Thursday, May 03, 2007

travel report part I

It’s only been a little over 24 hours since my arrival, but I am very much enjoying my time in the Beverly & Salem areas of Boston’s north shore district.

And over the last year and a half of internet reporting, I’ve enjoyed meeting people from the internet face to face. I’m now convinced that meeting people on-line is a legitimate way of making friends, regardless of how perverted you are or not...

Yesterday: May 2 – travel.

I flew into Boston yesterday around 4p and was picked up by the disability resourcer soon after. He and his wife and baby housed and fed me for the evening.

Finally met many other dear internet friends from the expanding agent network. Such as “The Doctor” (he and his wife are housing me the next few nights). Also the former record store owner and his girlfriend the chemist/counselor came by. Great folks.

The four guys went on a moon-lit night stroll/cigar walk to the beach a few blocks away.

I am really enjoying the foot traffic culture of Beverly and Salem. Houses, commerce, and nature are all a short walk away. The fair mother city has a very mild, almost man-made version of this culture downtown at certain hours of the day, as well as artwalk once a month. But it’s just not the same.

Today: May 3 – free form floating.

One of my main purposes being here is to attend the “God for People Who Hate Church” conference in Salem, hosted by the why man’s church, The Gathering. But that doesn’t start until Friday night. So meanwhile, my only agenda today was to take in the local flavor, and maybe catch up on some reading somewhere.

I strolled around Beverly, found a cool private spot by the ocean, had lunch and coffee at a café (a dozen or so to choose from. I pick ‘em by the name. Atomic Café won).

The why man called and picked me up and gave me a private tour of his stomping grounds in Salem. Finally got to meet him. Very hospitable man and fun to be around.

He explained the neo-pagan cultures to me throughout the day while we toured various magic shops and so forth. I got to chat with a young gal running one such witchcraft store. She was the daughter of the owner. She was very nice and sweet and far different from anyone I’d know back in the bible belt or the fair mother city. Yet talking to her was comforting, much like the poverty culture is for me back home. I don’t know why that is. Something about being around non-churchy people is easy and homey for me, I guess. The why man told her he was the pastor of The Gathering and that I was here to attend a conference there.

She told me that in high school she went through a phase where she wanted to be catholic. She also went through a black-muslim phase and a hare krishna phase, but that she gave it up because she didn’t want to wear orange. She told me of the one time she visited a church and how the image of “that man hanging on the cross” really scared her. “Yeah”, I said. “I guess that is kind of a scary image”. She was real. Nothing to hide. Searching like the rest of us.

The Gathering meets in a killer location: they call it “the vault”. It’s a 200-year old bank building complete with an armored vault as the backdrop for their meetings. The Vault is prime real estate on the foot traffic area where halloween is celebrated for the entire month of October. The gathering’s mission is to “be a blessing to the city of Salem”.

There couldn’t be a better location or venue for a church with this mission. The CEO is all over this church. And I’m looking forward to spending more time there this weekend.

Also, back at The Vault I met the kid, who is an 18-year old transplant from Florida. He specifically came here to join The Gathering in being a blessing to Salem and to the neo-pagan community.

The why man dropped me off in Beverly, where I got to be part of the Sinners and Saints community gathering (home church) pastored by the disability resourcer. Very sweet group.

I am very much enjoying my time here and I’m looking forward to being at The Vault this weekend.


miller said...

awesome, it sounds like you are really in your element!

i can't wait to hear more on your stay there...

the dog and cat were still alive this AM :)


mike said...

dude, have you found a dunkin donuts yet? they are almost as rare as a chick filla.

cade said...

b- so glad to have you out here. here's to a great weekend.

mike- what can i say? you tried to combine two entirely different "jokes" in one sentence. nice effort over there.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like New England really needs Jesus.

Glad you are there.

Jesus is Lord!

Anonymous said...

Agent X...


Deana Watson said...

sounds like you are really being refreshed out there! it is a part o the country i would like to see!

cade said...

x- not exactly sure where you are going with that, but i wouldn't say that we need Him any more than any other region in the world. or rather, i WOULD say that we need Him just AS MUCH as any other region.

