Up the hill to my local SEC establishment for the Holy Mysteries this morning. Hymns: conservative (dull), celebrant decently catholic (and female), sermon content ok (delivery a tad academic, but hey, the Team Priest has a PhD), intercessions ARRGH!
They got off to a bad start: with 4 possible passages of Scripture to choose a lectionary theme from, we got - animal rights??? How we got there from the 7 Pillars of Wisdom and the Bread of Life I know not. Responsory? That changed with each petition - which only works when they are ALL printed for the whole congregation to use. They weren't, so the congregational response varied from sporadic to inaudible. And content? Sigh! I gave up when we were bade to pray that we struggled with being vegetarian and not being vegetarian. I don't. Sorry, I struggle with depression, sexuality, faith, why God doesn't do things to Robert Mugabe involving a bleeding great thunderbolt and whatever happened to Rowan Williams spine. I don't agonise over my love of bacon rolls and inability to eat tofu with any sense of sharing in God's bounty. Not so much the prayers of the people, as a hobby horse ride over Bruntsfield Links. Haven't heard such well-meaning liturgical ineptitude since I was a Coates Hall student and I told a fellow student I hadn't left chapel at the peace because she was a woman reading prayers but because I refused to pray heresy. I've mellowed - stayed put and went to coffee afterwards and didn't get "angry", I just acknowledged this was not my problem and let God worry about it.
From there back to base to cook bacon for the brunching masses, before leaving (brunchless and drooling) for the Mosque. I did change my shirt before leaving, thinking it might not be terribly tactful to toddle in ponging of cooked pig. My reward: a 1st class curry in the Mosque kitchen before the guided tour and and a look at their excellent exhibition on Islam. And it was a real delight to be there. A big poster stated bluntly that racism and sexism are condemned in the Qu'ran. It was good and cheering to see that there is such a thing as a sensible tolerant face to Islam in Scotland in spite of much of the tosh spouted in the Press. Hugely enjoyable. This is why I think life in the City is where my future is: small town Scotland isn't for me really. The diversity and the buzz of city life are what I need.