Posts Tagged ‘Bronwyn’

StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass JohnTheBaptist Paul

StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass JohnTheBaptist Paul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stop! Read no further until you have read:

Two weeks after the Anglican Massacre.

The Christianities are still reeling from the Anglican Massacre. Nearly 100 people dead with the bombing of the Cathedral, the more tragic response though for the branch of the Tree of Christ, is that the Anglican Church in Canada announced the dissolution of and the sale of properties of the Diocese, leaving the parishners of this church in a sea of grief and trauma that my former employer in the Roman Catholic Diocese was more than willing to sweep in and pick up converts to show a healthy growth this quarter.

The hot water of the shower hit my face and cleanly shaved head, running down. First time that I was thinking with a clear head since that night when we failed to save lives, but we succeeded in catching the killer, Dwayne Douglas an elder in a congregation that voted on whether or not individuals were “Christian” enough to join their churches. He played holy well, and no one realized the socio path they had allowed to climb the ranks of the lay leadership of their church. Although the cult like status this congregation afforded their pastor was creepy and actually at the announcement of the killer being from there, a member contacted Bronwyn to disclose that she was concerned about other illegal activities as the pastor had convinced her to leave her husband that the church saw as a heretic.

The police are following up, because the Holy knows Sherwood does not need a Jonestown or Branch Davidian. But it has revealed that there is something missing within the divided soul that is the religious landscape of Sherwood. I feel the Holy Mystery speaking to me as St. Francis heard from the Cosmic Christ in the chapel of San Damiano.

Stepping out of the shower and into jeans and a superman t-shirt I step into the living room. Bronwyn is just completing her yoga, she is beautiful and oh so patient. “It’s time B.”

She stops mid pose of the crane, and straightens. She looks at me. “B, you haven’t called me that since college.” The corners of her mouth are turning up oh so slightly. “What is going through that mind of yours?”

I pick up the cordless phone and dial a number from memory. “Lao, meet me at the ruins, drop Tariq a line as well.”

I think Bronwyn just squealed. But she is attempting to look composed. Almost eight months since power hungry men abusing the name of God to get more power stole my soul from me it is time to reclaim it. “You’re going back?”

“Going forward.” I don’t know what seizes me but next thing I know the phone hits the laminate and she is in my arms, our lips meet. “I Love you.”

The transformational love of the Holy Mystery that exists within all of creation, and all of creation exists within (panentheism) is what this city needs, a surrendering of labels, and an embracing of compassion. No longer Muslim, Buddhist or Christian or any other designation…we are all human, learning and living compassionate lives… discovering that the bedrock is not to be loved, or simply love, but to be an action verb to seek out TO Love.

That is the call of the Holy Mystery after this carnage, that microcosmically reflects our current world, yet we are all called to this idea to live out actively loving one another.


This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you.

Jesus of Nazareth,

Recorded and reported according to the Community of the Apostle John in the Gospel that bears his name 15:12

A New Adventure Begins?



Jonathan Katz was the pastor we found frick-a-seed on the church lawn.” Bronwyn said it in such a matter of fact way. “The Bible passage was 2 Kings 1, a fiery judgment on the enemies of God.”

I pinch the bridge of my nose, another month, another dead clergy. Katz I had a passing knowledge of, we had talked to the church council and some congregants to get a fuller picture. While our Presbyterian, Smythe was transitioning and had angered people into believing she had betrayed her vows before God. This Lutheran congregation was being ripped apart by the largest donors spiritually abusing children as they surfed through their own grief, and the minister turning a blind eye or attempting appeasement to the families so as not to lose the money.

Another happenstance where one could view it as the vows taken in the name of God destroyed to appease the Empire of the world. If you want to spiritualize the killings, Bronwyn had my early speculation.

“Tuck believes these two killings are connected due to it tied to the idea of bearing false witness, and using biblical means to kill the clerics leading their followers astray.  The question if this is a killer targeting what he/she believes to be corrupt clergy where will he/she strike next?” Bronwyn shared.

I look to the ground in the station house, then up to the piercing green eyes of the one I love, but am afraid to tell. “That is the challenge, let’s be honest name a Christian who at one point or another in their journey did not feel betrayed by a clergy member.” Bronwyn is looking deflated by my answer, but my eyes hit a small story in the corner of the Sherwood Gazette. “Of course!”

“Care to share with the rest of us Tuck?” It’s one of Bronwyn’s constables helping on the case, a slender freckle faced youth with a Scottish brogue.

I grab the paper. “The Anglican Diocese is electing a new Bishop!” Bronwyn looks to me and then the young constable, shrugging they both are.  “Ours is the diocese that made the fuss a year back where a disabled child was escorted out of the Cathedral for creating a supposed disturbance with her tears during Good Friday?”

Bronwyn looks at me, “Really, everyone I know cries at Good Friday Mass, why was this so different?”

