Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday Prayer

In this quiet moment I pause to realize and remember my oneness with all life. I am part of the infinite web of existence. I am an expression of eternal energies. In this sacred moment of stillness, I breathe; I relax, and I know I am an individuation of the Great Whole, a particular point in the Universal Reality. And so it is that I now affirm hope and joy for my life and for all life. I expect and allow health, happiness, harmony, and abundance to be made perfectly manifest in my experience. As I realize my potential, I help others realize theirs' and as I am blessed, I bless my world. I give thanks now for all that I am and for the possibilities that exist for me. I give thanks for the power of prayer as I release my word to the perfection of divine right action. All is well. Amen.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

My Blended Spirituality

Until I found Anglicanism when I was about 21, I identified with Catholicism. But I fell so entirely in love with Anglicanism and identified so entirely with it, that for that last 20 years, I have had a difficult time not saying, "I'm Episcopalian" or "I'm Anglican" (and, the truth is I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church). Now, my progression has gone from High Church Episcopal to High Church independent Anglicanism to Low Church independent Anglicanism, but an Anglican I remain.

However, about 22 years ago I was introduced to Buddhism, and it also deeply influenced my spiritual path. My initial exposure was to Nichiren Buddhism and about a decade later I would discover Zen Buddhism, but Buddhism would come to shape my understanding of divinity, and of Jesus, and Buddhist meditation would become a lasting part of my spiritual practice.

I went through a Charismatic phase when I was 19. The mystical element of glossalalia, the strong faith in the power of prayer to heal, and the joyous worship celebrations were appealing, but much of the obsession with evil and the belief that Christianity (and a fairly narrow understanding of it) was the only legitimate faith experience made it impossible for me to sustain that path.

I also went through a Wiccan phase (a couple of times actually), and while I still respect its connectedness to the Earth, its sex-positive spirituality, and its gender-balanced view of divinity, it hasn't had the same last lasting impact on me that other traditions have.

I considered Reconstructionist Judaism (seriously) during a difficult moment, but before I could pursue it too far, opportunities arose that kept me on my (mostly) Christian path.

The other big player in my personal religious drama is New Thought, specifically Religious Science (aka The Science of Mind). The first sermon I ever preached was in a New Thought church (Unity). I became a certified Reiki Master, and I earned a Certificate from the College of Divine Metaphysics (in addition to my "real" degrees from more prestigious schools). I've also taken Science of Mind classes, A Course in Miracles, and I am a member of the International New Thought Alliance. But within the New Thought movement (and Divine Science, Religious Science, and Unity all speak to me in some way or the other), Religious Science best reflects my understandings, my hopes, and the way that I pray.

I'm ordained in an ecumenical tradition (Metropolitan Community Churches) and in the Old Catholic tradition (which can include Anglicanism, and for me does). So what am I? A Christian Metaphysician? A New Thought Christian? A Religious Scientist? A Buddhist-Christian? A Universalist? A Panentheist? A Religious Humanist? A de facto Unitarian Universalist (and I have enjoyed attending a few UU churches as well)? An Inter-religious minister? Perhaps a New Thought Zen Anglican?!

The truth is, any of these terms would be accurate for me, and none of them can pin down the complexity of a life-long spiritual journey. I am Anglican. I am also a Buddhist-Christian. I am also a New Thought practitioner.

In our label loving culture, it would be nice if I could think of a simple one or two word term to give myself and live with it for the rest of time...but my spiritual path has never been that limited. So, I'm just a spiritual seeker and life-long learner. But if I need a label, I might go with Buddhist-Christian, or Anglican, or Religious Scientist, or Anglican Unitarian...oh hell, it just can't be done. I'm religiously polyamorous, always have been and apparently always will be.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Prayer at Day's End

In the name of all benevolent helpers of humanity, and in the name of all that is good and holy, I pray for an Abiding Peace to bless our world. I pray for my loved ones to be safe and well. I pray for health, happiness, and abundance to be made always manifest in my life. I pray for those who have asked for my prayers that each and all may receive the blessings they need most. I call forth the good I have named; may all who are receptive to such good be now richly blessed. I now imagine my life, my loved ones, and my world being bathed in divine light and within this light there is all good and only good and so I know that all is well. And so it is!


"...[Jesus] a desolate place by himself..." Matthew 14.13

Meditation has been the most profound and significant spiritual discipline I have ever experienced. I've tried various forms: Chanting meditation, bowing meditation, walking meditation, visualization, repeating a mantra over and over, and of course "sitting" meditation. Sitting meditation is the most rewarding and also the most difficult for me. All the other forms give me something to do...the chanting or the visualizing or the mindful walking can keep me focused in the present moment and limit the discursive thinking of my mind, but to simply sit and to takes effort to do nothing.
Have you ever tried it? Have you ever just sat on the floor or in a chair and quieted your mind and followed (without forcing) your breath? It's amazing.
The 46th Psalm says, "Be still and know that I am God." That simple phrase says so much: Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am. Be still and know. Be still. Be. That's the process of learns to be still; one learns to be completely in the moment. One learns to simply be.
Jesus withdrew to be alone, and we too can develop that discipline. Try every day or two getting away for a few minutes just to be. Sit quietly. Follow the breaths, in and out, in and out. When thoughts arise, just let them pass and return to the breath. Just sit. Just be. Be quiet. Be still. Be present. At other times you can recite prayers or read passages or do affirmations or think about something profound; but in the moment of meditation, just be. No pondering, no questioning, no imagining, no self-talk; just sit and breathe.
Withdraw to a quiet place, and be still. It’s that simple. And, as you will discover through your own practice, it is life-changing.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thanks for the Memories...

Alice Ghostly (Bewitched, Designing Women, Grease), Brett Somers (Match Game), Charles Nelson Reilly (Match Game, Bic Banana, Lidsville, Broadway, Florida Regional Theatre), Yvonne DeCarlo (Follies, Munsters, Film), John Inman (Are You Being Served)...It's been a difficult year for aging larger than life entertainment figures. Thanks for the prayer for each of you is that you be fondly remembered and that if consciousness survives this life-experience you each enjoy the next experience of existence. I bless you all.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy Mabon

Is it already time for the Autumnal Equinox again? The Autumnal (or "Fall") Equinox (called in some spiritual traditions "Mabon") is when day and night are equally divided. Earth-based spiritualities use the Second Harvest, religious Mysteries, and symbols of Equality and Balance to represent this sacred moment of seasonal change.
Those who incorporate the changing seasons and cycles of Nature into their worship will pause sometime this weekend to contemplate the darker, cooler time of the year. They will give thanks for the waning Summer sunlight and express gladness to know that it will faithfully return. They will not only acknowledge the fading light, but they will also embrace the sacred dark that Fall and Winter will bring.
Druids would make offerings of wine or cider or fertilizer to the trees in honor of "The Green Man" (the spirit of the forests). Traditions that lift up the Feminine qualities of the Divine will celebrate the myth of the aging goddess and her divine consort as he prepares for death and rebirth.
Most of us may have had no plans to celebrate Mabon in any sort of way. But in our moments of quiet meditation today or tomorrow or Sunday, let's reflect on the Autumnal Equinox. Let's focus on equality (we still need it!). Let's focus on balance (an image for healing). Let's focus on abundance. Let's focus on the rhythms of life in which we “live and move and have our being”!
Our mythologies may not include an aging goddess and our rituals may not include offering libations to trees (or, maybe they do...different strokes, eh?), but we all live in a world that is supported by the rhythms and seasons of life. Let's use this change of seasons to remember that we are spiritual beings living in a spiritual universe that is governed by spiritual laws. As we intentionally participate in the divine flow of life, our experience of life is more balanced and therefore more blessed. Happy Mabon!


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Provocative Question & Answer About the Crucifixion

A question asked by email and my response:

[You have suggested that reverence for the cross glorified violence, but] I have never seen the cross as a glorification of violence. Rather I see it as a symbol of a man who was so committed to his life, his mission, and his gospel of God's love for all, that he was willing to give it his all. Secondarily, you've stated that you see no divine plan in the brutality of the crucifixion. As to the brutality, I can agree; but what do you say to the crucifixion itself? Were not the prophets correct and didn't Christ's death reconcile the old...way of relating to God with the necessity of a sacrifice? Didn't his life, death, and resurrection all culminate to a new way of humanity coming to know their God? Let me know your thoughts...
My response:

You ask questions that can be batted around for hours in graduate school seminars, so I feel that a 800 word response (while long for an email) doesn't really do justice to the question. But, I'll try...

