The Quixotic Pastor

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Main Entry: en·nui
Pronunciation: \än-wē\
Function: noun
French, from Old French enui annoyance, from enuier to vex, from Late Latin inodiare to make loathsome — more at annoy
Date: 1732
: a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction : boredom

Boy have I got it BAAAAAAAAAD ...

It isn't like I don't have anything to do; it is just that that for the moment there's nothing appealing about doing any of those things.

Last week was like this too.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Five: Floods and Droughts

Sally of the RGBPs writes:

Here in the UK we are struggling with floods, other parts of the world have similar problems without the infrastructure to cope with it, still others are badly affected by drought.... My son Jon is in Melbourne Australia where apparently it has been snowing ( yes it is winter but still!).... With crazy weather in mind I bring you this weeks Friday 5...
1. Have you experienced living through an extreme weather event- what was it and how did you cope?

In Texas, I have been endangered by tornados and one near miss lightning strike, but I have never experienced a property loss or serious property damage. When I was in 2nd grade, a tornado warning was issued while we were at school, and the sky was a serious enough cauldron of blackish-green that they made us evacuate into the hallway, and kneel down in front of the lockers with our arms over our heads. I think we were out there about a half hour, maybe an hour, until the all clear sounded. Then we went to lunch like nothing happened.
I also weathered out a very dangerous storm under a highway overpass --which you ARE NOT supposed to do, but it was the best shelter we had at the time.
The lightning strike happened at my little lake house on Lake Lewisville --it struck a tree about 15 feet away from the propane tank and about 50 feet away from the house. All of the tree bark exploded off the tree, and every circuit breaker in the house flipped. That was unnerving. As soon as it stopped raining/thundering, I went out into the yard --the tree was still smoking!
Then there was the great ice storm in Dallas in 1979, but I wrote about that already here.

2. How important is it that we wake up to issues such as global warming?
I think it is very important that we remain aware of climate change and the role we potentially play. I think it is also more useful to think about "global weirding", that we might not always experience the effects of global warming as heat, but rather as the upsetting of the earth's equilibrium and how that impacts our total climate.
3. The Christian message needs to include stewardship of the earths resources agree/ disagree?
Agree. Not taking care of the earth and her resources because "Jesus is coming soon" [or because it costs money and jobs or whatever reason] makes about as much sense as not taking care of one's own body because you're going to heaven after you die ... I personally find it very challenging, however, to step off the copious consumption train, especially when it comes to my use of fossil fuels, but in other ways as well. I confess that I struggle with this.
And because it is summer- on a brighter note....
4. What is your favourite season and why?

Up here in the Land of God's Left Hand, my favorite season is Autumn, although Michigan summers are amazing. It's all about the folliage.
5. Describe your perfect vacation weather....
Temps in the 70's, cool breezes, low humidity, lots of sunshine

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tour De France, Tour De Life?

Thanks to DH, I have started watching the Tour De France --or at least most parts of it-- every year since 2001.

I marvel that these men can climb mountains on a bike --most of them without benefit of drugs or blood doping, despite what you may have heard in the news lately. I marvel that they can ride 188 km [117 miles] in a little over 4 hours. [DH once persuaded me to do a 22 mile bike tour up Mission Point in the Grand Traverse area of Michigan. I had to get off and walk the bike up one hill. I rested --a lot. It took me I think 2-3 hours to complete the ride. And every year, we visit Mackinac Island and ride the 9 flat miles around it. Sometimes we ride our local rail trail too. We haven't ridden much this summer, because our bikes require some repair and we haven't made time.]

I marvel that they descend those same mountains they climb, sometimes at speeds up to 50 mph --on thin little wheels, with a helmet as their only protection. Used to, they didn't wear helmets.

I marvel that they can ride for 21 days on those hard little seats. [Part of the reason why I rested so much on my 22 mile ride is that my butt got really sore and I had to get off the bike!]

I marvel that it is such a "civilized" sport, in the sense that co-operation among riders on a team or many riders in the Pelaton is a must, and that it is a sport that tends to reward generosity yet at the same time be competitive. It is rarely a violent sport --when it is, it is by accident, not by design.

I marvel that "domestiques" ride back to the team cars to get water for their colleagues, then peddle back up to them and hand out the water bottles --even Lance Armstrong did this for his team a time or two.

