May 2, 2009

Welcome Back

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 1:17 pm by Rev. Thomas Perchlik

I am back.  I have been away from my blog for quite a while.  I went on a little trip to Paris, Prague and Rome, and I decided not to blog while I was there, but instead to write more personal reflections and to take lots of pictures. But now I am back to writing here regularly.

Today I was listening to the wonderful “This American Life” and it reminded me of my plan to return to blogging.  One of the things I love about that show is that it thrives upon the same power that nurtures great preaching, the simple power of the human voice and the truth of stories well told.  Most of the pieces shared there are also written down, so blogging can share the same power.

Anyway, the piece I listened to today was by Dan Savage, the gay sex advice columnist.  He spoke about his relationship with the Catholic Church, especially as it has been changed, first by his coming out as a gay man and then more recently by his mother’s death.  It was a beautiful piece, evoking the power and vital importance of religion. At one point he talked about finding a “Welcome Back” card encouraging lapsed Catholics to return to the ritual and community.   Of course I wanted him instead to become a UU, or at least mention the possibility.  The closest he came was quoting his mother who said, whenever the pope or a archbishop spoke of the evils of birth control, “It is like they are trying to make us all become Lutherans.”

But more than that he spoke about the power of the sacrament of last rights to sanctify a difficult and very painful moment, and he spoke of the beauty of an old church and ceremony with their sense of well worn sacredness, and he spoke of the comfort of certain beliefs, all of which are rare or impossible to find in UU congregations.  I was glad that the piece ended with him still searching, longing for and yet not finding fully the Beloved Community.  Perhaps someone will invite him to the right UU church that helps him bridge his longing to the reality of a community that affirms him as a gay man, and affirms a more inclusive, universal, and small ‘c’ catholic spirituality and faith.

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