Monday, November 1, 2010

My Colleague-in-Chief is the Bishop of the LARGEST Lutheran church in North America, just like he points out in the first line of the tape!  

We here at the Brave New Church Headquarters were thrilled to participate in this popular movement!  In fact, in light of our many churchly woes we’re evening considering a full time partnership with the movement.  Then, all of our signs would read:

Just look at this selection of the fan mail our glorious leader of Free Love received from his amorous Facebook Fans!

        Bishop Hanson, I am so close to committing idolatry! 

               (so hawt!)

-          I love my congregation and the grater Church. 
                  (May I get you some cheddar, ma’am?)
-          Bravo, Bishop Hanson. And may God bless the ELCA. 
                  (God, we invite you into our threefold mission! Join us!)
-          Thank you Bishop Hanson, my heart is so full of love for our church. 
                  (who needs Jesus when you have the church!)
-          I praise God for the ELCA! 
                  (Our hands! Our work! Wanna join us?)
-          Like I needed another reason to love Bishop Handsome. I mean Hanson. 
                  (He’s so dreamy! Wait till you see in his pink cope I designed!)
-          God does not judge. Jesus like his father in Heaven did not judge either.He did not favor one over another but expressed Love as his father expresses Love. His love is all inclusive and does not wain upon persons or circumstance.Remember he came to set the record straight. The only true parts of the old scripture are where god is shown to be unpartial in his love. This is the heart of Jesus's message.God's love is for all his creation. 
                  (Don’t worry sir, Marcion died a long time ago!)
-          Now THIS makes me grateful to be in relationship with the ELCA!!!  

Naturally I’m surprised that I didn’t receive more fan mail since I’m obviously more in touch with the needs and popular culture at the BNC and beyond.  But either way, we accomplished our goal in determining who amongst you is the biggest Super Fan of the Brave New Church!  

As for the rest of you, if you did not add Bishop Hanson to your fanpage, speak favorably of him, "like" his video, or offer sweet lauds of honor upon his holiness, you can expect to hear from our headquarters in the next 1-3 months.


Mailbag Monday!

Jeremy writes, “Wise and inclusive leader, I thought the omission of a few distasteful verses regarding rebukes a few weeks ago had signaled redactionism for the sake of radical inclusiveness, but I fear the BNC may have missed a spot. May I direct you to the first lesson this morning, Jeremiah 14: ‘Although our iniquities testify against us; act O Lord for your name's sake; our apostasies are many, and we have sinned against you.’ These verses don't seem to fit with the message of radical inclusiveness and free love of the BNC. Would you please elaborate and ease my distress?”

My Dearest Darling Jeremy!
Perhaps I may take a moment to illumine your heart and ease your mind as to the role of the BNC and its relationship to the Divine Scriptures!  Naturally there are the occasional verses which cause us discomfort and dis-ease, and so for the sake of our Brave New Leaders we omit.  The omission is for YOUR sake more than for anyone else because we wish to achieve radical trust toward our leadership!  

Truly I say unto thee, how would the masses respond if there would be such a constant barrage of judgment from the so-called “words” of the Divine?  We must redact radically!  Reduce inclusively!  Our only purpose is to ensure the name of the Divine and Divine Representatives everywhere have a chance to spread the gifts of radical tolerance, inclusivity, and free Love.  Without omitting verses here and there, how could we possibly achieve these goals?  Reverend, you must remember that 95% of our worshipping population of the BNC doesn’t even know what a Bible IS (short of a coaster or a nice family heirloom).  Why would you seek to shatter the image we have worked so long to build up around the BNC by introducing those nasty verses?  You would only be working yourself out of a job, my darling.  

As for Jeremiah 14, while it may seem the BNC committed a tragic oversight, you must recall that we have released a new “study Bible” in the recent months with all the interpretations you could possibly need to assist in preaching preparation!  You see, our released version of scripture simply does the work of ignoring these words!  We focus instead on the key word of 14:8 of “hope!”  Hope and change, my darling, hope and change!  The BNC chooses to focus away from the law and give overwhelming preferential treatment to the Gospel of Love alone.  

The words of warning, fear and sin are always so pesky and really somewhat of a downer.  How will anyone learn to live to his, her, or its highest potential if we don’t portray all of Divinity in beautiful words of divine Love?  So, if in the future, you find yourself unable to stomach the unfortunate remnants of our revised scripture, do what I always do: Look up to the pink evening sky and think of Love!  

Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

Jeff writes, “Dearest Bishop Barbie, I've been pondering something ever since our Society's general retreat in Mundelein this past week: Did you travel ahead of us to re-paint the chapel in hues of red, blue, and brown, prior to our arrival? If so, what a wonderful gift and talented painter you are!
My dearest Jeff.
You thrill me with your notice of my interior design skills!  
Yet, as much as I regularly schedule my acts of mercy, grace, and free Love around the myriad of needs within the BNC, I’m sorry to say but the interior at annual Retreat was outside the pale of my generosity this year.  My usual mode of liturgical and spiritual preparations for the needs of BNC congregations everywhere and often involve the colors Pink and Purple.  The moment you spouted off the red, blue, and brown interior I knew immediately this was not the work of my personal planning or that of my staff!  
You see, my darling Jeff, you must remember that liturgical colors and settings inspire certain spiritual feelings and desires in the hearts of those present for worship!  Reds and blues are divisive and upsetting to the spiritual palette, as they remind of how so many are divided on lines of male and female gender types.  How silly and intolerant!  Browns only remind us of the earth and earthy – like the Birkenstock-wearing divas out west.  Why would we seek the earthy when the spiritual is more of our taste?  
This is why Pink and Purple is our cry and our theme!  They remind us of our royal call to radical tolerance, inclusiveness, and free Love!  Pink is now for boys and girls and others and Advent and cancer research!  Purple is the color of royalty and anti-bullying campaigns and eggplant (which is very healthy for you)*!   
So, despite my penchant for taking credit for most things, I must say that I was not part of this color palette atrocity.  Perhaps you will consider a place such as this for your next General Retreat instead:

Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

*Just to be clear, Bishop Barbie recognizes the “Purple Church” is also a name for the “Satanic Church.”  Bishop Barbie has no intentions of making comparisons, promoting, or encouraging the Satanic community.  Although the BNC and fellow church bodies have disputes, we would do well not to compare one another to Satan or his minions.  Instead we are called to preach our brothers and sisters back to true faith and the fold.    


Cathi writes, “Someone asked earlier ... was Her Pinkness at Mundelein for the STS General Retreat?If there was an answer, I missed it. Please re-post. (During said retreat, much speculation was going on as to HP, BB's identity and wherebouts. One of the STS brethren thought BB and I are one in the same, but I assured him that I am not Her Pinkness. The STS sistren know better! LOL)”

Oh my Darling Braaschenputtel,

I was with you at the Little Mouth in spirit and Brave New Churchiness – but not in body.  My schedule has been so crammed with speaking opportunities, receptions, and rites that I can barely find time to retreat a moment with Ken, darling!   

My goodness, such questions you ask of my Pinkness!  Of course my identity is much sought-after and considered because of my natural blond hair, beauty and saintliness!  The BNC finally hired some personal attendants to ensure I am not personally accosted by those who desire personal interviews, autographs, and the like.  It is such tough work being a BNC celebritaire’, you wouldn’t even understand.  I would much rather enjoy a quiet celebrity life in the ski chalets of Aspen than at a retreat of such assorted characters.  In fact, I shall immediately place Ken in charge of a winter getaway!  
If anyone is interested in my identity and more, here is my drivers’ license: