Geez Magazine, editor Melanie Dennis Unrau, selected two of my short pieces to go in Geez’s fall issue. One of them, Undercover at the Festival of Faith and Writing, you can read as a web-exclusive. The other “As the Spirit Moves Me” is available in the newsstand print copy.
If you came here from Geez 27, thanks! and Welcome! You’ll find some additional pieces from my trip to the Festival of Faith and Writing. Think of them as addendums–things I couldn’t fit into such a small space.
Gay at Calvin College: more about going to the festival and wanting to do something to help those who are gay at Calvin College
The Last Supper: Johnny’s Cafe remix: mainly a photo where I asked students in the cafe to recreate Da Vinci’s Last Supper.
Christians (Wanting to) Talk about Sex: where I go into depth about one of the seminars there—as no one recorded it for later discussion.
Marilynne Robinson, Hero–which talks in depth about her keynote address and the reaction of the crowd, and later comments at the college
Together, they comprise most of my Calvin College experience. I should write up more of the seminars–and I will. Certainly they will not be what others gathered there. Take into consideration who I am and what I felt being there. I am a Christian, a Writer, and a gay man.
I enjoyed Calvin College’s conference immensely and will go back in two years.
I hope these four supplemental blogposts will enrich the essay you did read in GEEZ.
It’s sometimes impossible to boil down an experience into 1000 words, or 1500, or 750.
“As the Spirit Moves Me” is a 500 word piece on going to my birthmother’s church, at Camp Chesterfield, a famous psychic institution. I need to write the full story there—it’s quite amazing.
Thank you, Melanie, for accepting and working with me on two short pieces that tried to find a common theme. I took a trip to see my birthmother, the spiritualist, and went to the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College. All in the same trip! And man that was a trip! I think the commonalities between how spiritualists look at communicating with Spirit, and how Christians communicate with the Holy Spirit and “inspiration” are fascinating. And I’ll probably turn that into another piece one day.
For now, “As the Spirit Moves Me” and “Undercover at the Festival of Faith and Writing” are in Geez #27, forthcoming!
Ironically, my pastor at RBC suggested I write for Geez magazine. I don’t think he imagined what piece I would eventually write for them. But here it is, Issue #24, on “privilege”. I wrote the fast version of my coming out at church. I centered it on the idea of privilege–of the privileges I had as a single, white male Christian who had leadership potential and of the privileges I no longer had when I added “gay” to that mix.
The church has to change. It has to. It may not change from those fighting it on the outside, but it will have to incorporate change if it is to survive further. It faces irrelevance, it postures with discrimination, it plays favorites, it values money.
Not all churches–no. (When I say a statement like this I have to stop and say, Thank you, churches that are moving more towards social justice, focusing on issues like poverty, the environment, civil rights. You do exist, but I wouldn’t, yet, call you the “Church”–as the “Church” tends to be the Catholic Castle or the Evangelical Juggernaut. One day, you will take on that mantle–you will be the “Church” and it will have a positive ring.)
The full essay is here, Moving Up, Coming Out, Moving On.
Anyway, there it is, in Geez #24. If this brings you to this website, welcome. There’s lots here, I hope, that will spark conversation. If this entry leads you to Geez, welcome to Geez. There’s lots there that will spark conversation as well. It’s a valuable, important magazine carrying on “the” conversations we need to have happen. It is intrepid, bold, and unflinching.
I would marry Geez magazine if it looked like a bear and loved me back.
*apologies to Kevin James, pictured, who is not gay.