The Quixotic Pastor

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Glad It's Not My Job

Today, I am celebrating that, by the grace of God, I am NOT the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place!

+Rowan Williams did not invite +Gene Robinson to the 2008 Lambeth Conference, although +Gene is a duly elected Bishop within the Anglican Communion.

He also didn't invite +Martyn Minns, whose consecration as a bishop of the Church of Nigeria-founded Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) is questioned because CANA is a breakaway group that does not have membership in the Anglican Communion.

You can read a lot about it here

But at any rate, soulforce has launched a petition [1,052 signatures so far when I signed] requesting that the Archbishop invite +Gene to Lambeth. You can read it and sign it here if you wish.

I wish you would.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Creating Change, A Prelude

Last night, I attended the first community wide planning meeting for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's 20th Creating Change Conference, which will be in Detroit Feb 6-10 in 2008. It was one of the best first organizing meetings I have ever attended, and I am so excited to be a part of this, even in a limited way!

The Creating Change Conference brings together 2000 to 3000 LGBT activists from all over the US as well as other countries who are working together to create a world in which our sexual orientations and gender expressions will be welcomed and celebrated. The conference provides incredible opportunities for skills building and strategic planning for activists and organizers who work in the LGBT movement. I know that Bp. Gene Robinson and NAACP Pres Julian Bond are scheduled as keynote speakers and there will be many others. They'll offer about 130 workshops on everything from fundraising for non-profits to how to effectively lobby your elected officials.

I'm signed up on the Spiritual Needs subcommittee, of course, because at least theoretically I have some expertise in that department. ;) There's a Shabbat service to plan, as well as an interfaith worship opportunity, as well as a kind of memorial naming ritual [that's an understatement ...] There's also the opportunity to set up a kind of spiritual refreshment center, where there might be a labyrinth and various other kinds of meditation and healing stations.

Creating Change is for you if you are:
  • An activist and organizer in your community, campus or workplace;
  • A board member, staff member or leader in a LGBT organization, community center or foundation;
  • An elected or appointed official;
  • An advocate for our communities;
  • A change agent for justice, freedom & equality for all.

But the best part of this event, and other conferences like it, such as the General Conference for my denomination, Metropolitan Community Churches, is that a people who generally find themselves in a kind of exile or bondage, and often experience tremendous isolation, come together and create a safe and empowering space for themselves.

I can still remember how powerful an experience it was for me at the 1999 MCC General Conference in L.A. when the "Queering of the Hotel" began. I had been at a two week long training event prior to the actual conference itself, but when ALL of the attendees started showing up ... in the elevators, on the walking track, in the coffee shops and cafes --WOW! Hey! I'm not alone after all!!!!

For those of you who are LGBT or allied, and who find yourselves in a lonely, lonely, sparse place ... imagine coming together for plenaries and worship with 2000 to 3000 people who have experiences so similar to yours ... imagine how empowering that would be!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Five: Big Event Edition

Songbird writes, did you know that the major purpose for forming a non-profit, RevGalBlogPals, Inc., was to be able to attract grant support for a large scale RevGalBlogPal meetup? My dream from the beginning has been attracting financial support that would allow as many of our bloggers to be together as possible.

RGBP, Inc. now has a planning committee, and we are in the early stages of planning the RevGalBlogPal Big Event. What, When, Where and Who are all on the table at the moment. In that spirit, I bring you the Big Event Friday Five.

1. What would the meeting be like? (Continuing Ed? Retreat? Outside Speakers? Interest Groups? Workshops? Hot Stone Massages? Pedicures? Glorified Slumber Party?)
If y'all find grant support for massages and pedicures. I'd be amazed. :)
Maybe we could just do a family reunion with a spiritual twist ... wouldn't that be fun? Can one get grant support for recreational therapy and healing for pastors and lay leaders ...? Affinity groups would be awesome too. I'd be happy to help host something around GLBT issues ...

2. When in 2008 might you be able to attend? January? Shortly after Easter? Summer? Fall? Some other time? January in a more temperate place than Michigan would be awesome. Of course gals and pals down south would probably love to come up north during hot and humid July and August.

