Posts Tagged ‘Transitions’


The bluster of winter trying to interrupt fall (or autumnal weather as some wanker has dubbed it). It is made worse by the deluge of media attempting to create stories from non-stories, and not actually doing their job as journalists and challenging the off setting narrative that oil and profits mean more than the planet and people. Some would say we live in a regressive province, but then they would be right. Melanie Moon, fastened the cincture around her purple and gray academic robe denoting her Master of Social Work. St. Jude’s was in the alternative Anglo-catholic tradition (usually seen as anti-many human rights, St. Jude’s established and flourished by embracing the beautiful Imageo Dei that other traditions refused to), and did like the smells and bells vestments. She pulled the diaconal stole (a diagonal stole, sewed at the bottom, bright red) denoting her ministerial office of education, social work and care.

Retired-Constable Sean James stepped into the Sacristry to check on the associate pastor of St. Jude’s. “Ready, Mel?” Melanie Moon, retired-MLA, last Social Credit of Alberta MLA. She had shared her journey in Alberta, to run and win was the impossible task to then lose the party she served under to become an Anti-Abortion group that could have names on the ballot sickened her. She was a believer, but was not sucked into the fog and entrenchment issues. That being things like anti-LGBTTQ+, passive to active ableism through “healing prayers”; and anti-abortion.

“Ready, Sean. But seriously as a deacon I’m pretty sure I am not supposed to be serving the Eucharist.”

Sean laughed, “what about St. Jude’s screams we follow typical convention? The Eucharist is about hope, about family together, all those that Jesus’ society said were not worthy, or less than, being there and being worthy, and the beloved image that we were created in and called very good and blessed.” Mel stared blankly at Sean. “Lee figured you may want to freeze up on your first solo show he gave me a cue card.” Sean holds up the lined piece of card board.

Mel laughed. Yes, Lee, was a former journalist turned priest. St. Jude’s took the risk to take her on as an associate after she chose not to run again in what was probably the dirtiest and most corrupt Alberta election on record. She spent time discussing with Lee the writings of Nouwen, Day, Fox, Spong, Ragan, Aberhart, Borg, to name but a few and it was through this he asked her to take a risk.

Mel did. The MLA’s in Alberta may not have a platinum pension like other provinces or the Federal or Civic elected, but there was a nice severance package that would float her while St. Jude’s trusted to raise the funds for her role. Sean checked his smart phone and chuckled. “Lee checking in to make sure you’re doing okay.”

Mel laughed, “isn’t he supposed to be chaperoning Beth’s school camp trip?” Ah band camp, they needed parent-guardian volunteers, Sean, Mel and Lee drew straws, long one went. Beth Venus, the most powerful magical hero in the world, The Bionic Knight, was also a fifteen year old high schooler. Since they had issues with the government chronic under-funding of public schools and forcing parents to work Casinos, Bingo’s and rely on the Lotto Fund (which the latest Alberta Budget revoked) for funds… it was preying on vice, and addiction…an addiction that had no outwards signs until complete devastation of the person if they could not get help ala a small T financial trustee, or worst case, suicide after losing all connecting points in society.

The words flowed through Moon from the altar, using a Franciscan Eucharist. Some state that a Eucharist is rote prayers and creeds that have no meaning, these are those that engage out of tradition, and this is just what we do on Sunday mornings, with no ripple effect into the other 6 days and 22 hours of life. But for those that it had the effect on, it was a frame work, like a coat hanger to hang your coat of life on.

Mel opened up her sermon from the opening words of Mark, “the Kingdom is near. It is the thin space our Celtic Ancestors spoke of, that our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters know, and each of us pick up on the moment by moment breaths of miraculous life that is by no ways structured, catechized, or templated for us…” she continued, as the words of wisdom spilled from her lips.

The words of the Gospel, the political statement of personal and communal life change to bring the Kingdom here…not a seeking after political power, or entrenching us versus them mentality that some saw in extremist groups like the dying Dominionist Movement, or other religious extremes…extremes that draw in all shades of Christians James knew, because you just got tired of being unwelcome, bashed, and battered…and these groups provided an ease of welcome and acceptance that centrists, progressives and pragmatists could learn from. Sadly it is easier to stay silent on that which you disagree with to actually belong, see belonging closes the space in the thin space.