“Because the former priest in charge of the Cathedral was an ass clown, cost Anglicanism thirty percent of their members in the city thankfully, but another story of betrayal. They meet this weekend at the Cathedral, clergy and laity to elect a new bishop.” I do believe the thought of going back to an Anglican church is giving me an anxiety attack.

“We need to contact the Diocese they need to call the meeting.” Bronwyn was already firing orders around her team on this. As a passage from Joshua after the fall of Jericho flashes into my mind.


24 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house. 25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

26 At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: “Cursed before the Lord is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho:

“At the cost of his firstborn son
he will lay its foundations;
at the cost of his youngest
he will set up its gates.”

27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.

The Book of Joshua 6:24-27…



Stop read no further until you have read

Fall out Chapter Two! and if by chance you missed the beginning of our epic tale… Read Chapter One

One month later, the morning after a full moon.

            The basement suite Bronwyn rented in the Shire was technically one bedroom, even freed (or forced?) from my celibate vows; I could not find it in myself to attempt a move from the couch. I sit cross legged on the floor meditating, as she is on a call in the kitchen. Acknowledge and place aside as Lao taught me.

Tariq and Lao have tried to have us meet for our usual ministerial tea, but shame is keeping me away. The parishners of St. Clare’s officially left the Holy See, the Bishop lost the flock once they heard that the land was to be sold, they are a true parish house network sans paid clergy. Some notes and cards of support, encouragement and simply “we love you” have arrived at Bronwyn’s they simply do not seem to care what official denominational oversight says to them.

The DNA came back from the traitor kill as inconclusive, but it was more than likely a parishners that could not handle their minister transitioning. Bronwyn is working the case.

The rising morning sun is glowing through the too small window slits the Holy Mystery kissing her creation good morning.

Bronwyn’s phone conversation is ending, and my mind is not yet centered, but my heart is getting there. The defrocking still rests on me, like the loss of a lover, my bride has been stripped from me by someone else’s volition for the simple crime of living the marriage vows as my bride called me to.

“Tuck, I need you.” Bronwyn said.

I uncross my legs and rise slowly, grab the flannel jacket and pull it on over my gray casual shirt. Bronwyn looks again at my cleanly shaved head, she is still adjusting to the loss of the tonsure on my journey, but there seemed no need for that simple sign of an office I no longer was permitted to hold. “Game is afoot my dear Watson?”

She glowers at me. Detests she does comparing out work to Holmes and Watson, I wonder if she would dislike it as much if she was Holmes and I was Watson? “Another Bible kill.” The short hand the SPS has picked up around the traitor killing, which means that the case is not as simple as they first thought, which means Bronwyn will get some of her team to begin looking for past murders within Canada that may fit the pattern (if there is one) because this many staged murders is definitely not normal for Sherwood.

Off to the Fit we go.

En route to the scene, this time a church, it gets more awkward. “Lao and Tariq keep calling, when are you going to meet with them?”

“And say what, oh by the way thank you for inviting me to ministerial but you see I have no credentials.”

“Bullocks, and you know it, Tuck. So some bloody institution doesn’t like the way you minister, the people who call you Friar still see you as such, what is more important the children of God or the Institution of Man?” Bronwyn said. And yes that is the question that needs to be answered isn’t it? One question that surprisingly I am struggling with because even with having pushed the boundaries of church life for so long, who knew that it would be some stodgy old Bishop that would manage to get the Holy See to act so rapidly and decisively on something that usually takes years to achieve when it comes to ending a clerical life.

And the more important question is why should the acceptance of a dying institution even matter to me?

Speaking of dying institutions, it is an Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada congregation we pull up to. The crime scene tape is around the front of the building where one would normally see the church sign, but there is only the two stakes for the wood sign and obvious signs of a fire.  Not good.

I follow Bronwyn, most of the SPS is used to seeing me around, but they are still adjusting to me without my robes, she secured special consultants dispensation for me from the Chief to be able to continue my work. The one win I had experienced this past month.

The smell hits me first in the night air, the smell of singed flesh, and my toast from the breakfast joins the grass outside the entrance doors. Bronwyn chuckles, as she dabs some perfume under her nose and offers me the vile, it does work to cover up the smell.

I think that is a body. .  . and a Bible covered in blood a soot,

what is it open to?

(a Presbyterian Cross or ) - Emblems of belief...

(a Presbyterian Cross or ) – Emblems of belief available for placement on USVA headstones and markers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

STOP! Read no further until you have read Fall Out Chapter One here.

“I don’t follow.”

“After the crucifixion Judas was so racked with guilt he attempted to return the 30 pieces of silver to the Sanhedrin. They refused calling it blood money. One Gospel accounts is that he then took the money purchased a field and hung himself. A second is that he fell in the field and his entrails burst out. The culminating result being that he suicide and the church’s doctrine that taking one’s life would forever keep you away from God and in Hell was commenced.” I said.

