View Full Version : GLBTQ Seminarians and Ordination
12-28-2005, 09:10 AM
I thought it would be interesting to start a thread to discuss the process of ordination for GLBTQ people. It seems that there are a few people on the forums currently in seminary, seeking ordination, or thinking about both.
I myself will be starting seminary at Pacific School of Religion (http://www.psr.edu)in the fall of ’06. I will be seeking ordination in the Christian Church/Disciples of Christ (http://www.disciples.org). I plan to tell a detailed story of my journey so far in later posts.
Now let’s here your story!
12-28-2005, 10:37 AM
I'm Nathan Black...
I'm currently looking at several seminaries to attend. My two favorites are Perkins School of Theology at SMU in Dallas, Texas, and Austin Presbyterian Seminary in Austin, Texas. I'm also going to consider the Pacific School of Religion.
I'm about 20 hours from completing my undergraduate degree, which I expect to be complete by June of 2006. I would like to be accepted to seminary for the Fall semester of 2006 or the Spring semester of 2007.
I think I may want to wait until the Spring semester of 2007 in order for me to complete everything that's on my schedule this year. First, I have to complete the undergraduate degree. I have several big conferences to attend. I want to achieve some specific goals with the young adult ministry that I lead. And I'm also working on building my business to a point where I'll only need to put in 10-20 hours a week maximum while I'm in school and still have a good income.
I see going to seminary as being responsible for the call of God that I feel I have on my life. I'm also excited about learning and growing spiritually... I've grown so much over the past couple of years. I've encountered theologies and ideas that have been able to articulate different thoughts & beliefs I've held for a long time... It's exciting to see how many people are thinking along the same lines.
12-28-2005, 11:26 AM
I have wanted to be a preacher for as long as I can remember. My grandmother says that when I was five I told her that, “I want to be a preacher just like Jimmy Swaggart.” It’s laughable now. While Jimmy Swaggart is no longer my desired end, I have never been able to get the idea of ministry out of my head.
I grew up in the Assemblies of God (AG), which is a Pentecostal denomination. The idea of seminary is not really thought about very much in that tradition. Many ministers go to “Bible School” or do undergrad theological work but an M.Div is not required for ordination. I actually travel as an itinerate evangelist during my first two years of college and preached in churches across Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri without any theological training. In the AG church one’s gift or “anointing” is considered more important then seminary. There is a running joke in the AG that seminary should be spelled cemetery. Regarding ordination of GLBTQ people it would not matter if I had a doctorate in divinity or if I was the next Benny Hinn (televangelist considered by many Pentecostals to be very “anointed”), ordination is not an option for homos.
Needless to say I am no longer a part of the AG church for many reasons. I have had a long journey trying to find a denomination where I feel at home. I’ve been Episcopalian, Eastern Orthodox, and now Christian Church/Disciples of Christ. Disciples’ history and polity finally seem like what I have been looking for.
While ordination in the Disciples Church for GLBTQ people is not forbidden, but it’s not necessarily easy either. To be ordained one must fine a church that will sponsor you. Then you have to come “under care” with the region the where the sponsor church is located. In my case I have a congregation in Virginia that would love to sponsor me, but our local region will not ordain GLBTQ people. I would love to be ordained in my home state of Oklahoma, but that region does not ordain GLBTQ people. I could try to get ordained in these regions and would find some support, but it would be a major battle. I have had to fight for everything for so long I’m tired and would prefer to not have to fight for my ordination and theological education. The only region in our denomination where being GLBTQ is not an issue in ordination is in the northwest US. So I have to find a church in that area that is willing to sponsor me and come under care with that region. I have no roots there, so I have to go make them. This is one reason I have chosen attend seminary at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, so I will be in the region and get to know people and find a church willing to sponsor me.
While I am in seminary I plan not only to take classes that are required for Disciples ordination, but for United Church of Christ (UCC) and Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) ordination as well. Just as backup. I have UCC friends that say that while sexual orientation is officially not an issue in ordination, that particular regions in their denomination still give GLBTQ people problems. It’s really disheartening.
