Sunday, February 26, 2006

Conversion Imminent.

Baptists are the trailer trash of protestant denominations.

Its true. I oughtta know.

You remember last week's cemtery blog about the town/cemetery in White Oaks, New Mexico? Polarbear left a comment about a place called Ghost Ranch. I was intrigued.

We are planning to go to Santa Fe during spring break. I love Santa Fe. but Jackson and Katie have never been there. When I've been there in the past, I always stayed at Glorieta, a church camp/convention center run by the Southern Baptist Convention. It was cheap, clean and you could eat a dang good breakfast in the cafeteria before spending the rest of the day in Santa Fe or Taos or somewhere.

Its been 7 or 8 years since I've been to Glorieta. I absolutely, adamantly, and unequivocably refuse to attend any of the conferences held there. Pardon me while I spit and kick the dirt.

I do not a good church camper make.

One reason I haven't been to Glorieta in the last few years is that the campus is now managed by a company called Lifeway. I may be way off base here, but I am assuming this is the same company that also runs what used to be called the Baptist Bookstores.

When I was a kid, I had to spend a lot time in those bookstores on a fairlly regular basis. My brother and I generally left with some sort of cool toy or book. I took my treasures home and scraped off the obligatory bible verses that were inscribed on everything.

Anyway, when the fundamentalists took over the Southern Baptist Convention, their gihad included setting up a new company to take over the bookstores. Now they are Lifeway bookstores.

Granted, I haven't darkened Lifeways doors more than twice, but, bah! - they're depressing. No more cool toys. No more flannel board disciples either, but I guess I can't fault them for that. Lifeway Bookstores are the sort of places that make you seriously consider wearing an aluminum foil hat as protection from the mind control ray beams.

Anyway, Lifeway is now running Glorieta. I crossed my fingers, bit my tounge and made reservations. Then I googled
Ghost Ranch.

I was downright embarrassed. Those Presbyterians have really outdone us. Their New Mexcio mountain retreat center has a classier website, a more interesting schedule of events and Georgia O'Keefe. Georgia. Freakin'. O'Keefe.

They are enviormentally responsible, committed to community service and even though they are tax exempt, they make a yearly contribution to their county government. Not to mention they have a way-better name and a kick- ass logo.

Gloriata's website has a real nice section devoted to how you can give your money to support their "life-changing" programs. My personal favorite - the
adopt a rocking chair campaign. Glorieta's philosophy seems to center on making the individual better - in this case, less individualistic. Ghost Ranch's philosophy appears to concentrate on the individual making society better.

Oh, one more thing: when making a reservation with Glorieta, you are REQUIRED to submit the name of the church where you are a member. I wonder if they will be consulting with our minister to make sure we are in good standing before issuing a room key?


Discuss amongst yourselves: Will there be Gideon Bibles in the rooms? Or would that be considered an insulting suggestion that the lodger wouldn't have packed their own highlighted, heavily underlined and note-inscribed tome?

43 comments:

reverendmother said...

We'll make a presbyterian outta you yet!

Ghost Ranch is, indeed, awesome. R and I were in N. New Mex. for our honeymoon, almost 12 years ago. Wow.

Hike Box Canyon if you can.

Regarding Lifeway--I have a parishioner who's given me two gift cards for the Family Christian Store. I have $50 to spend there, and it's all Precious Moments and books by Oliver North. It's very not me.

annie said...

Wow! I never been to Glorieta, but this Presbyterian camp certainly looks cool! I checked out all the seminars. I'll be anxious to hear all about it and to see some pictures.

SplineGuy said...

Ouch.

SpookyRach said...

RM - Oliver North is STILL writing books? Good grief!

Annie - I hope to have some good picutres - you know I'll have to share 'em!

Splineguy - Yup. Exactly.

Friday Mom said...

I worked at Glorieta one summer, cleaning toliets for entitled white LifeWay administrators (they were Baptist Sunday School Board leaders then). The area was gorgeous, but I wouldn't set my big toe on that campus again.

Is it any wonder that I've switched sides? Come on, you know you want to too....

SpookyRach said...

Get thee behind me, Friday Mom! Ha ha ha!

BTW - hows come bloglines won't let me subscribe to your new site?

Friday Mom said...

