Thursday, November 20, 2008

More fun with video

Here's a link to the Post-Prop 8 Press Conference held at All Saints Church on the Sunday after the election.


Suzer said...

Rev. Russell -- I'm curious and I hope you won't take this the wrong way. But I sometimes wonder how you (or any priest) feel about all the press coverage, and making statements in the media. Did you expect this kind of thing when you were called to be a priest? Do you still feel in touch with your parishioners and your church?

I guess I'm asking because when I think of being in your position, I think I would resent the cameras and constant media scrutiny. And I'm not sure there's a good way around all of it, because I am extremely grateful there are progressive voices speaking out on behalf of GLBT persons. But I wonder if, in your shoes, I would start to miss the more intimate moments of ministry, or would feel that I was losing touch with my vocation amid the cacophany of the world.

Thank you for being there and speaking up for us. Trying to imagine myself in your shoes, however, I would also wish you a place of peaceful retreat and restorative grace.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Oh, Suzer, you have no idea the nerve you have hit. I handed my "tiara" as the reigning Lesbian Diva about 7 years ago, and I have never been more relieved.

It's a thankless job. I much prefer being TELP = the Evil Lesbian Priestess moniker conferred upon me by MadPriest, himself.

Here's a bit of reassurance: Susan is to the position born. She has taken the "Diva" position and elevated it to the "Soundbite Queen". She does us proud.

And, and, and . . . she is smart and savvy and very wise. I don't know where she got it, and I really wish she would share her source with us, but she has a real "Defection Shield" and doesn't take the crap thrown at her with half as much vulnerability as I once did.

That doesn't mean she doesn't hurt. She does. She bleeds like the rest of us.

Which brings me to the real point: I don't know how I could have done what I did without knowing that I was being held in prayer.

Susan is smart enough - and has a rich, active prayer life - to know that what she does is dependent upon the prayers of others.

She is based in an incredible community of prayer and knows that she would not be able to do what she does without being held in prayer.

So, hold her in prayer. Continual prayer. I know she will be deeply grateful.


Suzer ... thanks for you questions and ...

Absolutely not. (Did I expect this "kind of thing" when I was called to be a priest.)

But then that's my experience of vocation in general -- when God calls you to go you SELDOM end up where you thought you would. (And, in point of fact, if you DO maybe it's time to re-evaluate whether it was you or God doing the calling!)

The Amazing Grace part of all of ths is I absolutely feel "in touch" with my parish -- and supported, empowered, encouraged and fed by those pastoral relationships -- as the DNA of All Saints Church is such that we EXPECT to send people out in order to draw people in, to rattle cages in order to set people free, to "exploit in a holy way" the media opportunities we have as opportunities for evangelism and proclamation.

And the truth is, my "day job" at All Saints looks pretty much like any parish-priest-on-staff at a large parish like All Saints. I do my share of pastoral counseling appointments, preside at daily eucharist where there may be 3 or there may be 30 gathered in the chapel at noon, work with committees and councils, chair meetings and make hospital visits. I do permarital counseling for couples planning weddings and coordinate preaching schedules, negotiate between the flower guild and music department for getting "their share" of the time they need in the church calendar.

Oh ... and once in awhile I write a press release or schlepp over to CNN for a TV gig.

Like ANYONE I struggle with finding that Benedictine balance in my life ... but as an extrovert I am blessed to be fed most deeply and fully by corporate worship and God has plunked me down in exactly the place I need to be at this time and place in my journey.

And for that I am VERY grateful!

Suzer said...

Definitely holding Rev. Russell in prayer, and all who strive for justice and peace. It's just that I worry. I'm good at it. It's what I do. Even for blog friends I've never met in real life.

I'll try to turn the worry into prayer.... :)