The Old Church

John Scalzi

A brief update on the church: Many of you were wondering what we might call the church, now that it’s no longer officially the Bradford United Methodist Church. We have seen many suggestions, including “Church of the Infinite Burrito” “The Interdependent Church,” “Scalzitology HQ” and “The Scamperbeast Seminary.”

With that said, the church building still does exist in the actual world, and we do eventually plan to have events there, both private and public. We decided we needed to call the place something catchy, and not likely to get us ridden out of town on a rail.

So, folks, please say hello to: The Old Church. Or, if more specificity is needed, The Old Church of (or in) Bradford.

This is a good name because it is literally accurate, non-controversial, and something that can slip into public memory without undue difficulty (“We saw a musical performance at The Old Church”). It’s a good name, I think. Not flashy! But, look, it’s a solid midwestern church building, it could do with a solid midwestern church name.

Note that the real estate corporation we’ve established to handle The Old Church and other holdings is Church of the Scalzi, LLC. That’s a company name, however, not a religious endeavor. We’re not going into that line of work. Just so we’re clear. Again.

— JS

44 Comments on “The Old Church”

  1. We’re not going into that line of work.

    And here I thought you were a SF writer of the old school.

  2. I don’t know… I think the “Official Church of Scalzitology” has a nice ring to it! After all, if it works for one SF author it should work for all of the, right?

    Now you just need to figure out how to tie the religion into either the Old Man’s War or Collapsing Empire series of books…

  3. Ahhh an entertainment venue.

    So a book signing followed by an 80’s dance party with the author serving as both DJ and host will be in The Old Chruch’s future?

  4. Hmmm . . .

    But is it still a church? You claim not. And that being the case, wouldn’t “The Old Church Building” be more accurate?

  5. An additional vote for “This Old Church”

    Small initiate venues performing in a church. My undergraduate school had a Comedy Club Monday evenings.
    It was were people starting out could hone their craft. The headliner on Monday night was the first opening of three acts on Saturday night in the downtown fancy bar.

    A popular activity in Northbridge Mass, is the single screen movie theater showing the Patriots game on Sunday. Admission is free, but one should buy the overpriced popcorn and beer.

    Lange screens to watch the game in a church …. the start of the novel Stranger in a Strange town.

  6. Sure, you say you’re not starting a cult… but that’s exactly what someone starting a cult would say.

    But actually as someone who also lives in rural Ohio, I hope your event space works out because a good event space is a rare thing out in the sticks. Although lately there’s been a rash of people repurposing barns as such (to various degrees of nicety).

  7. I love your choice of names, for all the reasons you mentioned. I grew up in a small Nebraska farm town and totally get it. Short, descriptive, easy to remember, and uncontroversial. Five star approval from me for The Old Church.

  8. And also, if you ever have to fix the boiler, you can say “Scalzi lurks in the cellars of the Old Church”.

  9. @mark whybird – no strict architectural rules for a cathedral. It’s the home church of a bishop.

  10. Good call on the intentionally-generic name. I like it because it’s what people are likely to call it anyway, so why not get ahead of the game.

    Semi-relatedly, I’ve decided that if I ever unexpectedly find myself wealthy enough to endow my local university, I’d negotiate for naming rights to the library, and name it The [University name] Library (with the proviso that if the university ever changes its name, the library name should change to reflect it). I don’t want the place named after me, but I also don’t want it named after anyone else.

  11. Not a religious endeavour, yet…

    200 years from now, who knows how your followers might choose to enshrine the Mighty Scalzi’s legacy?

    There is a certain amount of precedent in the SFF pantheon, after all.

  12. The Old Church. I like it. And it’s probably what the locals in Bradford will call it anyway (“The Old Church? It’s now owned by that science-fiction writin’ weirdo Scalzi”).

  13. When was the Old Church built? I live about 450 km NE of you (Ontario), and some of our older churches are celebrating sesquicentennials or bicentennials.

  14. On the one hand, “Church of the Infinite Burrito” is probably the best thing I’ve read all day so far. On the other hand, this is the logical choice that would probably have automatically replaced anything else you tried to call it.

  15. @Kristen
    About 30 years ago my aerospace employer renamed the various levels of management. The second-level managers were officially titled a Business Unit Manager. The worker bees enthusiastically endorsed that title.

    (One of the second-level mangers who was a woman said – in my hearing – “We should be called BUMetts”.

    Tom –

  16. When a theater company took over the old AME church at the end of our block, the put out a sign: Under New Deities.

  17. hmmm… my next elevator pitch for netflix: “This Old Church”

    a quasi-X-Files semi-parody involving exorcism, lingering old gods, impatient new gods, vegan burrito cults, cyber-war
    between Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, undeclared LEO warfare between Jeff Bezos and a sullen villainous dude in a gigantic blue blue-ish bird-shaped starship, the ghost of Bob Villia reframing windows at the edges of reality, battles across timelines (because of course we gotta havta include Nazis)

    …and external establishing shots will be your building but with differing signage each episode for a distinctive deity… one of which will be “Saint Bacon-Cat”… also “UnHoly Rollers Casino”

  18. “we’re not going into that mine of work…”

    That’s what they all say. I’m rereading William Gibson’s “The Peripheral” in preparation for the tv series, and just came across the line: “If buying a church facilitates the next takeover, they buy the church”. Prescient?

  19. Good name. There’s an “Old First Church” in San Francisco, which is still a working Presbyterian church, but which also holds non-religious events, including a series of what’s named Old First Concerts.

  20. I know the matter is settled and you’re not taking suggestions, but I couldn’t help myself. Sorry.

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