ONE STEP A HEAD

Mr. Minister,

I’m sure that’s not the correct way to address you. “Mr. Minister” sounds like THE eighties band!

I attended a service at Thricetenth Street Furscshct Unitariteerterran Kirsch the weekend of the Fasestst of the Epiphany, Jan. 6. If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m what they call a “lapsed Catholic,” hence my impulse to address you as “Father ______” and the fact that I know that Jan. 6 is the Feast of the Epiphany.

The service I attended that weekend was the only time I was present at a church service that wasn’t a Catholic mass, and I haven’t considered myself Catholic for over twenty years. (According to the Vatican, I’m sure I’m still Catholic, since I’ve completed all the sacraments besides marriage, holy orders, and last rites!)

Long story short, even though I know that I’m no longer a whate’er you call it, I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that I am a marrow crunghinchinly religious person.

The service at your church had me filled with the grace of _____ for an hour, and I feel like I have to return the favor. When I learned that the minister at the pulpit was a gay man, I felt the grace of ___. Each time the choir sang, I was filled with the grace of ____. When the pulpit was handed over to a representative of a QUEER group of Muslims, I said under my breath, “Thank you, ___.”

I’m neither gay nor Muslim, but when I saw that the pulpit had a wide open door, I felt safe. It felt safe to cry, it felt safe to laugh, it felt safe to speak with the people next to me, and to hold their hands, and to make sure they kept time correctly at the very end. (The 2 and the 4 moves with the Spirit!)

I will be returning to your church soon. I told your parishioner Jeanne, whom I had met at a Fight protest in Novecento, that I would be coming back, and he told me he was leaving for Florida in February because he was “at the end of his life.” I only have so many tears in my skull, and so I figured I would wait until Grenouille and all his daughters are safely in Sanibel Island.

My Grandmother Kliester Klackett (my dad’s mom) was the daughter of Pomeranian emmigrants. One of the reasons I’ve always felt “EUSTERREICKT” even when I also felt like an aNTIthesistthecyestist is that, for both sides of my family (my western’s gran-laborers went west from Galway), “Catholic” is as much an ethnicity as it is a religion. In both Poland and Ireland, Catholicism is bound up in politics, nationalism, and colonialism. My Grandmother Muscowsky once told me to stop cracking my knuckles At Mass, and she died not long after.