Please leave your email if you’d like to be notified when new material is added to the Vicar’s Keep.
I was baptized in the Episcopal Church when I was 3 months old. I grew up watching my mother work in the sacristy or on the vestry or as the Senior Warden. In seminary, we called people like me “sacristy rats.”
I knew I had a vocation to the priesthood when I went to talk to our current assistant to the rector at the age of sixteen. But I collided with “the process” at a time when the church thought they wanted more mature priests, folks with more life experience.
As a result, I was in my mid 30’s by the time I entered seminary. By that time I’d spent a fair amount of time in therapy and spiritual direction, trying to understand the hunger that was driving me. I’d made my Cursillo and served on several teams. I’d served as a lay-chaplain at a close-custody prison near our home.
After seminary I continued to search for the “thing” that I was missing. I sat at the feet of a Spiritual Director who was a student of Father Thomas Keating, a father of the Centering Prayer movement. When that didn’t work for me I even tried reading some Zen Buddhism. It didn’t take me long to see that this wasn’t what I wanted so badly, either.
Then, shortly after 9/11 I crashed. I just didn’t have the spiritual resources to deal with the maelstrom that event (which claimed the life of a member of my vestry) set loose in me.
I landed in the office of a therapist and spiritual director who suggested that the “thing” I’d been seeking was the kind of intimacy with God that the Holy Spirit offers. She led me gently into the pentecostal/charismatic world (she was and is an Episcopalian) and I found my way into the arms of a Father who could and would heal the wounds I carried, and empower me to heal them in others.
I went to prophetic meetings, courses on hearing God’s voice, and finally went to a three week intensive at the Global School for Supernatural Ministry. It changed my life.
And through it all, I knew that my place remained in the Episcopal Church. I’ve been heard to say, probably too many times, “Why should the conservatives have all the fun?”
I would love to see the Episcopal Church, and any other denomination for that matter, come to a place where they can fuel the valuable parts of the tradition they bring to the Body of Christ with the fire of the Holy Spirit. A lot of what I’ve written and will share here is inspired by that desire.
My heart is for every person to know the love of God that both heals, empowers, overawes us.
A quick note of apology. My own spiritual journey, my own brokenness was one that led me into a “Father’s” arms. And for that reason I usually refer to God with masculine pronouns. It doesn’t mean that I think this is “right” or that I object to feminine imagery for God. I think they’re entirely appropriate and necessary. They’re just not a part of my journey. (With some notable exceptions here and there.) I do apologize if that makes some readers feel left out. It’s just all I know how to do at this point.