Ms. L. Madison, our deputy correspondent writes: Having had a fight with Mr. Rake, I decided to visit a church other than the usual local one. This church was 'The Flock of Christ.com', a house church meeting in the living room of a suburban semi.
And I haven't been in a suburban semi for a very long time. My father no longer invites me to his house, mostly as he's a detective, and the Green Man is counted as a ciminal, albeit one no-one can catch.
The Pastor, a man in a crumpled gaudy shirt, welcomed us, while his wife made coffee in the kitchen. I felt most out-of-place in my Sunday best. I mean, what's a girl with a hat to do when she's sat on a sofa and it's interfering with the head of a man?
I know, 'take it off.' And that's what I did, although he still glared at me. I didn't glare back. I had to buy a lot of new frocks lately, and my bank balance is way down. The Green Man doesn't pay me lots, although the travel is free, and a girl has to have a certain aura of loadedness about her, you know...
Now, where was I?
Yes, the welcome. There was a guitar playing, although not very well. Everyone looked at me as though I was a visitor from another world. They may not have been all that wrong, as they were dressed informally, while I was dressed in my normal church clothes. And believe me, that's no good thing, folks. I felt very out of place.
Singing was done from a seated position, and I'm afraid I fell asleep during the longish singing of choruses. Someone jabbed me in the side, and I gave them a dirty look, despite them being the prosperous-looking young man (I like prosperous-looking young men. Hell, I'm so broke I'll even go for old and ugly men with some money).
There was no sermon, only an informal talk. Which I'm hardly surprised at, after all, it was a living room. The talk was on a theme, that of Jesus as our righteousness. Sadly, the Pastor was not a good speaker, and he mumbled. His wife corrected him several times, as did a younger man who looked like he thought he owned the place (I later discovered he did).
The Pastor got into a blazing row with the man in question, and the Pastor's wife got tea for everyone. Me, I decided to make myself scarce, while the gentleman who looked like he had some dough talked to me. I found out he's a stockbroker, and that he lives on a nice estate. Things went no further.
At this point, the Green Man jumped someone outside the house, and we got the pastor to perform an impromptu funeral.