Jesus' willingness to submit to the Roman authorities rather than fight, run, or raise a militant group to resist was noble and courageous on his part. The problem isn't with his response to the situation, but with how we romanticize his martyrdom. We sing about him dying "in my place" or "for my sins" as if God required it, as if God could think of no way to be in relationship with humanity other than to require the torture and brutal murder of a good person.

Of course, the person who first articulated and detailed the "justification" (or "satisfaction") atonement theory was a bishop in the middle ages, Anselm. Anselm in the 11th century was not only the highest ranking bishop in his country, but he was noble by birth and second in social power only to the king. From his position of privilege, anyone who defied the king (or any "godly" authority) or who was in any way disloyal deserved to be banished, imprisoned forever, or killed. Even if the king wanted to be lenient, he couldn't allow himself to be because it would diminish (in such hierarchical thinking) his authority and power.

In that kind of social system, God was imagined to be an absolute monarch ("king") wielding unchecked power over "His" subjects; therefore, Anselm naturally enough assumed that King God would respond to "His" subjects the way any king would.

In that context, Anselm interpreted the crucifixion as God's way of exacting the punishment that had to
be given out while still showing mercy to the subjects. The crimes (or sins) were punished, but Jesus took the punishment so that others wouldn't have this way, people were shown mercy while God's
sense of justice (the king must be feared and obeyed) was also satisfied.

For the first millennium of Christianity, that had NOT been the understanding of the crucifixion, but since Anselm, much of Christianity has not only accepted his view but have then read that view into scripture.

Our world view isn't that of an 11th century aristocrat believing God to be an absolute monarch like the ancient kings of France and England. Also, Anselm assumed Augustine's position that humanity was
cursed with "original sin," as a result of the Fall. Anselm (and Augustine) believed Adam and Eve were literal, factual, historical people whose mistake literally cursed all of humanity for all time (another view that doesn't paint God in a very flattering light). Everyone was somehow guilty just for existing.

Since Darwin, fewer people accept that we were created perfect and "fell" from that state of grace...rather, the Darwinian view is that we started rather humbly and have been evolving to higher and higher states ever since. We didn't fall from perfection, we just haven't reached it yet.

So, as we don't live in an absolute monarchy, we are less likely to see God as an absolute monarch; and as we now have scientific theories that suggest we are evolving from lower to higher states of being (rather than falling from perfection and needing to be restored), the whole Anselm view of atonement doesn't really fit with how we experience and understand our world.

So, no, I don't believe that Jesus' execution was required by God (nor do I believe the Hebrew scriptures prognosticated such an event...prophecy isn't future telling, its truth isn't saying what will happen to future generations, its challenging its own generation to make changes...the prophets weren't oracles, they
were a challenge to their own people in their own day).

People have always tried to understand ultimate reality ("God")...even without Jesus' martyrdom, people would have continued to try to figure out the mysteries of life. And God, I as I understand God, never needed Jesus' sacrifice or anything else in order to love and embrace God's own creation.

Now, once the evil practice of state execution was used against Jesus for his seditious activity, and those who loved him continued to experience him in powerful ways that they called "Resurrection," that is where God comes in....God is in the victory over the evil of the cross, but I have no need to believe that God ever required such horrific violence. If I were to call that good, what could I ever call reprehensible? If God could find no other way to love me than to torture and brutalize someone else, I'm afraid I wouldn't have much
use for such a God anyway. I would never truly feel "safe" with that god.

The violence of the cross happened, and the affirmation of our faith is that the terrible day that it happened did not end Jesus' story or ours; but to celebrate the violence rather than the victory over it is a mistake in my view, a tragic mistake that Christianity has made for too long and that has contributed to far too much suffering in our world.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Hoping for a Less Violent Christianity

“Through violence, you may 'solve' one problem, but you sow the seeds for another.” – The Dalai Lama

I am continually disturbed by the violence I find in theology. Not all theologies are violent, of course, but some are; and the violent theologies contribute to the experience of violence in the world.

If our theology states that punishment for not holding the “right” beliefs is an eternity of violent suffering, and if glorifying an act of violence against Jesus is somehow the way of being “saved” from the torment of such after-life violence, then as Christians is it possible for us to be true advocates of peace?

