Thursday, February 2, 2012
Dear Unbelievers, Believers, and Everyone Else --
The Bike Temple is going on its first 2012 expedition this Sunday to attend a Mormon church service in Northeast Portland.
Meet at The Waypost Cafe at noon, ride at 12:30. Service starts at 1:00. 3722 NE Going St. -- you can also meet us outside the building if you like.
Mormons, more than any other religion, are known for bicycling. Young Mormon men are encouraged to accept a 2 year assignment as missionaries for their church, and they often ride bicycles. It's a beautiful thing.
Mormon Sunday Services consist of a three hour series of meetings. We'll just attend the first hour, though if there is compelling interest to stay we can do that.
The meetings are:
* Sacrament Service, 12:00 - 1:15. Meet in the sanctuary, members of the church partake of the "sacrament" (communion, bread and water), then there's 35 minutes of talks by members of the congregation. On the first Sunday of the month, members don't eat breakfast or lunch, and the Sacrement Service is "open mike" where anyone who feels so compelled can stand an testify their beliefs. Expect about 80 people in attendance.
* Sunday School, 1:35 - 2:05. Bible study, Book of Mormon study, or Mormon church history study. Expect about 10 people/class.
* Womens' and Mens' meetings, 2:15 - 3:00. Expect about 15 people/class.
More on The Mormons
Mormons are one of the few religions that was founded in the United States. Founder Joseph Smith said he was visited by an angel, and later given gold tablets by an deceased American Indian who returned as an angel. The tablets were translated into the "Book of Mormon" -- the spiritual history of the American Indians and their relationship with the god of the Bible. The book is still held as truth by adhering Mormons, though it has significant failings in its claims to be a historical document.
After rocky beginnings, including communitarianism, grift, wife swapping, polyandry, militias, the Mormons moved west, leaving the United States in 1847 to settle in today's Utah, only to be annexed back into the US shortly afterwards.
In the 1960s, the Mormon Church was at its finest, and touted its strengths as an American instution. Since then, its status has waned, conversions have all-but ceased, and the church leadership remains stuck in a 1960s mentality. Church services are essentially unchanged, dress is unchanged, staunch lifestyle requirements adopted in the early to mid 1900s remain unchanged, and many modern youth are not endeared to this lifestyle. Meanwhile, the internet has made it possible for members to read alternative versions of the origins of their church, which include historical events that do not support the assertions of the church leaders as being led by a diety, but rather show an eclectic bunch of men trying to create a religion out of whole cloth, and using non-god-sanctioned means to control the masses.
So, come meet the Mormons, prepare to travel back in time to about 1975. Women wear dresses, men white shirts and ties with no facial hair, and free range children.
After the meeting we can gather at a watering hole on Alberta and debrief.
Yours in The Faith,
Pasture Ted, exmormon.
(I spent 2 years in Hong Kong as a Mormon Missionary, and had 2 months of riding a bicycle out of the deal...)
Posted by Bike Temple at 2:35 AM