CHURCH – Marilyn Armstrong

“…the elders wanted him to follow the old traditional format and leave reality at the door because reality didn’t belong in a church.” Nailed my youth in half a sentence. Spent Sunday, often Saturday and usually Thursday night at some church function. She was a wonderful organist and perhaps more unique, she was fluent in Latin and cold nail the priests when they tried their Latin B.S. to silence somebody. I didn’t realize she was paid to be there until years later her death. I thought she was a devout woman. The point is, she used to run afoul of many traditional priests because she always wanted to introduce contemporary music (Puff The Magic Dragon period) and that would lead to her acid comments about women and the church.

Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

When we came to this Valley, I had no experience with churches, except for having been married in one.  Garry had enough to make up for both of us. We chose a church because a very serious Christian friend of mine loved it and I loved her.

Between our coming to the valley in 2000 and now, the Pastor who I like very much was driven out because he liked to talk about what was going on in the great big world but the elders wanted him to follow the old traditional format and leave reality at the door because reality didn’t belong in a church.

Pushing out that Pastor was a big mistake. Half the church decided to form a new church and that reduced the church congregation by at least a third.

Having ditched a smart (and often funny) Pastor, they decided the way to attract “young people”…

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Published by Nathaniel R. "Nat" Helms

Nathaniel R Helms is a military author, writer and blogger, former reporter at AP and the defunct St. Louis Globe-Democrat newspaper and assignment editor at ABC-owned Channel 2 in St. Louis. He lives with his wife and dog in St. Charles, MO. His book "My Men Are My Heroes: The Brad Kasal Story", Meridian Publications, (2007), is now in its second printing at Naval Institute Press (2012) during its 12-year run. Helms and co-author Maj. Haytham Faraj, Maj. USMC (Ret.) wrote "No Time For The Truth: The Haditha Incident And The Search For Justice", Arcade, NYC (2012). He recently added "Numba One - Numba Ten: A Vietnam War Novel," and three other books on sale in paperback and e-book on Kindle and Nook at

One thought on “CHURCH – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. Thank you. I always have problems writing about this stuff because the family — all five of us — each adhere (or fail to adhere) to a different version of faith or lack thereof. That’s why we went to a church NO ONE had grown up with. We would have been happier with a UU church where they don’t care what you believe, but it went out of business because everyone fought all the time. It’s still standing, but getting more and more tired every day. It’s a beautiful old church, but it has no heat. I’m not even sure it has plumbing. And no parking. I’ve taken a lot of pictures of it because one day, they will knock it down. Soon, I suspect. It has been vacant for more than a decade.


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