Just recently, I wrote about how “Men In Trees” (starring Anne Heche) has quite a few interesting “religion” plotlines going this season, including one about a Christian pastor, Eric, who loses his Elmo church congregation because he’s unmarried and in a relationship with Sara, the former town prostitute–even though they’re practicing chastity. With the support of the very same Sara–who’s letting him live in her home (chastely) while he’s out of a job and trying to build a new church–Eric is actually doing it: building a church, I mean.

Last week’s episode–“Get a Life“–featured Eric’s church-building progress–quite literally, with land and wood and a hammer and nails and all that–and has him doing the hottie-worship-band-guy thing (could they get more predictable with this one?). Turns out–if that’s actually him singing–he’s pretty good at the guitar, has a nice voice, and is wooing women and converts left and right with the Christian singer/songwriter deal.
He even has a fan club (also very funny)–they call themselves “The Pastorettes”–these women groupies bake him his favorite cookies, have a fan club website devoted to all things Pastor Eric, and chat on and on about his band appearances and soulful voice.

The episode finished with Pastor Eric celebrating the roof of this new church–no walls, but definitely a roof–playing with his band in the open spring air of beautiful Alaska. The Pastorettes were there in full force, but Eric only has eyes for Sara, and he sings a song he wrote for her as part of the church-building celebration. I’m curious to see where this one goes….it’s shaping up to be a pretty interesting portrayal of a Christian pastor starting a new church, maintaining a good, healthy relationship in the process, and somehow coming out ahead as a really cool guy, too. (Apparently, Eric and Sara, played by Nicholas Lea and Suleka Mathew, are dating in real life.)

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