12-28-2005, 01:26 PM
I emailed the admissions department at Texas Christian University, which I think is UCC & Disciples of Christ affiliated, about their acceptance and affirmation of glbt people. The initial response was very vague and the second response still sounded vague/ominous to me, so I'm not going to consider that school.
Here's what they said...
To clarify the situation, no one is denied admission to Brite on the
basis of his or her sexual orientation, but because we are a graduate
school with a selective admissions policy, some are denied admission
because they do not meet the admission requirements set forth in our
My guess is that you will be busy at Perkins the weekend of Feb. 10-12,
but if it fits your schedule I could see you either Thursday afternoon
or Friday morning of that week.
Best wishes as you explore your options for graduate theological
From: Nate Black [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Fri 12/16/2005 10:40 AM
To: Hagadone, Stan
Subject: RE: Feedback form
Thanks for the reply, Stan. I'll be visiting Perkins the weekend of
Feb 10-12, maybe I can arrange to spend a day or two at Brite around that
I'm not clear on what you mean in regards to your policy on admitting
gay & lesbian students. I expect a thorough & selective admissions
process, but I want to be confident that sexuality is not a reason to deny
Thank you for the information.
"Hagadone, Stan" <J.Hagadone@tcu.edu> wrote:
Rather than having "discovery weekends," Brite seeks to arrange for
individuals to come to campus at a time that best fits their schedule. If
you would like to arrange such a visit, I would be please to work with
you to make those arrangements.
Brite is an open and affirming institution in terms of sexual
orientation, yet because we are a graduate program, we are selective in terms of our admission requirements.
If you have other questions or if our office can be helpful in any
other way, please let me know.
Director of Admissions
From: Inquire Form [mailto:Briteinquiry@iota.control-access4.com]
Sent: Fri 12/16/2005 10:07 AM
To: dept Brite Divinity School
Subject: Feedback form
Do you have any \"discovery weekends\" or ways for prospective students
to visit the school? Is the school affirming/accepting for gay &
12-28-2005, 02:05 PM
I just graduated from TCU last May and do not worry about the vaguness of the statement you received from Dr. Hagadone (Dir. of Admissions at TCU, I presumed that is who you e-mailed.) What he is saying is that your admission is going to based on grades not orientation. If I remember correctly, Dr. Hagadone was the pator at Midway Christian Church when it becasme ONA. I applied to the school out and since I graduated from it and was successful, that gives you an idea of that.
About TCU itself, I should say that you have to remember it is in Texas. In other words, you have people who are rather supportive and people who are not, most are somewhere in the middle. The professors are in the supportive group. I do not think that this would be much different from any moderate/liberal mainline seminary. There are also a good number of students who are out. I would say that the atmosphere is about the same as Perkins. If you want to know more about gay life at Brite talk to Dr Steve Sprinkle. He is an out gay professor at Brite. If you get in touch with him, tell him I sent you. Perhaps the worst thing about being gay at Brite is that everybody seems to be partnered- well that is bad for me at least. :'(
As I mentioned, I just finished my M.Div at TCU. However, I am still in the whole ordination process. I entered TCU as a Catholic and left as a Disciple of Christ. So I am just beginning the ordination process. Now I am getting my PhD at Drew in New Jersey and working at a UCC church.
12-28-2005, 03:33 PM
Thank you very much for the info, Rob.
His emails just seemed a little dodgy. I don't want to risk my educational experience or my ministry future by being in an un-affirming place.
I still feel a little edgy about TCU, but now I know who to talk to if decide to look into it further.
Thank you! and congrats on finishing your MDIV and pursuing a doctorate!
12-28-2005, 04:44 PM
Yes, graduate schools are very selective, and grades play a large factor.
I know - I'm in graduate school pursuing a MLIS through Kent State. Its a difficult admission process (due to all the paperwork), but well worth it.
Good Luck to Everyone!
01-10-2006, 07:44 PM
hey everyone. i'm new out here but am glad this place exists to address homophobia in the churches and all. I attended Moody Bible Institute and later, Gordon-Conwell Theol. Seminary before I came out.