I marvel that mostly they keep pedaling, even when there's absolutely no hope of a stage win or the triumph of winning one of those special jerseys ... even when one of their fellows betrays them. Sometimes they "bonk" and barely survive --or fall-- or hit something. Sometimes they have to drop out, and end up in one of the rescue cars.

Sounds like a "Tour De Life" to me.

Right now, I'm peddling hard, but don't seem to be making much progress. Afraid I am about to "bonk". Should I start looking for that car to pick me up?

Somebody bring me some water ...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Monday Micellaneous, Posted on Tuesday

Thanks to DH, and commercials for the Simpson's Movie, I am plagued by a terrible, terrible ear worm:

"Spider Pig, Spider Pig,
Does whatever a spider pig does ..."

Someone save me!

Go see Hairspray! Really. It's fun and funny and you will leave the theater with a big smile on your face. Do it ... John Travolta, in several different kinds of drag, simultaneously, is just one of many brilliant things about this movie.
I had this co-conspiritorial conversation with one of my congregants Sunday:

"Psst. You want some Seven?"

I knew instantly what she was talking about and said, "You betcha. Tuesday?"

Harry Potter may be the new literary crack ...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Five: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Sally from the RevGalBlogPals posts this as today's F5:

"When I began work here at Downham Market a wise friend told me that after one year I would see a few changes and sense God at work- years two and three would cause me to question and to wonder why I had chosen to accept the post here and in year four I might see the beginnings of something new. And so with that in mind alongside yesterdays celebrations I bring you Friday 5, Looking Back, Looking Forward..."

1. Share a moment/ time of real encouragement in your journey of faith
Um, I'm blanking on that a bit right now ... but I do remember a revelatory dream I had once. I dreamt that I was like a small child being pushed/guided by unseen along a particular path. There were hands on my shoulders and the Person guiding me was standing behind me, directing my steps. It was a very timely dream, because it was a time in my life when I had no clarity about where I was going, and I couldn't necessarily "see" God's hand at work or readily sense God's presence.

2. Do you have a current vision / dream for your work/ family/ministry?
Yeah, but it remains rather nebulous right now. I'm having to go back to square one in some ways ... a la that quote from Rob Bell in Velvet Elvis regarding his own soul and "SuperPastor": "Your job is the relentless pursuit of who God has made you to be. And anything else you do is sin and you need to repent of it." So I'm rethinking many of my assumptions regarding who I think God intends me to be ... and seeking Sophia on that, I guess. Boy, does that sound like a book title or the headline for a personal ad --"Desperately Seeking Sophia"?
Sunday sermon freebie: maybe Mary is in the same boat as I am...?

3. Money is no object and so you will.....
Definitely go back to school. After a Sabbatical.

4. How do you see your way through the disappointments? What keeps you going?
I keep remembering what I think is the most radical faith statement in the entire Bible. Job says, speaking of God, "Even though he slay me, I will trust in him." I believe that God desires what is best for me and that nothing --NOTHING-- can ultimately separate me from Her love and her purpose for me. If it is true for me, it is true for anyone and everyone ... my role is to yield myself to that Spirit that is at work in me --in us-- to bring about God's Realm.
I also remember my "balcony people", my personal "cloud of witnesses" that surround me, and tell myself their stories over and over again ...

5. How important are your roots? I think my balcony people are like my roots --see answer for #4.

6. Bonus= what would you like to add ? Doing this F5 on a day when I am so busy doing other things --preparing worship, being somewhat attentive to DH's two sisters who are houseguests this week-- I think may be like Mary's seeking the better part ... or am I just rationalizing?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cutting Edges and Polyamory

Different Christian Denominations are experiencing different cutting edges, or, speaking euphemistically, different opportunities/challenges for growth.

For instance, in the worldwide Anglican Community, in Roman Catholicism, in certain strains of the Baptist tradition, the full inclusion of women in the life of the church remains a cutting edge that divides some people in the church from other folks in the church. The people who argue for full inclusion of women are "voices from the edge" so to speak.

In many, many different Protestant traditions, the full inclusion of GLBT people in the life of the church is a similar cutting edge, threatening to produce a schism of one kind or another.

In my particular denomination, these things are NOT cutting edges --they are pretty well taken for granted. Most of our elders are women; most of our pastors are women.

However, even in my mostly GLBTQueerQuestioningIntersexedAlliedSameGenderLoving
Add-Another-Letter-Here denomination, we too have many cutting edges, things over which as a denomination we are deeply divided ... but don't have the time to really talk about yet.

