Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mailbag Monday Part II

Bonnie writes, “Any ministry opportunities linked to the new TLC series on polygamy, ‘Sister Wives’?”
Cathi writes, “I second Bonnie Nordvall's suggestion re missional implications and approaches related to Sister Wives. This descendent of sister-wife great-great grandmothers thanks God for a conversion journey began in an LCMS VBS a bit over half a century ago, and cannot wait to see the series, not to mention what BpB and others at 8765 (such as friends in the Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Office) would have to say on the topic.”

The premiere episode introduces viewers to Kody Brown, his three wives Meri, Janelle and Christine, and their thirteen children. They live in a ranch-style home that, although interconnected, is subdivided into three separate apartments that give each wife their own bedroom, kitchen and living space. Eventually, Kody and his wives tell the children he is courting a fourth wife, Robyn Sullivan, who herself already has three children. Meanwhile, the wives explain they do not plan to force their children into polygamist lifestyles or arrange their marriages for them, but rather will encourage them to make their own choices. The children attend a polygamist cooperative school, while Kody and Janelle both work full-time as Meri pursues a long-delayed college degree. The family discusses their strong spiritual faith, and the episode includes both blessings at dinner and an evening family prayer. The episode also highlights the fact that Brown operates on a rotating schedule that dictates which wife he will spend the night with. Although Brown has sex with all three of his wives, they make clear the women never sleep with each other, a concept they consider immoral. The episode ends with Kody going on a date with Robyn.

Oh my darling Bonnie!

You are so brilliant to ask for my holy insight into these societal and cultural movements of our day! 

The new TLC educational event, “Sister Wives” is of major importance to our Brave New Church, which is why we are scheduling “Sister Wives Wednesday’s” in place of the usual Wednesday evening confirmation and other youth events.  Each church is expected to piece together a comfortable, relationally conducive atmosphere including the at least 2-3 of each of the following:

Flat Screen HD equipped TV
Pull-down screen
Internet/FIOS/Cable capabilities

Bean Chair
Stadium Seating

Fair Trade Pretzels
Fair Trade Chocolate
Various Fair Trade Dried Fruits and Nuts
Blue M&M’s
Jiffy Pop

Additional Resources:
BNC Approved Bible
BNC Approved Sister Wives Study and Discussion Guide

You see, Bonnie, the ministry opportunity available because of this Brave New Series is manifold!  Our culture has told so many people within our churches that relationships are limited to one man and one woman when in reality there are many men and many women who desire relationships! 
While we’re still stuck in the mode of many women and only one man, it is certainly a step in the right direction!  Soon we will have the sort of free Love endorsed by the Brave New Church where all men, women, and others at all times and places will be able to enjoy the right to the deep Love and relationships created through sexual congress!
It is our responsibility and great joy to share the many possibilities and variations of sexual relationships available which naturally results in deep feelings of Love which we know brings a smile the face of the Divine!  And isn’t that the sole purpose of our existence: finding joy in sex and Love to create a Divine smile! 

Julie writes, “In the grand hierarchy of creation, does having a horn sticking out of your head indicate a higher state if being than having a miter sticking out of your head?”

Dearest Julie,

Naturally, as the Mailbag Monday Part I post would indicate, a horn on the front of your head is a marvelous means of pointing heavenward toward the Divine!  But I must say I had not yet considered the possibility of a miterhorn!  Naturally I have hiked the Austrian Miterhorn in all its Divine glory, but I had not yet considered a miterhorn implant!

Oh the holiness such a holy implant would provide!  A prosthetic for those who have been handicapably limited from spirituality! 

Rebecca writes, “I keep hearing that as long as something doesn't harm someone else, it should be ok to do it, even if scripture says otherwise. But... if I break the first three commandments, I don't really hurt anyone but God... so please explain why I should keep the first three commandments when it's not really hurting anyone if I don't. Thanks!”

Oh my Rebecca,

I feel as though you nearly stumped me!  But then I quickly remembered the Divine Spark we each have within us which is why we ought to keep even the first three commandments! 

For example, the first commandment according to the Small Catechism reads the following:

I am the LORD the Divine. You shall have no other Divinity except for mine.

