I just finished two hours on the phone with _______________, because I asked him to brainstorm with me how to get an emergent church started in the Diocese of Texas. I think it’s something that the Bishop might jump on considering there are many more neighborhoods than one that need a “Lord of the Streets” type ministry. If you and _________ would support me in this, it would mean the world politically… and I am not using that word in a negative sense. I come from the Methodist tradition, and the power structure there is incredibly corrupt. I do not think that the Diocese of Texas is corrupt, but it is not in my nature not to prepare for it. I am seasoned enough to want to walk this path, because my prayer life has solved two problems. The first is that I lost my identity as a pastor when I realized that my home church wouldn’t ordain me. It took me many years to think about being a pastor in a different denomination. The second is that I thought no one would think I was talented at ministry…. that I was just riding on my dad’s coattails. Over time, God convinced me that the statute of limitations had run out on that excuse. He hasn’t been a member of the Texas Annual Conference for almost 20 years.
The truth is that I am really talented at ministry. It just took resolving those two problems to realize that this is what I should have done all along.
The church I picture is dirty. It feeds homeless people and the mentally ill and provides health resources for people who need it, like AA meetings, a free clinic, and a thriving arts center. _______________ told me that EHS is rolling in unused money and to hit them up first.
___________ also told me that I could be licensed to preach and celebrate without being ordained, and it’s something I’d like to talk about with Bishop Doyle. Will you join me? I cannot imagine sharing this with him without you. I want to bless Epiphany just as much as I hope for my church that is to be. If our church needs a homeless ministry, I want to do for our neighborhood what Lord of the Streets has done for theirs.
I don’t need to be ordained to take on that ministry, but not to be able to give people communion brings tears to my eyes. Would you and ________________ consider taking me under care so that I have allies in the diocese? ________________ hasn’t worked for DoT for the last five years. If this just seems like too much, there are other pastors I can ask, but I’d rather have you. The way you preach is somewhat akin to my voice… you use humor to get people to think, and it’s my favorite approach to theology ever.
I suppose what I’m asking is if you could see me working for you and you teaching me how to be a priest. I am not expecting an answer overnight, if ever. I did realize, however, that you would never say yes if I didn’t ask.
I am on pins and needles at what I’ve just put out into the universe. Waiting for the baby. Watching for the Messiah. Praying on the spaces…………………………………