...I suppose what I took wasn't soup, but it was comfort. I took a life steeped in the mystery and rhythm of the church along with what I hoped was a life with the integrity of being an open, practicing gay man. When I turned to the Episcopal Church, I saw a Christianity that was alive and evolving, one that delighted in difference and saw God's creation in many things, including women and openly gay men serving as priests and bishops. I saw a chance to get past the separation and sanctimony of the more vocal Christian presence in American society, and a challenge to get to the more nuanced and tricky teachings of Christ—loving your neighbor and all that. I hoped to live and worship as I was created, not as I was condemned. And so I took catechism at St. Thomas the Apostle, where the smells and bells made me feel at home, although the challenges of parish life made me want to sleep some Sundays. After six months of classes in the teachings of the Anglican faith, I was "received" into the communion in a high mass attended by friends and my partner, with not a dry eye in the house. The healing I felt as I stood before the assistant bishop and reaffirmed my faith was, without a doubt, of the Spirit...J.
...As my partner's Mormon mother would say, I have a testimony. I was created by God, who works through all of his creation, and I've been gay as a handbag since birth. I wanted to wear my sisters' chapel veils at 2, had a crush on Hoss from "Bonanza" at 4 and have always known that God loves me and Jesus has lessons for me. And I am called to be Episcopalian and part of the Catholic faith, sure as Joan of Arc was called to her mission, although I'm not in drag. And I have faith that I will stand in front of the altar of God and commit my life to the man I love, with smells and bells and without secrecy. It is right to stand before God as I am, and speak my own truth. And I am grateful to have a model of simple, elegant defiance in the bishop from New Hampshire who happened to come to mass at my church one day.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Jimmy Doyle "Takes the Soup"