Presbyterian Womanist-Theologian Delores Williams has written, “There is nothing of God in the blood of the cross.” I agree. For almost the first 400 years of Christianity, the cross was not a significant universal symbol.. And even after the cross became a popular Christian symbol, the crucifix (a cross that includes the image of a wounded body) did not become a popular image until the Middle Ages.

The theologies we have that glorify suffering, torment, and violence have developed over time in patriarchal (often violent) cultures. We can certainly rethink them and choose less violent imagery for our faith development.

My Christology doesn’t glorify Jesus’ death, but it does celebrate his life. I prefer the “living Jesus,” that is, the Jesus we find in the gospels (not only those that made it into our canon but also those that didn’t) who teaches and heals and includes the marginalized and touches the untouchables and resists oppression.
This living Jesus models a God-filled life and this is the Jesus that I try to follow. This Jesus could have died peacefully in his sleep at a ripe, old age and still be worthy of my adoration. I do not believe that the brutality of crucifixion was in anyway part of a divine plan.

Jesus’ execution happened, and we can celebrate that Golgotha wasn’t the end of his story. We don’t have to deny the crucifixion, but neither must we glorify it; more than a dozen generations of the earliest Christians didn’t! In fact, as Christians, couldn’t we use the story of the enlightened Sage that we follow not to celebrate the unjust way in which he was killed but as motivation to resist such violent injustice from now on? Can’t we love and follow Jesus without loving and perpetuating violence?

A less violent Christianity may require changing some of our liturgies, abandoning some of our hymns, reinterpreting some of our sacred texts, and moving our crosses to less prominent places (if not on our altars, at least in our minds), but in a world that is so wounded by perpetual violence, it may prove to be worth the work.

If violent imagery dominates our worship, it is bound to dominate how we live. Once our theologies become less violent, I’m guessing our world will look less violent, too. That is, at least, my hope and my prayer.

(c) Durrell Watkins, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Jesus

I continue to think of Jesus as an enlightened Sage, fully and only human (or divine in the sense that we are all one with our divine Source and myths about Jesus' divinity show us our own) but a wise and worthy teacher.

In Buddhist traditions, Sidhartha is the Buddha prototype, the example of Buddhahood who teaches the spiritual practice that can lead anyone to his or her own discovery of the Buddha-Nature within. Buddhahood is a universal Reality and "the Buddha" was not the only one but the primary example of how enlightenment is universally possible.

This view informs my Christology...for my Jesus is the Christ prototype, the example of Christhood who shows the way that can lead anyone to his or her own discovery of the Christ-Nature within. "Christ" is a universal Reality and Jesus "the Christ" (or Anointed One or Messiah or Lord) was not the only one but the primary example of how enlightenment is universally possible. What is a Christ-ian if not a Christ in the making, a member of a larger group trying collectively to be Christ in the world (or "the body of Christ")?

Christianity in the West became centered in Rome, and later a protest/Protestant movement developed against that centralized power structure (but much of the theology was retained). But initially, the Jesus movements were Jewish movements, and within a 100 years of Jesus' life, Christianities were being paganized/hellenized/gentilized and many centers of various schools of thought popped up (in Egypt, Syria, Ethiopia, what is today Turkey, perhaps India, etc.). By the early 4th century those schools lost their voice in the centralization process facilitated by Constantine and have been forgotten or branded heretical since.

I think its important to remember that faithful, thoughtful people were committed to the Christ of their understanding for hundreds of years before "orthodoxy" was established. Some of their views have been recovered and some of them thought of Jesus as an enlightened Sage. My Christian faith and experience is the Resurrection of those ideas that later "orthodoxy" tried to wipe out and destroy.

As Christianity moved into Southeast Asia, it was sometimes influenced by Eastern thought, and Buddhist-Christian and Taoist-Christian hybrid theology developed and remains alive in some places. In those experiences of Christianity, Jesus the Enlightened Sage also survives.

