My head is hurting. A lot. I was at church this afternoon, using my time and talents to further the Work of God (by balancing the parish checkbook), and a couple of things came up.
The first thing was my priest, discussing with some people how she took her vow of obedience to the Canons of the Church and the bishop seriously, and therefore would not perform a Holy Union for a same-gender couple. She went on to say she could not provide relationship counseling, and she could not advise them on other priests who may be willing to bless them, because that would be doing an end run around the bish, and she was sticking to her vows. She didn’t mention the couple, but if you looked up ‘small parish’ in the dictionary, you’d see our picture. Therefore, even though she didn’t mention the couple by name or even by gender… we all knew who had asked.
Think about the paradox, though. To fulfill her vows to God, she could not provide pastoral support to her parishoners.
I wonder if I should go to church tomorrow. I wonder if I should be going to church at all. I wonder what would happen if they found out I’m bisexual. Would they react the same way I saw some of them react when they discovered a long term, beloved member is transgendered?
Four people found out when I did. I watched their eyes, and in their eyes I saw this parishoner, their friend, their pewmate, their Sibling in Christ, become something else. Something different. Something other. One of those people.
I literally stumbled into the Episcopal Church. That morning, at the penticharisevangelbaptist church I had been attending, tithing, praising and praying member of, I had been told to leave until I repented.
I had mentioned in Prayer Group that I was bisexual. I had also mentioned that I was celibate, with plans to stay so for a good, long while. But celibacy didn’t matter to them. They didn’t want me back until I could say I was 100% straight. And they would be keeping my donations to the building fund, thank you. So, blinking the tears from my eyes, I started walking in the direction I thought I had left my car. And found, instead, Trinity Epsicopal Cathedral in Sacramento. I walked through the doors and the service had just begun, so I stayed, and kept going back. And I never let anyone get close, never really loved a church, until I moved here. And before I let myself fall in love with these people, I listened and read and made sure they could let themselves love someone like me.
There’s always a little fear in the back of my head. That I’m going to go to church for spiritual food, and instead I’ll be fed to the lions. And where will I stumble to from here? Is there anywhere I can go?
I came home to a dark and cold house. I turned on the heat, turned on the lights, and lit candles. We’re a bunch of poor twentysomethings, we buy the 7 day votive candles for decorations. I lit one and placed it on the kitchen windowsill. My brain started saying the Phos Hilaron.
O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.
ETA: Before you go commenting, please read the followup post: Nice Kitties.