I am now working on a PhD in World Christianity at the Lutheran School of Theology here in Chicago. I don't have the same ordination challenges that others do since I am not seeking ordination. However I have met a few GLBT seminarians here training for the ordained ministry and well...sometimes the feat they have of discovery is palpable.
Personally I am called to the teaching ministry and it would be great to correspond with other gay Christians and seminarians out there.
01-17-2006, 06:07 PM
I entered seminary in 1996 & graduated in 1999. Here's what was important to me as I looked at many seminaries around the nation.
1. Is sexual orientation included in the official policy of non-discrimination printed in their literature & on their website? If so, ask how long it's been that way. Since you can assume it was a struggle to get the words in the statement, the date is a good judge of how comfortable the place is with an 'out' student. Unless you want to spend God's valuable time arguing for 3-4 years about how it's OK to be gay, then do not even consider a seminary that does not have the official language in place.
2. How has the denomination with which the seminary is affiliated handled the 'gay' question? Chances are the seminary will reflect the struggle of the denomination.
3. Will you be exposed to a variety of denominations and traditions (as well as race and gender) and their unique perspectives/scholarship regarding religion in general and Christianity in particular? Some seminaries present their denominational viewpoint in a monolithic curriculum; that's not an education, that's brainwashing.
4. Do the visions & values of the seminary reflect something other than a theological commitment, such as a priority being placed on social justice and the work for peace among people & nations?
5. Is there a support/activist organization for LGBT seminarians? You can't do this alone, you'll need the support of friends & allies.
Well that's my 5 cents worth. Happy hunting!!
02-01-2006, 01:29 PM
I was resently asked how I made my decision to attend Pacific School of Religion (http://www.psr.edu)to study for my MDiv. Here are a a few reasons:
One: I can have my dog in the dorms. VERY important to me.
Two: The GTU (http://www.gtu.edu). If you are not familiar with this, PSR is apart of a consortium of nine seminaries in the bay area affiliated with various denominations. You are able to take classes from all of the schools. It is the largest consortium of seminaries in the world and houses the largest theological library in the US. It is an incredible opportunity to have this resource.
Three: The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (http://www.clgs.org/)is based at PSR.
Four: The Bay Area, need I say more?
Five: I have a friend from college who is there now. He loves it. I also am close friends with one of the faculty members.
Six: Ordination will be easier in my denomination if I am in CA
Seven: Mel White recommended it as his first choice for me. That being said he knows me and my needs and calling well. His recommendation for me might not be the same for others.
Eight: When I visited in the fall of 2004 I instantly "knew" it was the right place for me.
02-01-2006, 02:56 PM
What are the pros & cons of seeking ordination & ministry in a denomination? Assuming sexuality isn't an issue...
I love MCC, but I grew up in an independent church... I think I prefer the way my home church was operated... more like a corporation instead of a "democracy."
What are the pros & cons of pastoring an "independent" church?
02-02-2006, 09:27 AM
Congratulations on choosing PSR! I think you made a good choice. I loved the school and the area when I visited (and that was so long ago!) I think the GTU cluster really opens up dialogue so that you don't come away with a singular institutional experience. You are gonna have so much fun!
I chose CTS because I loved Chicago. Having grown up in the deep south, it seemed easier to "fit in." I had a great experience but I don't know what's going on there now. They were in covenant with MCC to be their official seminary at one time. But I am getting reports that in admissions they have started being extremely selective. That is really too bad because there are too many other seminaries that are academically far more elite.
Nathan, just a quick observation on the independent vs. corporate church. You know it takes a special political gift to minister effectively in either type congregation. But, from what I have seen, an independent church can chew up and spit out a minister a lot faster than one that has denominational ties/obligations. In an independent church there is no regional or national official to mediate a dispute and that can mean unemployment a lot faster than in a national body. Hope that doesn't sound too pessimistic but I know it is true!
02-02-2006, 09:48 AM
I see your points TJ... I'm not so much worried about unemployment as much as I am about having the freedom to take the church where I feel led to go spiritually.
I already know income & job security aren't going to be a concern for me because I'm already starting to do well in my business and I intend on being financially independent before going into the ministry.