I'm not suggesting this is the only way to understand Jesus or that one must share my view to be a good Christian or to be acceptable to God (one could no more be unacceptable to Ultimate Reality than one could be unacceptable to the Ocean or to Air or to the Ground). I'm only sharing my experience, the reality of my faith, and realizing that my faith-experience is not only shared by people like me now, but it has been shared by people like me for a couple of millennia. Christianity is more diverse and complex than it may seem on the surface sometimes.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Prayer for Peace in Iraq

Spirit of Wisdom, Goodwill, and infinite Compassion, please fill the hearts of our lawmakers and leaders with a desire for peace and justice. May the suffering in Iraq come to an end. May we be forgiven for the suffering we have caused and allowed. May we contribute, finally, to the healing of the human family and to peace in our world. Amen.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Imperial Angst

Seven years of mendacity and mediocrity. That's what we have suffered under the Bush regime. I speak not from an institutional platform but from my personal web log. I speak only for myself as a concerned and disappointed citizen. Our inarticulate, unreflective, theocratic, autocratic, and (for his first term) unelected president has proven to be perhaps the worst leader in US history, certainly the worst president in my lifetime.

George W. Bush has done more to threaten civil liberties than any outside foe could. He has done more to redistribute wealth from the middle and lower classes to the most privileged in society than any president ever. He has proven himself an enemy of the environment and he has played the part of bumbling buffoon to our embarrassment in the community of nations. The economy continues to turn against those who work the hardest for the least reward. And yet, as reprehensible a record as he leaves us, perhaps the most grievous sin of his administration is the occupation of Iraq.

Saddam Hussein has been toppled and executed and his country starved by sanctions and torn apart by war. No one on the planet suggests Hussein was anything other than a monstrous thug, but he was a monstrous thug who apparently lacked the weapons of mass destruction he was accused of harboring and he was a monstrous thug who did not attack our country.

Hussein has been executed and his people have been killed by American weapons. Americans, too, have been needlessly killed. The so called "War on terror" has been a murderous assault launched with arrogance and defended with lies, and though we are told all of this is meant to make us safer, one wonders how playing the senseless bully will possibly endear us to the world or protect us from our enemies. In fact, I bet we have more enemies today than we did 7 years ago.

I'm tired of hearing about people losing their homes.
I'm tired of outrageous gas prices.
I'm tired of an immoral and seemingly endless war.
I'm tired of Christian Fundamentalists telling us that preemptive violence is the only way we can be safe from Islamic Fundamentalists.
I'm tired of the poor getting poorer.
I'm tired of the planet being strangled to death.
I'm tired of the insanity.

We could have voted George the Terrible out of office in 2004...we did not.
We could have impeached him for his unethical and dishonest war...we did not.
Somehow, we were too hopeless or too lazy or too self-loathing to demand a competent leader with wisdom and intelligence; and we allowed a self-righteous, war mongering, intellectually deficient puppet of the Religious and Political Extreme Right to exhaust our resources, our hope, and our souls.

Will we finally demand better? Will we finally vote for peace and prosperity and liberty and justice for all? Or will we choose (or allow the powerful elite to choose for us) another priest in the cult of mediocrity to lead our country backward and downward to incurable despair? I don't know who will be the next president, but I pray that it will finally be a person who will value peace and fairness and inclusion. If not, our country will collapse under the weight of its own angst and the American Empire will deservedly be in its last days; and we will have little say in which nation takes our place as the new global bully. God help us...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I've Lost 13 Pounds...15 More to Go!

It's been almost 2 months, about 7 weeks, and in that time I have lost 13 pounds. For the first time in a long time i am now less than 200#
I still have 15 lbs to go, but this plan is working, so I'm sticking with it. I share what is working for me not to suggest that anyone else follow my plan (only a medical professional can prescribe treatment) but to show that we can each find a plan that is right for us. Mine includes eating fewer calories and much less fat, being more active, taking some nutritional supplements, and being faithful to spiritual disciplines which I believe help. This is how I have made it about half way to my weight loss goal in just under two months. All my pants are baggy on me now, and my belt is three notches higher than before, so the inches are coming off too. Try your own plan in consultation with whatever expert you trust, but don't give up. There is something that can work for you. Wish me well as I continue my fitness journey...I'm pulling for you as well.


My plan...

