In these times of penny pinching corporates & papers screaming about the recession hit economy & the daily fear of getting laid off, it always makes sense to have a plan B. And a Plan C. A Plan D wouldnt hurt either. After a lot of thinking and a bit of soul searching I think Ive stumbled upon a Plan B which is absolutely golden. In fact it is so good that Im thinking I could shift it to my Plan A in some time. What exactly is my plan - To start my very own church.
Part of a much bigger plan which will be revealed eventually.
Now those who know me are probably laughing their heads off. Im not one they would associate with the church going kind, much less priestly material. To be honest I am a the regular Sunday mass going kind, nothing more nothing less. I like the values the Church talks about but I am not a fan of their practices and the petty politics they indulge in. Unfortunately its turned into a money making business & the Church is doing all it can to rake in the moolah. Add to that a number of their policies are pretty crappy which is what turns away a number of people even if they do come to Church every Sunday. No point in having jam packed churches if the faithful arent all that faithful.
In my, as yet unnamed, Church orthodoxy will be given the heave ho. No more struggling to wake up your kids on a Sunday morning for catechism classes. Sunday was the day the Lord rested and so should all of us. A more leisurely 10:30 AM Sunday school session is more like it (The priests need to sleep too you see ....) Of course, parents cannot force their kids to attend fearing that if they dont send them to Sunday school, they will not get the requisite certificates from the local parish priest when the time comes (which actually does happen in Kerala) If the kids want to attend then they should ask their parents to take them. Parents cannot in such circumstances claim laziness (since the classes are only at 10:30; how lazy are they ??).
Masses will be long enough not to be called short and short enough not to be called long. Nobody will be turned away from the Churches - Christians from other sects, non Christians, atheists are all welcome. Music will be an integral part of the service. However no rip-offs of other songs will be permitted (in my church, we unfortunately have a hymn which is set to the tune of Go West by the Pet Shop Boys (edit: not the Beach Boys as wrongly attributed earlier, thanks to Reuben for pointing it out). Also freedom of singing is permitted, no member attending service is permitted to give dirty looks to people who are less vocally gifted than the rest.
Readings will be open to all the attendees. No having the same people coming and reading in the same manner every single Sunday. No continuous sitting and then continuous standing and then continuous sitting and then standing .... Based on 25 years of (self) historical records, I have found that too much sitting makes the mind wander in boredom & too much standing leads to shuffling of the feet and wondering when the priest will get over so that you can sit and rest your aching legs. So the masses will be designed accordingly.
Of course, the priests will no longer have to follow traditional ways as well. No more white flowing cassocks and holier than thou clean shaven looks. Well if polka dotted shirts & bell bottoms are the rage this fashion season theres no reason why the priest should be prevented from joining his fashionista congregation. He will of course be permitted to try hair styles of his choice (spiked, coloured, traditional, bald etc) and is free to have facial hair (none, trimmed, shaped or left wild). Oh did I mention women priests will be allowed too. We all want a progressive society & I can find not one reason as to why a woman priest shouldnt be allowed to preach. In fact women can preach (in the non churchly way) much better than men.
Most importantly no preaching values which cannot be followed in this day and age. We openly talk about how difficult it is in India to manage with all our archaic laws & how something needs to be done to deal with these out of times laws which were written either in the British times or soon after they left. With all due respect to the Church, we are dealing with values are being preached from a book which is 2000 years old. We hear about how we should turn the left cheek when hit on the right one. How many people would actually do that today ? None. Nowadays its a case of 'if you slap me on the right cheek, I will slap you on the right cheek, the left cheek, bash your head with my fist & kicking the living daylights out of you....'. So old school values get the boot & more modern workable values will be preached.
All this is fine & good, so how is it going to be financially viable I hear you ask? The bills arent going to get paid by magic. Well to be honest, the days of putting in 20 bucks for sunday collection will be out the window. If you can afford to come for mass in a hatchback car like the Santro surely you can afford a 50. A Honda City owner can easily put in a 100 instead of the tenner he usually drops. Own a palatial house with a Merc parked in your driveway - is a couple of 100s too much to ask especially considering youre asking the Man above for enough money to add a BMW to your garage. Ok so I hear some of you saying what if we dont want to flaunt the wealth we have by putting a 500 rupee note ? Two words - online transactions. Thats right, transparent transactions of the online kind with monthly bank statements open to the public with the donators name hidden if he/she desires. Gone are the days of praying to God for
all you want and not giving anything in return.
Before I forget, enough of having to come to church to get married under age old customs without giving them any freedom of choice. In fact its becoming ridiculously difficult to get a church that is not booked on a weekend to conduct your wedding. Instead my church will openly suggest to its faithful to think outside the box when it comes to marriage. Dreaming of that perfect wedding on a sunset beach? So be it, we will send our priest, you tell us the location. Want to have a complete beach theme ? No problem, we will send the priest in a Hawaiian shirt & red shorts. Underwater marriage catches your fancy ? We will send you a priest who knows to swim to say the mass. In his swim wear of course. The sky is the limit. Speaking of which if you do want to get married while being airdropped off a plane, we do think that exchanging the rings in mid air might be a bit of an issue .....
Head, ________ Church (blank will be filled in when a suitable name is found, suggestions welcome)