Meditation with Cats

Bubby the Cat take a NapOne of my favorite forms of prayer is contemplative meditation, a time of silent reflection on a specific subject. On any given day, the focus of my contemplation might be a Bible passage or a theological concept such as healing, wholeness or joy. While many forms of prayer involve speaking, contemplative prayer involves listening. What do I listen for? I listen to hear what will come to me after all of the other thoughts have tumbled out of my head.

Contemplative prayer can be the source of powerful insights, but it is not always easy, particularly if you have cats.   Continue reading Meditation with Cats

Crossing Over

Mike with HornGetting dressed up as a lesbian was definitely the easiest part. Black pants, black belt, black shoes? Got ’em! Hawaiian shirt? Not a problem for me! Perhaps this isn’t exactly what the typical lesbian wears on an average day, but this was not an average day and these lesbians were anything but typical. I had been invited to play with the Dixieland Dykes for the Lutheran Rite of Reception and Reinstatement, and this was a special occasion indeed!

The Lutherans were celebrating a major shift in their denomination: LGBT clergy who had been denied recognition or removed from the clergy roster were now being welcomed as full members. Lutheran churches that had been expelled from the denomination for standing by their LGBT pastors and seminarians were being invited to return.

It was not clear, however, that everyone was going to be celebrating. The event organizers were preparing for the possibility that there would be protesters, and things might get loud and unpleasant. So members of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band had been invited to play before the service, and the Dixieland Dykes ensemble had volunteered to perform. We didn’t know how events were going to unfold, but we were no strangers to protesters or difficult situations. If hostile protesters wanted to be loud in an unpleasant way, we were prepared to be loud in a positive, affirming, jazzy way.

Now at this point you might be wondering about my eligibility to play with a group called the Dixieland Dykes. Yes, I do have the wardrobe. But if I were asked directly, I would have to admit that I’m not really a lesbian. This is not a problem for the Dixieland Dykes – they overlook things like that all of the time. They needed a sub for the afternoon, and I was happy be a dyke for the day if it meant that we would be able to support the Lutherans and their celebration.

I was also glad to have company for the service. I have only been to Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church on one other occasion. It was ten years ago, on May 20, 2000. I was there for a memorial service for my boyfriend, James Fernando Lowrie. It was a hard time for me, and I was keenly aware that returning to Saint Mark’s might be difficult. It was good to be going with friends.

Continue reading Crossing Over

Itinerant Preacher