Yeah, the last few weeks of the term. Presentations, papers, etc. You all know the drill by now. Lots of “No, I can’t do X.”, grumpiness, and hermit behavior.
Or being hold up in a library somewhere.
Term ends May 17 (sorta kinda). See you on the other side…
You really should.
Ok, yes, I do produce the show, but Lee is really amazing! You should totally check out his blog, too! We have a lot of great episodes coming up!
Ok, back to thinking about homework, and possibly another blog post. I do mean to post more, but…you know…seminary…
I’ve been thinking a lot about God and Jesus and other things these days.
Writing about your own theology can do that to you.
A thought came to my mind this Easter morning:
What if we are the second coming?
What I mean is: what if those of us who are showing love, inclusion, compassion, care for our neighbors whoever they might be… What if we are the second coming?
What if we are Jesus made manifest in this world? Millions of Jesus’ all doing God’s work?
I get these thoughts sometimes.
I’m a witch. I see pretty far and big when I think this way.
A blessed Easter to you all.
I’ve actually talked to Sam in real life a few years ago and we came to the conclusion that we’d never agree on this issue. We still don’t, obviously.
Now, I could write a bunch of historical stuff about how the ancient Romans and Greeks (aka “pagans”) weren’t all unicorns and rainbows. Or how the ancient Celts didn’t exactly shoot rainbows out their ass. Or that a lot of deity lore involves killing, maiming, and raping. I’ve been a witch for 13 years, and I go to seminary. Hell, we all know these stories one way or another.
But I’m not going to. First, I’m a history nut, but not that much of a history nut. I also think other people have done it well, and I’ll leave you to read their work.
No, what I want to talk about is compassion.
See, I get it. I get that a lot of pagans have some serious church burn. It’s ok to be angry at Christianity. You aren’t the only one. Would it surprise you that there are even Christians who have serious church burn and are angry about it, too? (Feel free to come to City of Refuge sometime.)
Let me tell you a little of my own story:
See, last school year when I realized that I needed to bring Jesus back into the equation, I was afraid. I was actually worried more about the backlash from my pagan friends and acquaintances than from the Christian friends. I was also afraid of the other gods I work with abandoning me.
So, I did what any good witch does in this situation: I called up my deities and had a little chat. It wasn’t easy, and my awesome wife helped, but I invoked all 6 of them. All 6.
The consensus was a collective divine shrug and an admonition to be wise about how I go about it. They didn’t care as long as aligned with my call to serve and to love. And, boy howdy, did it ever!
Or, to put it another way: the other deities really didn’t give a shit as long as I was still doing the work. What’s been even more surprising to me is that Jesus and The Dagda have been doing a lot of work together through me.
Interesting, isn’t it?
Look, it’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to grieve. It’s ok to not want Christianity in your life.
But ask yourself this: How long are you going to hold on to that anger? What purpose does it serve? What is the purpose of acting out in anger because someone doesn’t hold the same beliefs about Christianity that you do?
As my wise and wonderful mentor as told me: even the margins have margins. Or, as Bishop Flunder has said: sometimes the oppressed decide to become the oppressor.
But when do we let go of that? When do we decide that the greater compassion is more important than what someone believes or doesn’t believe?
How do we move from a place of anger and hurt, to a place of healing, love, and compassion?
I firmly believe that learning to work together and to respect each other’s truth for what it is is the future. It doesn’t negate anyone else’s beliefs. It doesn’t tell them they are wrong. It says here is my truth, here is your truth. We both have truth, and isn’t that awesome? Now, how can we work together to bring more healing and compassion into the world?
Because, in the end, if we can’t find a way, we will obliterate ourselves. Not just one group or another. ALL of us.
May peace, love, and compassion prevail.
I’m preaching at City of Refuge tomorrow.
OMG I’m preaching tomorrow!
If you’d like to hear it, be at 1025 Howard St. in San Francisco tomorrow at 1 pm (although, I’d also recommend coming for the pre-service Intercessory prayer at 12:30).
Oh, I’m preaching about seeds. I’ll even have props!
WordPress tells me that today is my 3rd blog anniversary. I blinked, looked at it again, and thought “Holy cow! Has it really been that long?”
I looked at my stats. It has.
Then I looked at some of my first posts for this blog and realized I started it as I was in the process of writing my application essay for PSR. I was reading some of those posts earlier and realized just how much I’ve changed in the last three years. Not just how much I’ve change, but how my call has changed, and how I view the world, and and and…
Three years is a short time in some ways. A blip on the overall cosmic timetable. But in many other ways it’s quite a long time.
So, here I am. Second year in. Radical shift in my calling. Preaching my first really big sermon this coming Sunday. Making videos and other art. Not too far from doing my Middler.
Pantheacon always has that Summer Camp kind of feeling. It’s awesome while you’re there, and you miss it when you’re gone, but you also know that it wouldn’t be as special if you lived in that space all the time. Today, I miss it, but I’m also glad to be home and resting.
The Circle of Cerridwen had a suite this year, and this made for a very different, and amazing, con experience. We were intentionally a dry suite, as we have members who are in recovery, and while our suite didn’t get to the point where no one could move, it did have many interesting people come in and out. This also made for really interesting conversations. Some I didn’t think I’d have, and some that I really didn’t know the impact of until I came home on Monday.
But I (and the coven) did the work of pastoral care. Caring for people, sometimes, who would get ignored by other attendees for many reasons. Mostly ignored because they were different in some way, which, even at Pantheacon (as pleasant and awesome as this one was), does happen.
