Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday go to meetin'

Today is Sunday and we'll be heading to our neighborhood Grace Bible Church in a few hours (thanks to my son Rowan who woke us up at 7am, believe me, we'd rather sleep in). Usually we take the streetcar up to a coffee shop, have some breakfast and coffee, then walk over to church. Afterwards we might head over to Trader Joe's or Safeway to do some shopping and then come home on the streetcar. Today however we'll be heading into Newberg after church for my aunt Yvonne's birthday, so we'll take the car and park it nearby.

Our usual weekend schedule is probably not going to recur prior to me leaving, which is unfortunate as it is very enjoyable. Saturday morning is a trip up to the Farmer's Market for as much fresh produce and meat as we need for the week. The rest of the day is usually spent riding around town on bikes, maybe a trip to the Zoo, or OMSI, or Powells, or a park, or sometimes we'll go on longer trips...such as the first time we headed off on the Springwater Corridor and ended up in Troutdale by mistake! Sunday afternoons are usually spent quietly at home.

However 3 weeks before leaving requires some changes to the usual, so we'll probably be heading further afield on weekends. A trip to my Bates clan in Aberdeen/Hoquiam WA will be in order at some point, as will several trips to Newberg.

Oh yeah, so church...we started going to Grace Bible near the end of last year, so I guess almost a year ago now. We had decided to leave our former church (Imago Dei) after all of our involvement avenues dried up at the same time. We realized that we had never really looked around downtown Portland for a nearby church when we arrived and felt that we should give them a chance. Portland is notorious for being one of the most "un-churched" cities in the US, but there are several large gorgeous church buildings downtown, some of them used by churches, some of them not. We started going to various churches and evaluating them to see if we were compatible in terms of theology and culture.

Eventually we stumbled across Grace Bible which happens to have one of these great old buildings. They are a small, conservative, orthodox (little o), evangelical congregation, non-denominational, but pretty much your basic church. Hymns, little old ladies, the whole bit. Of course, they are located downtown next to several low income housing blocks, which means the cross section of people is pretty interesting, which is the way we like it. The pastor told us that on any given Sunday about 25% of the congregation are in active recovery for various addictions. All this combined made us feel that this was a good place for us to be. The months went by w/ sporadic attendance on our part, partially as we hadn't fully committed and the usual other reasons. At any rate, then this opportunity came up and we'll be heading off soon, so while we have enjoyed the church greatly it looks like it won't be a place we'll have put down any roots, which is a pity.

Well enough for today...sorry if this stuff is boring and normal, but that's our life at the moment. I figure if I just keep writing no matter what then I'll remember to keep this thing updated. If I wait for interesting things to happen, I won't be in the habit of writing and I won't bother.

Here is a slideshow of our morning walk to church, and later visit to Newberg for Yvonne's birthday party.

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