Music: B- It was sort of interesting, part of it was a very budget version of the megachurch christian rock. Only keyboards, organ, and singing, but the same style of songs. There were a few funny cool things like the keyboardist and the organist playing droney angelic droney bits while the pastor would go off about god in hilarious ways, very 80’s TV style, I believe. Anyway, a friend tipped me off to their use of a very fine type of organ (I don’t remember what kind, sorry, some kind of hammond), and it did have a phenominal sound. Unfortunately it was painfully obvious that the guy playing it was not very good at it, I mean, he was the main worship singer, so it was more an on-the-side thing. He once tried playing some bass notes with his feet, this was during the droney parts, and he hit completely wrong notes and after two tries just turned to give the audience a very cold intimidating stare. I was immediately on him when he hit those wrong notes (it was impossible not to notice), but I had to quickly avert my eyes from his piercing gaze. And also the old pastor brought out his guitar for two songs which were hilarious and stupid, like old country songs for kids, it was like a parody of itself. So these fine musicians get some points for weirdness, amateurness, and kitch, but… egh.
people who will die in the next 20 years: -5%
pastor charisma: C- The guy was old, didn’t seem to have the energy to be enthralling, and despite being sorta cuddly looking, was boring as all hell.
décor iconography: Hm. The stage was flanked by two huge flags: Canada and Israel. Not exactly a turn-on. There were also signs on either side of those reading “God our focus” and “People our purpose”. There was a crucifix on one side of the stage that had a sign on it, probably made by kids, and it read “Jesus is the king of the jews” in multi-colored bubble letters which floated in front of fire, I think it was all felt markers. That was some amazing art. Other than that, I noticed the yellowy light coming in through the windows which were all tinted a weird dark piss orange. Overall pretty bland, empty feeling environment, and the emptiness made it bleak I guess. There was also no concept of aesthetic order to the place, which was fitting I suppose.
food/drink: none that I saw
scare quotient: Pretty high, lots of talk of demons and satan, shit like that. Not as much fear of hell, but more fear of demons making you less good at being a christian in the most hilarious banal ways aka making you “overwhelmed” or whatever, shit like that. So… not really scary lol.
number of people: 50
THE REAL STORY
My alarm didn’t really work, and there was the first snow of the year, a shitload of it kinda, but they started late so it was all good. Jaymie was waiting for me out front. We went in and the greeters were telling people that they loved them, all three greeters doing this. They didn’t tell me that but I got lots of welcomes, plus I KNOW i’m loved, don’t need that from them. There was a book sale going on in the foyer with lots of interesting books, Jaymie got one about how pokemon are stealing our kids’ souls or something, and maybe one about how men (as opposed to women) are awesome and important.
So things got started with the previously mentioned drone music and the old pastor going around mumbling into the mic. He was mostly quite hard to understand at this point, but he would just repeat one phrase like ten times in a row with somewhat varied intonations, like “We worship you”, just inane things like that. So you’d understand it eventually. Seemed lazy to me.
But then they went right into the worship portion with the low budget christian rock. There were drums on the stage, so I figure sometimes they must do bigger spectacles. Anyway, it was just usual fare. The main singer did once proclaim “We didn’t come here for buddha today! We’re not here for krishna!” while just going about the stage rambling. I guess that’s one thing that those worship motherfuckers love doing – just ending the song with a full minute of rambling away a long sequence of vague praise for g-d while people clap and holler from the audience.
People were really into the music. By virtue of there being very few of them, I could observe most of them individually and yeah, there were lots of big fans. At another point the singer went “Oo! I feel the holy spirit right now!” and it just sounded kinda kinky to me, like he’d been unexpectedly but pleasurably touched. Haha I wonder if that’s how he’d describe it too. He also teared up a bunch, got all emotional, and I think he was faking it. But whatever. “I don’t know what powers you’re under, but I subjugate all demon authorities, all principalities!” ok, right on dude.
With that portion over, old guy takes the mic again and he gets the whole church to sing happy birthday to this peter guy. Then he makes him go up front and has two other people pray for him, which means they babble somewhat incoherently while their head is tilted down and their hand is on his shoulder. By babbling I mean that their type of out-loud praying was this: instead of saying intelligent, thought-out, meaningful things, just don’t stop talking. Maybe it has to do with channeling, maybe it’s just a stylistic preference. Meanwhile the organist dude is onstage, scrolling down on his phone…
Then someone else in the audience needs to be prayed for, but she doesn’t have to get up to the front, and the pastor sends another dude to put his hand on her shoulder, as the whole congregation thrusts their palms in her direction. This looks so weird and new-age culty.
And yet another weird one-off: the christmas boxes full of shitty presents that get shipped across the world to remind kids everywhere that the world is totally, totally, totally, fucked. They got 77 boxes, and more to come! Pastor warns: “The devil is trying to destroy christmas”. But he prays for the boxes, so that they don’t get fucked with at the borders, that the snowmobiles delivering them are safe, etc.
Then he pulls out his guitar and asks all the first nations people there to go up with him cuz “they sing like him” (?)( maybe he knows something I don’t). He also makes a point of inviting one of the black ladies too, I don’t know, it doesn’t fit with his ethnic stage plan, but again, maybe i’m missing something (LOL). He tells this hipster looking girl to come up cuz he wants to pray for her “fragmented heart”. He sings like two songs and it lasts forever. The only dude who fit the requirements to climb the stage for this part (the rest were women) was about 600% more excited than the others, all dancing and pumping his fists, yelling, singing, running around. He was quite something. Eventually they all got back into their seats for the sermon.
And this was the worst. He just talked about how demons want to make your life harder so that you’re not as hardcore of a christian. It’s just such a pathetic notion of evil. Like this omnipotent being makes you worried about soccer practice and the gas bill and so you miss church and holy shit wtf lol srsly. Like he burns your toast and makes you slightly irritated and then swear or something. Christfuck, is this real, I can’t really believe it, like blaming the fact that life down here isn’t actually perfect like heaven, blaming that on demons for fucks sake…
He did mention that when he gets to heaven the first thing he’s gonna do is get a “heavenly coffee” and ask JC where the video library is and check out the video footage of when elijah supernaturally… I dunno, does he shoot fire and kill like 850 people or something? It sounds like a christian die hard movie, I can imagine john mclane killing a bunch of infidels in old testament times.
“The lies of the python are already coiling around you to pull you under.” “By and large, god’s people are the ones we should be hangin’ out with.” It’s all shit like that. By this point people were getting kinda antsy and he responded with “I’ll be done shortly, just hang in there.” Turns out this service had lasted till 12:15, for a total of over two hours. That, my friends, is fucked, and cruel. I missed a meeting because of it, at least partially because of it, the snow didn’t help aka THE DEVIL PLOTTED TO MAKE MY AFTERNOON PLANS NOT WORK.
This place… it was so BORING! I was so BORED after the first hour. And I didn’t understand it was because of how fucking long it was. Had I noticed the time, I maybe would have had to put my journalistic integrity to the test with an early exit. I will mention that one element I found cool was that people just kept yappin’ away in the audience, they were always going “That’s right!” or “Praise the lord!” or whatever else, there seemed to be very little decorum. I liked that. There were definitely lots of characters, great for people watching, but if you’re trying to pay attention and take notes and whatnot, trying not to fall asleep, super not fun.