The EFM class at my parish has a running joke about this passage. It’s one of those readings that makes parents silently wish that they had NOT taken their children to get a nice dose of religion this morning. And it’s one of those that makes me squirm when I read it, because the patriarchy […]
The Society of Campus Ministers
Rev. Megan L. Castellan July 7, 2019 Ordinary Time, Proper 9 1 Samuel The story of Naaman’s healing is one of those Biblical stories that is internally famous in scripture. Jesus mentions it in his first sermon in a synagogue in Nazareth, and it’s part of what gets him in trouble. (We will see why […]
Rev. Megan L. Castellan June 16, 2019 Trinity Sunday, Year C So, one of the classics, in the genre of Arguments Protestants Have, is who should get baptized? Protestantism has lots of classic arguments like this: things like how much water should you use for a baptism, and whether wine is allowable at communion, […]
One of the things they warn you about in seminary is How to Do Liturgical Change. There are lots of dire stories about parishes who moved their altar back against the east wall in the dead of night, parishes that to this day refuse to use the 79 BCP, Altar Guilds that went rogue and […]
Rev. Megan L. Castellan May 11, 2019 Easter 4, Year C Acts In my first call, the rector decided that we needed a new photo director of all 2,000 members, and also that the new curate (me!) should take this on as my first task. I studied our old one, and asked him if we […]
This sermon was given in the immediate proximity of the San Diego synagogue shooting. One of the aspects of that horror that didn’t get covered much was the religious affiliation of the perpetrator. He was a young, white Presbyterian. He was a devout attender of the Presbyterian Church of America–a breakaway group of the PC(USA), […]
Well, friends, it is again the summer. And because it is the summer, that means I have gotten woefully behind on sermon-posting. And so, it is time again for that summer custom, the Sermon Dump! Where I just post All the sermons, All at once, with minimal commentary, except where I absolutely cannot help myself. […]
It was really moving to be surrounded by the saints and sent off with prayer today at St. Luke’s, and to receive this icon of Luke, which is traditionally given to their graduates. I *guess* seven years is like a PhD in campus ministry! 😉 In addition to occasional supply visits, I spent 3 months with St. Luke’s during a time of transition in 2016, the first of 3 extended supply tenures to different Madison churches during my time at St. Francis House. I will cherish this gift, and God knows I carry the people of St. Luke’s in my heart in the season ahead.
* Funny because my successor is their current priest. haha Get it??
|Mostly like Band of Brothers|
So if the truth is going to be told, dear readers, I have always thought about entering the armed forces. For a long time, that just meant that I liked the idea of being in the military. Never thought much about what the job would actually require. And I may or may not have thought that I would be doing something similar to what I had seen in the World War II movies. Which is of course far removed from what military service is now.
When I got into high school, I was thinking very seriously about applying to the Reserved Officer Training Corp. And then my senior year happened, a lot of funny ideas got into my head, and I think I’m just lucky that I made it out of that year having decided I wanted to be a high school teacher (for a while there was this Bohemian Playwright image in my head… as if that isn’t about the farthest thing from ROTC).
I want more neighbors under the Constitution so that I can defend them. I want those neighbors to be from all walks of life, including lives that originate somewhere other than the good ol’ US of A.
I haven’t been able to determine it for certain, but I do believe that I am in the minority of soldiers who want more people in the US who come from other countries, and who want to be citizens under the Constitution. Regardless of whether or not it’s the minority opinion in the military, I don’t talk about it much and neither does anyone else. However, the opposing viewpoint is very vocal. And what I’m guilty of is that those vocal opponents of immigrants and refugees look like me.
Because of who I am, what I look like (white, straight, male, heterosexual, able bodied, CIS presentation, etc), if I say nothing, people assume that I’m a lot more conservative that I am. People who look like me assume that I think like them if I don’t disagree with them or say nothing.
Using the term loosely, I’ve been a conscientious objector for too long. I’ve been holding my own beliefs in, taking solace that no, I don’t want to keep out immigrants and refugees; I don’t want to limit the rights and freedoms of LGBT+ citizens, citizens of color, female citizens. But I haven’t said a lot about it when it matters. That is, I haven’t said these things when people who look like me speak against them.
So once again I am coming to a place in my life when I realize that I can’t have it both ways; I can’t stay silent so that I’m part if the in-group, and just be satisfied that I believe in the rights and freedoms and justice for these underrepresented groups. I’ve got to pick my people and stick with them.
And I have to choose people. Always and every time, I will choose people over policy.
So armed conflict is not the only topic on which I now find I cannot be a conscientious objector.
I wrote a while ago about being an Advocate. I framed that post kinda like I was coming out of the closet and admitting what I thought about other people’s sexuality. I guess I’m coming out of the closet on more social issues now, too.
I don’t think I’ve done too well as an Advocate over the past four years since that last post. Or at least I want to do more. I want to use my social privilege to do more for my neighbors. All my neighbors. And the people who are not yet my neighbors.
But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take…It is indeed a fearful gamble…Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.
To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take…If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation…It takes a lifetime to learn another person…When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.