Before I headed off to Curves, I stopped by dad's place to show him a computer print that I did of Leo (turned out as nice as a real photograph) and Judi's birthday gift which arrived today (she's gonna love it! Even dad was impressed). Mom was off at a baby shower for a co-worker. While I was there, dad gets a phone call from a lady who was supposed to be teaching the 4th (and final) course on Homosexuality and the Bible at a UCC church down in Kettering (part of south Dayton, basically). Dad didn't really have any plans for the night other than heating up a frozen pizza and watching a movie (hmmm, similar night to my original plan, I see). So he said yes. Now he'd never met this lady before, but she'd first called a mutual friend who couldn't do it (another retired pastor who's very gay friendly) but he'd suggested dad.
Once dad gets off the phone and explains to me the situation, I asked if I can go along with him. I don't think I've ever seen him look more relieved. He doesn't care much for driving and he especially doesn't like driving in south Dayton. It's not the other drivers he fears, he assures me, it's just that he doesn't trust riding when he's driving... Or somesuch. I volunteered to join him for that reason and because I simply enjoy A Grand Adventure. You have no idea when you set out what's going to happen, but you do it anyhoo.
We agreed to do supper on the way down, so dad and I got in the truck and headed doon sooth. He even took the Interstate. (My sister, who's probably reading this, is now VERY surprised.) Well, when we arrived at the church, the only restaurant nearby was an MCL Cafeteria, so we decided since there was less than an hour to the class, we'd eat afterwards. We entered the modern offices of the church and I was impressed - it reminded me of university offices more than church offices. I'm used to smaller churches, I guess. A fellow there showed us to the copier so dad could copy his "clobber passage" info sheet that he brings to similar workshops. Then he invited us upstairs for supper. The church was doing a series of Lenten courses on Wednesday nights - supper at 6 followed by a series of courses at 7. Dad and I are never ones to pass up a free meal, so we headed upstairs.
Once again, I was impressed with the size of the church. I never did see the sanctuary, but I'm sure it was impressive too. There were some friends of dad there from other pro-GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered) gatherings that we've been to and we sat with them while we ate. Supper was a casserole consisting of chicken, rice, water chestnuts, cream of chicken, cornflakes, and cheese - and it was damn good. There were also the best cooked carrots I've ever had - and I'm not very fond of cooked carrots, usually. Applesauce and cookies followed.
After dinner, we went back downstairs into the classroom and dad did his best to discuss Authority. My dad's a bit anti-authoritarian, so it was funny to think of him talking about authority. A heckler was there as well, and he even asked me a question - he wanted to know who, despite dad saying he wasn't much for authority, had the authority when I was growing up. Um, well, of all the kids in all the world, he had to ask me? I assured him that, as far as I was concerned, I was in charge of myself growing up. ;-) The folks in the course had a lot of good things to say and good questions to ask. Dad answered things as best he could, but, as I figured would happen, he managed to get parables into things again. "When your only tool is a hammer," he admitted "every problem starts looking like a nail." So just about anytime dad talks about Biblical scholarship, he has to talk about parables.
I found the folks in the class to be very well educated and most seemed to want to be there for more information and more perspectives. It's a shame dad only had an hour for the class - and didn't have as much time to prepare as he usually does. Even the heckler was kept under control (though I saw a lot of head shaking going on anytime he got the floor again). So I had a good time and talked dad's ear off the entire way home. We talked about the issues in the discussion and then got onto talking about the problem of taking an oral tradition and cementing it with the written word. As dad said, just like on the Internet, you miss out on the wink and the nudge when you read the oral story instead of seeing and hearing it for yourself. I could probably go on with my thoughts on written tradition vs oral tradition (cuz I did yammer on for some length in the car - it takes nearly an hour to get back from there), but I'll spare y'all (this time - bwa ha ha ha!)
Oh, if you're wondering about Curves? I'll go tomorrow instead. :-)
(Hmmm, to go on with my Biblical studies post I need a Biblical studies-ish icon. Wish I had a decent screen capture of Sylv as Kev the Rev...)