6/30/2009 09:24:00 pm

Fame and Fortune: Part Two

Posted by Unknown |

Sunday was preaching day. I unpacked my best jeans and least offensive t-shirt and put some product in my hair. It's important to look your best as you begin your preaching offensive on a new continent. That's what all the books on televangelism say. Tom French Power Ministries was about to break the US market!

Grace cooked us another good breakfast, and dropped us at the church early. I had my quiet time in the foyer. I hadn't had it at home and I figure if people in the congregation find the preacher praying and reading his bible in the foyer they'll know he's really, really holy.

At the church I found that on the front of the bulletin was a dumb photo of me super-imposed over a kangaroo. I think I appreciate a church that makes fun of it's visiting preachers. Mockery is the best form of compliment (except perhaps when you actually get a compliment). Nathan also showed the worship band my air guitar video. I'm glad they saw my best side.

Church was a rather quick affair. We sang some songs (with one Hillsong song as a nod the Aussies), took an offering, had some announcements then I preached. Once I preached we sang a little more and then we were done. The longest thing in the service was my preaching. I did preach for a while. I was pretty happy with how I preached, and people seemed responsive so that was good. I hope people got something out of it.

We got to meet a lot of people after church. There are a lot of lovely people at Crossway. I really enjoyed meeting some more real Americans. I did meet someone from the church who told me that Obama was the Antichrist. I think it was because of his policies on abortion. I didn't tell them how I felt about Obama. I thought it was best to keep my mouth shut.

After church the Hyde's, Carolyn's parents and Grace took us out to lunch at the Outback Steakhouse. It's all rather fake Australian. I was hoping it'd be a really bad misrepresentation of Australia, but it was just kind of like an overdone tourist place. Still I did enjoy being somewhere that celebrated Australia.

We followed up our meal with a trip to Assateague Island. It's an island that was created in a hurricane in 1933 when the hurricane separated it from Ocean City. The main attraction of this island seems to be that there are wild ponies there. We saw some. And we spent a while standing on the beach looking at the Atlantic.

After all that excitement we all went home. Lesley and I read books then retired to our rooms early.

Monday was leaving day. After getting a photo of myself with the church sign with my name on it, we farewelled the Hyde's and gave them our presents full of Australiana. It felt a little silly giving these small gifts after the huge amounts of generous hosting we got. But it's not like they were looking for payment, so I'll just take it as grace.

Grace took us to the bus station and she gave us both a hug and left us there to fend for ourselves.

We caught our Greyhound to a town just up the road, went to change buses for the bus to New York, but were told the bus to New York was full. So we had to get back on our previous bus and go to Baltimore. I was hoping it'd be raining in Baltimore because of the Counting Crows song, but it wasn't. It was very sunny.

We spent 3 hours in the Baltimore Greyhound station waiting for the next bus to New York. We met a young, earnest evangelical called George. He is a plumber who wants to go to Bible college. I liked him a lot. He asked a lot of questions about Australia and the Bible. I gave him my heretical non-literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 and he was willing to accept it right there in the bus station. He was the easiest person to convince I've ever met. I told him he should go read some more before he just agrees with me. I'm pretty sure my ideas aren't the norm in Evangelical America.

I'm glad we got diverted because I'm glad we got to hang out with George.

The bus to New York was pretty un-remarkable until we saw the buildings of New York arrived on the horizon. It was pretty exciting. Seeing all those famous buildings and that familiar skyline get bigger and bigger in the night sky, and then we went through a tunnel and suddenly we were right in the middle of it all. It was very exciting. I think it was probably a better way to arrive than flying in.

We caught a cab from the bus station to our Hostel. The cab was yellow. It had a little TV in the back. We ate pizza for dinner that night. We were in New York. Oh yeah.