Archive | Baptism

Belovedness

I wrote this piece several years ago and was reminded of it yesterday during a baptism and so I offer it now.

“And wh20140223_160540_1en Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Child, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’”

After all those years as the preacher’s kid or the preacher, I can’t quite shake the habit of Sunday morning services. These days I often attend an odd spiritual community that meets in a rehabbed downtown storefront. We sit in folding chairs arranged in concentric circles around a delicately carved sculpture of the earth hanging from the ceiling. The band plays pop, folk, and reggae standards in their own jazzy style.

A renegade and now defrocked Methodist minister, who also happens to be a jazz musician, started this community (which is not a church and does not worship, but celebrates, and not in a sanctuary but in the celebration center, and has no sermons, though the minister stands and talks for 20 minutes every week … you get the idea). Jubilee, as it is named, likes to call itself interfaith because we can point to a handful of Buddhists and Jews and Pagans among the membership and plenty of folks who don’t like the idea of going to church, much less a Christian church. Nonetheless, it is a church with a Christian minister who routinely performs more or less Christian baptisms.

Which routinely make me cry. Continue Reading →

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