Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pastor in Process

My friend Brad posted something pretty cool on his blog this week.  After being excommunicated from the Anglican church, he posted his rationale for the actions that led to his disfellowship from the church in which he grew up and studied to become a priest.

Go have a read.  I wish y'all could see the Facebook conversation it's generating.

Pastor in Process - Why I Date Men: A Conversation Starter

EDIT: His Facebook link is active. Here's the conversation that it started. He gave me permission to link to it, but please be respectful of his choices, his friends, and his privacy.  And give my blog a shout if you leave a comment, I'd be interested to see how many people came from here, haha. Shameless plug over.


  1. Wow! Your friend is pretty cool. Is this the "Allen" you met on the trashiest mobile app ever?

  2. Yeah, that's him! I thought I'd try and anonymize him a bit, but then he was all like, link to my Facebook!

  3. Really interesting. I generated a lot of surprisingly supportive responses when I came out. I learned that some support is fleeting. I am happy living my life as an out gay man who is in a committed gay relationship. I am glad my posts have not gone "viral." We simply want to live our lives.

  4. Brad was not excommunicated from the Anglican church. That statement is absolutely uninformed and untruthful.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Nony. I wouldn't mind hearing your input, although perhaps in a less public place. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail; however, let's please be respectful of each other and Brad.

  5. I will post this here because I believe this is not dishonoring to Brad or anyone else, nor do I believe anything I write is inappropriate for a public forum. I also believe that Brad has made it abundantly clear that he wants everything to be public for the sake of spurring on public discussion/debate/engagement/learning and I believe this is in that spirit.

    There's no doubt I will be respectful. I appreciate what I see to be a respectful demeanor from this blog and Brad's, including the facebook posts. I just want to be sure that facts are straight, as opposed to slanting a discussion in one direction or another with a false premise before the discussion even begins.

    In my opinion the church should not be villainized (which in my opinion would undoubtedly occur by most followers even if not by you) if it was considered to have excommunicated him. On the contrary, they went out of their way to love him, surround him with support, pursue him, and even let him know that the man he was dating at the time was invited to attend the service. This is not absent from consequences that the church believed should be put into place, but they did not desert him. Quite the contrary. They loved him and still do.

    But please let's be clear. Though they do have a fundamental disagreement theologically, he was not ostracized by the church. They see him as a good man and it pains them that there now seems to be separation and division between them. I do believe that so many churches treat homosexuality as a taboo above other things that they also believe to be sins, and this is unfair and hypocritical. Nevertheless, in my opinion the Anglican church did not do this. In my opinion they were honorable in their treatment and care for him.

    My hope would be that these discussions would continue in the manner that they have already been conducted in. There is much to be learned by everyone. But once again, please do not start with the premise that the Anglican church excommunicated and cut all ties with him. This is simply false. They loved him and still do.

  6. I would like to agree wholeheartedly with Anonymous (I can only assume that this is someone I know I love). What this person says is completely true. The community of Wellspring Anglican Church went completely out of their way to support and love me in the most extraordinary way possible. I have nothing but love for the community, people, and church.

    I don't publicly say that I was excommunicated because that conjures up visions of separation and public denouncing, which are simply not true. I was forbidden to receive Communion, but was welcomed with open arms into the community.

    This is not an official excommunication, but for someone with Anglo-Catholic theology (like myself), it is a form of the kindest excommunication available. The reason I go to church is to receive Christ in the form of Communion. Let me clarify that I completely understand the stance of Wellspring (I lived it) and was not taken off guard when it happened and I fully understood what it would cost me and the community to date men. I just do not agree with their stance any longer.

    I was welcomed to sit in the church and observe, but for someone who believes the purpose of church is first and foremost the taking of Christ (the rest is an excellent addition to the deal), I do believe I was removed from the communion of believers. An equivalent would be to be invited to a family dinner and then be asked to not partake because I am not a member of the family. It is a form of excommunication, but I do not ever want to malign my former Priest (who I dearly love and respectfully disagree with) or my former Church. I willingly stepped away in order to avoid the difficulty of having my Priest have to tell me each Sunday that I am not allowed to receive Christ.

    Whoever you are, Anonymous, I am truly sorry that you are/were hurt by this situation. I very much appreciate you speaking publicly and contributing to the conversation. Please call me. God is nothing if not the author of reconciliation and I would love to be reconciled with you if you are angry with me.


Be nice, mmmmkay? I allow anonymous comments, but not anonymous (or even attributed) douchebaggery. The Gay Mormon Pioneer's tolerance for hate and venom are incredibly low, but his love of communication and debate are high, so have an opinion, but be kind and gentle when you share it.

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