I’m still thinking about the work we did. My own personal pastoral work and impact, the impact of our coven, and the impact of the rituals we performed (The Descent and The Sacred Body). I’m really surprised that the Christian elements we brought with us didn’t get any overt push-back, and that we were thanked for talking about Jesus in a ritual. It’s really made me think harder about what my path really is. It always seems when I come up with a plan, it changes again. But the biggest message I got is that what I’m doing and the way I’m doing it is really important. I’ve been helping people, affecting and effecting people, on lots of levels. Some levels where I don’t even know what I’ve done for people.
But I do know I’ve gotten the best compliment a pastor/minister/priest can receive. Where someone takes the time to tell you that what you did, said, or preached has had an effect on them in some special way. That you’ve made an impact on their lives. That you’ve helped them realized something about themselves that they didn’t know before. That you’ve brought Spirit to them in some way that healed them.
It’s easy to say to myself that I didn’t do any of that, it was Spirit moving through me that did it. But really, Spirit can’t do this work without me (and those around me). Spirit can’t plan the ritual, bring the props, make music, make Keynote slides, break bread, make oil, and all the other things that can only can be done by a human being. But I’m really in awe of it. It’s scary sometimes. It’s scary because it just seems so much bigger than me, and because it’s so easy to get a big head about it. I know I have good folks around me to keep me from going there, but it’s hard not to go there.
It brings up the question of what I’m meant to do and where I’m meant to be. It brings up a lot of self-doubt. Do I get ordained in a Christian organization? Do I just hang on and figure that out after graduation? What organization really would want me in it? Do people really want my ritual, my preaching, anything I have to say?
Pastoring in the suite seemed so easy, really. I just did it. I was my priestly self. I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t doubt anything. I just did it. It’s only now when I’m technically “off duty” that my brain starts it’s litany of doubt.
And maybe that’s the answer. I just do God’s work and let (most) of the rest attend to itself. It seems too simple to do that, but….
So, it’s morning, and we have yet to get all the gear together and clothes together, but we’ll be doing that soon. (Most likely after a good breakfast and caffeinated beverages.)
If you’re going to be a Pantheacon, give us a shout, or better yet, come up to our suite! (Room 966…the crosstown neighbors of the Beast.) Check out our schedule of events, and don’t forget to come to our two events!
We’ll have snacks, chocolate, ribbons(!), and pagans to chat with up there, so swing on by!
If you are:
- gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, asexual or any other sexual orientation…
- transgender, cis-gender, androgynous, multi-gendered, or any other gender…
- white, black, brown, red, or any other race…
- short, tall, fat, skinny, or any body type…
- Pagan, Wiccan, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Feri, Druid, Norse, Yoruba, Khemetic, Ceremonial, or any other faith path…
- a human being who likes to hang out with other human beings (or any flavor of being, for that matter)…
YOU ARE WELCOME TO OUR SUITE!
Mostly, it’s because there’s just so much going on! Pantheacon is a couple of days away, and I’m looking forward to doing the Wiccan Christian ritual I wrote (with some editing) on Monday at 11 am. The Awesome Wife is doing her music ritual “The Descent” on Sunday at 3:30 pm (at Club Maxx). We also have a suite this year, and we have lots of stuff going on there, too.
It’s crazy busy. You can look at the schedule on our wiki. Come check us out if you’re there.
School just started again, and that’s been really busy, too. Lots and lots of reading, of course. Interesting stuff, though.
I’ve also really started working on Dual Citizen Productions, and producing the new show Coffee With God with my friend Lee which is really taking off. Doesn’t hurt that Lee is pretty amazing at what he does! We’re also going to start filming The Greek Geek in March. I know a lot of folks liked his segments, and I hope you’ll watch the new ones when they come out.
I did an interfaith service at City of Refuge on December 30, 2012, and it was amazing. I’m still getting compliments on it, and really, I’m still in awe of the whole experience.
The biggest thing, though, is that I learned a lot about what being a minister/pastor really is about. I was feeling like I was just “one of the interns” until that service, and now I feel like I’ve really done something for the community. I know some people will say that I’ve really been doing it all along, but this was the first time I really felt that I had ministerial authority. We learn about it in classes, but I don’t think you really know until you do it.
What’s interesting, though, is that it’s made me look at what I do in my coven in a new light. I’m not only a priest and friend, I’m also a teacher. Sometimes I’m leading by example, sometimes through practice, and sometimes I have to give the spiritual boots to the head. It’s not always easy, either, because sometimes you have to be hard on someone, or even walk away from people, in order to help them. As the Morrigan pointed out to me in her story, sometimes it’s me that has to give the mercy blow.
To be honest, it sucks. Recently I was able to do it without apologizing for it, or feeling horrible about it for days afterwards. I felt sad that I had to, but I knew it was necessary. And I know I’ll have to do it again and again as I keep moving on this path.
It’s about power, really. It’s about figuring out how to wield your power to greatest effect. It’s also accepting the power you have. I didn’t think I realized just what I had in me. Now I do, and I’m in awe of it.
I also know that I need my friends more than ever now, because I know how power can put you on a pedestal or make you too full of yourself to function well with others. I also need to remember self-care, because being exhausted helps no one.
It’s hard. It’s not easy. But…I don’t think I’d have it any other way.
So, I guess I did figure out what to write…
It’s that time of year again! The time of year where we get out the fancy stuff and head down to San Jose for 4 days of Pantheacon mayhem and magick!
This year is going to be double exciting because Circle of Cerridwen has a suite this year!!! For our complete schedule of Pantheacon events, see our wiki page.
If you’re going to be at the con, please feel free to come by and say hello!