3. Where would your dream meeting location be? (Urban Hotel? Rural Retreat Center? New England Camp? Southwestern Fantasy Hotel? Far away from civilization? Nearby Outlets or Really Great Thrift Stores?) I like the thought of a rural retreat center, which doesn't have to be far from civilization

4. Who would make a great keynote speaker? (That's if #1 leads us in that direction.) I don't know ... but I think I'd prefer conversing with the gals and pals than listening to any one person.

5. Did I leave out something you want to suggest? Would there be a spouses' event of some kind?

Edited to add: I like Deb's idea of having a musician or musicians come in for a concert, I like QG's idea of having a workshop around blogging, and I think something on Clergy Self-care would be really good.

Dream big for the Big Event!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What The Frost ...?????

We have a frost advisory for this evening.

Can y'all guess what I'm thinking ...?

Death Of Jerry Falwell, Part 2

I love the Rev. Mel White, who with his partner Gary Nixon founded Soulforce to seek "freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance." If you've never heard of Soulforce and you are interested in the full inclusion of GLBT persons in the life of the church, click here.

One of the things I love about Mel is that he came out of the alternate lifestyle of Christian Fundamentalism to embrace the gift of his God-given sexuality. He as well as all of the members of Soulforce are interested in proclaiming the good news of God's love for her GLBT children, especially to those who have so suffered from religious and spiritual oppression that they have no interest in the Christian faith. I also appreciate that this organization is willing to lovingly confront and challenge people and organizations like James Dobson and Focus on the Family.

One of my favorite pictures of Mel shows him outside a Fred Phelps protest, holding a sign that says "God loves Fred Phelps" ... in the picture, Mel appears to be out there all by himself, but I don't know if that is actually the case.

To see Rev. Mel White's interview with Larry King, click here

To see his interview with Anderson Cooper, click here

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Death of Jerry Falwell, Part 1

It was hard to believe at first.

My response ... well, speaking as one of those GLBT Christians who has to some degree suffered from Falwell's particular brand of spiritual abuse and violence, what Dr. Rembert Truluck refers to as "Bible Abuse", I experienced the sensation of having a weight lifted somewhat from my back.

It is a sad and terrible thing when a person's death gives hope to millions of people ... that one of the terrible voices that consistently dehumanized me and my people has been silenced. I know that there are those who are mourning his passing, and I do have compassion for those who have lost someone they loved ... and I have a certain compassion for Rev Falwell too. What he must be experiencing now that he sees face to face, not as through a mirror dimly ... when what remains of the stuff of sin in us is burned away in the relentless, loving, healing light of God's unmediated presence, and the process of our going on to perfection is suddenly completed, when we know and are known ...

It is so difficult not to dehumanize Rev. Falwell in return. I laughed at a quote someone sent me from Moms Mably, which went something like this: "One must speak good of the dead. OK then --he's dead. Good!" I have appreciated the way that other RGBPs have responded and look forward to seeing what others say ...

When it is my time to experience that relentless, loving, healing light of God's unmediated presence ... what will be burned away from me ...?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tuesday Quote For Today

As seen on a tiny hot pink bumper sticker in the back window of a small SUV:

"You call me Bitch as if that was a bad thing"

Monday, May 14, 2007

Quote For Today

"Physics is like sex ... it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it."

---Richard Feynman, Physicist, as quoted by Garrison Keillor on The Writer's Almanac

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Five: Po-TAY-to or Po-TAH-to

Reverend Mother [who I think may be feeling a little mischevious today ;)] posts the following Friday Five:

There are two types of people in the world, morning people and night owls. Or Red Sox fans and Yankees fans. Or boxers and briefs. Or people who divide the world into two types of people and those who don't. Let your preferences be known here. And if you're feeling verbose, defend your choices!

1. Mac? (woo-hoo!) or PC? (boo!)
Why yes, the Friday Five author reserves the right to editorialize!

I choose PC, but only because I'm not familiar with Mac. There are lots of reasons why I might prefer Mac --such as being less prone to viruses, such as Apple being a very GLBT friendly company, such as thumbing my nose at Bill Gates ... but every company I've ever worked at and every church I've been a part of utilizes PC. Sometimes I feel like it's trying to choose between BetaMax and VHS

2. Pizza: Chicago style luscious hearty goodness, or New York floppy and flaccid?

How about European Brick Oven Crisp Crust instead?