Polyamory is one of those things. I believe one's beliefs regarding polyamory is one of the things which identifies a person as liberal or conservative in my denomination.

What I am about to say regarding polyamory has the potential to get me in trouble with someone, whether it is a member of my church or congregant that reads my blog, or someone else. It doesn't matter which side I take or what I say --someone I love and care for will be offended, I guarantee it. Someone may decide to leave my church over what I write here --I hope not. I hope we can agree to disagree in love, and live in the tension between the already and the not yet ...

It is also my opinion and not that of my churches or my denomination. It is possibly different from the opinion of Rainbow Pastor, the only other MCCer known to me who is a part of the RGBP blog ring.
I first became exposed to the concept of polyamory at the 1999 MCC General Conference in LA. In MCC, besides a rite of Holy Matrimony [sacred commitment ceremony with officiant signing a marriage license as a witness of the state between two persons] we have a rite of Holy Union that, as the bylaw stated then and states now, unites two people in a sacred committed relationship, no license. A proposed bylaw change made it to the business meeting which would remove the word "two" from the Holy Union language, so that UFMCC pastors could unite more than two people in a Holy Union. [Some of us were doing that anyhow, not paying that close attention to the actual wording of the bylaw ... ;) Whoops.]
We sit in two houses to do our bidness, clergy and laity. Clergy traditionally vote their own conscience; lay delegates are elected to serve their churches as representatives of the will of the congregation. There are, of course, scads of categories of official observers with voice but no vote, where as a candidate for ordination I sat in 1999.
So, after much debate, the question was called. Red and green cards flew up into the air, too close to call, vote had to be counted. Removing the word "two" was narrowly defeated in the lay house, narrowly passed in the clergy house --which meant the overall defeat of the entire proposal.
Much to my chagrin, it has not made it to the floor of General Conference business meeting since, although there have been many valiant efforts to get another vote and change the wording. My suspicion is that most laity are agin it, most clergy are for it --and lots of people are afraid that, if MCC would approve Holy Unions for more than two persons, it would hamper our efforts for full marriage equality for GLBT persons. It would give the Religious Right more ammo in their battle against marriage equality. I'm not so sure that's true. More about that later.
Nevertheless, the practice of polyamory is alive, if not necessarily well, in my denomination. One of our elders is a member of a long-term triadic relationship and is very open about his relationship. During the state of the clergy meeting at our most recent clergy conference he expressed his hope that one day many of our clergy would be able to come out of the closet regarding their relationship status --and still be called to serve churches in our mostly congregationalist polity. A clergyperson in my region is very open about her long-term triadic relationship --and I was blessed to serve them communion at the closing worship service of this year's General Conference, when I felt no fear in acknowledging their triad, because in MCC our communion table is open to everyone. That is enough justification.
I was asked not long ago if, as a clergy person I would unite two persons in Holy Union who had an open relationship. [Many polyamorists would not define an open relationship between two persons as polyamorist.] I said that, Yes, I would --as long as I was convinced that the couple in question were thoroughly committed to one another and thoroughly confortable with their agreement with one another to be open. I would want them to discuss and agree upon what was acceptable to each in their openness, as well as ask them the usual hard questions one asks couples who are about to commit.
The same person also asked me if, as a clergy person, I would unite more than 2 people in a Holy Union. I said that MCC bylaws currently prohibited me from doing so and that I would not endanger my clergy credentials by opening myself up to complaint --but that I would do my best to work with that group of individuals to come up with a commitment ceremony, a time of blessing that would somehow acknowledge the sacredness of their relationship. Or I would refer them to someone else who would perform a Holy Union for them.
I am not happy with my response to that question, because I know what it is like to be excluded from full inclusion in a faith community. I know what it is like to have my gifts and graces for ministry denied because of whom I love. I know what "the closet" feels like: it looks and feels very much like a tomb.
Someone might accuse me of advocating for what some call "marriage-lite." I don't think I am, because, from what I have observed about people in open relationships and people in polyamorist relationships, their unions are far more complicated than the usual dyadic relationship. To make them work, participants in these relationships must be far more intentional about their commitments, their communication and their care for one another. It calls for a certain kind of unselfishness, often called "comperssion" by polyamorists, in which one lover delights that another lover has experienced pleasure in loving yet another ...
Would I personally engage in an open relationship? Nope, because I am in a committed relationship with someone who, currently at least, has no interest in doing that and I, currently at least, have no interest in doing that. If DH ever changes her mind [if Hell freezes over] we'd have to negotiate that.
Would I personally engage in a polyamorist relationship? I'm not sure I'd ever be up for that challenge, for a variety of reasons.
This is a long post --but remember, you didn't have to read it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Baffled and Angry: Have They Forgotten How It Feels?

