Faith Shopping Network

20 06 2008

From the “You Can’t Make This Sh*t Up Department” …

Hat Tip to “Ship of Fools” website for pointing us to all of our faith shopping needs, including the bobble-head Jesus.

Some of these you may have seen before …

First we have the “Wash Your Sins Away Soap”

Then the ever popular “I Believe” iPod, so you can listen to Black Sabbath during the sermon and no one is the wiser.

In honor of all those who homeskool their children or deserve the “Jesus I can’t stand these people” tag on Fran’s blog, we have the Armor of God PJs.  No really.  They’re there, and they’re real.

And finally, in honor of the upcoming Lambeth Conference, we have the Rowan the Bear doll.  Rumour has it one is being sent to given to each bishop as a party favour for their attendance. +Clumber, +Rowan the Dog and +Airedale would have gotten one but for concerns it would have been used as a chew toy …

This just in …

18 06 2008
German Lutherans consider election of first openly homosexual bishop

.- The Lutheran Church in Germany could elect its first openly homosexual bishop, prompting claims that the move would alienate many Christians and open new divisions in the Lutheran Church.

Horst Gorski, a senior cleric from Hamburg, being considered for the post of bishop of Schleswig in northern Germany against Gerhard Ulrich, a senior cleric from the Schleswig area, according to Reuters. The post will become vacant in September.

According to Reuters, Gorski is a widely respected theologian who has helped set up a center for gay and lesbian Lutheran pastors.

Critics of Gorski’s candidacy argue his election as a bishop would alienate many German Christians.

“Many members of the community would have little understanding for a bishop with this kind of lifestyle,” Ulrich Ruess, a pastor in the northern city of Hamburg, told Die Welt newspaper.

Election committee member Bishop Maria Jepsen, the world’s first woman Lutheran bishop, defended Gorski’s candidacy, saying both candidates were “experienced provosts” who have “excelled in their localities.”

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), which represents nearly 69 million Christians in 140 church bodies in 78 countries, said it would not involve itself in the episcopal election because it has no common stand on homosexuality.

Last year the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the largest U.S. Lutheran body, said it would allow homosexual clergy in same-sex relationships to serve as pastors.

Weight gain!

17 06 2008

I have a weight problem. My tendency is to be underweight.

A couple of weeks ago, SIR thought that I had lost weight. I had been feeling a bit stretched and thin lately, and i hadn’t been going to the gym regularly DESPITE the fact it’s part of my “rule of life”…

So I went to weigh myself and discovered that I had lost a few pounds.

I realize the vast majority of people out there wonder why this would be a bad thing, but when you’re 6’1 and you discover that you had dropped 10 pounds since the new year (160 down to 150) this is NOT a good thing.

I’ve been making sure that I have been getting plenty of exercise and eating LOTS of food.

Not junk food. My taste for fast food / junk food is next to nothing, though I admit I do get cravings for McDonalds breakfast on occasion.

In any event, I am back to 156 and hope to be back to my normal weight of 160 before too long. Unless I plateau I might even go a bit past that in time for my upcoming vacation, where I’ll be lounging around the pool for a week in Key West then off to visit SIR in Cape Cod for a few days the following week.

My goal is to level off at some point around the 175 – 180 range, which would put me at “just right” for my height. As difficult as it is for me to gain weight, I figure this will take me quite some time …

UPDATE: My boss decided to contribute to my cause by buying me a cookie.

Only in New York

16 06 2008

the Reverend boy’s roommate:  Will you help me bring my Air Conditioning unit down to the garbage?

The Reverend boy:  Doesn’t it still work?  Why don’t we leave it on the street?  I’m sure someone will pick it up.  We’ll put a sign on it that says “Pick me up, take me home and use me!”

Roommate:  OMG i can’t believe you would do that!

the Reverend boy:  Why not?  Trust me, someone will pick it up.

15 minutes later …

Roommate <peering out the window>:  OK just so you know, the AC is gone.

the Reverend boy:  I told you!  See?  You just have to trust ….

Roommate:  I wonder if I put a sign like that on me when I go out will I get a date?

the Reverend boy:  No comment.

Who do I think I am, anyway?

16 06 2008

Over the past few weeks I’ve been having something of a sort-of kind-of maybe “crisis of calling,” so to speak.

Readers will know of the financial angst I’ve been having over going to seminary.  Lately that has become exacerbated to the point so I have been thinking, “you know, I must be really crazy to do this.  What am I doing?  Who do I think that I am that God calling me to a life in the Priesthood?”

These thoughts usually come when I am feeling particularly stretched between the different demands / desires of my time.

Interestingly enough, these thought NEVER come up when I’m actually doing the work of the Church and doing my small bit to advance the Kingdom whether it’s doing altar guild duties at Immaculate Contraption, or running an Integrity meeting.  When those things are happening, there is no where else I’d rather be.  There is a sense of fulfillment, a sense of flow that is unlike anything else (well, except when I’m with SIR, but that’s a whole different kind of fulfillment and flow).

What does get frustrating are the Hoops and what seems to be an ever-increasing number of boxes which needs checks by them.  It started with …

See a therapist

See a Spiritual Director

Get involved in a Leadership position

Get involved in a Diocesan Committee

Pay down debt considerably, if not totally

And has now increased by these suggestions from different quarters ….

While you’re doing all this stuff, don’t let your current parish obligations slip too much

Keep a pastoral journal

I am sure there are very good reasons for all of this and why it is so tough, especially for a someone like me who is considered something of a convert since I was raised Baptist.  But still, it’s quite maddening and it just seems INSANE!


