Come in! Come in!

"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Monday, April 02, 2007

Trouble in the Episcopal Church?

One of the things I learned in the midst of the evil that was the AIDS epidemic is this: laughter in the face of evil is one of the greatest statements of faith. Obviously, only a true belief in God could give someone the courage to actually laugh in the face of evil.

I stopped counting after I lost my 50th friend to the epidemic. Although my memories of the mid and late '80s are of enormous pain and loss, they are also laced with some of my fondest memories of the amazing death-bed conversations and the wonderful, creative funerals I attended. The memory of them, even now, makes the pain of that loss of all of those wonderful brothers a balm to my aching soul.

The "troubles in the church" can be a manifestation of evil, or it can be an opportunity to deepen our faith.

I think this advertisement for Easter Services in the Episcopal Churches in the San Francisco area is a brilliant statement of faith that says more about belief in the power of resurrection than any 10 sermons.

If you can't read the fine print, click on the picture below for a full screen view and enjoy!


Lisa said...

What a great ad! And the people all look so happy!

taomikael said...

[laughter] Points for the folks in Dio Cal!

The rea$$erter$ keep yawping about numbers, how the conservative churches are supposedly overflowing while the "reappraisers" are failing. I think that the sharp sense of humor shown by the folks who ran this ad may be a very effective aid in revitalizing the church. At the very least, it'll make the neopuritans froth.


Kirstin said...

One of these churches (St. Aidan's, SF) is my home. I am absolutely in love with this idea.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Taomikael--I laughed and laughed at the way you typed "rea$$erter$"! I'm going to do that from now on...

And God bless the saavy people who put this together. I'm so proud to be a troublemaking Episcopalian!


Jim said...

A truly wonderful ad.

I wish we had something like it here.


Lauren Gough said...

Need to have more folks like this. Perhaps folks will start seeing that inclusivity is a GOOD thing.

Mike in Texas said...

Lisa, I had the same impression you had. They all look so happy!

And hello to my friend Taomikael!

Grace said...


God is creative. Whatever works to get people into church to hear the gospel, I'm all for it!!

Jason Miller said...

Rev. Kaeton--I am sorry to hear that so many of your acquaintances have died of AIDS. What a horrible loss.

I have no homosexual friends. I know no one who has died of AIDS. Could there be a connection?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Apparently, Jason, you also have no heterosexual friends, no friends who received a blood transfusion before 1983, no friends who were born to an HIV postive mother, no sexually active friends - gay or straight - who might have made the mistake of having unprotected sex (inside or outside of marriage)before ascertaining the possibility of whether or not their partner had shared IV needles while using drugs or engaged in risky sexual behavior and/or unprotected sex with a person whose HIV status was unknown.

You sound like you've led a very sheltered life.

Could there be a connection?

DaveGolub said...

Elizabeth Kaeton and I disagree on many things, but the scourge of AIDS is not one of them. Millions of men, women and children are dead from a disease that doesn't discriminate on how you got it or from whom. My conservative faith and attitude has not prevented me from having friends who have died of this illness. Nor will it protect Jason or anyone else from its terrible immpact. As someone lies sick and dying of AIDS or any other illness, I don't hear God say whatsoever you do to the least (except those who have AIDS), you do to me. Let not the sick and dying (or those they leave behind) be a political or theological football in our struggle to be faithful to God's calling.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

In the theological places where Dave and I disagree, I find him a most worthy and honorable adversary.

Thanks for your visit here, Dave, and for your words which amply demonstrate your commitment to and love for Jesus.

Jason Miller said...

Rev. Kaeton--in retrospect, please forgive my post. As I considered my hasty composition, I realized that I have chastised my own colleagues for the nonsense that I proclaimed. I was wrong, and I ask your forgiveness.

And, yes, I probably have led a sheltered life!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

What a gracious note. Thank you, Jason.