Monday, January 4, 2010

Sunday Services at Central Presbyterian Church

One of the reasons I love going to church on Sunday is because it forces me to get up early(ish), which gets my week started off on a good, productive foot.  I especially love going because it's incredibly grounding, after six crazy days of work, fights, spending money, being too self-focused, and too tuned in to my cell phone and twitter, to sit, attentive, for an hour focused on something greater than myself.

And I'm not always sure just what that bigger thing is.  Christianity says it's an entity with a human counterpart we can paint pictures of.  Ok.

I went through a year where I wasn't sure if I wanted to be called a "Christian" because the labels seem arbitrary when my only real belief is that there is a divine presence in (of?) the universe, which is the common thread of most religious practices. One of the stories about the Dalai Lama that has always stuck with me, is where he told a spiritual seeker to focus on the religion she grew up in, Judaism, to channel her spiritual practice.  For this reason, I made the decision to "stick with" (so to speak) Christianity, because the basic fabric of its theology encompasses my beliefs, and it gives me a specific, familiar practice to focus my own energies on.

Lennon and I had anticipated a lengthy search for a church when we moved to Austin, but we loved Central Presbyterian the first time we went.  The byline "deliberately diverse and fully inclusive" was the initial bait, but seeing it actually in place in the church's population was the determining factor of our decision.

That, and when the head minister came to our house to meet us, aside from being very kind, he excitedly told us how one of the pastor interns had got him a gift certificate to a tattoo parlor, and he was already set on the large piece he wanted done on his arm.  He's like 60.  I love it.  It's also great to be at a church that works with seminary student interns.  Kasey, the tattoo giver, has one of her own: a portrait of Calvin.  If you've seen Lennon's Calvin tattoo, you know we are fans. 

One of our church friends, Elizabeth, also has a neat tumblr account, and writes for the Austinist.  The list goes on.

Lennon told me he hates this dress, but he didn't tell me till after church, because he said he didn't want to wait on me to change.  I'm going to wear it a lot now just to spite him.

Dress with belt: Banana Republic, bought for 70% off
Cardigan: Anne Taylor Loft
Tights: Target
Ballet flats: Target
Feather pin: from Parts &Labour on South Congress

Cute puppy tied up outside the convenience store.  I really wanted to pet it.


That Chelsea Girl™ said...

I had to laugh when I read about your priest, that is just one of those "only in Austin..." stories. And what a great outfit for church!

Grant said...

I saw Vic Chestnut play his last show in Austin at your church. He killed himself 2 days before Christmas. Now every time I see your church I think of suicide.(not mine)

Amanda said...

@ Grant - That's really sad - I'm sorry you have to make that association.

Austin Eavesdropper said...

Ah. I can relate to so much of this post. Enjoyed the whole thing but the priest with the tattoo parlor gift certificate detail made me grin like a mad person.

Oh and this outfit is DARLING, wear it everywhere! Very Blair Waldorf, if you watch GG. :)

Mrs. Lovely said...

I think you look cute! :)

Amanda said...

@ Tolly - Gossip Girl is next up on my DVD purchase list - my dress hating boyfriend is a Sex & The City fiend, so I think he'd love it, and maybe expand his fashion sense!

@ Chelsea & Mrs. Lovely - thank you ladies!

susan said...

Just stumbled on your blog. You have beautiful pictures and I love you "look for less". I do think you should keep wearing the outfit--cute!

Sara-Jane Elizabeth said...

Hello, fellow Austinite!

1. That church is beautiful.
2. That outfit is real, real cute--that dress is wonderful! He doesn't know what he's talking about.
3. Only in Austin. Only in Austin.

ClassieCassie said...

Okay, Honey. You're now my new favorite blogger (for the day at least, there are so many you know). You sound like a woman after my own heart. Wear your adorable dress, continue to attend the Church and know that one kindred soul appreciates the search you've done and wishes you luck.

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