GAY RESPECT in the GOOD NEWS
A pastoral essay for parishioners who discover they are LGBTQ and their families and friends. The video reading is a little over an hour. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Wolf, a former parish priest, seeks in this essay connections of the faith tradition, scripture, theology, some LGBTQI realities, and a history of some church teachings being both correct and still incomplete. He draws on Pope Francis (Who am I to judge?); that a minority of humans discover themselves to be LGBTQI; religious freedom; the right to act in conscience; and the Church's call to treat people who discover that their reality includes deep-seated same-sex attraction with respect, compassion, and sensitivity; to suggest some ways to deal with all this.
2020, paperback, 5" X 8", 43 pages, $6.95
Adobe Acrobat document [12.5 MB]
This is not the whole story of who I am.
But if you don’t want to know this about me, do you really want to know me?
It’s a question I’d invite the people of God
Father Steve Wolf
I was interviewed and photographed for an article in the New York Times about the experience of gay priests who are out. There is absolutely no mention of my story in the article; the reporter told me there was simply not enough room for it. All there is of me in the story is the quote above, my name, and this picture of my fat face.
Nevertheless, some of the folks in the article are friends of mine, and I think that all of their stories need to be heard.
A controversy erupted, and lacking the official support for which I expressed a need, I became sick in my struggles with depression and unable to complete my term as pastor.
It remains beyond my comprehension what the problem is with the above quote. But to anyone offended by my fat face, well, I admit that I do not exercise as much as I want to, and offer the same apology I offer to my doctor.
Retirement may be the vocation for which I was created. May all be at peace.
For anyone who is interested, in the Fall of 2014, Bishop Choby granted me a leave of absence at my request so that I might come out as gay and celibate to the rest of my friends and large extended family without simultaneously serving in a parish. I was willing to retire if he was unable to find an assignment for me, but felt ready still to serve as a parish priest. He and I agreed that neither of us knew what the response might be. With one exception, it was all positive. I served as Administrator at St. Andrew in Sparta, TN, where I was out to the Parish Council and Finance Board and staff, as well as parishioners when a conversation went to the LGBT or Q. Since coming to Immaculate Conception Church in Clarksville, TN, my experience has been the same.
Adobe Acrobat document [20.8 MB]
These are the words and Ukulele Chords.
Watching the burial service of Matthew Shepard, I was deeply moved and did some more work on this song, based on a poem in Seeking Holy Honesty.
Adobe Acrobat document [684.1 KB]
Click here to read a
Dance of the Alive, a Priest's Coming Out Story
A companion prayerbook for sitting with God's Love:
31 DAYS of GOD's LOVE-CALL
What do you hear when you read God's word in the Bible? I hear a very long love letter. The Bible as a whole can be read in this simple message from God: I made you, I know you, and I love you. This can be a message of great consolation. If I am aware of not living as if God loves me, it can nudge as a challenge, not to be better to earn God's love, but a reminder of my desire to live a fidelity response to God's complete love for me. It has been an honor to journey with many good folks in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola in At-Home Retreats and in spiritual direction. The first part of the exercises is to sit with intention in the reality of God's provision and love. This means letting God say and repeat, I love you. These 31 "Old Testament" passages rendered here without commentary can help let this message sink into one's being. Though most of them are psalms and canticles to sing to God, as scripture they are also meant to be read as part of God's revelation; so whether the words are addressed to God, to someone else, or to the reader, we can hear them as God's love letter to us. The ancient way of listening to God in lectio divina can be as simple as choosing a word or phrase or image from the passage, sitting with it perhaps without thinking about it, and breathing to listen.
All God's Blessings,
2016, paperback, 4" X 6", 45 pages, $8.95
An interview based on 31 Days of God's Love-Call:
Check out this VIDEO INTERVIEW by Ciara Reyes (about 6 minutes)
on February 27, 2017 by Coffeebeingsandthings at Atmology, a coffee shop across the street from Vanderbilt University. It was a delight!