chicken and church

Some time ago I read an article about two chicken joints in Seattle. Ezell’s Famous Chicken and Heaven Sent. They are battling over an endorsement from Oprah. It’s a confusing story, but suffice it to say that each entity has a legitimate claim to “owning” an Oprah endorsement.

Seattle residents host taste tests. We decided to do just that. After we were picked up at the airport yesterday, we made two stops on the way home.

We purchased legs, thighs, and breasts, along with rolls and sides, at each chicken joint.

We somewhat systematically distributed samples of each for the tasting. Surprisingly there was 100% agreement for Heaven Sent. While not exactly scientific, we declared this to be our – and Oprah’s – favorite. It was all delicious and a good time was had by all.

When I come to Seattle for a visit, one thing I love to do is find worship at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral. It’s a beautiful structure, situated on Capitol Hill, overlooking the city. It’s breathtaking inside and out.

We were there for the 9 o’clock service of Holy Eucharist. While the service was traditional in structure, prayers throughout the service were taken from the Prayer books of New Zealand and South Africa. The version of the Nicene Creed was a trial version as authorized for use by the 1997 General Convention.

I’m often so sure of myself as I utter familiar words from the service. Today I was sharply reminded of verbal complacency. The use of alternative liturgy caused me to pay attention to the words I spoke, and to find unexpected beauty in the unfamiliar liturgy.

There was another draw for me in this space this sabbath day. The installation of Josh Faught’s Sanctuary.

Hanging on one of the church pillars, it soars 50′ high. It is stunning. Two panels are dyed in bright reds, purples and blues. The piece expresses a commitment to gay pride, Woven into the hand dyed cotton, hemp, and gold lame are various artifacts intended to represent “gay shame”, in terms of the traumatic aspects of being gay so many young people feel. It is thought provoking, to say the least, and a reminder of how so many suffer so much for just being whom they are born to be.

Intercessor: We celebrate the blessing of our earthly home, part of the vast universe within your creation, Creator God,

Assembly: Awaken us to your presence and love.

Taken from the the service of Holy Eucharist on The Third Sunday After Pentecost.

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