Bronwyn looked at me with her piercing green eyes. She is remembering the religion classes of her youth, and learning the stories and doctrine. She is looking around the section, someone’s idea of humour I gesture to the quarters throughout the blood. A quick count and yes there is thirty. “Whoever did this, using the quarters to mimic silver coins of Ancient Israel, is saying this one was a traitor.” As the tech’s lower him (I think it is a him, but the face has very delicate features) down, there is white peaking up around the collar. I motion and Bronwyn gets the tech to loosen the noose. The individual now deceased wore a classic Presbyterian collar.


Bronwyn looks up, “care to share with the rest of us?”

“Someone, possibly himself, chose death while wearing his clerical garb. The white band is commonly called a clerical neckband, but it originates out of Presbyterianism that style specifically. What we are looking at is the death of a clergy that is labelled a traitor.”

The tech pulls out the wallet and two identifications fall out. One of the deceased with a short brush cut that we found him in, and the name being listed as John Smythe, the second, a picture with longer hair and the name Joanna Smythe.

Looking at the deceased, then the two identifications Bronwyn looks to me, “hate crime?”

“Probable, if Smythe was a clergy and then transitioned.” I responded.

Bronwyn delegates some checks to people on her squad then looks at me. “Thank you.”

I ascertain a `your welcome’, but really have no clue what I had done. Nothing I had said was not available in the public sphere with very little digging, but then she like that always wants to show the gratitude piece.

We leave to make it to the Mass and my meeting with the Bishop, Bronwyn seems pleased as the case appears open and shut once they trace the trace evidence left at the scene they should be able to find the killer. Unfortunately I am not so sure as I have niggle that there is more to the story.

Mass is unique, the Bishop has been playing with the liturgy types allowable during the weekday Masses. Today we had a pre-Vatican II flashback as we went Latin for the ten of us in attendance. It is over tea, as Bronwyn waits for me, that I meat with the Bishop in the reconciliation room. The chairs aren’t as comfy as St. Clare’s had, but what can you do?

The Bishop is an old white man (what else is new in the church), in a normal clerical suit (black pants & jacket, with a black shirt with the white tab). The tea is weak, some people just should not make tea. “Your Monsignor would be talking to you but he has been recalled to the Vatican.” Ah yes, that little thing about shifting around child rapists no doubt. “But your little Anglican use parish has created quite the embarrassment for us.” Here it comes, like I really have an ability to control Satanists bursting into my building and trying to free a demon from wherever it is they are from.

“The explosion and PR fallout are nothing in comparison to what has come to light.” Well that’s new news to me. A whole building imploding is minor.  So then what is this about? “Is it true you gave the Manse to Buddhists?”

Yes, b—“ Doesn’t even await the full answer, it was done in the spirit of ecumenicism.

“That you converted much of the land to a community garden?”


“That you sold church property to aid parishners in paying rents, bills and providing tuition to students?”


“That you are currently working with a network of Mosque houses to keep the parishners fed?”

I cannot even get the answers out even more.

“That you have let these Buddhists and Muslims preside at Mass?”

Methinks the witch hunt has come, or what was it known back in the day, oh right, the Inquisition, now it is the commission of church and doctrine or some such nonsense, but essentially attempting to route those they do not think are “holy” enough to be in “holy orders”.

“That you have provided sanctuary for refugee families’ facing deportation and as such stopped the judicial due process?”

I lean back and take a sip of the weak ass tea. The writing is on the wall. Someone in the Diocese has discovered what the land the building was on is worth. Since I am the only clergy that will work the Shire then it is me they need to get out of the way. I simply shrug and smirk.

“And the final one, that you have involved yourself in police business, outside the jurisdiction given you by your religious order or the Hoy Father?” I simply nod, they are looking for a means to railroad me, but the Order should protect me, but do I want to keep the vows?

“And the gravest of all, that you are currently living in a single female parishner’s home?” As opposed to the final one? Now we have final and gravest, what is it with these people?

I put the cup down on the coffee table. I look the old stout man in his greying bronze eyes. “And what if I am? I lost my home in the fire, she is a parishner and a friend, she offered her couch until I could get back on my feet.”

“For six months, that is improper for a man who has taken vows of celibacy!”

“As opposed to the twat that was recalled for butt raping boys, or for you and the sister who have been carrying on in private for fifty years? How the hell is sleeping on her couch, and having morning tea improper you fuckin’ old fool?!”

“I have spoken to the Holy Father, and your Minister General. You Friar Tuck are a heretic, blasphemer and possible Satanist. As such, you are removed from communion with the Holy See, your vows are revoked, and your order casts you out.” Twats one and all.

I rise slowly. He throws a bag at my feet with track pants and an oversized grey hoody. I look at him as I drop my robe in front of him, standing there in my boxers. “And how much did you sell the Shire’s soul for arse clown?”

I pull on the close as he stammers “What the hell does it matter if we have claimed back the deficits you created on that land.” And the truth comes out, they have sold to the developers I have spent years scaring off. I pull on the close and storm out to the Bishop screaming I will not be welcome in any parish in the world that is in communion with the Holy See.

I mumble under my breath.


As a tear trickles down my cheek.