You must recognize the Divine in all men, women, children, places, and things!  If you do not you are hurting the Divine within Me AND within you!  The same goes for your tone of voice.  For example, I have heard that for every adoring fan of me and the BNC there are those who call me coward and sniping – how hurtful to my Holiness!  It hurts the Divinity (extra Divine – I’m ordained as a BISHOP!) within me that so many use my name in a tone of malice instead of Love!  The name Bishop Barbie shall only be spoken in a tone of Divine Deference, tolerance, unity, and Love!

Furthermore, it is my right to demand you respect the terribly challenging nature of my work!  You should at all times and in all places respect my need for three days of rest per week and at least three months of vacation per year! 

Thank you Rebecca.  Your question allowed me to address a number of Divine issues that were bubbling up deep inside my Holiness.

Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,

Bishop Barbie

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mailbag Monday Part I

Mike writes, "Your Eminencess--sometimes it seems to me that the BNC is simply the praying wing of the Democratic Party. Am I wrong? Or are there any BNC positions that a conscientiously-bound conservative like me could support? OR am I and others like me simply in need of reprogramming? Exile? Is there a camp where you would send me?"

Oh my Dear Mike! 

How intuitive you are to see the commitment we have toward the liberal elite – the true chosen party of the Divine! The BNC is working around the clock against every evil scheme of the conservative agenda, seeking to free those like you who are in bondage to Reaganomics and other injustices and cannot free yourself! Furthermore, you have the entire relationship backwards. The Democratic Party is the Justice Wing of Social Action OF THE BNC! You appear to doubt our reach?

But I am concerned you use such terribly excessive language such as “Exile” and “Reprogramming.” Gracious! We shall do no such thing! Rather, we plan to redirect your being toward a new program! Indeed, we have created a new camp just for people who struggle with compulsive conservative impulses!
This new Program is facilitated by the same fine church leaders who create New Image Weight Loss Camp and Scientology for Kids summer camps nationwide! During the initial 7-Day Detox we provide a proprietary schedule of sleep deprivation and ketogenic foodstuffs to calm the neuropaths which influence your political and theological predilections. Mornings begin at 4 a.m. with 3 hours of yoga led by guru specialists flown in from Central Asia followed by a brisk plunge in our lake – the lake which previous successful campers dug and filled as their capstone project toward the beginning of summer! Much of your day will be spent in special lessons from a variety of BNC leaders and educators with special media hours for your viewing pleasure.

Please see an example of the fine work our BNC Experience has caused in even our most difficult cases:

An example of your daily meal includes watching your leaders consume the following on your behalf while you pray for release from your captive soul:

Breakfast: Scrambled egg and apple sauce meal
45 grams whole raw egg
15 grams butter
3 grams nuts
30 grams raw granny smith apple
13 grams fresh olive oil
10 grams regular butter
5 grams thickened Farmers’ Union cream

Lunch: Creamy bacon meal
20 grams raw green capsicum
20 grams raw celery
20 grams raw brown onion
64 grams 35% ideal dairy cream
27 grams lean middle bacon
22 grams Sundew margarine

Dinner: Chicken and vegetable stir-fry
30 grams peeled raw carrot
30 grams raw green capsicum
30 grams raw broccoli
14 grams raw brown onion
23 grams lean raw chicken breast
42 grams olive oil
5 grams commercial soy sauce

As you grow in peace, tolerance, unity, justice, and free Love every day we offer you more and more privileges. After each lecture we allow you to check your progress by means of an E-Meter which audits you Justice and Love-based progress. These specialized machines are on loan from the kind people at the Dianetics Institute of California (Bishop Hanson is close friends with John Travolta and Tom Cruise, allowing such a terrific deal!). Please see more at: Note that while this machine notes your progressive electrical response to a variety of questions, there is no pain involved – only the joy of true Love and recovery!

So join us, Mike, as we journey together faithfully on the road to recovery!

Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

Mary writes, “Bishop Barbie, Not only are you setting the pace for spiritual and social reform in the BNC, but you are making a fashion statement. Who is your designer? Have you considered developing a line of clerical clothing? Marketing such trendy ready-to-wear could assist the BNC making another progressive post-modern move -- promoting prosperity theology.”


