyone was basically christian. The sermon was about a two main things first how does one justify or find truth in their belief of Jesus? The preacher used acts 13, a tale of Paul and barberas going to see this Jews and Gentiles and preaching of god's love, stating the evidence for it all is the crucifixion and then resurrection of Jesus. On a side note he took the open discussion by Paul and Barberas with the Jews/Gentiles as an example of how christianity thrives in an environment that is open with out judgement or religious fundamentalism that represses and excludes. But instead of making it a legitimate argument and making him seem like an open pastor, he used the Jewish elite in the story and then the new atheists and then the sundance film festival as being the fundamentalists, excluding and laying abuse upon good, open and generous christians. It was quite well presented of course. He used clips of a panel discussion with the producer of "holy wars" and the documentary "Expulsion" that backed up his argument. It was well orchestrated and i can see how it could be so poisonous to young minds who do not question. I am amazed Justin even made it through, as he was seething in his seat most of the sermon.
Definitely an interesting experience now to go and see the Pastor Becky Fischer from Jesus camp. Evidently she is only a short drive away.