“It is up to us if we create belonging in hate, power and love of money… so the Sacred Holy is closed to us for ever…or the thin space is closer and closing because it is found in hope, mystery, joy, peace… and Love…”

“Let us come to the table…”

Lee looked down at the text in with the picture of Mel serving the Eucharist from the altar at St. Jude’s. A smile crept over his lips.

Beth’s rainbow pixie popped out of the cabin. “Hey old man…did you get the text?”

“Of Mel?”

Beth cleared the twenty feet from the cabin to fire pit quickly. “No, from the BBC.” Tsunami in bound to a pacific island.

Lee laughed. “Be quick.”

“Always.” She ducked into the trees, as two words escaped her lips with a flash of white lightning…

“Bionics On!”

A new era launches…


Okay that sounds more ominous than intended when first typed as a title. Yet it has become the de-facto truth of this slimline leather bound New King James Version bible that I have had for over 8 years. Now to be honest it was used to other personal reading, leading study and preaching, but it was the nicest looking bible owned so when funerals came about it was the go to.

The challenge being is that was never the intent, although when is having multitudes of life celebrations in one’s journey the intent? It has served me well in my ministry. On the cover, it is scripted, not with my name, but one simple reminder of what biblical justice and gospel is to me: Robin Hood. My wife has a bible with a character’s name on the cover, so does my son and daughter (the children’s came when they chose the path of living the life of love inspired by the footsteps laid out of Brother Jesus).

So why this character? Simple, this is the meta-narrative that has shaped my understanding of the what it means to live life shaped by the life and teachings of the man Jesus, whose example lays out how to be truly enlightened within the Cosmic Christ.  For Robin had to choose between worldly riches, and living in the Gospel of Scarcity (which leads to control) or to choose love, and live in the Gospel of Abundance/Neighbour. Anyone who has seen any of the films, read the books/comics knows which he chose. And it inspired change (whether it is historically true or not to me is irrelevant, it is what you do with the claim: Robin Hood was right!).

So this brings me after 2ish years of meanderings and letting the Spirit blow through once more to renew, with only one Bible left (for those who have known my journey yes scandalously shocking)…and I have touched upon reading some passages in James and Philippians, but there is an energy that holds me back. That energy is that this was used for funerals. Most strikingly used last when buried my Mum.

So in a month filled with pain and grief, as we mourn newly transitioned and transitioning from an unsafe spiritual home into a new horizon…

I ponder if it may not be time to look into a new Bible for the road ahead, a fresh start or if the lessons learned with this one, and the pain held can be transformed into the new road?

 

 


Ah a great unwinding as I prepare to preach tomorrow, reading volume 6 of Starman: To Reach the Stars. Previously laid ground work begins to bear fruit and many questions for ourselves to reflect on our own lives journey crops up. For you see, Sadie, Jack Knight’s g.f. is revealed finally to be Will Payton (Starman #5) sister and she knows he is alive and asks Jack to go into space to find him.

A journey fueled by love, but there is more transformation, as within the bookends of the search for a space ship, is a story of intrigue that guest stars the Marvel Family, and raises such questions as:

  • Do we blindly follow orders?
  • Are we willing to step outside of what is popular in the world to reveal what is true and right?
  • Is it possible to change one’s own beliefs and still be true to who one is?

As the journey continues for Mr. Knight, it becomes chasing the space ship to leave earth and what it means to prepare for a global change. What type of global change? From philanderer to monogamous, discovering true love and making a conscious choice to step away from what can be viewed as a tradition of romantic pain to live in the moment.

But also think of our own lives, preparation for our own drastic changes. Do we just jump out of one career and into the next? Or do we prep replacements, empower those who are able to take our place? Once we step into the new reality, are we able to look back on what was and remember what was good? To let go of that which is negative within the change, and either let it die from our history if there is no good and move forward on our own volition to discover a new path?

As I re-read this story again, one all to familiar, it reminded me of preparing for changes within my own life, from religious driven work to secular, putting aside one calling to embrace a true light. But in each of these moments, realizing I could look at what was released and continue to hold it in detestment, distrust and hurt…or to realize that through these times it was active discernment that has brought myself and my family, to our point of health and contentment now. Would it have been nicer to have missed out the awkward and sometimes painful bits before reaching here? Yes. But like Jack Knight prepping for space and not knowing if he is to return alive to his Opal City and lady love, without the preparation, the next step of the journey may not be as sweet or as fun.