Anonymous said...


Not exactly sure what you're not sure about. Sounds kinda defensive to me. No?

Agent X

Agent B said...

X -

New England (or specifically Salem, MA which is where I am) is no different than west texas.

Replace the religious judgemental churchy crowd with witches, athiests an all around neo-pagans.

It's all one in the same.

...reporting LIVE from "The Vault", where a panel of witches is our next guest (hosted by the Why Man and others).

Agent B said...

deana - yes. exactly. I am being refreshed in ways I never knew needed refreshing. Thanks.

Anonymous said...


No different? Really?

I never used a judgmental tone and made no judgmental statement. I also made no comparisons. I simply said they need Jesus. Does someone here disagree with that? I also said I was glad you were there. I figure there are plenty west Texans who would write your witches off as not worth reaching out to. I am not one of them. I think they are worth it. And I think they need Jesus, specifically. Thus, glad you are there.

But, since you draw out the comparison/contrast between witches and texans, I agree that both are in need of Jesus. I never ment to say otherwise. I was just wishing you well. Read it again -this time without reading something into it. You will find it is a warm well wish greeting thingy, not a snipe at all.

But also, since you make the comparison/contrast I wonder why you are willing to go to witches and not texas churches. You obviously have something against churches (at least in West Texas). We have talked about it many times, that much is settled between us. And for that matter so do I. They need Jesus too. That, of course, is my point time and again on my blog (as well as yours); the church does not have Jesus bagged (as it seems to think so often).

But then, none of this argument is even implied in my comment. It all comes out of yours and Cade's, and it sounds defensive to me. Does it not to you? I actually thought I was being gracious by wishing Jesus on New England. Is that not what you are there bringing with you?

Did I come on too strong by using his name? His name is offensive in many circles. Is is offensive in witch circles? I would suspect it is in some, but I am not there to know that first hand. So I am not concluding such, just asking. I have met witches in prison here in Texas. Some of them have been amazingly hostile to Jesus and me as his representative. I did not back down to make nice with them. But perhaps New England witches are more "politically correct" (what used to be simply called "polite"). I would hope so.

I know a witch here in Lubbock. She has come to Bible study many times. She claims to have put her witchcraft in the past as she moves forward with Jesus. I am supportive of that. At the same time, I find that many of my West Texan Christian friends in that Bible study stand to learn new found appreciation for God's good creation and the myteries and powerful forces of nature at work therein from this former witch! Not that the Texas Christians are too particularly receptive of that. But the stand to learn from her all the same.

Anyway, I wish you well on the trip. I hope my well wishing has not caused a wrinkle here. I suspect the wrinkle (if not pure misunderstanding) has more to do with the New England side of this conversation than with the West Texas side (at least in this instance). I am not insensitive to the clash of worldviews between our regions of the country. I will not passively allow myself to be depicted as such either.

Jesus is Lord!

Agent X

simplyb said...

puppies and rainbows and ice cream!

Agent B said...

X - no offense taken, and none was meant to be given. Sorry if that wasn't so.

The churchy/religious comment was not a jab at you. I've often viewed the churchy crowd as some farthest from demonstrating jesus' love. And yes, you know that about my view. So it goes.

Please let it rest, friend.

cade said...

x- i am truly sorry if i came across as defensive. certainly wasn't my intention. but, given that i don't know you, i don't think it was too much of a stretch to read your original comment as snide. though i wasn't sure, which is why i (apparently less than convincingly) asked for clarification. it did seem at first to me that you were glad that someone like b was here to do the work that those of us who live here aren't capable of.

i think that the combination of your two sentences may have thrown me a little. and i am sure that i read too much into it.

again, i apologize.

i'm sure we all can agree that every corner of every street of every city in the world, in fact, needs Jesus.


Anonymous said...


I accept your apology. And no harm done really. I appreciate what you guys are doing there.

Keep up the good work.

Jesus is Lord!

Agent X