I have received word that "Our Friend" has now been told, by the authorities responsible for such decisions, that he will not be ordained - ever. This is after many years of hard study, church work and being really messed about by power freaks.

Please pray for him, his family and his local congregation.

May those who have sought to persecute him be brought to shame.

And may his ministry now flourish despite the work of the enemy.



  1. Sad and infuriating.

    The institutional churches are dying before our eyes. I have no doubt about the survival of the church, the Body of Christ, but it will look quite different from the dying remnant we see today. I continue to return to the Gospels and to the models of the earliest gatherings of Christians. We are, IMO, slouching toward the model of the earliest churches, whether we want to or not, because the church coffers are not being filled with money as they once were, and we will be forced to adapt.

  2. I weep for our friend.

    Obviously, the church doesn’t deserve him. No doubt, however, that is NOT consoling at this time which must be one of considerable grief for him.

  3. What.A.Bummer. But I hope in the long run this will turn out to be a disguised blessing, somehow. As when from far down the road of life, you remember that certain someone you almost married, and feel so grateful you didn’t.

  4. Been there suffered that. I am so sorry for him. A priest friend told me then, “Never doubt your sense of vocation. Try to forgive church that fails to perceive it.” That is DAMN hard but I try.

    Prayers ascending.


  5. Well, it’s not just over there, if that’s any consolation.

    I know . . . it’s not. I’ll pray for your friend, from a very personal place.

    I went through a “discernment committee” with two other men; one was approved for the diaconate (easy-peasy – the man’s a living saint and they don’t pay deacons), the other approved for priesthood. I was told I didn’t have a stable enough work history and not enough business experience – nothing about spiritual journey, theology, sexuality, which was all waved aside in favor of questions about my business acumen and ability at social functions. Now, had I received a “fail” on a psych screening, fine – I come from a long line of nutjobs – but I wasn’t a managerial type. Also, I didn’t have or know money (I was told this was important because of seminary costs).

    The deacon continues a living saint, and I say that with no irony or bitterness – Jim Purks is one of the gentlest, greatest men I’ve ever known.

    The priest – a glad-handing salesman whom I didn’t like personally – went on to try to lead his brand new congregation away from the “perverts and apostates” of TEC.

    Since then, I’ve heard similar stories from other dioceses.

    It gets better, you go on, and you minister anyway. They can hold off the dog-collar, but not the Holy Spirit.

  6. Well, Mark, our living saint didn’t make the cut into the diaconate in our diocese. It’s Alabama after all and he is gay and in a same-sex relationship that has lasted for over 30 years.

    Another person I know, who was turned down for seminary, found enough funds to pay his own tuition and went anyway. While there, he found a bishop in another diocese who agreed to ordain him. For some years now he has been a very good and much beloved priest in Texas. I often think that we could have had him working in our diocese. Why don’t we? We seem to put as many obstacles as possible between candidates and ordination. Other dioceses seem to facilitate the journey. I often wonder why.