Friday, July 20, 2007

Who Ever Thought it Would be Cool to Hang Out with the Ordained?

First a quick comment: Pastor Weedon must be the favorite pastor of the HTOOHM clan. If one of us isn't mentioning him in a post, there are probably some emails flying around between us. Once again it is Will Weedon's fault that something is written in the Lutheran Blogosphere.

I returned from the fatherland and was catching up on my Issues Etc. listening and I got around to listening to the Pastor Weedon sermon on the July 9th episode (http://www.kfuoam.org/mp3/Issues7/Issues_Etc_Jul_09a.mp3).

After I listened to it, I shot Pastor Weedon an email complimenting him on the sermon.

I have a dream, and that dream is to hit the Lotto and start the Lutheran version of EWTN and I wrote Pastor Weedon that he has to take on the Father Corapi role (see this post on TUL for a further explanation: http://theunknownlutheran.blogspot.com/2007/03/yes-i-do-watch-ewtn.html)

So the correspondence starts about the mutual bad habit of EWTN watching and I started rambling on about the show "Life on the Rock"

Is Fr. Mark (Note: I was wrong as you can see by the picture - Will, please comment on Fr. Francis) the one that hosts "Life on the Rock"? You ever watch that show? Priests and Friars playing basketball hanging out with the "youth" on the big comfy couch - the "Friar-Cam". Between 18 and 20, I hung out in the rectory of an RC parish in Detroit - I was at Wayne State during the days and working midnights and when I couldn't sleep I hung out there with some friends. The priest was really cool and would just sit around and talk to us and tell about cool stuff like exorcisms. "Life on the Rock" kind of reminds me of that.... I almost converted to the church of papacy at the time, but Fr. left for another parish and the next priest wasn't so nice.

The point is that "Life on the Rock" is absolutely the cheesiest show featuring the ordained ever, but I miss this kind of experience. I miss hanging out at the church and talking freely with the ordained.

Ironically - all of the other young men hanging out with me when I was that age did not have their own father present in their lives. Our fathers were either drunk, or on to new families, or recent immigrants that didn't quite assimilate into american life. I think that is what made the hours of hanging out there special. I remember one day in which I was very tired - I hadn't slept for a few days and Fr. told me to pray more and it would help me sleep. He cared. He let us hang out. He had something interesting to say. That's what fathers do.

Every once and a while, I hang out with my own pastor, but in reality he isn't there to be my pal or the father figure I never had. A lot of care needs to be taken in such relationships, because the truth is that I am sin sick and it is his job to give me the medicine I need. Sometimes, I don't like the taste of that medicine - but without it, I only have death to look forward to. The guy I like to drink a few beers with, may need to hold me down and give me a strong dose of the Law.

The moral of my rambling is this: Basketball playing clergy, reality TV show clergy, drinking some beers with your pastor, the hippest guy in the room is wearing a black shirt with a white collar - it is awesome to have someone ordained to call your friend or father figure, but the bottom line is that he is not there to fill your need for any human relationship. He is there to bring you Jesus.

2 comments:

Tim the Enchanter said...

Hey, Unknown!

You have finally outed yourself with your latest picture in the right column!

You are Randy Disher!

Heh.

William Weedon said...

Hold your horses. I'm trying to get the mental image: Weedon shootin hoops with the boys. Is not computing. Boys are falling over themselves laughing out loud as the ball goes anywhere but the hoop.

Hey, hanging out with the ordained is fine, but don't make me try to play ball. ANY sort of ball (well, except racquetball and then you have to promise not to laugh too hard).

I confess: I remember hanging out with the associate pastor at my home parish when I was a teen. We did lots of stuff together. We'd get together and argue liturgy, what else? He's still a good buddy. I couldn't believe it when my first call came and the circuit counselor was Karl Bachman - one and the same man. Unbelievable. So from hanging out together (me a teen and him in his mid 20's) we became colleagues. Now he lives in Hawaii and performs marriages for Japanese couples wanting "an American wedding." Not joking. But he gets to share the gospel with them each time - he does Japanese. I will always remember the time he invested in a bratty kid from the neighborhood, and love him for it.