Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mailbag Monday!

Russ writes, "My Pinkness, I must confess to -er- certain urges of an alphabetical sort. I feel this compulsion, almost overwhelming, to trade one set of churchly initials for another. Now I know my ABCs but NALC keeps slipping in, entirely unbidden, I assure Your Pinkness. How should I handle these unwelcome and disturbing thoughts?"

Oh my darling Salt Man!

It is natural for all people to have “urges!”

Usually those special feelings begin in your mid-teen years as you try to locate the Divine within and many are so lucky to have a parent or guardian to help talk through all those thrilling new spiritual feelings!  Salt Man, perhaps you have entered your first period of Spiritual Development; a special time when you will develop a spiritual growth and begin ascent on the Fowler Scale of Spiritual Development!

Now, you may be wondering how you fit into all of this, my darling.  But the Lutheran church of the past has made Divine Development all so confusing!  Everyone knows American Lutheranism has been an alphabet soup since its inception!  Many of us remember the AALC, ALCA, AFLC, CALC, CLA, CLBA, CLC, ELCIC, ELS, FLC, ILF, LLC, LLC, LCCF, LCMS, LMS-USA, LCR, LCS, WELS, UALC, ULC, AELC, LCA, ALC, USA, CIA, NSA, YMCA, ROFL, LOL, and much, much more!  Many today remember when these bodies were represented by the Norwegians, Swedes, Finns, Germans, Happy Danes, Sad Danes, Austrians and Swiss, leaving the heathens to their own denominational insults to true Divinity.

But those days are over!  Until of January 1, 1988, most Lutherans were faced with only the bicameral Lutheran option: ALC or LCA.  Once upon a time you found yourself attracted to the blond purity and radical passive-aggression ALC Lutheranism or committed to the hearty incense smoked bratwurst of the LCA and their swarthy Teutonic membership.  But lo, the BNC was inaugurated!   
Now we have extended ourselves to enjoy the many Divine urges we all face to explore our spirituality and find the appropriate spiritual dwelling place with those of like interests!  Gone are the days of unity in the name of “Jesus Christ!” 

We here at the BNC have replaced such outdated partisan nonsense with the joys of spiritual options!  A little of Column A, a little from Column B and voila! Your spiritual urges and alphabetical desires have all been fulfilled!

My dearest, darling Salt Man, always remember that we here at the Brave New Church are deeply concerned with helping you fulfill your most private spiritual compulsions!  All are welcome!  All desires known should be brought out into the open – it is the BNC from whom you should hide no secrets!*

Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

*NALC not included.  Must be over 17 to discuss NALC.  NALC available in all states. Void where prohibited. BNC subject to change without notice. Restrictions apply.

Cathy “Braaschenputtel” Braasch writes, “I have a question before I goes on retreat next week: What is the BNC's position on spiritual direction? Is it to be Oratatio, Meditatio, Tentatio; or Lectio, Meditatio, Contemplatio, and Oratio; or something entirely new? Does Her Pinkness have a spiritual director? What approach to Lectio do Her Pinkness and her spiritual director follow?

Gracious my dear Braaschenputtel!

Such an alphabet soup!  Perhaps you and the Salt Man should join forces to serve our Acrimonious Acronym Association of the BNC (especially when considering “alternative” to the BNC). 

Naturally there is a grand tradition in “other” “church” bodies and their use of Oratatio, Meditatio and Tentatio (Prayer, Meditation, Trials/Anfechtung).  While these are lovely notions of spirituality, it is the BNC that lights the way toward true spiritual contemplation and fulfillment because we aim to combine the best of all worldly meditations into one beautiful, unified institution!  

My darling Cathy, let me introduce you to the BNC’s Threefold Pink Rose of Contemplation:

Rosatio Contemplatio, Amoratio, Unificatio.

Rosatio Contemplatio: Find a quiet and happy place.  Breathe in and realize the unity you have between yourself and those throughout all of time and space.  You are connected.  You are one.  Focus on the color Pink and the Love that emanates from your Brave New Church and Leader.  Consider the lilies and how fabulous Bishop Barbie would look in florals.  Be of one mind with Bishop Barbie.  Envision a world of radical tolerance, unity, and free Love.  Ask the Divine to bless your work… bring the Divine into your works and desires.  Mold the Divine to yourself from the outside as you reach within to find the Divine on the inside.

Amoratio: Surround yourself with images of Love.  The Divine Community has for far too long committed itself to the shackles of traditional, heterosexual and familial love.  Free your mind and the rest will follow!  Be colorblind, don’t be so shallow!  Experiment with different configurations of Love and draw up a daily progress report for yourself.  Once you have thrown off the shackles of tradition and see all Love opportunities with equal respect and joy, then you have achieved the heights of Amoratio!

Unificatio: This is the most difficult of the BNC spiritual practices.  Only the most spiritually fit and committed to the BNC manage this practice.  Please see me when you have completed your spiritual journey of reeducation and I shall unlock the secrets of Unificatio for you.  Until then, I cannot share all our Spiritual Secrets or you would feel lacking in motivation, would you not? 

You see, darling, Spiritual Direction ought always to point you back to your Holy Mother BNC, never elsewhere.  Who else has your best interest at heart but your Bishop Barbie and Friends?  I hope and pray that your current SD is full of free Love and teaching you in the ways of the Threefold Pink Rose of Contemplation!

Now my own Spiritual Directors include such impressive titles as Oprah Winfrey, Thich Nhat Hanh, Eckhart Tolle, Joel Osteen and Rahm Emanuel.  Bishop Hanson did his very best to procure Winfrey, but his schedule only permitted weekly counsel calls with Woody Allen who truly portrays the human spiritual experience through his films and following his heart in any number of social and vocational decisions.  Each of my Directors offers their own unique perspective on radical tolerance, unity and free Love, yet it is my duty and delight that I may take their nuggets of wisdom and apply it to Divine Scripture and our three-fold Rose of Contemplation!    

So, Braaschenputtel, Spiritual Directors are standing by to aid you in your spiritual journey.  We want to hold your hand as you experience our loving reeducation and redirection of your preexisting spiritual notions!  Direct your whole heart to the BNC and experience unfettered tolerance and free Love for all!

Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

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