Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

MilesTones • Naked Church Bares More Than Souls

BUT FIRST: Minister’s Puzzling Black Eye

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I wanted to wear dark glasses to church this last Sunday, but Shirley said that wearing them would just call more attention to the black-eye I am now sporting—the left eye. When people came to me to ask, ‘what happened?’ I tried to tell them that it was either one of my dogs that hit me during the night, or the hard plastic mask I sleep with covering my nose and most of my face, connected to my C-Pap machine to control my sleep apnea. A turn in bed during the night might have put pressure on my eye from the mask, causing the shiner.

But as I tried to explain this, they all noticed at the same time that Shirley was wearing a cast…on her left hand. That was all they needed to see, My explanations were blown out of the water.  The secret was out they figured, even though I wanted to explain that she had taken a fall in Costco earlier, injured her hand which was the reason for the cast, but alas, they heard me not. This event was too good for them to let go. The church is still talking about it…

As the California drought continued with no end in sight, a group of about 5000 Muslims gathered at the Alameda Fair Grounds to pray for rain. At the same time, a group of Catholic Bishops offered their petition to God while the Indians danced a rain dance. Interesting, the rank and file Protestants offered nary a prayer that we are aware of. How come?

A couple of days later, the rains came, so much so that it caused local flooding with everyone scrambling to get sand bags. Now the big question is: Which prayer was answered? The Muslims or the Catholic Bishops? Then again there was the Indian rain dance. Guess it’s good to have all bases covered. Had the Protestants prayed, a drawn conclusion might have come easier.

Sudden Thawt Dept (with a nod to the late NY Daily News Columnist Robert Sylvester): Wonder how the Super Bowl would have turned out had Colorado not passed the legalization of marijuana?

Dotted Lines:  Since marijuana is now legal in Colorado, Denver can now simply be called ‘The High City….a suicide bomb training class in Baghdad ended yesterday when the instructor and his 21 students were blown up in the process—whether there were 76 virgins to greet them is anybody’s guess….Guitarist Michael Teeter told MilesTones that he heard of a burglary at a McDonald’s where the robber began by putting a 20 dollar bill on the counter by the cash register asking for change, the clerk opened the drawer, the robber pulled out a gun, grabbed all the cash in the box, ran out the door victoriously…later found that there was only $15.00 in the cash box and he had left his 20 dollar bill there on the counter. Perhaps that robber should enroll in a business management class.

OK, OK here is the main story about the Naked church.

In Ivor, Virginia, not far from Richmond, a church has been formed with the curious name of ‘White Tail Chapel’ (?) where everyone, including the pastor is nude. Yep, stark naked!  We are certain that their hymn selections might have included, “Just as I Am,” and “The Wonder Of It All.”

Their church doctrine is that everyone was brought into the world naked so we should not try to hide our assets(maybe some editing needed here.)  We should be open and honest. They say this erases “the pretense of a traditional church.” Possibly a valid point.

Before the sermon, the pastor has the congregation greet and hug each other (which no doubt delayed the beginning of that sermon) before the congregation went back to their own pews.  MilesTones would have been out of there in a flash…confoundit, this is a difficult piece to write! Bare…no…BEAR with me.

“In a naked church, people are more open as far as hearing the word of God, and speaking the word of God,” agreed a member who was married there named….now get this…Robert Church.  MilesTones does not make these things up.

It is no surprise that attendance is down during the winter months since it would be a frigid walk from the nearby nudist colony to attend services. In summertime, however, it is always a packed house.

A responder to this story, with the name, Deep Throat (this is getting worse and worse) did ask a sensible question: “I wonder where they put their offering envelope?” Another named K.J. Dolney answered this by saying: “Would you want to be the one whose job it is to open the offering envelopes?” Ewww.

Another named Victor gave this valid opinion: “I hope their services includes wine, after seeing that minister nude, you would need it.” He’s right. That minister, who doesn’t even wear his white collar, presents a rather blubbery mass.

Responder Tom Hollman describes the naked church as:  “Bringing their shortcomings out in the open for all to see.”

MilesTones figure that this is a unique way to uphold the Sabbath tradition of the mainstream churches where Sunday service is used to show off your latest finery. That’s it…we’re outta here! Going for another long walk….

(Image Above-Naked Church Photos Censored)
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