The Fruit Feast was not what I expected. (It is not the same as the Back Hawk Feast, for one thing; at least not in the Bay Area – either that or Jason Berry was wrong.) Nine speakers were invited to discourse briefly on the fruits of the Spirit, but most of it aroused (for me) unpleasant memories of too many years of legalistic church life. However, there were a few highlights that just about made up for it: the pastor of a local church, one Mother Hughes (see blog photo), said that the Lord had taken her “from the crackhouse to the church house,” and underlined her few remarks by singing a spiritual: “My soul looked back and wondered / How I made it over.” Later – much later – Bishop Hayes discoursed on Faithfulness, and happened to say: “When I was low down, when I was about to be homeless, when I applied to the government for everything on the books [all available social services] and they denied me – they told me No!I reminded God of my faithfulness all these years” and the situation straightened itself out. (I didn’t get a picture of the Bishop, because my camera batteries had wimped out by that time.)

See, here’s where I’m on tenterhooks with the church: they hammer on “obedience to the Word” interpreted literally, on a “holy life” defined in apparently fairly conventional terms, and then they’ll say something earthshaking and egalitarian like that.

Well, Miss Brenda (a card reader I met last year at Lucky Mojo) did tell me last year that the best church home for people like us is “where Moses went” – the wilderness!

I’m staying home next Sunday – possibly for several Sundays – and if/when Pastor asks about it, I’ll just remind him that Jesus advised us, “When you pray, go to your own room.” I’m sure he’ll take that in good part. After all, it was he who told me a few weeks ago to be exactly what I am.

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