1. The day I dreaded most in the surprisingly drawn out saga that constitutes my church drama (which you can catch up on from the beginning and with the most recent update I posted) came on Sunday: the last day in our current building.
The plan moving forward (to my understanding) is to close on the sale of our office building, figure out how to fit everything we’re losing from the office building into the church building, and then renovate the church building to accommodate the office space we’ve lost. Even though none of those things have happened yet, Sunday was the last day in the current (former, now) space. As of this coming Sunday, we’ll be meeting in a different church’s building until who knows when.
Sunday was hard, to be generous. After the regular church service, we had an open house for a few hours where anyone could come and go to see just about any space in both of the buildings. (The office building – YIKES. We didn’t need the majority of the space in that structure, and boy, did it show. The rooms in the top floor were literally falling apart.) However, one of the spaces in our office building was our chapel, which was the original church building (they built the office building around it). Selling the office building also means selling that space, which was particularly sad.
RIP, little chapel. March 1, 1927-April 29, 2018 😦 We had a short service to deconsecrate the chapel, and it broke my heart.
Part of me feels like it’s ridiculous that I would get so worked up over two buildings and their interiors. At the end of the day, the people inside the building are what really make up the church, and I know we’re lucky that we’re not being dissolved entirely and scattered among other congregations.
But it was so much more than “just” a building to me. It was a legacy, the tangible legacy of what literally 131 years worth of people had created and entrusted to our care. There were memorials all around the building to these people and their families: the baptismal font dedicated to the memory of a toddler who died before she reached her third birthday in the early 1900s. The alter given in memory of a man who died on Good Friday, April 18, in 1919. The pew that used to belong to “The Misses Gustafson.” These were real people who lived real lives, and part of those real lives played out in the same pews I sat in every Sunday, surrounded by the same stained glass windows I admired every Sunday. These were real people who gave real money, and real blood, and real sweat, and real tears to create something that would last. These were real people who made real investments in this space, and you better believe that I feel a very real responsibility to honor those investments, those tears, that sweat, that blood, that money, those lives. The people who came before me are not just names on a plaque. They’re humans: humans who deserved so much better for what they put into my church than they’re getting. And even though everything my church has come to is not my fault at all–I didn’t make decisions that drove people away; I didn’t withhold my money from the offering plate out of spite–I feel so freaking responsible. Because I was there at the end. I feel like I should’ve done more, should’ve fought harder, prayed harder, I-don’t-know-what harder–done anything harder to keep this from happening. Standing in the chapel during the deconsecration service, I felt like I needed to apologize to the building itself for letting it down. I felt like I, personally, had let 131 years worth of people down, and that’s not a particularly fun way to feel.
2. Because the whole church thing clearly wasn’t enough trauma for one day, I went directly from church to Avengers: Infinity War, and folks, I have some Thoughts on that movie.
First, my spoiler-free take: I do not, for one iota of a second, believe that the things that happened in the last 15 minutes or so of the movie were it. I firmly believe that Marvel is taking us for a ride (a ride I do not appreciate, for the record), and will continue to believe that until the untitled Avengers 4 movie next year proves otherwise.
Second, my spoiler-full take, presented to you in white text in case you haven’t seen the movie yet and don’t want anything spoiled: there is no way–NO. WAY.–everyone killed off in this movie is going to stay dead. Absolutely not. It’s not even possible, based on the currently announced upcoming movies, unless the Spider-Man sequel and Guardians 3 are both prequels to Infinity War, because obviously you can’t have a Spider-Man movie if Spider-Man is dead, and you can’t have a GotG 3 if ALL OF THE GUARDIANS EXCEPT ROCKET ARE DEAD. I also cannot FATHOM a world in which DISNEY, the profit-hungry media company to end all profit-hungry media companies, allows Marvel to kill off Black Panther permanently. That’d be as stupid from a revenue standpoint as tearing down Disney World just because they felt like it. Black Panther made $1.3 BILLION at the box office. You genuinely think Disney is going to let this be the end of Black Panther? You think they’re only going to cash in on that twice–twice within two months? Maybe that was their original intent, but there’s no way after the success Black Panther had that they’ll let something like that happen. So while yes, the movie was emotionally draining, I left the theater FAR more annoyed than sad, because I do not like this game Marvel’s playing with all of our emotions. While the friends I attended the movie with spent the majority of the credits reeling from the carnage, I spent the credits emphatically stating, for the record, that I don’t believe a single one of the deaths at the end of the movie were permanent. I believe all the people who died for real–Heimdall, Gamora, and Loki–are dead for good. Vision, too. Maybe Gamora isn’t if she somehow survived being thrown off a cliff, but I don’t think Thanos would’ve been allowed to get the Soul Stone if she hadn’t actually died, so I believe she’s dead. All of those deaths were real deaths. The ones from Thanos snapping his fingers, though? I don’t think those were real, or at the very least, that they’re not reversible via some sort of Time Stone/Soul Stone/Reality Stone finagling. I think everyone who dissolved into dust will be back by the end of Avengers 4.
3. A word to the wise: if you find yourself in a position where you could potentially get sunburn on your head, I highly recommend doing everything to avoid such a fate. As I learned the hard way at the end of last week, those scorched skin cells on your scalp remove themselves from your body in the form of enough dandruff to make you not want to show yourself in public for days on end, which is a wildly unpleasant experience. So, don’t be like me! Wear a hat, put your hair in a ponytail, don’t forget to put sunscreen on your part – just don’t let your scalp get burned.
Have you seen Infinity War? I want to know everyone’s opinions! I swear, I’ve done nothing with my free time this week but read Infinity War theory articles.