3. Brownies/fudge containing nuts:
a) Good. I like the variation in texture.
b) An abomination unto the Lord. The nuts take up valuable chocolate space.
[or a response of your choosing]

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't ...

4. Do you hang your toilet paper so that the "tail" hangs flush with the wall, or over the top of the roll like normal people do?

Neither DH nor I cares how it is hung, just that it is hung ... and that it's the other person's job to do it. :D

5. Toothpaste: Do you squeeze the tube wantonly in the middle, or squeeze from the bottom and flatten as you go just like the tube instructs?

Proud to be a wanton middle squeezer, that ever so often kneads the tube so that the toothpaste is pushed towards the top ...

Bonus: Share your favorite either/or.

Verbal or Non-verbal processors --and why do they tend to marry one another?

DH: yadadaayayaayayyayayayayayayayadayadayadayadayadad [breath] yadayadayadayadayadayada

RDQ: Hm. [raised eyebrow]

Thursday, May 10, 2007

This Evening

Tonight, after I prepare stir fry for DH for dinner, I am going fishing.

I AM going fishing.

I am GOING fishing.

I am going FISHING.

I've only been trying to go for a week or so, since Spring has sprung.

Perhaps the Holy Spirit will whisper sweet somethings in my ear while I meditate upon the bobber ... Maybe Jesus will say, "Why don't you cast from the other end of the dock?"

Maybe I'll catch one <-------------------this big!----------------------------->

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Struggling and Procrastinating

Trying to figure out what Scripture to structure worship around and the lectionary passages kind of leave me cold ... although doing a first person dramatic narrative as Lydia might be fun.

But in the meantime, picked up this blog thing from Sally as I was reading around the ol' blog ring, looking for inspiration

You Are From Mars
You're energetic, althletic, and totally hyperactive.You love playing sports and being in the middle of all of the action.You're independent, corageous, and brave. Unafraid to do things your way.Mars can be reckless, quick tempered, and a little too spontaneous.So think before you act - and resist your natural urges to dominate others.

Great, I'm a Martian ... just call me Marvin.

Now ... back to work.

Monday, May 07, 2007


I love it that we have lots of bunnies running around at our house ... yesterday as I was leaving for morning church, there were two of them chasing each other across the front yard.

I thought, "Aw, how cute. Wonder if there'll be more bunnies soon?"

So I felt some sadness this morning when I found a dead bunny in the backyard, missing one of its hind legs and a part of its haunch.

Evidently my Aussie Shepherd likes bunnies too.

I know that's natural for a dog ... but I don't have to like it.

I certainly don't like dealing with the aftermath of her hunting expeditions. Not only do I have to deal with the carcass, but now I need to keep an eye on both dogs' health, because I don't know who ate what and those bunny bones are a lot like chicken bones, which one never gives to a dog ...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Friday Five: It's My Party [And I'll Cry If I Want To]

Over at the RGBP site, Songbird writes: "I hate to say it, but over the years I've been to too many parties where I, or the birthday child, has felt much like the chorus of Lesley Gore's old tune. I am therefore not the biggest fan of birthday parties. For this Friday, tell us these five things about parties, birthday or otherwise."

1) Would you rather be the host or the guest?

I enjoy both of those roles. DH loves to entertain, far more than I do, but we don't get to do that as much as we'd like. We have spent quite a bit of time this past winter transforming our basement into a party area, with lots of seating as well as a bar.

2) When you are hosting, do you clean everything up the minute the guests go home? Will you accept help with the dishes?

We usually don't clean immediately after parties unless there are major messes. We do accept help with putting leftovers away and so forth. But DH will bust butt --hers and mine-- to be as prepared as possible prior to guests arriving. She cleans, I prepare food and drink.

3) If you had the wherewithal, and I guess I mean more than money, to throw a great theme party, what would the theme be?