Don't mind a rant? Read on!

At a meeting last Thursday night, the Executive Director from one of the GLBT advocacy organizations for GLBT persons in the Land of God's Left Hand shared with me a flyer that had been faxed to their office from the Human Rights Campaign.

The flyer came from an organization called "High Impact Leadership Coalition." It features a picture of an African American pastor holding a Bible, with a piece of masking tape across his mouth, with the screaming headline "Don't Muzzle Our Pulpits!" and the statement "We Oppose S1105 -- "The Matthew Shepherd Act.""

Below that text, the flyer reads, "Don't allow misguided compassion to remove America's most basic freedoms of speech, conscience, and the free-exercise of religion."

There are 10 other pictures of African-American pastors, and 20 more names without pictures, as well as churches and organizations they represent, all endorsing the contents of this flyer. Two, I am sorry to say, are from the greater Detroit area: Pastor Marvin Winans of the Perfecting Church, and Bishop Keith A. Butler from Word of Faith Int'l Christian Center.

Here's the small print: "Christian clergymen and people of faith are making a stand for religious liberty. WE OPPOSE S1105, 'the Matthew Shepherd Act.' We believe prosecutors and anti-Christian groups will use loop holes in this proposed legislation to muzzle the church. Unnecessary law suits will bring a chilling affect to the free speech and religious liberty of our churches and our members.
"Expert legal counsel has assured us our concerns are constitutionally based, legally appropriate, and necessary given the litigation-prone society in which we live. Hate crimes statutes already exist in 45 states. Therefore , this legislation is unnecessary, unfair, indefinable, un-American, and constitutionally suspect. We are African Americans, though we represent thousands of Christian leaders of all races. We understand more clearly than most that racially motivated violence can be a form of internal terrorism.
"The Black community needs a free pulpit. Indeed, ALL Americans need free pulpits.
"We urge the Senate to avoid letting misguided compassion take away America's most basic freedoms --our freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the freedom to exercise religion.
"What can you do? We urge all concerned citizens to call their Senators ... and the President ... to express concern regarding S1105.
"We stand in unison AGAINST S 1105.
"Let's Keep Hope Alive!"

I am more baffled and angry about this flyer than others I have seen from other conservative organizations --why?

Because these are people I would have thought would show compassion for victims of hate crimes because of the experiences and history of their community.

Have they forgotten how it felt to have the churches of one's community burned and bombed? In 39 years of ministry, 18 MCC's have been arsoned --in one such arson, in New Orleans, in 1973, 29 people died, including the pastor and the associate pastor. People who remember that event recount how one victim stood at a barred window, trying in vain to get out ... and burned to death before their very eyes. The tragedy was further compounded when many churches and meeting places would not allow MCC to hold funerals and memorials for the victims in their facilities, because of the threat of arson to them. That's very understandable --see how hate crimes have so much potential for damage to a community? Don't Metropolitan Community Churches also deserve a free pulpit? Don't GLBT persons need free pulpits?

Have these pastors forgotten how it felt when someone discovered yet another lynching victim left on display to make clear who's in charge and who's in power? Matthew Shepherd was left on display, hung from a fence ...

Have these pastors forgotten how it feels to have Bible passages quoted in and out of context to justify the beliefs and behaviors of their oppressors? Pro-slavery proponents pointed to numerous Biblical texts that in their opinion supported owning slaves. Racists spoke of the curse of Ham, claiming that, since black people were Ham's children, white folk had the right and the duty to enslave them.

These pastors would say, "We have no choice regarding the color of our skin; we had no choice regarding the institution of slavery. LGBT people have a choice."

I respectfully disagree with them about my sexual orientation being a choice --and the US Constitution that these pastors have such a concern for ALLOWS me to do so, and protects all people of faith, even Christian faith, who hold to, preach and teach a different faith perspective from that of these pastors.

Do these pastors care as much about my religious freedom as they do their own?

Hate crimes committed against GLBT persons --or any representative person of any group --effectively remove these freedoms from the community, and that is exactly what perpetrators of hate crimes want. My right to free speech becomes pointless the moment some self-righteous SOB clocks me in the head with a rock when I speak out about who I am.