Steve writes, “Being an average- or even rather homely-looking person, I must object to your picture-perfect looks. Aren't you being just a little too 'lookist' for the BNC? And is that look in your eyes full radical inclusion or some come-hither deal?”

Oh my darlings Mary and Steve!

I am so glad you see my commitment to whole evangelism and church life! Really, if you are going to act as a Brave New Leader you simply must exist as a Bravely Fashionable person!

The express purpose of fashion is to draw the sights of all men, women, and others into a glorious vision of humanity as we represent tolerance, unity, and free Love! Here are a few examples of ways we have reinterpreted the symbolic nature of the tab collar to show better how we are all part of the Priesthood of All Believers! Even Pop Stars have joined our movement!

You see, Steve, it is imperative that you resolve your homeliness. We here at the Brave New Church simply cannot abide the unattractive in positions of leadership. How else will our critical mass of followers find us attractive if we have not yet undergone the proper makeover and plastic assessment? “Lookist” is never a naughty word, my dear. The “come hither” look you see in my eyes is simply modernspeak for “Come! All are Welcome! All are included! Come hither and join us in our journey toward free Love!”
Will you join me in our Fashionable Journey at the BNC HQ? The Catwalk is simply rife with opportunity!

Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

Eric writes, “Does life consist of anything greater than myself?”

Oh, my dearest Eric!

What an open-minded question! Naturally life consists of something greater than yourself! There are concepts like Justice, Unity, Tolerance, and Love to attend – and do you know where you can participate in all these things in a manner of being greater than just your little old self? That’s right! In the Brave New Church!

Now, it all does begin in the greatness of yourself, whereas you may meditate and look deep inside your being to find the spark of Divinity. In faith, you have Chosen to give the Divine permission to become One with you, empowering your sense of self and self-in-the-world. This is the first step toward becoming greater than yourself – choosing to step beyond the tools you were first given at birth.

Next is declaring membership in the BNC. Once you are one of Us, you have many opportunities to donate money, time, and much energy to our organization! To begin, please place a handkerchief on your computer screen over this blog page and pray with me:

Oh Mother Wisdom Divine,
I pray that You make me Greater than my current Being.
Please grant everlasting Justice, Unity, and Love
to me and all others in this world.
Please bless the Brave New Church in their ongoing work.
Butterfly Kisses from the Earth,

This prayer will be more effective if you can speak it in a language that does not exist in the West. Then wrap a $50.00 bill in this kerchief, mail it to our BNC HQ and wait for an outpouring of personal growth and blessing creating a greater self for you than there was before!
Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie


Donavon writes, “Will my theological unicorn go to heaven with me?”
Jon writes, “Related to Donavon's question: will Princess Unicorn go to heaven? "My horn can pierce the sky!"

Oh my darling Mr. Donavon and Jon!
You two are like my own little boys at Christmas! My own little ones occasionally worry that G.I. Joe may not go to the Divine Rest with them, and there has been some recent concern over puppies and kittens alike.
But to answer your question: YES. Oh my goodness, a thousand times over, YES!
The Unicorn is such a powerful representation of the Divine Spirituality poured out for us like Butterfly Kisses from Heaven! Even the beautiful horn points straight to the Spiritual Realm which we all seek to achieve daily, nightly, and ever so rightly! In fact, many days I put on my faux horn just to remind myself of my own spiritual powers and abilities (granted by virtue of my Bishopess Ordination into the Historic and Bishopric Episcopate!). Sadly, though, I wore the horn to bed one night and it accidentally pierced a leaping kitten. Needless to say, my dear little ones and I had to have a difficult conversation about where all theological unicorns go who claim the souls of cute kittens.
Does this effectively answer your query, my dears?
A Brave New Family

Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mailbag, er, Tuesday!