I'd love to do one of those Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre Games. We've done two of those at one of my churches, and those can be an absolute blast. DH is really good about coming up with themes. We like to host dances too --but we've got to make the sound system downstairs work better for us, so that other people can bring music they like to dance to.

4) What's the worst time you ever had at a party?

When I was a very young 20-something, I went to one of my older brother's parties. One of the guests who had had too much to drink thought another guest was hitting on his wife and made an attempt to stab him with a large knife from the kitchen. Fortunately, my brother is a vigilant host and had help to intervene ... no blood was shed, apollogies were issued, etc etc ... but it was awhile before I went to another party. It was a pretty traumatizing event. I was told I was actually the one that picked up the knife and put it away, but I have never remembered doing that. It was awhile before he hosted another party, too.

5) And to end on a brighter note, what was the best?

Hmm. Well there was a dinner and dance party at the Masonic Temple in River City hosted by Rainbow Pastor's church before RP's tenure there. The room had a wonderful dance floor and they had an excellent DJ and DH and I had just a fabulous time dancing the night away. I hope y'all do that again some time, RP --hint, hint, hint.

DH's nephew, before his brother's death, used to host some wonderful halloween parties. DH and I went to the last one, each dressed in matching outfits as Spartans, complete with facial hair, armor, swords, shields, helmets, sandals. Afterwards, we went in costume to a local diner for breakfast ... that was fun too.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I am doing a happy, happy dance because the U.S. House of Representatives last week voted to pass the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, H.R. 1592, in a vote of 237 to 180! [Thanks to the late Charles Schultz and Snoopy for helping me express my joy.]

This adds sexual orientation, gender identity and disability to the already existing, 40-year old federal hate crimes law that already protects persons according to race, religion, color, and national origin. This means that, when local law enforcement officials are confronted with a possible hate crime against lesbian, gay, bi- or trans- people, they have additional resources available on the federal level to assist with investigation and prosecution.
Hate crimes are criminal acts committed against individuals or groups of individuals that are intended to intimidate and threaten entire communities or classes of people. When the KKK erected burning crosses in the yards of African Americans, it was an attempt to keep "those people" in "their place." When neo-nazi organizations paint swastikas on synagogues, it is a way of one group of people threatening another group of people, "we don't like you, and we don't like you being here, and we'd like to treat you like Hitler did ..."
According to the FBI, hate crimes committed against LGBT persons rank 3rd behind race and religion. There are 25 hate crimes committed every day and one out of six of those is violence directed towards a LGBT person or someone perceived to be LGBT.

I don't know yet how my particular house rep voted [probably won't know until tomorrow or Saturday, whenever the vote tally shows up in the congressional record] or how the rest of the Michigan reps voted. But I am planning to find out.
Of course, this issue still has to come before the Senate --and then the rumor is that W will veto it. We'll see.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Waiting For The Police To Arrive

This morning, I attempted to leave the house at 11:00 am to go to an HIV/AIDS walk meeting in Flint when I discovered that someone had rifled the contents of my vehicle.

I open the car door, and immediately noticed that the console lid was open, the glove compartment was open, and the contents of those things as well as the various other cubbyholes in the dashboard were scattered all over the front seats and the floor boards.

Obviously I had forgotten to lock it last night. Whoops.

So then I called DH, who hadn't noticed any of this, but she knew from how her auto alarm responded this morning when she clicked it that someone had tried her vehicle too.

Next I walked around the house to ensure that nothing else had been broken into ... then I called the police.

Fortunately, there was nothing of financial value in my vehicle, nothing really for anyone to take. No CD's, charge cards, auto titles, cash or papers with important numbers --only lots of paper products, many books and, because I'm a slob, lots of trash. They didn't take my Bible. Didn't take Christianity For The Rest of Us. Didn't take the cheap cigars I had squirrelled away that I occasionally smoke.

Ofr. F just stopped by, got a little info, left me number to call in the event I found something actually missing.

So now I am going to put everything back where it belongs, and then I will go get a battery for my car clicker so I won't forget to lock the damn thing anymore. And DH and I will be parking our vehicles in the garage from now on, in all probability.