Saturday, March 10, 2007

More on Shawn

Hi Firends,

I have finally found a decent news link about Shawn. Priest Loses License.

Shawn has also given me permission to post a letter he sent around as an update.

Dear Friends,

I am writing to thank you all for the tremendous support you have given me and my family over the past few months. Ever since I went public about no longer discriminating against LGBTT folks, and being willing to bless same-sex marriages and covenants, it has been a very uncertain and stressful time. Your emails, phone calls, prayers, and good energy has helped me remember that this struggle is indeed worth it.

In January, my bishop cancelled my license to minister, and replaced it with a temporary license which expires at the end of March. It was his way of giving me time to reconsider my decision. After meeting with him again earlier this week, it became clear that I will not be recanting and he will not be renewing my license. So this means that I will no longer be able to preach or celebrate the sacraments, and that I will lose my job at Native Ministry.

I knew when I made my decision that this would be the likely outcome, but it is still a bit of a shock now that I know for sure. But it’s good that Janice and I had several months to really get used to the idea, and make some plans for what we will do come the end of March. By the way, I want to let you all know that, logistically, we are fine: Janice is working for CHEP, and though things will be a bit tight, we’re certainly not going to starve! For my part, it will be a journey into the reality of being a priest in exile...

One of the things about an act of civil disobedience is that a person usually gets their “day in court”, in which to talk about what led them to their decision, and take advantage of a public forum for the issue at hand. Because of the idiosyncrasies of the Anglican Church (eg. its odd combination of democracy and feudalism), it is highly unlikely that I will get that type of day in court.

Someone recently asked me if I had a good “communications strategy” and I almost choked on my soup. Basically, I am just not cut out to be my own publicity manager! On the other hand, I am very willing to talk about this issue in whatever context comes up, with whomever is willing to listen. Some of you have asked me about whether or not you could contact the media about this …as far as I’m concerned, my open letter and my story is public domain. It is silence which kills, not the telling of our stories.

Throughout it all, I have come to a deeper understanding of the level of hostility still directed toward the gay community. I have also come to a deeper understanding of the solidarity and goodwill among people of various social, theological, and political stripes. My hope is that this action will have some positive impact, in the church and in the wider society, toward transforming the “domination system” into a true community of rainbow people.

Again, thank you all so much for the support you have given. Prayers and good vibes are still greatly appreciated!

Yours in the deep peace of the Creator,

Shawn +

1 comment:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Ann, thanks for sharing this. Shawn writes eloquently. I see that he considered well the consequences of his actions, but the actuality can still be a shock.

I will keep Shawn and Janice in my prayers.

What a waste for the church to throw away a good priest like Shawn. I'm sure that God will lead him to a new and fruitful ministry.