Opponents of S1105 would say to me, "In that case, your assailant would be tried for assault. He'd probably be found guilty and do jail time." But nothing would be said against the hatred which motivated the crime --and other perpetrators would continue to feel their actions are justified in some evil sort of way. Kind of like the time in Dallas, 1988, when Judge Jack Hampton sentenced a young murderer to 30 years for a double homicide, the minimum, instead of life in prison, the maximum, because the murderer's victims were gay men. After the hearing, Judge Hampton explained the light sentence with the statement "I don't care much for queers cruising the streets picking up teenage boys. I put prostitutes and gays at about the same level. If these boys had picked up two prostitutes and taken them to the woods and killed them, I'd consider that a similar case. And I'd be hard put to give somebody life for killing a prostitute."

The threat of being the victim of a hate crime also muzzles speech ... and I am sorry to say that I suspect these pastors feel justified in standing against S1105 because they desire to muzzle the speech of GLBT persons, whom they perceive to be sinners as well as a threat to society and thus undeserving of constitutional freedoms.

Sorry this is such a long rant --but it's something I needed to write.


Good Samaritan Fill In The Blank

OK, so if, desiring fun and light-heartedness, you're looking for my F5 play, scroll down to the next posting ...

If you are thinking about the lectionary texts and contemporary issues, read this post.

So ... what is the best contemporary group for your faith community to identify with the despised Samaritan of Jesus' day and age? Because what is despicable, like what is beautiful, is in the eye of the beholder. Some RGBPs on the Tuesday Lectionary leanings raised the question, who would you willingly accept help from? How would you respond to a person you despise who offers you help? What person from what demographic would most surprise you as a minister of God's help and grace? How would you fill in this blank for yourself? For your faith community? For your denomination?

Luke 10:33 -"But a __________ while traveling came near him [the victim of the robbers]; and when _______ saw him, ________ was moved with pity. "

"But a homosexual person ..." How would that play in your church? How does that play with you?
"But a drag queen ..." How would that play in your church? With you?
"But a young single mother, on welfare, pregnant with her 4th child ..."
"But a drug addict, slightly DUI ..."
"But an HIV positive person ..."

In my churches, we might fill in the blanks this way:

"But a staffer from Focus on the Family ..."
"But a biblical-inerrantist fundamentalist ..."
"But a member of the Eagle Forum ..."

God, of course, desires that all of these folk --all we folk-- treat each other in a love-your-neighbor-as-you-love-yourselves fashion ... especially when we'd prefer to just walk on by, or heaven forbid, do the "see? you got exactly what you deserved" or "hey, what have you done for me lately" sort of thing. Especially when we have our own agendas to which to attend.

F5: Harry Potter or Anything But ...

Although I enjoy reading the Harry Potter books, I've never seen any of the movies and I don't think I am quite the fan that many of the RGBPs are, so I am answering the "Anything But" F5 option. Thanks Reverend Mother for doing double duty ...

1. Former U.S. First Lady "Lady Bird" Johnson died this week. In honor of her love of the land and the environment, share your favorite flower or wildflower.
My favorite wildflower: bluebonnets, hands down

2. A man flew almost 200 miles in a lawn chair, held aloft by helium balloons. Share something zany you'd like to try someday.
I want to do some storm-chasing, which my partner and many people I talk to think is pretty zany.

3. Do you have an iPhone? If not, would you want one?
No. And more no ... that might just be way too dangerous for my inner geek.

4. Speaking of which, Blendtec Blenders put an iPhone in one of their super-duper blenders as part of their "Will It Blend?" series. What would YOU like to see ground up, whizzed up or otherwise pulverized in a blender?
Some flyers I've seen recently ... I'm not going to write more, because I am trying to keep this light today.

5. According to News of the Weird, a jury in Weld County, Colo., declined to hold Kathleen Ensz accountable for leaving a flier containing her dog's droppings on the doorstep of U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, apparently agreeing with Ensz that she was merely exercising free speech. What do you think? Is doggy doo-doo protected by the First Amendment?
Angel, my Aussie, thinks so. Pooter and Corky the cats demand equal protection for the contents of their catbox ... and what about bird poop?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Senate Voting On Federal Hate Crimes Legislation Today

Possibly today, at any rate.

