Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a change in perspective

I have a sermon to preach this weekend.

I am wrestling with the finishing touches of the sermon and with my own heart.

Back in November when I preached, it was fun. A challenge. It was deliciously outrageous to think that me, me of all people, with my big butch queer self and my curious proclivities and semi-outrageous friends and all, would be asked to preach a sermon.

I was excited. I had a drum to beat and people to make march, and I liked that role a lot. I like getting people fired up and ready to go and then marching them off to change the world. It is a grand and beautiful thing.

I liked the idea of dressing up to play minister -- sort of. I know ministers do lots more each week than preach a sermon and lead worship, but I liked the part where I got to stand on the chancel and preach and people listened. I liked it a lot.

And now things have changed inside me.

This is not fun play-acting now.

I have received a call to ministry.

It is ALL different.

I have a costume party to attend in a couple weeks. Two weeks ago, I might have borrowed or crafted a cleric's collar and gone as clergy of some kind. I can't do that now. It has a very different feeling around it now.

Oh, it still boggles my mind that I have been called to ministry. Of all of the upstanding, rational, well-behaved people who might be better suited to a life of service and worship, the lightning bolt hit me. Or whatever it was. Something touched me that morning a week ago, and my insides are forever changed.

I was talking with friends last night about this call to ministry and how I felt like I didn't have much of a choice now in the process, save perhaps choosing which school to attend and how long to take about it. Oh, I can always choose to ignore the call. Sort of like I ignored the steps in my recovery for a long time. Um, no. That was a bad idea. I lived through it, but still, it was no fun. I have been ignoring gentle hints the universe has been giving me about this ministry thing for several months. Eventually I got the lightning bolt. I have no desire to see what larger artillery might be used if I continue to ignore the path which is now laid out so clearly before me.

So now I am writing a sermon. It feels very different than it did barely a week ago. There is something deeper here now that was not here before. A responsibility to do it really, really well. An obligation to lead meaningful worship. Suddenly, it is enormous.

The sun is creeping up through the trees at the edge of the back field. The cat will be here soon for his morning devotion. He has already demanded that I worship him, now it will be his turn to worship the sun. Seems fair, I suppose. He's still a little nervous about the changes in the desk and I think he's afraid he might be scolded for walking across my desk to get to his window perch. I placed him there today, which may help alleviate his anxiety some. This morning, we are worshiping together.

There are some things happening in my life that are worth noting. I have been poking relentlessly at the queer political establishment for several months, offering my help, my thoughts and my observations. I also offered myself, in some kind of professional (read: paid) capacity as an organizer and outreach something-or-other. We -- as a movement in this state -- need rural outreach. I've got some ideas on how to do that, and I would like to help.

Well, it seems that things are churning now to the point where something definite might actually come of all this. We are in the phone call and email stages, and I might have an opportunity to participate at some level as soon as next week.

For months, I have been praying to be at peace with whatever answer was presented to me. And now I am. Not because I am hearing from people and they want to talk with me, but because I have this ministry thing that I know is where I will end up. Will I combine politics and ministry? perhaps. It is a natural fit for me. I prefer to organize in churches and living rooms and kitchens and garages and back porches. Our work is justice work. It is a natural fit for churches to work for justice. It is what our leaders have told us through the ages. So. I have a couple phone calls to return today to find out about the next week stuff. When I can tell you about it, I will.

Do I think this organization would be wise to hire me? Yes. Even as I threaten to run off to divinity school? Yes. I have access where they need to be. I don't know anyone else who can do what I can do in rural areas. I would like to think that I would be an asset. I know that's a point for heated discussion in some areas. Not everyone likes me. I am not as politically polished as some. I tend to tell people when I think they've got their heads up their asses. Lucky for me, that kind of direct approach is respected in rural areas. Country folk haven't got time or patience for people to suck up and use fancy words while they do it. I need a favor. OK, what do you need. Conversation over. Sometimes words aren't even needed. Standing near your vehicle with the hood up is all you need to do to get help. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let's have some phone conversations first and see what comes of it. Like I said, I'll let you know what happens. In the meantime, I pray for peace in my heart and inspiration in my words.

The sun is full up now and warming my face. It it time to step into my day. Worship will continue, I think. Blessed be.

1 comment:

Chicory / Trista said...

Hi Dawn. The Sartorial Butch sent me over here; said I had to meet you. I don't want to type a big intro to myself on a comment, but I don't see an email address. I've also received a call to ministry, am contemplating seminaries, am recently divorced (new year's eve made it official), and preached to my congregation for the 3rd time just 2 days ago. I'm the DRE for a UU church in Salt Lake (the smaller of the two churches) and... eh, email me? starsandjars at gmail