Sunday, June 3, 2012

Reclaiming the faith

Yesterday, Saturday, June 2nd, The Episcopal Church created through ordination a new priest, Dan Puchalla (pronounced, the 'c' is silent). In my most humble opinion, Dan's talent for preaching will grow beyond what it is today. This will be something rather remarkable, considering his current skill at cutting through all the euphemisms to address the nature of Christianity today.

Dan's take on being a priest today?
You can’t be a pastor or a proctologist without people wondering what’s wrong with you that makes you want to do that kind of work.
Early on, Dan acknowledged to his congregation that he was gay, but this was his main point:
And even if most pastors experience this to some degree, you have to acknowledge how much worse it is for gay pastors. When most gay men my age think of pastors, they’re not thinking “potential boyfriend material.” They’re thinking, “ignorant, intolerant, homophobic, sexist pig.”
On Pentecost, May 27th, six days before his ordination, The Rev. Daniel Puchalla unloaded on those who have to this point framed the Christian response to issues of sexuality.
The prevailing bigotries of Christianity don’t offend me primarily as a gay man, as one whom they continually attack and demean. These prevailing Christian bigotries offend and grieve me as one who follows Jesus as my Lord, one who by the water of Baptism has been buried with Christ in his death and raised to new life in his resurrection, as one who has been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked as Christ’s own for ever, and as one ordained to be a minister of the Word of God.
Rev. Dan characterized Pentecost, as revealed to us in Acts 2:1-21, as an apocalyptic nightmare for those who were comfortable with the status quo, for anyone who believes God's Spirit can be contained in any way,
for those who thought God could be contained by adherence to a moral code and a religious practice. Let today’s Pentecost be an apocalyptic nightmare for any who would use the Word of God to propagate sexism, heterosexism, racism, jingoism, or economic injustice.
Read Dan's sermon in its entirety. It is full of radical truth. It does not comfort us, indeed, it challenges us to be prophets ourselves:
Holy Spirit, put your holy fire not just upon our heads: Put it in our bellies. Put it on our tongues. Make us instruments of your justice. Make us witnesses to the true gospel of Jesus our Savior. Make us see visions and make dream dreams and make us prophesy that your Kingdom is at hand.

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