Tuesday, May 16, 2006

An example of "mothering" as noted in the previous post.

This was circulated on the list at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco to a group known as Gays at Grace

I have recently moved to Bowling Green, KY after spending most all my life in Alabama. I came to the Episcopal church in 2003 and learned of Marc Andrus. When I first visited an Episcopal church I had just been released from prison in Alabama. I had been incarcerated for 7 years. I wanted to change my life and knew that it was important to do so. I didn't know where to begin or what to do. I literally stumbled into a small parish in Sheffield Alabama, Grace Church.
I was overwhelmed by love and compassion. I wasn't open to it at first and didn't really know what to do with it all. The people at Grace were (and are) incredible to me. They accepted me and didn't worry about my past. I was confirmed in April 2004. It was then I had met Bishop Andrus. A lady in our parish had dinner for the four confirmands, their sponsors and Bishop Andrus in her home. At first meeting I knew that this man was a man of God. He emanated spirituality and humility. He began to talk to me and he asked me what I did for a living. I told him that I was a waiter. I have received mixed responses from this answer. He looked at me stopped and said, "I always wanted to bartend." The conversation grew from there. After people began to take their plates and sit, it was apparent that the bishop didn't have a seat to sit in (it was an informal dinner and people were sitting in different rooms within the home). Everyone began to get up to offer their seats to the Bishop. He refused and said "I prefer the floor, actually" and the Bishop Suffragan of Alabama sat on the floor, gladly and ate his dinner!!! I was completely blown away.
I next saw Bishop Andrus at my Cursillo six months later. As he gave me communion he said, "How are you Perry?" I had not seen this man in six months yet he remembered my name!!! Six months later I decided to visit his office in Birmingham. By this time I had become active in the church choir, the cursillo movement and in Kairos, an ecumenical prison ministry. I began to tell Bishop Andrus about my past...all of it. We talked at great length. When I told him I was gay his only concern was why I was waiting to find a partner...
There are moments of grace like these all over our diocese. I cannot explain to you how blessed you are to have this man as your bishop. I have an idea you already know. The story goes that when Bishop Parsley called him to inform him he had been elected Bishop Suffragan of Alabama Marc was cleaning a toilet in his parish. We are saddened by our loss, but we are also excited about his new ministry. I am thankful that I had an opportunity to know this man. He has made an impact on my life and my walk. He is a personal bishop and he will always be my
God's Peace,

1 comment:

Jean said...

oh my God! No more two-fisted ice cream moster "child sized" cones at Farson? When did that happen?