Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Crying Uncle.

Eric is Buddhist, Steve is drunk. They both have a problem with the church. They're in their mid 40's and are generally decent guys --Eric more so than Steve, who gave my 16 year old brother a joint for Christmas one year. Sitting around my grandparent's small table at midnight --all three of us emotionally exhausted from drives and flights and trips to the hospital-- we began a conversation about religion.

I came out about my call to ministry. They were flummoxed but good natured as I tried to explain "the call" to them. Eric, the sweet and eternally hip Washingtonian who marches in protests and drives a scooter said "oh, that's how it happens. I must have been out when he tried to call. You don't molest kids do you?"

"Um, no"

Then I explained a little about the Anglican Church, how we can marry and have kids and all that good stuff. We agreed it made all the difference. Steve, who was pretty well wasted, asked if I thought there was some gender confusion going on with celibate clergy with the whole "bride of Christ" thing.

Literalism…it's going to kill me some day. I tried to explain but they saw a joke and ran with it.

"I ain't gonna be nobody's bitch" said Eric.

I know he was joking, but no matter how crudely he put it, Eric did address a pretty valid problem a lot of us face. Basically, we don’t want to obey; we don't want to make ourselves servants. Basically, we don't want to be the bitch.

I felt like I was being grilled.

"Won't you miss sex?"
Only if I don't write it down on my calendar.

"What do you think of the Bible?"
Well, my thought right now is that it's divinely inspired but not in and of itself divine. I believe only living things have divinity but we can all be inspired by God.

"Why Episcopalian?"
I like Scotch.

My uncle Steve drained his glass, wobbled slightly and said "Amen"


Blogger LutheranChik said...

I've been invited to a potluck next month, at the behest of a couple of new friends, with a group of women whom I highly suspect have some major issues with the Church, and it's going to be really interesting to explain my involvement in lay ministry. Will they shrink back in horror? Will they be intrigued? Will I wind up being in the middle of a circle of inquisitors asking me Why...?

I'm bringing some really good potato salad, just to hedge my bets.;-)

2:38 PM  
Blogger hipastorzwife2B said...

Many of our friends and family were surprised, not the least of which was my lapsed-Catholic mother who asked "Presbyterian? Is that like being protestant?"
We are always explaining and reassuring...probably its good practice!

3:10 PM  
Blogger Pink Shoes said...

It's always kind of a crapshoot, telling folks what we do... and why we do it...

6:14 PM  
Blogger RuthRE said...

I find that many people see Christianity as strict Catholic (big C) or Evangelical Wahoos...and once you explain that there are others (many others) who are traditional...yet not literal....liberal even....and about the peace and love....they soften up their stance a bit....there's a bit of a window there.

8:40 PM  

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