My Darlings I must apologize!  I was away observing the joyous events of the Town Hall Meeting which put my Monday posting behind.  Could you ever forgive me?
Butterfly Kisses from Heaven, 
Bishop Barbie

Kay writes, “Dear Bishop Barbie, your Pinkishness,
From the ELCA Churchwide Office BIBLE-READINGS@LISTSERV.ELCA.ORG today was sent the following reading from 2 Kings 17:24-41 (that is in the Bible, in case you forgot). 
"The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria in place of the people of Israel; they took possession of Samaria, and settled in its cities. When they first settled there, they did not worship the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them. ..."
This goes on to tell what God does to those who worship other gods.  How does our Brave New Church explain this reading, in light of the prayers to the goddess Sophia that have been offered by some bishops of the BNC? Anxiously and breathlessly awaiting your answer.

My dearest Kay,


What an insightful question!  We here at the BNC find ourselves in the 7th Level of Heaven when we hear of our constituents reading through the Book of Faith!  I trust you are using our Book of Faith resources?  If not, please see the following link for an exegetical pick-me-up:


Now, you sound like you are in need of pastoral care – perhaps a Ministry of Divine Presence?  Operators here at the BNC HQ are waiting to take your call! 


Your fears and concerns appear to be related to the notion that the Divine would kill those who speak the Divine name wrongly.  We here at the BNC have recognized such confusion about the name of the Divine and resolved to create a liturgical committee to study such matters.  We have discovered the following:


The reason for Divine wrath was because of the SPECIFICITY of the names used!  Those who sought to speak to the Divine used improper and undesirable language about the Divine so that the Divine felt like the Divine was being mocked (no different than my kids on the playground, I suspect). 


In order to avoid messy lion scenarios and bad press, we here at the BNC are committed to avoiding all lion-related problems by using only adjectival descriptions of the Divine!  Furthermore, in the case that Jesus is not the Anointed One, we simply refer exclusively to the Child of God as “the Christ” or “Christ the Lord.”  After all, mentioning the name “Jesus” simply causes confusion and discomfort, does it not?  In the same vein, referring to Sophia simply pronounces how we believe the Divine to be the summation of all Wisdom!  Naturally we desire to avoid insulting the Divine and reaping such terrible wrath.  Therefore, we have expanded our nomenclatural repertoire to the benefit of widening our diverse Believer Base!  The new rules are as follows:


1.    Adjectives Only

2.    Gender specifics out

3.    The More Diverse, the Better!


I hope you will join us, Kay, as we seek greater diversity, tolerance, and unity in utilizing the full of rainbow of names available for the Divine!  After all, you don’t want to be Lion Food, do you?


Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,

Bishop Barbie



Arte writes, "What are your thoughts on these new synods? Which is the true "Lutheran" church?"

Oh my Arne,

Silly you!  Synod simply comes from compounding two Greek words into one (See? Merger!):

1.   SYN” which means “Together”
2.   HODOS” which means “Way” or “the Course”

So, together we find the way!  Remember, the BNC is founded entirely on togetherness and free communion with all.  We must seek ways to see together at all costs!

Generally, we here at the Brave New Church HQ choose to ignore the antics of these “alternative” “Lutheran” sects.  Every now and again, however, we discover leaders, clergy, and other membership behaving non-hoditically and non-cooperatively.  This is terrible treachery!  For as many times as we have sent in Bishops and other staff to properly re-educate and bring these dissenters back into the line of vision we share, there are some who simply cannot be saved.  Have you ever read Stephen King’s Quitters Inc.?  There are simply some who cannot be managed.  While we do not resort to methods of violence (we are full of Love, after all!) we must maintain the holiness and purity of our church and keep a pure roll of employees and copacetic membership.

The true Lutheran church is the church that does not feel the need to call itself Lutheran!  True Lutherans will seek to become unified in a tolerant and Loving front at all costs – even if it means we occasionally must ask some of our leaders to move on to other forms of employment and existence.  These new synods are really no synods at all, my dear Arte.  They are the runoff of those who were unable to be convinced that radical tolerance, unity, and free Love are the Way of the Divine!  Sadly, those “synods” are nothing more than groups of intolerant, angry, homophobic, and mostly white individuals.  We wish them well and when they choose to modify their behavior we shall slowly reintroduce them to our faithful, Loving community.

Arte, please inform my staff as soon as possible the position you are in regarding church membership.  We wish to support you however you come!  All are welcome!

Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

Anonymous writes:
“Dear Her Holiness Bishop Barbie,
I keep noticing the expansion of the inclusivity nomials—GLBTQIA…--and am wondering when those who decide such things (You?) will include polyamors, pedophiles and beastials within the rainbow of sexually diverse orientations?

Also, at the secular university where I live, the G and L are always reversed.  I’m not sure if this is because women are superior or “ladies first.”  What do you think? Also, what about all these titles?  Aren’t we really trying to achieve full egalitarian equality?”

Dearest Anonymous,


I am so pleased to note your commitment to our increasingly welcome worshiping environment! 


Indeed, when the nomenclature was first introduced, the title read, “GLB,” then “GLBT,” now “GLBTQ” and in the most progressive and welcomgin communities it is “LGBTQ.”  The reason for the switch between the ‘L’ and ‘G’ has nothing to do with gender protocols, but with justice.  My dear, those who gender-identify as “female,” have often been oppressed by those who gender-identify as “male.”  Placing the ‘L’ first is yet another subtle way of empowering the oppressed by placing them first in line! 


We here at the Brave New Church Headquarters are working around the clock to manage the flood of new research done on the gender, sexuality, and other variables in order to be most welcoming.  You have mentioned Polyamors and Pedophiles and we have adjusted these titles to P3.  Although you mentioned “Bestiality” which has received such a terribly bad name over time, so we have renamed animal love “Aniamory” and its subsequent “A” to the acronym.  At this point we have only managed to title the expanding welcome sect to:





However, we are looking into the near additions of Narcissamory/Self-Love, Two-Spirit, and Objectum Sexuality.  After all, who are we to judge individual sexual, romantic, gender, and role preference?  In fact, we look forward to the day when all people, places, and things will be able to self identify either as an Androgyn or Genderqueer in order to level all self-expressions of person, sexuality, and interest.  The day shall come when all people shall be judged by the quality of their character and no longer by their personal gender and sexual preferences! 


Dearest Anonymous, I hope I have managed to spearhead your question and give you hope toward a Brave New Future!


Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,

Bishop Barbie

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sermon Help

My Dearest Pets! We here at the Brave New Church offices recognize your week is thoroughly consumed with Justice and Love related activities as you faithfully spread the good news of radical tolerance to all!  Upon realizing the difficulties of the upcoming text from Luke, we have created a sermon outline for you.  If you are the leader of your congregation, please use the following support.  If not, please share with the leader of your church as soon as possible! The following is designed that you can modify the sermon according to the preferences of your worshiping community and scripture reading: 
Grace, Peace, and Holy Love to you from  _______________ (adjective), _______________ (adjective) _______________ (Adjective similar to personal pronoun), Amen!
_____________________________ (personal story about personal difficulties)
_____________________________ (secondary example from Chicken Soup for the Soul series)
Turn _________________ (preposition) me now to the words of another discouraged leader, Jesus. _________________ (your preferential description of who Jesus might be). The passage from today’s lectionary is ___________ (adj) and ____________ (adj) and frankly, I’m not altogether sure of what I should tell you. In case you think _____________ (what you call the worship leader at your church) always know what they’re talking about, this is a good opportunity to explain how  _________________ (describe your own inadequacies in detail). So, for today’s text, we’re all in this together!  We shall _______________ (verb) this sermon together!)  
  All right, so, the passage opens with Jesus talking not the masses now but to his disciples – you know, _________________ (hip description of disciples). Only after this _________________ (alt. word for “story”), they might have had some second thoughts. Luke 16: 1-13, Jesus has this story to tell his disciples:
Read: Luke 16: 1-13 from your preferred scripture source
Okay, so a rich man calls up the unreliable steward of his estate, and, now that the steward is busted, he starts scheming about how to deal with the situation. He considers his options.
 ________________ (Negative Option #1)
_________________ (Negative Option #2)
_________________ (Negative Option #3)
This is no different than the options available in  _________________ (Name of 3rd world country with Evil Dictator).  The options of  _________________ (Evil Dictator’s Steward) could be:
_________________ (Negative option of poor people in Third World Country #1)
_________________ (Negative option of poor people in Third World Country #2)
_________________ (Negative option of poor people in Third World Country #3)
_________________ (Commentary about struggles of Justice)
_________________ (Story meant to convict congregation about injustice loosely related to the scripture)
_________________ (Good news about how we can resolve injustice from evil Dictators and their slightly less evil Stewards using example from life of Jesus)  
_________________ (Example of Justice performed by Congregation) _________________ (Example of Justice government should perform) _________________ (Example of international Justice) So, go.  Be like  
_________________ (person from scripture) and  ___________ (verb Mixed Martial Artists may perform) a  _____________________ (terrifying animal, plural) for You, ______________ (preferred name for the Divine)! If you sell _________________ (item commonly sold on eBay), you will be ____________________ (Justice related noun) and you will cause __________________ (preferred name for the Divine) to feel _____________________ (adjective).
We here at ____________________ (name of congregation/church) commend ________________ (Justice/Love related good works) to your doing.  Certainly your hard work will ______________ (verb) God’s favor as we strive for radical tolerance, unity, and free Love for all!
In the name of the ___________ (Proper Adjective), who exists to ___________________ (verb) you and shall reign for _________________(quantity of time) over ______________________ (cute animal species), _______________(insect group) and ________________________ (your preferred description of humanity). 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mailbag Monday!