I just finished "A New Christianity for a New World," by John Shelby Spong and that is the kind of ministry that resonates with me... recreating Christianity into something that is relevant and empowering in today's world.
Resolving the rift of spirituality & sexuality is just the tip of the iceberg...
And while MCC is very inclusive and somewhat progressive, I don't know how much freedom I would have to lead a congregation down that path. I'm definitely still learning about the denomination and everything, I've only been exposed to one MCC for a couple of years... And believe me, I LOVE MCC. :)
I'm just curious...
02-02-2006, 09:55 AM
PSR sounds really great!
I would be heartbroken to leave Austin, though! Seminary is about a year away anyway, so I have time to "prepare"...
Maybe I can come visit you this fall when you're in school and check out PSR?
02-02-2006, 12:21 PM
You are more then welcome to come visit anytime. If you want to come visit in Lynchburg you are more then welcome here too. Falwellville is a great place to experience first hand.
Now on to church politics:
It sounds like Nathan and I come from a similar church leadership style. Although I grew up in a denomination (Assemblies of God (http://www.ag.org)), my particular congregation was very personality driven. The pastor has been at that church for nearly twenty years. He is a very dynamic and driven person. He knows what he wants and goes for it. The church also has a board of six elders. My grandfather is one of them. They and the pastor make ALL decisions for the church. There are no committees. Elders are elected to a three-year term but there is no term limit. My grandfather has been an elder since the 80’s. There have only been three changes to the board in my lifetime all were do to the previous elders moving away. One man has been on the board since the early 70’s! The congregation has about 400 adherents, but this small group of men decides everything like hiring associate ministers, making financial decisions, or remodeling of the buildings.
The current church I serve (http://www.fcclynchburg.org) is also part of a denomination (Christian Church/ Disciples of Christ (http://www.disciples.org)). The leadership style could not be more different. There is a committee for EVERYTHING. Each committee has two or three members who are delegates to the board. The board consists of about 50 people including all staff, committee delegates, trustees, and elders. The congregation only has about 250 adherents. Trustees are elected and mainly involved in financial matters. Elders are also elected and are mainly involved in spiritual matters. I don’t think there are term limits, but it is very unusual for someone to serve successive terms. Everyone has his or her hands in the pot. When I wanted to redecorate the youth room I had to go through three different committees to get approval. This is the first time I have been involved in a church with this type of government. It is very different for me. I am used to being able to simply say, “Pastor can I do ____?” and he said yes or no and the issue is settled, or just having the authority to make decisions with out needing any approval.
I believe the two different styles have both positive and negative aspects. With the first scenario, change and innovation can happen quickly. Leaders are able to follow the flow of the Spirit in making decisions about worship and outreach without needing the approval of committees. This type of leadership only works when the congregation believes in the vision and leadership of the pastor. I believe it takes a certain kind of individual to be able to pull this off. One major down fall is that the will of the body can be easily overlooked. Power and authority can be taken to a negative extreme. This can be seen in what was called the “Sheparding Movement” that was popular in Charismatic circles in the 80’s.
In the second scenario, the process of decision-making can often hinder following the move of the Spirit. People often get stuck in the rut of the way things have always been. Pleasing everyone is not possible, but it often seems like this is the goal of this type of church governing. Getting simple things done like picking carpet colors or purchasing light bulbs from a different vender can take forever and often cause divisions in the body. At the same time there is a better check system for leaders. The likelihood of extreme abuse of power is greatly diminished.
In most denominations there is room for both types of leadership style. I can think of several examples of both scenarios in the Assemblies of God, Christian Church/Disciple of Christ, United Church of Christ, and Metropolitan Community Churches. The same is true of non-denominational churches. I think there has to be a middle way where neither style is taken to the extreme, or maybe there is a type of church government that would work even better that is yet to be discovered.
I hope to be exposed to innovative forms of church leadership in seminary. If there is anywhere to get that kind of exposure I think PSR is the place.
I hope to post later on some of my thoughts on working within denominations and some of the pros and cons I see in specific denominations.
02-02-2006, 12:56 PM
EXCELLENT post, Corey. That is EXACTLY along the lines of what I've been thinking about.