Slim Fast or Lean Pocket breakfast pastry (filled with sausage/egg/cheese), sometimes coffee
a Multi-vitamin, 400 mcg of Chromium Picolinate, 300 mg of Green Tea, 2g of Vit C. (I asked my doc about this, she gives it her approval since I take my booty-flu meds at night, she says its OK to take the supplements in the AM...shouldn't interfere with the meds)

Weight Watchers, Lean Cuisine, or Healthy Choice frozen entree
One soda (the real thing, can't stand diet)

Low fat pudding

WW, LC, or HC frozen entree or a portion controlled "sensible" meal, water or iced tea

Popcorn or fruit

water, juice, tea throughout the day

Three days a week, an hour in the gym -
Mondays - Chest and triceps followed by 20 minutes cardio
Wednesdays - Biceps and back followed by 20 minutes cardio
Fridays - Shoulders and legs followed by 20 minutes cardio (and a trip to the chiropractor)

Two days a week (Tue & Thur), walking for 45-60 minutes

Affirmations in the AM, at noon, and at bedtime
Meditation 2-3 times per week, 10-30 minutes each time

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Guarding Thoughts

“Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life.” Proverbs 4.23 (CEV)

The Buddha said, “What we think, we become.” I was at a conference last month where that truth was publicly demonstrated. The workshop presenter (a professional musician) asked for a volunteer who honestly believed he or she had no singing ability.

One courageous soul came forward, and after having her sing a line of a familiar and easy song, it was clear that singing was not her gift. She seemed to have no sense of pitch. The presenter then asked her to simply hold this thought in mind, “I am the greatest singer in the world.” She felt silly at first, since she had just demonstrated that she was perhaps the worst singer in the room! But she courageously went through with the experiment, and to her own amazement, she sang the song perfectly! By holding the thought, “I am the greatest singer in the world,” and not letting any opposing thought enter in, she instantly became a good singer.

People who lose weight successfully tell us the key to their success was changing their thoughts about food. Relationships have been healed simply by the parties involved being willing to think differently about one another.

As children we heard the wonderful story of a little engine that is asked to pull a long train over a steep mountain. The engine appears to be too small for the task, but manages to successfully pull the train by saying over and over during the attempt, “I think I can, I think I can…” The lesson we were meant to learn is that if we think we can, we probably can. Conversely, if we think we can’t, we right again.

Whatever we are facing, the thoughts we choose to think and the feelings those thoughts produce will guide us toward success, or away from it. So, we must “carefully guard [our] thoughts…” After all, what we think, we become.

Prayer: I will choose thoughts this week that support my lofty goals and good desires. I will continuously think, ‘I can,’ and therefore, I will accomplish what I set out to do. I am now guarding my thoughts, and knowing that I become what I continually think about, I choose thoughts of success, abundance, hope, healing, and joy. I think I can, and so it is that I know I can. Amen.

(c) Durrell Watkins, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Statement on the Death of D. James Kennedy

September 5th, 2007

A Statement from The Reverend Durrell Watkins, Canon Precentor & Canon Pastor-elect of Sunshine Cathedral MCC

I would like to offer sincere condolences to the friends, family, and admirers of Dr. D. James Kennedy who made his transition this morning from this life experience to the next.

Dr. Kennedy was well known as the founding pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL and as a leader in the right wing of Protestant Christianity and conservative politics in the United States. He may be most remembered for his evangelical zeal, his combining religious devotion with nationalistic pride, and his opposition to abortion and gay rights.

That Dr. Kennedy was a strong leader cannot be questioned, and yet we must also recognize that his vitriolic rhetoric against same-gender loving people caused a lot of needless suffering in our society. While we wish comfort for those who mourn, we also wish for a day when religion doesn’t promote division, hatred, and prejudice.

We are sorry for the illness Dr. Kennedy has suffered these last several months. And we are very sorry for his loved ones who will miss him. But we are also sorry for the homophobic and intolerant message for which Dr. Kennedy was so well known. We hope for a new day when worshiping communities can grow and thrive with a message of what they are for, rather than what and who they are against.

Sunshine Cathedral, a Metropolitan Community Church affiliated with The Center for Progressive Christianity, affirms that the soul of D. James Kennedy will dwell in eternal light and love, where there is no division, exclusion, or prejudice. And from that place of eternal and all-inclusive love, we trust that James Kennedy will now be praying that all of our divisions on Earth may cease and our hatreds and suspicions will be healed.

Contact: Rev. Durrell Watkins, MA, MDiv