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Priestly goth is a space for the exploration and working out of being a Christian who is in the World but not of the world.  This exploration is a bit eclectic, like the goth aesthetic itself.

Here are reflections on the Church, the Spiritual life and the gothic subculture as a Christian who identifies as a goth.  Since I am a pastor and spiritual director I wanted to create a space to explore and struggle with issues of church and pastoral care in an age of post-Christendom. 

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Here are also found portfolios of my iconographic work.

I invite the reader to explore with me the world of the priestly goth.

Sacramental Politics: A Review

In Sacramental Politics: Religious worship as political action, Brian Kaylor explores the various ways religion and politics commingle, focusing on acts of worship and political activism.   The book presents a problem: Two things that don’t go together and we think of as separate and radically different things do in fact often come together, religion and […]

God Forever Physical: Mystery of the Feast of the Ascension of Christ

Today we celebrate the feast of the Ascension of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, into heaven.  As this feast is on a Thursday, it is at times transferred to the 7th Sunday of Easter or passed over altogether. This feast may also seem superfluous, or merely a marking of one last event in the Gospel […]

The Mystagogy of Easter: Abiding in Christ

In the Gospel for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, Christ encourages us to abide in him. This is perhaps the most difficult thing for us humans to do; abide in the love of God known to us in Jesus Christ.  And it at times seems the most difficult for the leaders and those whose identity […]

Mystagogy of Easter: Vine and Branches

If you are like me raised in Sunday School the Gospel for the 5th Sunday of Easter may be very familiar to you: I am the vine you are the branches. This familiarity shouldn’t render impotent this rich and deeply mystical analogical reflection. Part of what this analogy convey’s is our dependence upon Christ.  Yet, […]

Easter Mystagogy Week 4: Good Shepherd.

How are we to hear the parabolic speech of Christ and God as our shepherd?  “The Lord is my shepherd…” and “I am the Good Shepherd…”?  In these passages of the third week of Easter and in the image of the Good Shepherd we are directed to attend to hearing and speech: “…they will listen to […]

The Mystagogy of Easter: According to what Reality Do We Live?

Mystagogy for the Third Week of Easter: The Meaning of God’s Union with Humanity (For the first in this Easter mystagogy series see The Doubt of Thomas the Twin) We are encouraged in the texts for the third Sunday of Easter to revel in the joyful astonishment of the Resurrection and to ecstatically contemplate the […]

The Mystagogy of Easter : The Doubt of Thomas the Twin

The lectionary each season of Easter brings us back to the same texts. Lent has a similar structure but there is a little more variation between each year in the three year cycle, while for Easter we read the same  passages from the Book of Acts and the Gospel of John. This all is related […]

Good Friday: Just another day in Post-Christendom

Yesterday, I had an appointment with someone, in the conversation my being pastor came up (it wasn’t about anything church or religiously affiliated), but that we met on Maundy Thursday, nor that today was Good Friday came up in the conversation.  The person whom I met seemed to have no sense that I as a […]

Icons of Enlightenment and Wisdom

I recently completed to miniature icons one of Jesus Christ as  Sophia/Wisdom known as the Holy Silence or blessed silence. and the icon of Saint Mary Magdalene Apostle to the Apostles both icons are related to enlightenment and wisdom. The icon of the Holy Silence represents Jesus Christ as Wisdom, or as Paul says the Wisdom […]

Lenten Reflections

In the past here at Priestly Goth, I’ve taken Lent to offer up my reflections on this time of fasting, penitence and Self-Reflection.  This Lent my writing is focused on worship liturgy and tradition (continuing reflections begun here and here) , and human sexuality .   However, I thought as we conclude the first full week […]

Cultural Identity and Expression in Worship

My Covenant Colleague Josef Rasheed‘s recent post about worship and cultural identity beautifully and gracefully articulates the role cultural expression plays in worship as well as its dynamic complexity.  However, I am aware a white pastor saying some of the same things would come off very differently (this isn’t a complaint, there are very legitimate reasons […]

Icon of the Epiphany

Yesterday was the feast of the  Epiphany.  In the west this feast is the celebration of the arrival  of the Magi and their adoration of the infant Jesus of Nazareth presenting him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  In the east the Epiphany is the feast of the baptism of Christ in the river Jordan, […]

Celebrating the Holy Nativity, #StayWoke

A friend of mine in a Facebook post comment thread mentioned that the Christmas story is often told as a children’s story.  I think there are several layers to this characterization.  One the Holy Nativity is often seen as a cute and comforting story, a G movie  safe for the viewing pleasure of the entire family. […]

Lets Talk Sin and Systems

For a time, as a child in the 1970’s, I lived on or near my grandparents farm.  The farm was forty acres of fruit trees and grapevines in which I, with my sister and cousins, freely roamed and played in.  There were few rules, one of them was that we weren’t to bother or speak to the farm workers. […]

The Meaning of Decline: Christianity, Religion, and Spirituality

Recently discussion of Lillian Daniel’s essay in 2011 and subsequent book on the Spiritual but not Religious (SBNR) and the need for institutional religious community, has been appearing in my social media streams and in a few blog posts.  This has dovetailed with two books I’d picked up recently. I wasn’t surprised but, I’m finding that […]

Listening to Wisdom of the Silent Tomb

Today is Holy Saturday, I generally try to let the silence of this day settle in.  We wait on this day.  It is the last day of the Lenten fast.  Any who have been fasting are probably weary of it by now.  We have come to the end. There is  a deathly silence to this […]

Holy Week, Grief and the Unexpected

As has become our custom at Reconciler, I didn’t preach.  We let the liturgy, the scriptures, sung and read, the hymns preach.  We walk a lot in our Palm Sunday service: We the Palm procession, we also process around to different stations for the reading of the Passion Gospel, we process up to gather around […]

The place of intimacy with God in life and worship

Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz  has recently made a stir admitting he rarely attends church and when he does he doesn’t really get much out of it. Miller says he can worship God in other ways, and other means of intimacy with God suit him better than the corporate worship of a local […]

Georges Florovsky, Ecumenism, and Writing Icons.

I was introduced to the work of Georges Florovsky in seminary.  I was discussing Eastern Orthodoxy with my History professor Phil Anderson.  Something in what I said clued him into that I was missing something about Orthodoxy and its history.  He asked if I had read (knowing I hadn’t) Georges Florovsky. I immediately found his […]

Beauty, Truth, and Cathedrals

I’ve gathered From my Twitter feed the role of beauty and cathedrals was addressed at Emergence Christianity – A National Convention( #EC13 #BigTickle) .  This Luther quote was thrown out there as an answer to the problem (though it is only a problem for a certain mindset admittedly dominant among Protestants):  “The people need beauty as well […]

Deserts and the Parish

This past Sunday our closing hymn at Reconciler’s service, was “Your Kingdom Come, O Father”, the final verse reads “The desert, as you promised,  Shall blossom far and near; and through earth’s mist and shadows the sun ‘mild rays appear.  For that blest day we wait, Lord, when doubt and darkness gone, we witness earth’s redemption , and summer morn shall dawn.”  That […]

Justice, Righteousness, Occupy and the Cure of souls.

A couple of Weeks ago over at Anglobaptist.org,  A photo for the D.C. Occupy Church and a quote from a post by Micah Bales was the catalyst for a dispute over the relationship of justice to the Gospel, and the role of the Church in political systems and movements. On one level the above conversation […]