I personally think I'm that strong "charismatic" leader type. I see somewhere I want to go and I go... minor mistakes and stumbling blocks are ok, as long as we get where we're going... I have certainly experienced those in the past. :)
My stress (the little there has been) with MCC has totally centered on getting stuck in "the system." It feels like it shuts down the momentum that I've been busting my butt to build. On the other hand, I've already seen it temper some of my ideas. I've received really great input and feedback from other committees & church leaders. I guess I would just like to streamline those systems and increase the communication through the process.
Other than the decision making processes, I'm also concerned about the theological & spiritual direction of the church. That's an area I would not want to be "overruled" in. Does that make sense?
02-11-2006, 08:44 AM
Nathan & Corey (and others seeking ordination) ~
I understand that in your calling, you want to follow the Spirit and that congregational politics should not interrrupt that. I hope you don't mind me challenging you a bit, but I've been through quite a lot as a minister so I feel like, if I can share something that helps another colleague, I want to do it.
Local congregations and denominations, whether independent or democratic, or ruled by bishops or presbyteries, are political environments in which a minister follows God's call. They are filled with mentally ill people, people addicted to power, people wounded by the last church they were in and never healed, people who unconsciously resent clergy (called 'clergy killers') and more. The ugly truth is, whatever ministry you are in, there will be people who oppose you, sometimes fiercely.
It helps that the New Testament gives us Paul as a supreme example. A former religious terrorist, he did not get along with a single colleague. He is reported to have had falling-outs with every one except the young, handsome Timothy. (hmmm...)
I submit to you that no matter how sincere you are, no matter how certain you are of God's call on your life, no matter how certain you are of the Spirit's leading, you will know more strife than you are expecting. And yes, you will be worried about keeping your job one day. Churches (even the 'good' ones) wad up ministers and throw them away every week.
So what do you do? I believe self-knowledge is your most important quest at this stage of your formation as a minister. What is your personality type? How do you respond to conflict? What things push your buttons? What baggage do you bring with you from your family system and your church expereinces up to now? What kind of people is it hardest for you to work with? Have you seen your shadow side (your blind self that others experience but you don't) and can you own it?
I highly recommend at least 1 year of CPE before you are ordained. There is no better setting to learn these things about yourself while learning to be an effective pastor.
I apologize if I sound pessimistic or a know-it-all. I only want to help. What say you?
02-13-2006, 10:41 AM
Thanks for your post. It is very thoughtful. I am only 28 years old, but I learned the hard knocks of ministry at a very young age. I grew up in a minister’s home. I have experienced first hand the wrath of “good Christian people.” I have over heard many brutal board meetings and congregational meetings. I’ve seen Church politics at its worst. I’ve watched as other minister’s kids who were my friends have been literally kicked out of their church owned homes by angry church members in the middle of the night.
I was lucky that my grandparents where itinerate ministers rather then pastors. At the same time my grandfather was also and elder in a church driven by a strong willed pastor. I have seen more instances deceit, backbiting, lies, and manipulation then I want to discuss. I’ve seen it not only from church members, but also from pastors themselves. I’ve seen people with incredible gifts and intellect crushed by leadership that doesn’t want to be upstaged. I’ve witnessed more under the table financial deals then you can imagine!
I often wonder why in the world I would ever want to be involved in such a business. Like you said I believe the key to survival is knowing one’s self, and knowing one’s own limitations and abilities. The past year that I have been involved in youth ministry has been a wonderful foundation for me. It is by no means my first experience with ministry, but it is my first experience with ministry under a pastor that I trust. I have learned so much not only about ministry but also about myself. I look forward to seminary and continued growth.
02-13-2006, 10:49 AM
wow schoolboi, you have seen it! I am so glad you have a good mentor. I had good mentoring in seminary, but seminary is not the real world in a lot of ways. I finally had a good mentor in ministry in CPE at Emory. It makes all the difference in the world. I would've given up a few times if i had not had an experienced pastor who could 'get real' about it with me!
I think you are going to be a wonderful servant of the Lord!
