Sunday, September 30, 2018

2018.009.30 A Shot In The Soul

Yesterday I went into Boston to the installation of our cathedral’s new dean the Rev. Amy Ebeling McCreath. She’s now “very” reverend, but she looks to be the same solid, sane, and sensible self she has always looked to be.

I went because I know Amy and like her lots. I went because I’m thrilled that our cathedral has its first female dean. I went because our diocesan bishop usually delivers a homily filled both with wisdom AND good humor. I went also for a shot in the arm, my metaphor for what high-spirited liturgy can do for me. It lifts my soul and pulls me beyond my fears and woes. There is nothing as exhilarating for me as to be in the midst of hundreds of people all committed to the same faith and cause, all singing and responding as if they believed every single word of every single hymn and every single prayer. Good liturgy has more than a pinch of God in it. It has a dollop for me.

When lives are strained but hearts are full is one way to describe the effect of excellent liturgy.

I’d been immersed in crafting a sermon, finding a way to talk about the current situation in our politic scene and describe the culture of rape we live in, a culture that wounds everyone. The Church is not exempt from its own politics of power and rape.  Rape is obviously physical assault, but broadly defined, rape can rape you of your dignity, your worth, your esteem, your opportunities, your faith, your God, and yes, your very soul—the deepest part of your being where you connect with the grace and affirming presence of Being itself. 

The politics of church and world make me feel raped sometimes. I needed to be healed, made whole—not escape but be raised up and out. Great words, music and enlivening spirit do that. 

Here is a photo of Dean Amy. I wish her great grit and great grace as she enters into this new leadership ministry in our diocese. Here she is pre-dean and very rev. anyway.