I'm ambling through a new collection of John Updike's short stories: _The Early Stories_ (Knopf, 2003). I particularly enjoyed the ecclesiological insights in “Packed Dirt, Churchgoing, a Dying Cat, a Traded Car." Consider just two:
“Taken as a purely human recreation, what could be more delightful, more unexpected than to enter a venerable and lavishly scaled building kept warm and clean for use one or two hours a week and to sit and stand in unison and sing and recite creeds and petitions that are like paths worn smooth in the raw terrain of our hearts?” (p. 103)
“Even to usher at a church mixes us with the angels, and is a dangerous thing” (p. 105).