31 10 2007

The Doorman-Priest has tagged me. In this particular game of tag, I am to list 7 things about myself which are not in my profile. I don’t really have a profile on here, but I’m taking this to mean things that are not revealed on this blog ….

So here goes:

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Grace and Religion

28 10 2007

Text: Luke 18:9-14

Earlier this year, my landlord changed the doors and the locks on my apartment building. When my roommate and I got our new keys, we found that while the keys, of course, worked, sometimes they were difficult. What we have learned to do when the locking mechanism sticks is to take out the key, reinsert it into the lock and turn it without really trying or thinking about it, and wonder of wonders, we’re inside. It’s as if the door more or less lets us into the building instead of us trying our darnedest to get in on our own. This is something similar to how Grace works.

This week’s passage in the Gospel of Luke is a familiar one. Two men, a pharisee and a publican (sometimes translated as tax collector) go to the temple to pray. The pharisee boasts of how wonderful a man of God he is, and the publican humbles himself before God and asks for mercy. Jesus tells us that, in the end, it is the publican, the riff-raff, the unclean which goes away from the temple justified by God. This is an easy lesson in the need for humility, but there’s more to it than that. Like many things Jesus says, there is another level, a deeper point than what might be on the surface. At the risk of shooting myself in the foot, I will dare to say that one of the things Jesus is talking about is the futility of religion.

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Discerning the way forward

25 10 2007

So, I had my meeting to discuss a way forward in the discernment process … one of my priests went with me. We had a very candid discussion about my application and the findings that came out of my meetings to date. I thought that it was a very positive and productive meeting because we were able to come up with actionable ideas of projects and other things I can work on in my parish and the wider diocese. The tone of the meeting was very candid and cooperative. There was a great deal of clarity on all points of view, and most importantly, we came up with constructive ideas.

The bottom line, of course, is that I will withdraw my application for a time and hope to reactivate it in a year or so and come back to the diocese with the things I have worked on. I was told from the beginning this was a “great gift” and I got the impression from various folks that this is rare, if not unheard of.

I apparently have made some very positive impressions on quite a few people, or I would have been told “no” at this point or allowed to continue and then told “no” at a later date, neither of which would have been pleasant. But, I am taking this bit of news and our discussions today as a sign to pause and then resume our work at a later date.

While I remain disappointed that things have not gone as I would have liked or expected, I am grateful for the opportunity and the challenge to get “in the trenches.” I don’t know exactly how that will take shape as of yet, but we kicked around a few ideas that I had brought up. They were warmly received and I was encouraged to run with it.

Finally, I am ever mindful of St. Paul’s words, “All things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) God’s hand, I am sure is in all of this, but I admit I don’t entirely see how.  However, a great deal of fun and adventure is waiting to be had to discover what that hand is doing and where it is pointing. Or even, if that hand is a singing naked sock puppet!

Corkscrew of Anglican Infallibility

24 10 2007

I promised Eileen a picture of the infamous Corkscrew of Anglican Infallibility so here it is:

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the Reverend boy holds court

23 10 2007

I dare say that I look like I’m hogging the limelight, or even better, holding court!

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Turning a corner

21 10 2007

Thanks again to everyone who expressed their support over the bad news received earlier this week. My “live” family and friends, particularly my Personal Atheist, Sista Girl, Beefeater, and most importantly, SIR, were invaluable in their encouragement.

As I mentioned a couple of posts back, the turnover for assistants in my boss’ office is very high. I have been working at that desk for 4 and a half years now, and prior to my arrival, the life expectancy for anyone working for him a six months to a year. While I have bucked the trend on that, my co-worker’s seat still experiences the same turnover. My current co-worker arrived in May being transferred/promoted from another area, and she told me on Friday that this week she is going to let my boss know that the current arrangement is not going to work out in the long-term, so she has put in for another transfer. And so the horrible trend of the revolving door in that office continues.

Ironically enough, that bit of news along with more encouragement from friends and SIR helped to pull me onto a bit of an upswing in my mood. As SIR said, “my stock just went up regardless of whether or not your boss likes it,” so I’m not quite as concerned about my year-end bonus as I was earlier this week, though I still expect it to be less. I have stayed in a horrible and toxic office environment for as long as I have because I did not want it to be a bad reflection with the Church. After all, I am a recent “convert,” having been confirmed in 2005 and raised as a Baptist. The ministry would also be my third career (Retail being the first, and the current one being the second), so the last thing I wanted was to give the Church any reason to think they’re a flavour of the month, so to speak. In light of a conversation I had with a good friend of mine, who is somewhat familiar with diocesan processes, he said that at this point, it should not be a factor, especially in light of the fact that I intend to stay the course with regards to the discernment process.

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The lighter side …

21 10 2007

My father sent me the following cartoons by email on Friday which brought a nice chuckle.

Sista girl and I receive these cute little cartoons from him on occasion.  It gives me great joy to know that my father is still a bit of a kid at heart who goes straight for the comics in the Sunday paper.  Reading the Sunday comics first is a tradition that was instilled in me from when I was a wee little boy, and I am proud to continue it.

Dad also sent this one, which I shared with my Personal Atheist, who is Israeli


I’ll probably start sharing more things Dad sends along.