Hey, the Presbys don't have church on Wednesday night (or Sunday night for that matter). It's a good deal. Come on. What's holding you back? (Bwahahaha)

I just now subscribed to my new site using bloglines (I wanted to see what happens) and sitemeter shows that I have others clicking through bloglines. Try it again.

cheesehead said...

Not to campaign too much for the Presbies, (ahem) but we are all Friday Mom said and more.

You think Ghost Ranch is cool? You should see Zephyr Freakin' Point. We rented a cabin on Lake Tahoe. Not near it. On it. We walked down a small flight of stairs off our deck to touch the lake. $80 bucks a night. We Presbies likes our beautiful places.

reverendmother said...

Thanks for the tip revmom!

SpookyRach said...

Hmmm....

Maybe I could go undercover and pose as a presbie while making travel arrangements?

Your arguments are inticing, Friday Mom, but what fun is there in skipping services that they don't even have? Where's the joy in that?

Friday Mom said...

Yeah, see I knew that's what it was. You just love dangling your soul over the fires of hell.

SpookyRach said...

HAAAAAAA! That's great, FM. Wonder if I can get that on a T-Shirt?
"Wasting another day dangling my soul over the fires of hell..."

Hee hee hee!

cheesehead said...

I *heart* you madly, Rach! You are by far the funniest Baptist I ever met.

reverendmother said...

All kidding aside, I wonder what the reaction would be from Rach's family if she did convert.

Like, my dad grew up catholic but then drifted away from the church, then became presbyterian... and I kinda get the feeling my grandparents would've preferred he be a lapsed catholic than a church-going presbyterian!

jonboy said...

Take it from Rach's family, we've gave up on her immortal soul a long time ago. I've said for years that she's goin' to hell.
But you have to remember Dad was a Baptist minister turned Methodist... uncle was a devout hellraiser turned pentacostal, Harley-ridin' preacher. Grandfather was an accomplished user of colorful and descriptive language. Me, I'm just stuck in a rut with nowhere to go. I do, however, try to get my Sunday School class to skip out on the worship service on a regular basis.

jonboy said...

... we gave up ... Yeah! That's what I meant to say.

cheesehead said...

C'mon, Rach...come to the dark side...you know you wanna...

reverendmother said...

Aw revmom, you know she'll become a presbyterian if she's predestined to.

[rim shot] Hey! I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitresses.

peripateticpolarbear said...

Here's the best part: you can go to Ghost Ranch if you aren't a Presby. You can go if you aren't even Christian. Nobody cares where you go to church. They do care that you recycle.

They have lovely little chapel services under the trees every morning, attended by a mixed crowd including (gasp) Baptists.

Get your money back from Glorietta and come on over the dark side! once you see our dinosaur and our labyrinth, you'll be thinking decently and in order

SpookyRach said...

PPB - You have a dinosaur??? Awww, man. All that and recycling make a pretty tempting package.

RM - BWAAAAHAHAHA! I would consider a switch, but I'm pretty immersed in Baptist dogma. (hee hee!)

Friday Mom said...

Presbies can immerse too. That's no excuse.

SpookyRach said...

Well, ok. But Baptists have J. Frank Norris.

don't eat alone said...

You had me at tralier trash.

I spent a couple of summers at Glorieta. I know what you mean. Lifeway is nothing but the Sunday School Board dressed up to be able to sell curricula to non-Baptist types -- sort of Paige Patterson in sheep's clothing.

I love what you're doing here. I'm adding a link on my blog.

Peace,
Milton

SpookyRach said...

Oh Lord! "Paige Patterson in sheep's clothing" is another t-shirt worthy quote. Y'all rock!

Quotidian Grace said...

You could also visit the Presbie MO-Ranch near Kerrville if you want to stay in Texas. It has the most AWESOME outdoor chapel on top of the highest hill--limestone seats are carved into the side of the hill.

Lifeway stores suck. There is one near us that is now open on Sundays. What's up with that? I guess they are fundamentalist opportunists.

Is there even a presbie church in your town? They were pretty hard to find in West Texas when El Jefe was growing up there. (He was a Methodist before he saw the light!)

SpookyRach said...

We do have one prebie church in town, QG. We used to have two, but - GET THIS - the reconciled their differences a couple of years ago and consolidated! How bizzare is that? Don't they know that when things aren't going well, you don't reconcile with your original church? Hell, no!
You split yet again and add Calvary Baptist to the existing First and Second Baptist Churches in town. (Their is generally a Trinity Baptist as well, but that is usually the fourth or fifth incarnation. It would be just trite to have it as the third baptist church.)

