So last Sunday I went to this Lutheran church in White Plains. I’m writing a story about this insane Protestant reformer who wrote like hundreds of letters to Martin Luther but who was so weird nobody wanted to follow his beliefs, and I wanted to get the scoop before I started writing, you know? I even went so far as to gobble up the communion for the first time in all my life. That was mostly because I’m taking this class “Food and Feasting in the Visual Arts,” and we’ve been talking about the host for weeks, and the class starts at 12:30, so I’m always thinking about lunch and so on, and the wires between my brain and stomach got crossed, so to speak.
Anyway, here’s the difference between Catholicism and Lutheranism as I understand it: outside of a Catholic church, it says, “Catholic Church,” and outside a Lutheran church, it says, “Lutheran Church.” When you go inside, there’s no bleeding difference. God’s wounds, you’d think a sect that purports to follow a man who called the papacy the “Whore of Babylon” would try to distance itself from the Caths. It wasn’t even clear that the
priest minister didn’t actually transform the crackers and the wine into pieces of Christ.
During the peace thing, when everybody shook hands, I sat down too early because in the itinerary they gave me it said ‘sit.’ I thought they found me out. It was pretty newb-like of me. Also it said that only baptized Lutherans could take the communion, and I’m neither of those things. When we sat down, the minister walked all the way to the back, where I was sitting. I thought he was going to yell at me and throw me away, I knew I had been found out. Instead he just gave somebody behind me the communion.
They were really friendly though. They invited me to come down in the basement after the mass and have coffee and doughnuts and a cross shaped cake with them. One of the Lutherans introduced me to another one of them then wandered away, and that one introduced me to a third before wandering away, and the third wandered away, but not before introducing me to a fourth Lutheran. I’m not complaining, though, the story I kept telling got pretty good by the third time I repeated it.
I got funny looks when I told them I was a junior at Purchase College, being communicated the thought: “THEN WHERE YA BEEN, JUNIOR?” I had been in the area for at least two years, but I hadn't been to Church yet? Hum... I knew I had been found out, so I told the one I was talking to that I had to go check the meter, to which he replied, “I don’t think you have to pay on Sundays,” to which I replied nervously, “I had a bad experience once in Philly, you see, a fifty dollar ticket for being five minutes late,” and hurried off. I got out of the basement, but all the doors were locked. The front doors were locked with like a key, and the other one was a really heavy wooden door with a confusing latch that I had to really try to open. I was in way over my head.
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