The church of my youth majored in a miserly view of God’s grace. Its message was grim. Life had no edge, no elegance and no joy, but was only a bitter temporal existence largely limited to preparations for the sweet hereafter. Our bleak church building reflected the theology: it was aptly situated in the Pacific Northwest with its endless days of dreary, overcast weather. The clouds and drizzle and fog seemed to cling to our clothes whenever we entered our church for worship. That early religion held no attraction for me, but I was bound to it by the guilt and fear it engendered in me.