Lorna said...

laughing about the Gideon Bibles. We rented a cottage in Finland last week and it was lovely to find a NT in three langauges (English, Swedish and Finnish) now I didn't have my heavily underlined Bible with me - only the little one for the 90 days programme, but it was nice to have the Gideon one there!

As for this
"LB are the sort of places that make you seriously consider wearing an aluminum foil hat as protection from the mind control ray beams."

I had a mental picture of you Mindy and M2 (?) in your anti-alien headgear and I literally laughed out loud. Thank you I needed it

Hope you have a good visit!

Lorna said...

PS you made me want to visit all these places and FM PPB and RM you are all too funny --- too funny you hear?

Friday Mom said...

You play dirty, invoking the name of J. Frank Norris. [shudder]

Headless (or) The-One-That-Got-Away said...

Hey Rach...

I converted, why can't you!?!?

In other news, we have "Family Christian Bookstores" here (they might be a subsiterary). Last summer, I was tortured into visiting one and when I opened the door, the first thing I saw was a *LIFESIZE* cutout of "W"!

Maybe they will have of those in your room instead of a Gideon Bible?

SpookyRach said...

Well, Headless, you know we are way more Christian down here in God's country than y'all are up there in Yankee-land. We have both Lifeway and Family Christian Stores. Yessireebob!

Truthfully, I would convert, but my boss and my boss' bosses and all the other legal eagle types I know go to the presbie church here. I wouldn't feel comfortable showing up for church in jeans every week and making snide remarks during Sunday School. I'd have to wear that work persona for an extra day each week. I'd be really bummed about that.

Patti said...

Rach, become a methodist! We have beautiful retreat places, too - with open doors! And what sounds cooler, being a Calvanist, or being an Arminian?

Quotidian Grace said...

Rach,
I totally understand the problem of being in a small town enviornment and needing some space away from the office.

I wish you could join my church--I would LOVE having someone else to make snide remarks in Sunday School with.

Seriously, if you bide your time the presbies may split up again--we have a long and storied history of it.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I am away for a bit and look at all of you! Trying to convert poor poor Rach. She CANNOT change sides. That is like trying to change teams in the middle of dodge ball. #1) She would have to take me with her cause I sure as hell am not going back to sitting alone at Church and #2) And Rach the Baptist gets to eat supper at the Church for like $2.00 on Wednesday nights....

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Oh! I just remembered! We did recycle our foil hats with the coke cans! That was not very Baptisty of us!

Quotidian Grace said...

You can eat supper on Wednesday nights at my presby church for a mere $2.50.

How's about we reduce the price to $1.75?

SpookyRach said...

Well, the price here is actually $3.00, so I could go with the $2.50. Does that include plane tickets and transportation to and from the airport?

Patti - Yeah, I could go Methodist. My dad did. And Arminian makes me thing I'd have to wear a real nice suit.

Lorna said...

still TOO funny !!

and you recyled the hats???

Bad Alice said...

Why bless your little Baptist heart! Honey, Ghost Ranch is the PC U-S-A (said in whisper round these parts, because we're still waitin' for the lightin' to strike).

You ARE a hoot.

Greek Shadow said...

Living in New Mexico Glorieta has always had a special place in my heart. I met my wife there, my sister was married in the prayer gardens. I've also worked in the Lifeway store here in Albuquerque before the idiots in Nashville closed it down. The Baptist Convention of New Mexico used to hold their conventions at Glorieta and most of the churches here would use the facilities until Lifeway took over. It has become too expensive for us riff raff. The only thing I do there now is the Christian Writer's Workshop that is held there every November. Then I drive to and from for the seminars as it is way too expensive to stay there anymore.

Christmas Lights in June, Texas said...

OMG, that was so funny. I fyou forget to pack your highlighted, underlined Bible, then you can just swing by my apartment on your way and I will let you borrow mine. Of course I will have to explain to God why I do not have it for the time being, but I feel almost sure that he would understand.

MsPenni said...

I haven't been back to Glorietta since I got married. It's a shame that greed has taken over that beautiful area. Up the road a piece is the Pecos Monistary, it is very beautiful too.
Most anywhere in Northern NM is beautiful, but it all is getting very expensive.

annie said...

I don't know who J. Frank Norris is. What does that mean?