If you haven't already done so, please call, e-mail, fax your US Senators and ask them to vote in favor of the Matthew Shepherd Act, S 1105, which will enable local law enforcement officials to seek federal funding and assistance when investigating violent acts against individuals based on the victim's gender, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity.

Contrary to what is being said by some opponents of this bill, this legislation does not negatively impact free speech, so that churches and pastors who teach and preach homosexuality as sin will not be subject to legal action or censure. This legislation is about criminal actions taken against an individual who is representative of a particular demographic, when the purpose of the criminal action is to intimidate an entire group of people.

Please ask your friends to do the same.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Enneagramfree enneagram test

Yes indeed, I am a five!

Conference Photo and Small RGBP Meet Up

This is the photo of Rainbow Pastor and me at one of the numerous receptions from our denomination's 2007 General Conference.

RP is the cute one on the left.

For more perspective on this event, see her blog here.


In the midst of planning for what is rapidly becoming a busy and full week, I took a few minutes to catch up with my blogging sisters and brothers at RGBP ...

I'm not near done catching up and already --Yikes! Some of us are experiencing some really sad and difficult life events.

So I'm praying for individuals whom I know only virtually, yet have become such an important part of my life, whom I count as friends and colleagues.

Even the virtually shared sorrows of those I care for get me in my gut --and heart.

Would Jesus Discriminate?

Another thing I learned at General Conference is that All God's Children MCC in Minneapolis, MN is in Phase 1 of its very own Would Jesus Discriminate?campaign.

I continue to be very excited about the potential of this effort to educate persons about a different and equally valid Christian faith perspective regarding the full inclusion of GLBT persons into the life of the church.
Trying to figure out how to bring this to my part of the world ... fortunately, I received a "how to" CD Rom in my conference info.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Highlights From The Sweat Lodge Conference

Sooo, after a conference induced absence of nearly 13 days, I am finally updating my blog. There's so much to share!

I think Rainbow Pastor has a different name for our denomination's General Conference of 2007 in Scottsdale AZ, but in my mind it will always be the Sweat Lodge Conference because 1400-1500 attendees [1] sweated, a lot, just getting from place to place and [2] it was a wonderful spiritual and educational experience.

Of course, before the actual General Conference itself, we had Clergy Conference, and neatly sandwiched in between was Global Justice Sunday.

I will be reflecting on my experiences in more detail as this week progresses, but here's an hearty appetizer tray:

  • Rainbow Pastor and I shared some meals and sat together for worship and business meetings fairly often. We laughed a lot --RP even snorted her beverage twice! Watch for a picture to be posted eventually on one or the other of our blogs.
  • I met some new friends and became better acquainted with several of my colleagues. To some of them I am sending a link to the RGBP webring so they can explore and possibly join up. Or maybe delurk, as the case may be.
  • We had some GREAT speakers at the Clergy Conference. James B Nelson, of Embodiment fame, spoke about his most recent work in the recovery movement as recounted in his more recent work Thirst, sharing openly about his own alcoholism and subsequent journey out of bondage. Joretta Marshall, formerly of Eden Theological Seminary, now affiliated with TCU's Brite Divinity School, spoke to us gathered clergy on the subject of our brokenness, grace and forgiveness --I think she has a book on this subject coming soon. Then we had a body-work workshop with two very gifted individuals, Kirk Prine and Donnie Lobree, directed at us clergy types to remind us how to listen to and learn from our bodies among many other things.
  • We had some great preachers and speakers for General Conference too --most of them from other denominations and traditions. So we heard a kick-ass sermon on the doing of justice entitled, "What's Love Got to Do With It" by the Rev. Lynice Pinkard --that CD I am definitely ordering. We heard from Bp. Yvette Flunder, pastor of City of Refuge Church in San Francisco, who is very much an MCC ally. Bp. Carlton Pierson discussed with us what happened to him when he came out as a radical inclusionist [I will be ordering and reading his book The Gospel of Inclusion ASAP] and was rejected as a heretic by his church as well as his Black Pentecostal tradition. Bp. Pierson, by the way, will be featured this Friday on ABC's 20/20 --this is an interview you will not want to miss. Rev. Jay Bakker of Revolution fame shared with us about Jesus and Justice and exclusion as well, as did Peggy Campolo, on the subject of the fellowship of the suffering, those who have suffered exclusion for all kinds of reasons from the church.

You can tell that this was a very full and rich experience ... and I am still trying to digest the feast! But now I'm hungry for brunch, so I'm going to go eat. More later!