02-14-2006, 11:27 PM
Revtj, thanks for an awesome post. You've given me a lot of food for thought. I have a wonderful mentor in my life as well, I'm going to pass along your words to him.
02-14-2006, 11:35 PM
I went to Perkins Theological Seminary at Southern Methodist University this last weekend and had an amazing time.
I absolutely loved the school. The open-ness and the theological diversity was very intriguing. The campus was beautiful, they have awesome "amenities" since they're part of SMU. And that part of Dallas is fantastic! I visited a nearby friend who has a very cute, very affordable apartment. And I also found a nearby condo for $50k.
I'm still going to check out two more schools, but I feel VERY drawn to SMU.
The clarity & affirmation I experienced had less to do with the school and more with my calling. I just had this powerful sense of my life being on track while I was there.
I'm already talking to local & regional pastors about participating in their servies by being the communion celebrant, singing special music & preaching. I have two possibilities lined up already.
It's kinda weird... I feel like I'm on the right path, it just so happens this path is going up a very high mountain, alongside treacherous cliffs, with no guardrails... :) I'm wishing I had paid more attention in my "mountain climbing" class.
05-15-2006, 03:50 PM
I finally got my application in to Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Keep me in prayer!
05-15-2006, 04:27 PM
wow schoolboi, you have seen it! I am so glad you have a good mentor. I had good mentoring in seminary, but seminary is not the real world in a lot of ways. I finally had a good mentor in ministry in CPE at Emory. It makes all the difference in the world. I would've given up a few times if i had not had an experienced pastor who could 'get real' about it with me!!
My work has been in the arts, but the matter of mentorship is identical. Without this, there isn't any real learning, just a great deal of posturing.
I went through undergraduate school hungry for a mentor that would make a difference in my life and only found that person after I was out of school and stumbling forward in my career as a singer. It isn't facts that one needs, but real knowledge. And this seems to be only possible when given from person to person in an environment of trust. True. There is the occasional autodidact, but they are the rare individual.
It isn't just the right school that is the important issue here, but also the right professors at that school. This is incredibly important in the arts: it behooves the student to find the best teacher possible. Ones success depends on it. I believe that ministry is no different.
As my mentor told me: "The teacher gives you the tools. It's up to you to use them. In the end, you learn to teach yourself."
05-17-2006, 01:50 AM
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
Thirty three years have elapsed since I first boarded a plane from Europe - newly ordained priest - to return to North America and specifically Canada, to pursue my sacerdotal vocation.
There were few conflicts in my early life. Certainly, "certainty of vocation" was never an issue. There were uncles and aunts in both the episcopate and in religious orders for both men and women. There is more, but it would reveal more than I am still comfortable or vulnerable to share at this point.
Certainty of vocation speaks to whether or not you believe - through prayer and spiritual exercise - that you were called by Christ to serve His Church. I believe that I have known both the true priest and unfortunately, what I have often termed as " the ecclesiastic mechanic." I was ordained with both types, and as a bishop, tried to avoid ordaining the latter.
There are several 800 pound gorillas in the room....women clergy....gay clergy....same sex marriage for all...for clergy....that it is difficult to avoid them ....especially in a small chapel....let alone a vast cathedral.
Of course, the majority of respondents are gay spiritual pilgrims. Many of you began in fundamentalist Protestant homes, and have experimented with liturgical or sacramental Churches. You have chosen the new heroes who write PSA's that welcome you without reservation. The United Church of Canada, our largest Protestant denomination, has had a surge of membership and seminary applications since we won our struggle here.
Do I understand why Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, or Eastern Orthodoxy would not be choice of cradle or converted men (or women in Anglicanism) to serve our Lord in ministry with a virulent, conflicted, or oppositional hierarchy deciding upon their worthiness to attend their seminaries or to receive ordination? (A moment of silence to express inner anguish).
Yes, I applaud some groups like the UCC who are willing to accept schism as the necessary "sin" in order to allow the Holy Spirit to work His miracles of Truth and Mercy in the world, and especially in the hearts of these men.
