::shrugs:: The Christensen piece cites Psalm 82:6, talks about the Wesleyan idea of Entire Sanctification, "theosis" in the Eastern Orthodox tradition.... The ideas just weren't ones that grabbed me, though I would certainly be willing to have conversation about them.
Then we did a meditation thing, which included thinking about how we picture God. Michelle pictured her nephew's red crayon drawing of a T-Rex. I get uncomfortable around the idea that children are inherently closer to God, but I did like her explanation that it was something that some people find frightening but which other people love and find joy in.
paper_crystals asked a lot about Wesleyan views on suffering and etc., which was great because none of the rest of us (and it was only me, Michelle, Eric, and Trelawney) were all that talkative.
Oh, and in her Affirmation, paper_crystals mentioned that Trelawney was very honest about when she didn't know stuff, which made paper_crystals feel much more confident that Trelawney was knowledgeable about the stuff she did seem to know.
Before dinner, Eric asked if we knew who David Beckham is. I sort of do. Eric explained that he used to play for Manchester United, then for Real Madrid, and has now been signed by the Los Angeles Galaxy. Amusingly, the next day, juleskicks posted on this as well ("with what they're paying for Becks I expect that Galaxy will now only be able to afford twelve year olds whose parents can't afford babysitters and who will take payment in Rice Krispie Treats").
I was nuzzling against Michelle when Trelawney opened the Entenmann's cinnamon crunch cake.
me: "Now I have to choose between the cake and you, huh?"
Michelle: "Two tasty treats...."
me: "Neither of which I have been able to confirm, actually."
Michelle: "Well the cake's right there; I'l give you that."
paper_crystals said it was good to have "a gorgeous and intelligent woman to flirt with" (i.e., me).
I told paper_crystals later that, "I should just introduce her as: 'This is Michelle, who unfortunately doesn't kiss girls.' " [My explanation of Michelle as we walked to CAUMC had included Jossverse and Snakes on a Plane. Given that night's conversation, paper_crystals referred to her on our walk back as "The natural-blonde who's doing a medical program."]
* Trelawney was so stoked that I brought a friend. She also said that one has to be very self-assured and self-confident to bring a friend, particularly a Jewish atheist :), to one's church. My immediate reaction was surprise since I'm so used to my friends being a safe space for the various aspects of me, but thinking about it later, it really is true that I'm so hesitant to admit to being a churchgoer of any sort ("Thursdays are bad for me; I have a thing from 7-10.") and that's largely wrapped up in not especially identifying as a Christian, but it also feels like something one doesn't admit to in liberal circles, and I just have this general unease about it, even though I know nobody I work with is gonna look down on me for it or anything. Insert lengthy ramble in which I liken this to queer coming out.
* Michelle was struggling when it was her turn to Affirm me, and I said that clearly I win since there are no words -- and then I realized how crass that sounded, since it's not like this is a competition. Anyway, she ultimately said, "I can't be the only person who leaves feeling gorgeous after spending some time with you."
* paper_crystals said to me: "Your friends are great, which implies you are great, which doesn't need to be implied, because you are." Michelle told her, "You give the absolute best Affirmations." [She had said 3 things for Trelawney and a lot for Michelle.]
Afterward, Trelawney was saying something about sff and paper_crystals asked if she'd read Neil Gaiman and zomg she hadn't. I recommended American Gods (often my first thought when recommending Gaiman, plus she's a religion person) and Good Omens (which I own, plus again with the religion).