Elizabeth of Hungary writes, “As a seminarian who looks to my leaders for examples of a godly life, I was very dismayed to find you blogging on Labor Day.  I have been taught in seminary that Jesus loves the poor and oppressed, and in America, these are obviously the blue-collar union workers, whose sacrifices Labor Day commemorates.  I had my hopes set high that the ELCA would take this opportunity to stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers and religiously observe Labor Day.  I know that Matthew 12 teaches that Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, but I have a hard time believing that he would support us failing to stand with the marginalized in this country - nay, the world - by working on Labor Day.  Are you aware of the impact you are having on impressionable seminarians who now feel free to blog on federal holidays?
My dearest Ms. Hungary,
In celebration of the theme of your letter, I postponed writing to you until after I had taken adequate rest!  During the days following your utterly delightful tome, Ken whisked me away to an all-expense vacation to the Dominican Republic!  Naturally we had the opportunity for a few photo opportunities in neighboring Haiti, but how difficult is it really to pose for a snapshot?  Our days were filled with sun-kissed swimming and our evenings with all-you-can eat buffets and dancing!  Thankfully, we staffed the home office with adequate Desk Facilitator Specialists to manage the phone and News Release desks.
During my holiday jaunt in your honor, I had time to consider your central message – such a bold preacher of justice at such a tender age!  You shall serve our Brave New Church with finesse, my lovely! 
Now for matters of Holy Rest and Justice:
Our Lord gives us words of Law and Gospel in Divine Scripture and it is up to us to decide which words we serve us best at any given time!  As your Brave New Bishop I must tell you that your time of rest is rather at the behest of your superiors – those of us with special dispensation by virtue of our ordination. 
I urge you to continue working tirelessly for the Brave New Church for from you labor shall flow boundless unity, radical tolerance, and free Love!  The Wellness Wheel promoted by our offices offer wonderful ideas for Healthy Leaders, but really the central message is holy sacrifice for the sake of Unity and Love.
The central work of the Brave New Church is to work tirelessly for victims of injustice.  Our Fair Trade workers, unionistas (like fashionista’s, only filled with Unity!), federal czars, and countless others must work even through federal holidays because without their daily work, could they possibly find a sense of fulfillment and joy?  Furthermore, their labors bring in fair wages and they would not want to lose their jobs, would they? 
This is indeed the reason why many at our churchly publishing house to continue to toil daily and nightly without any hope for pension: it is a holy work!  You see, Elizabeth, when it comes to matters of Justice and free Love, all work is necessary and holy – no Labor Day, no pension, no rest required!
I hope that by virtue of my blog on Labor Day you might realize the power of your position to work for unity, justice, and Love for all – especially on your day off.  After all, Jesus didn’t come to give you a day off, did Jesus? 
Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

Don writes, “Bishop Barbie; 2 questions: What kinds of insightful suggestions to you have for bringing young adults into the ELCA and do you have any plans to meet with Lady Ga Ga anytime soon”

My Dearest Darling Mr. Wright!