Do I believe that the three major Apostolic Succession jurisdictions have bishops who are gay men? Yes, IMHO, I do. Do I believe that some of these men have closeted same-sex relationships- often safely with priests. Yes, I do. I know that the reticence of Church leaders to "out " gay clergy not involved in paedophilic criminality and illness is because many of these men have told their old classmates in the episcopate that they themselves would be outed if they named them.
Do I believe that in fundamentalist and mainline Protestant Churches virulently opposed to same-sex marriage and the whole issue of monogamous homosexual coupling with families- are sometimes led by latent and closeted men and women afraid to investigate the whole issue honestly and intellectually? Yes, I do, IMHO, believe this.
History still teaches that politicians who secretly engage in their normative psychosexuality furtively, and openly engage in governmental homophobia - have been our worst enemies. I truly believe that this is true worldwide, and if Kitty Kelley is to be believed, in the USA especially, now as in the past.
I personally applaud all of you whom wish to join mainline Churches and fight the crusade for theological re-examination, and its catechetical and canonical changes. There are modern-day Galileo's and Copernicus' waiting for you to ascend the pulpit.
IN DILECTIONE CHRISTI,
+THE LIBERAL CROZIER
The chemotherapy is continuing, and yesterday, my tonsure became complete.....with eyebrows on my pillow, and all hair follicles on my body were somewhere in our bed. Thank you for your continued prayers for my family....our little son says that his daddy looks like "Mr.Clean"
05-17-2006, 08:38 AM
I am very touched and a little overwhelmed by your words.
I have always felt called to ministry, but have always had some resistance to the calling... whether from people or ideas that said God couldn't work through a gay person... or resistance from my own insecurities or wanting to be "in control" of my life...
The past few years the call has become more and more insistent. Almost every time I turn around someone is telling me that my encouragement, teaching, or example has impacted their lives. And every day it seems there is someone I'm reaching out to.
I know this is what God has for me... but the journey is difficult. The waiting is disconcerting. The preparation seems bothersome. I feel unsettled and am really anxious to know what my calling is going to look like... what being in full-time ministry will be like...
Thank you for sharing yourself with us. Especially as you go through recovery. You & your family are in my prayers.
Please post as often as you are able.
05-19-2006, 11:03 PM
Good luck. A word of advice. Visit the campus. Most seminaries have weekends whereby serious candidates may join the student body for prayer, reflection, examination, and fellowship. The refectory is also an important place......the chapel and the refectory......food for the soul and body. Mens sana in corpore sano.....
I have had many different titles - from master to mister to reverend mister to reverend father to many different titles that define the role of bishop. Some of these titles are rather antiquated, while others are theologically definitive of the Apostolic role.
But in this forum, dear Nathan, I am your brother.....whose soul is stripped bare and whose body has been challenged with life threatening coronary and oncological disease in a brief period of three years.
Yet, the one word ---the alpha and omega word tonight for me is JOY.....for there is JOY in my heart as I give Him praise for the two persons in this home whom I love with all my being, and pray for a cure for them.
07-19-2006, 12:23 PM
Schoolboi... PSR had a booth at MCC's regional conference. I *really* liked what I read about their school.
And... I found out that PSR & Chicago Theological both accept Univ. of Phoenix degrees, while Austin Seminary isn't sure yet. Last night, I finished enrolling in Univ. of Phoenix and will *hopefully* complete my undergrad in one year.
LC... How are you feeling today? One of my pastors, Rev. Dr. Kate Mclennan has leukemia and was recently hospitalized... but she was out of the hospital and preaching this weekend. I've been praying for both of you.
You shared a lot about United Church of Canada's welcome to glbt clergy and how the emigration process would work, but what about MCC churches in Canada? Would it be as easy to emigrate to be an MCC minister? What's the possibility of dual affiliations? I know several people who are ordained/affiliated with both MCC and United Church of Christ here in the States.
One of my favorite things about MCC churches, besides the committment to the glbt community, is the theological diversity. My pastor says it all the time... "it's more important for us to be together than it is for us to be the same" and "we value unity over uniformity," etc. Is that kind of idea supported within the UCCanada?
I guess it's a little early in the game to try and nail down *exactly* what my ministry path will look like... or even where I'll be ministering in five years... I'm just curious. :)
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