Saturday, May 05, 2007

Shawn

The Anglican Journal has this update on Shawn.

This issue has hurt so many people. Shawn had an amazing ministry with Saskatoon Native Ministry and with Integrity. I know that these minsitries will continue but there is certainly great loss in Shawn's lisence not being renewed as he has a way of reaching out to people with compassion and total acceptance (although not lenience) of who and what they are as children of God without trying to reform them, leaving the transformation up to God. His gift of affirming the specialness of individuals who are struggling with finding/loving themselves is strong and empowering.

Many might comment that he could have backed down and not have left these ministries. How would he do so without violence to his own soul? How could he continue to be the gifted priest he is if he continued to be restricted in his ministry to the very people he needed to serve.

Shawn has given us many gifts - I don't know how I would have survived some of my own moments of crisis without his strong friendship, support, wonderful words of wisdom, and amazing spirituality (which fortunately don't stop just because he is not lisenced). My sorrow is that the opportunity is not there for others to receive those gifts in their fulness because of our human inability to see with other than our own eyes.

If only our eyes would open to see that these relationships we refuse as a church to bless, have already been blessed by God. I think of the couples I have been blessed to know and see more of the Christian ideal present in their relationships than I see in many hetero marriages that I know. How can we be so blind to God's presence and blessing in these relationships? Even worse, how can we take note of the goodness of these relationships but, because of a few words of scripture which are written in the context of a culture's struggle to survive and define itself, deliberately close our eyes to the reality that these relationships could not be good without God's presence and blessing?

This issue is not just about Shawn. It is also about our inability to reach beyond our own need for definition and security to reach out into the chaotic world that is the continuing work of God to complete the kingdom. The gospels are clear that Jesus does not call us to the easy way but rather to a life where we are not in control - where we can give up that need for control, for certainty, to work with God in the reshaping of that chaos into the kingdom.

Love and Prayers,
Ann Marie

Updated: Shawn did an interview on CBC. Hopefully this link works.

1 comment:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Ann Marie, I don't know if you saw my comment at Fr. Jake's, but I put up a post about the Canadian bishop's statement because Shawn's story touched me, and I have been praying for him and his wife. I am sorry such a priest is lost to the ministry. I know that as his friend, you feel it much more than I.

Love and prayers to you.