I was talking with my Spiritual Director about all of this stuff on Saturday.  The questioning apparently is absolutely normal and she warned me that as I go forward in the process and even through seminary these doubts and questions will arise from time to time and will probably get more intense.

We talked about all those checks in the boxes, and she reminded me that soon after those boxes appear, it seems as if ways open for me to mark checks in them … and she also reminded me that the three people I’m closest with (SIR, my Personal Atheist, and Sista girl) are my biggest cheerleaders and seem to be much more confident in my success than I am, and that these folks are not church-going people or religious by any means.

She asked if I would rather not be doing all the things I have to do to put checks in the boxes, and I remarked that the things I have been doing have been beneficial to me personally and I am seeing good things come out of them for the Body of Christ.  I’m not in a leadership role in iNYC just for the sake of doing it, and I am genuinely enjoying the work I’m doing with them and the subcommittee I’m on … I have examined myself to see WHY am I doing it, and ultimately I am doing them to bring the Church on local and larger levels to a place where I believe it can be. This is stuff I believe in.  The real work of the Church is not in the Church itself, but in the world.  We can’t be like a seminarian who doesn’t  leave the grounds his first year because he wants to be surrounded by Christian community 24/7.

None of this is really about me.  I can’t fix anything.  I am not a healer.  I am not the one who can effect change.  I am just present and want to be in a space to allow room for the Spirit to work and let people’s God-given gifts and talents manifest themselves.

“A-ha!” she says. “That’s the key element.  Don’t ever lose sight of that.  It is never about you or anyone else.  It’s all about being there and making room for God to do his thing in the lives of people.”

So, back to the original questions.

Who do I think I am, anyway?  Why am I doing this?

And the ever popular and “how on earth can I answer this question” question …

What is your ministry and why do you have to be ordained to fulfill that ministry?

All I can say is, it just seems to fit.  Just like a size 40-long suit fits me.  Oh, yes, I could very well focus on the academics and become a professor and write books.  I could contribute my time and talents to the work of the Church and do a lot of good.  But making room for the Spirit to work and being a sort of catalyst for letting folks talents and gifts come through just feels so right.  Being a catalyst.  A life of intercession whether it’s celebrating a eucharist or comforting someone who is bawling their eyes out.

Standing there with people and sharing in their struggles, their joys, their sorrows, just cannot compare with anything else I’ve done. There are very few other times when I feel so alive.

So here I am.  I have gotten in the boat and the river is taking me where the current leads.  The train has left the station and there’s no stopping it.  I don’t know where it will take me,  but I do know there is no where else I’d rather be.

Besides, SIR jokingly tells me I am probably unknowingly causing such a ruckus with the stuff that I’m doing they will put me into seminary just so I will be quiet.

Birthday boy

14 06 2008

34 years ago, on 14 June 1974 the Reverend boy was born in Washington, NC.

Today, on 14 June 2008, the Reverend boy is living in the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, NYC.

Who’d a thought?

Certainly not me!  Certainly not Sista girl, and CERTAINLY not mother and father.

Yesterday at the office, I was surprised by a very rich and equally yummy devil’s food cake, and they put this huge old crown on my head (pictures forthcoming, I hope)

This morning, Sista girl came by for a little bit and then we walked down Ninth Avenue together and caught up on stuff prior to my appointment with my Spiritual Director at General Theological Seminary here in NYC.

Am about to head off to the gym and enjoy my Sabbath afternoon.

Tonight SIR and i are going out on the town, don’t quite know what he’s got cooked up yet, but as always it will be a very fun and nice time.

As Sista girl’s birthday is also in June, she’s going to join SIR and me tomorrow for a Big Ole’ Southern Birthday Brunch.  The Personal Atheist will be joining us.

3 Southerners (SIR, Sg and Rb) and and Israeli (the PA) having brunch.

New York will never be the same.

In any case, Happy Birthday to me!  I’ve gotten quite a few emails and well wishes from people I haven’t heard from in forever!  I give thanks for all the wonderful people that have come into my life these past 34 years.

iNYC to March in the NYC Pride Parade

11 06 2008

The Episcopal Church

Welcomes Everyone


The Episcopal Diocese of New York invites everyone to participate in the annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride March, Sunday, June 29th 2008.

The meeting place for the March is 53rd Street between 5th and Madison Avenues. Please be there and ready to march at 1:30p.m.

For those for whom walking such a great distance might prove a challenge, The Church of St. Luke in the Fields has sponsored a Trolley. Space is limited, so please let us know if you would like a seat on the Trolley. The Trolley will be ready for boarding on 53rd Street beginning at 12:30p.m.

Integrity New York City will sponsor a Street Eucharist on 53rd Street prior to the March at 12:45p.m. We are honored to have the Most Reverend Carlos Touché-Porter, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church of Mexico as celebrant.

After the March, we hope that you will join us at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, located at 487 Hudson Street just below Christopher Street, for a Festive Choral Evensong at 6:30p.m. The Most Reverend Carlos Touché-Porter, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church of Mexico will preach. A reception will follow on the grounds.

Special thanks to two great guys, Stephen and Paul, who did the leg work to make this happen. Did you know that this is my first time marching. Should be very, very exciting….. 😀 I have a banner coming with the iNYC logo and buttons are made up and ready to go, so anyone who chooses to march with the diocese or with their parishes and still wants to be identified with iNYC can do so. If anyone will be in the area and wants to march with Integrity, please let me know and i’ll have an invitation from Socializr sent to you.

UPDATE:  Order of march is confirmed … Episcopal Diocese of New York, then iNYC, then Saint-Luke’s in the field, and then the other Episcopal parishes. No, my own parish, Immaculate Contraption, will not be marching this year for reasons too complicated to go into here.