What an insightful question for such a Brave New problem so many church bodies face in these dangerous times!

I have long prayed over and considered your question and would like to offer a brief answer (really, a complete answer would include full on ministry application

First, young adults today crave modern language and they will not be attracted to our events and lifestyle choices unless we sound like them! 

For example, an OLD PASTOR (read: unenlightened and past expiration date) would say:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ…”

A welcoming and attractive NEW PASTOR would say:

You are welcomed by this community and by the Divine, who embraces you not because of the longings of your heart or because you box yourself into some articulation of faith, but because the Divine Loves you and we Love you and accept you as you are! Welcome, because this is a faith that believes in you!”

Notice the difference, Mr. Wright?  To be part of the Brave New Church is to always to be in relation to others and not set apart from others.  The greatest sin both in scripture and in modern society is to be different.  You must be unique, just like everyone else!  The key to attracting people of all ages is BELONGING – nothing more, nothing less.

Second, programs are the way to bring in the young people of today. 

Invitations to worship is boring.  Sunday school?  Get a life!  What you need is something revamped, renewed, and re-levant.  Ditch all the God-talk and embrace community!  It doesn’t matter what you do or how you do it, so long as you’re together! 

The resolution to this is: programs, programs, and more programs!

Start with a modern young person who can lead with charism and individuality!  Your leader must show that the Divine welcomes all people regardless of appearance, identity, life decisions, moral dis/interest, and personal choices.  Recently I ran across a fantastic new program produced by a branch of our Brave New Church.  I deeply believe this will satisfy the deep spiritual longings of our people! 
This new educational resource is perfect for young adults of all ages and experiences and will address the fine art of living as people of Justice, Light, and Free Love.  Section 1 covers: 
·         Feelings
·         Self-Concept and Self-Esteem
·         Friendship
·         Team Building
·         Problem-Solving
·         Healthy and Loving Choices
·         Speaking up for Justice
Again, in an effort toward relevance, the weekly group activity will put the spotlight on:
·         Focus and Empowerment
·         Organization and Study Tips
·         Positive Attitude
·         Community Involvement
·         Serving the Divine within and in the community
For those who seem advanced in their spirituality and learning, you may want to create small groups!  One idea tossed around by my specialty team is to create a Round Table, with the Leader as King Arthur!
·         The group will join in at the Round Table with King Arthur and his knights as they learn about chivalry, bravery, and courage.
·         They will pow-wow with Native Americans while creating a 6-foot-high group totem pole that showcases that animal nature of each member.
·         Group members will turn into fantastical superheroes who work together to save the day.
·         Learn alongside Samurai masters as they learn the art of peace.
·         They will "journey" to England to study the Magician's Code that binds the Brother and Sisterhood of Magicians.

OLD PASTORS and the OLD CHURCH would invite people to church services or maybe a youth choir. 

NEW CHURCH LEADERS and the BRAVE NEW CHURCH coordinate missional efforts toward involvement in practices of inclusivity alongside rich tapestries of Justice and Love!

Our Brave New Church is working tirelessly to adapt the Boy/Girl Scout model to our needs.  Structured leadership, belief in values that best fit the general movements of the culture, and freedom to expand the walls of Justice and free Love will bring the masses to our door!  We are also considering merit badges for exceptional character traits.   

We must lead our youth toward recognizing communal wholeness!  This is the deepest longing of their hearts and our Brave New Church is working around the clock to provide you with all the materials to make that possible!

It’s like God-Caffeine for your tired old religion!



Eileen writes, "Bishop Barbie - I am preparing the 2011 budget for worship supplies.   Is the new logo a download for bulletins and all other supplies or is it purchased.  I couldn't find anything with the logo on the A-F site.  Thank you!"

Dearest Eileen,

What a treasure you are!  I am so thankful for team players such as yourself who are also willing to provide tithes and offerings for the sake of our Brave New Church! 

The new logo is not yet available for purchase because of public concern that it may reflect other popular commercial logos.  Instead we are nearly ready to post a Logo Contest for our Brave New Church!  Surely many minds are better than one – and short of the College of Bishops, there is certainly no ‘I’ in “Team!”

Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,

Bishop Barbie



Lisa writes, “Does the BNC have a social statement on the use of hallucinogen drugs? I must confess that I have difficulty with openly and freely loving all sheep in my local fold equally. Seems like illicit drug use helped the "Make Love - Not War" movement of the 60's. Maybe during the "Healing Service" a passing of the pipe could be added.”



My Darling Lisa,


I regret to say we do not yet have a Social Statement regarding the use of hallucinogenic drugs!  However, I believe it is better to refer to this as a “Hallucinogenic Opportunity.”


We here at the BNC HQ are aware the this is a serious issue of justice.  For example, you can read about how Spiritual Leaders recognize the important cash cow families require, hence we are required to support smokable ganja. 


Hallucinogenic properties and other opportunities promote spirituality, my dear Lisa!  For instance, I have a family member who sought clarity on personal matters and enjoyed a weeklong Native America Vision Quest in the American deserts!  While traversing the desert, this family member brought neither food nor water, but instead lived off of spiritual desire.  To quell the perturbance of physical nutrition pangs, peyote and other herbs were consumed and smoked as fire was available.  Once this period of quest and spiritual journey came to completion, a long term committed relationship and child was produced! 


It is a Justice and Spiritual concern you address, really.  Our committees are well paid and working around the clock to consider Hallucinogenic Opportunities as both sacrament and healing. 


We here at the Brave New Church notice there are many cultures throughout all of history using the wonders of hallucinogenic and other opportunities aides.  We support this in order to enjoy the creation of the Divine and to learn all the Divine would have us realize!


Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,

Bishop Barbie




Tom writes, "Dear Bishop!  Greetings in the Name of Free Love!  Question:  There's a UCC pastor in our area who wants us all to get together to discuss our "Christologies."  How can this event best free people from fear and let them know that their Jesus is just as good as anyone else's Jesus, because, you know, the One Jesus and His/Her/Its love is so many different things to so many different people."


Dearest Tom,


What a fascinating topic for discussion! 

The joy of this topic is located precisely in the term “Christology.”  That is, “Christ” comes from the Greek, Χριστός (Khristós) (which is co-opted from the Hebrew, מָשִׁיחַ) meaning only “anointed one.”  Where I believe you are becoming terribly confused and befuddled is to think Jesus is the only Christ!  I am so pleased this pastor from the United Church of Christ is gathering so many representative of denominations and faith communities to share their individual understandings of “Christ!”
Remember, the Bible says somewhere about becoming “little Christ’s,” and it sounds to me like you are about to be presented with so many wonderful options about what that means!  Jesus was a wonderful example of what it means to be a “Christ,” because Jesus was so full of Love and Justice at every turn.  But chances are, Jesus may not be the only one able to show you the Way!  Listen carefully to the moderators and suggestions offered during this discussion.  Please share your findings!  The love of the Divine is indeed one of the Anointing – a practice which we can enjoy in oil anointing, remembrance of baptism, and other liturgical gymnastics.  

In an unprecedented effort at supporting you, your Brave New Church chooses to stick with broad terms and focus our efforts entirely upon adjectives! 

For example: Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier.


By referring to the Divine using only adjective we make space for all people’s conceptions of the Divine!  We do not wish for any of our church members to be held back by notions of gender exclusivity or the bonds of race, creed, ethnicity, or religion!  After all, the BNC’s primary mission and ministry is one of inclusivity!    


We recognize language such as: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is offensive to many and places the Divine in a box.  The Divine is so much larger than gender, history, and specificity!  I urge you to avoid such language, especially in the context of this UCC hosted discussion.  Naturally, offering gender and specific terminology when discussion anointing and other benefits of religion will grow our BNC – and rating are everything, my Love!   


My concern is over matters no different than the term, “Allah!”  In this delightfully multicultural word, we find the ability to overlay any understanding of the Divine we choose!  We Christians are no different than Muslims, let alone Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons or even Agnostics!  We are all on the journey of searching for the Divine within and without! 


Join us in our Brave New Church on the Brave New Search for Divinity!  I, for my part, cannot wait until we hear more from you about your delightful and illuminating conversation with our UCC brothers and sisters in Christ!


Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,

Bishop Barbie