Monday, August 30, 2010

Mailbag Monday!


Sara wrote, “In anticipation of Mailbag Monday I have to say that I am very excited about Bishop Hanson's town hall mtg. on 9/19 but it seems like a long way off yet. Do you have any suggestions on how to pass the time?”
Dearest Sara,
What an exciting and intriguing questions!  Naturally we here at the home office of the Brave New Church are concerned with the Whole Person, especially now as you wait for such a momentous event on September 19!  Truly, we here at Higgins can hardly contain ourselves, either!  We have placed His Holiness, Bishop Hanson on a strict vegan diet and exercise program so that his skin properly radiates for the cameras.  We are also seeking the most faithful, youthful, and colorful among us for cameo appearances! 
Goodness – that was nothing short of a commercial!  As for your question:
We here at the office have spent millions of dollars investing in our cutting-edge Wellness Wheel.  Remember, the Divine says in Isaiah 45:7, “I make weal and create woe” and while in our ELCA devotions we found initial concern that the original text read, “I make WEALTH,” we realized quickly God’s call to make a WHEEL so that we may not face woe.  Our wheel reflects the holy will of the Divine to encourage you toward the following:
1.   Social Well-Being
2.   Emotional Well-Being
3.   Physical Well-Being
4.   Vocational Well-Being
5.   Intellectual Well-Being
6.   Financial Well-Being
Naturally if you follow all these steps you shall yield the miraculous benefits of SPIRITUAL Well-Being, which we here at the Brave New Church have achieved! 
As you wait for the words of true love, joy, and tolerance from our beknighted Bishop Hanson, I urge you to center yourself on one goal in each section of our wheel.  For example, the third of my four personal secretaries has submitted the following goals for my approval:
1.   Social Well-Being: Plan an ELCA Social for Bishop Barbie and Friends
2.   Emotional Well-Being: Knit a new stole for Bishop Hanson.
3.   Physical Well-Being: Schedule Mani-Pedi at downtown spa
4.   Vocational Well-Being: Finish calendar of events for October
5.   Intellectual Well-Being: Purchase new Anne Lamott book. Read it.
6.   Financial Well-Being: Increase ELCA tithe to 20% (at 18% and counting!)
I signed off on her goals just this morning and am so proud of her abilities!  Please plan to submit your own 6-step plan toward a Spiritual Wheel of Wholeness in the next few days.  Sit in prayer and consider the Divine at work in your life.  This is the best way for you to bide your time over the next few weeks as you await Bishop Hanson’s scintillating words! 
Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

 

James writes, “Reverend Barbie, Duchess of Des Plaines and Stewardess of Eton Field (and United flight 2324 to Scranton). The Lord has reveled to me your sure and certain elevation to Holy Mother, Bishop of the Lutheran World Federation. Please, remember me when you come into your kingdom. I remain your most humble servant. Kissing the Sacred Ring.

Dearest James,
I am humbled and honored you would take the time to refer to me by my entire title and given name!  So few bother to look up the official forms, much to my dismay.  Please know such dedication on your part has been noted and added to your files here at Higgins.  We are anxious to elevate not just the Host, but also our dedicated masses to positions of authority and influence as loyalty is clearly identified. 
Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

 

April writes, “Bishop Barbie, I grew up on a farm in Nebraska, and am a part of an "ecumenical denomination", at least that's what I was listed as when I went to the Land of Lutherans for seminary. Please pardon my ignorance, I did not realize there was such deep disagreements among us Lutherans over this hot topic until I went to Minnesota. Maybe you can help clear up some confusion for me. Which is proper and correct: Hot-Dish, or Casserole? Can you point me to a helpful reference in the Bible or the Book of Concord? Potlucks are very dear to my Lutheran Heritage and I believe are a sign of unity. Thank you for continuing the conversation with me, despite our theological differences.”

Dearest April,
What an incisive theological mind!  You bring much to our holy table and I am so thankful for your ability to question these deep issues that so often separate us in our faithful community!   After mentioning your ecumenical denomination, I feel so moved to ask: are you Calvinist? Papist? Mohammaden? Alternative?  Surely you must be a denomination of use to us here at the ELCA headquarters! 
As for questions regarding the age-old question of Hot Dish versus Casserole, we here at Higgins are working around the clock to put forward an ecumenical outreach statement that will draw all people together in these matters.  Those who speak of Hot Dish are more of the midwestern strain and preternaturally unable to move beyond the tribal lingo of the region.  Those from other regions tend to be less concerned about the sanctity of the hot dish, and so you have more ability to work with those individuals. 
The following is a helpful chart for you to follow according to region and type (from the Augsburg Confession, Article XXIX on Hot Dish):
Region
Starch
Meat
Cereal
Emulsifier
East
Imported Italian Pasta prepared Al Dente
Sausage or other prize game meats
Organic gluten-free Flakes
Egg and creamy she-crab soup
Midwest
Rice, Potatoes, Overcooked Noodles
Ground Beef or SPAM®
Corn Flakes®
Cream of X soup
South
Grits, Cream of Wheat
Seafood, especially catfish sticks
Corn Flakes®
Cream, Eggs
Southwest
Black, Red, Pinto, Refried Beans
Pulled Carnitas, shredded chicken
Corn Flakes®
Creamed Corn
West Coast
Tofu, Chickpeas, Portabello Mushrooms
Tofu
Tofu Flakes or Granola
Creamed Tofu
Naturally, we here at Higgins are less concerned about the language offered so long as these potlucks and other community gatherings produce the free tolerance and unity we prize so highly! 
I’d like to draw your attention to the story of Jacob and Esau from Genesis 25, which is a tale clearly centered on the trouble you identify with casseroles, hot dish, and potlucks:
 27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents. 28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!" (That is why he was also called Edom.) 31Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright." 32 "Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?" 33 But Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.  34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.
As you can see in this text, potlucks meals are more prized than even a birthright!  The point of this story, clearly, is that regardless of what you call the respective hot dish, you should share it and not use it to lord over your brothers and sisters in Christ.  Unity is what is most important in our Brave New Church and when fights over potluck meals ensue we find ourselves embroiled in the same troubles as Jacob and Esau. 
So go forth and share your potluck meals!  Do it in the name of unity!
Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

 

R Don writes, “I see from your facebook pic that you have a nice pectoral cross, and it looks like you're carrying an altar bible. Do you have a mitre and crozier for special occasions? …Your fondness for pink is well established. You are so resourceful and imaginative, what solutions have you devised to brighten up formal clerical attire--especially episcopal purple?”

Dearest Mr. Wright,
Thank you for pointing out my holy commitment to churchly fashion!  It is a sign of Divine Reverence, naturally, and I am committed to leading our Brave New Church in fine style!  Recently Ken put together a walk-in closet specifically for my vestment collection and I must say, he did a fine job of installing the special holders and cupboard for the miter and crozier collection.  Feel free to come and observe my glorious fashion sense, dedicated to the Divine, of course!
Indeed, I delight in pinks and purples, especially the power of the purple as we know it in society, and I am now using my abilities of resourcefulness and imagination to develop ecumenical solidarity with our partners.  For example, the more I wear purple, the less our brave members will identify me as an ELCA member and more in solidarity with our Episcopal leadership!  When I choose to decorate my figure with gold and other accoutrements, I am nearly always mistaken for an Orthodox priest! 
That is our goal here at the Brave New Church: Fashion in service to ecumenical confusion! 
Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Communications Ministry of Presence

We here on Higgins Road recognize the many of you have had some difficulty interacting with our brave new churchly institution.  As a nod of goodwill toward our brave new masses, we have chosen to streamline our voicemail system.  Please enjoy our new phone tree and receive it as a sign of our unity and care of the churchly populace.

Thank you for calling our Brave New Church.

For Spanish press 1
For Chinese press 2
For Nuanced Alternative Asian Languages press 3
For Farsi press 4
For Arabic press 5 or chat a few lines of the minaret shouted call to prayer
For Urdu press 6
For Slavic languages press 7 or grunt loudly into the receiver
For Australian press 8
For Reformation style German press 9 or hang up now and never try again
For Malay press 10
For Bahasa Indonesia press 11
For Afrikaans press 12 and kindly note your race and political position held during Apartheid
For all other significant language press 13
For English press 27 and wait. Your English call will be received in the order it was dialed.

Please select one of the following options:
Press 1 if you are Important
Press 2 if you are Jesus
Press 3 for requests
Press 4 for thanksgiving
Press 5 if you are non-white and interested in church membership
Press 6 if English was not your first language and you would like a paid leadership position
Press 7 for unity-related comments
Press 8 if you are Episcopal
Press 9 if you are a member of CORE
Press 0 if you are an alternative ecumenical partner
Press * for complaints

We’re sorry, all our representatives are busy assisting others right now. However, your prayer is important to us and we will answer it in the order it was received. Please stay on the line.

If you would like to speak to:
Bishop Barbie’s Secretary, press 1
Bishop Hanson, press 2
President Obama, press 3
A Social Justice and Unity Representative, press 4
A Major Gifts, IRS, or Social Security Representative, press 5

To find a loved one that has been assigned to heaven press 5, followed by denomination, then enter his/her/its social security number followed by the pound sign. (If you receive a negative response, please hang up and dial area code 666 followed by the pound sign).
For answers to nagging questions about conservative topics, sexuality, and other hotly debated topics, please hang up and do not dial again.

Our computers show that you may have already been prayed for today, please hang up and call again tomorrow.  The office is now closed for the weekend to observe a non-Christian religious holiday. If you are calling after hours and need emergency assistance, please contact your local pastor, guru, rabbi, or imam. Thank you and have a heavenly day!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

40 Hours...

I must say, I am in rare form this evening, in veritable tizzy while moving in and out of hysteria.  Really, it must be His Holiness Bishop Mark Hanson.  It took hours for Ione and his staff to offer him an alternative to hiding under his desk.  Higgins realized just today that many, many so-called “Lutherans” are meeting in Ohio to discuss a new alternative church body.  Now, now, my Pets, this does not mean an exciting new emerging church that you ought to pay heed.  No, these naysayers are gathering to undermine all we have worked so hard for in our Brave New Church.  They are dissenters, attempting at every corner to undermine our great state of institutional unity!  It is a veritable sin-fest!  It is all they wish to discuss - day in and day out, sin this and sin that.  What sort of joy could they possibly reap from church membership whilst constantly facing such downers! 

While I was informed they participated in a 40 Days of Prayer vigil leading up to this very unholy event, I would like to counter the spirituality and raise them 40.  40 hours, that is. 

Now, my true and beloved friends in the Divine, I call upon you to ignore this silliness in Ohio and participate with us here at Higgins in a 40 Hour Meditation.  Feel free to take breaks to sleep or eat, but as a whole, ignore any informational input.  We here at Higgins shall take a meditation break as well.  We shall inform you when the time is right about what has occurred. But in the meantime, bathe… no, marinate… these hours in prayer.  It is essential. 

Your new and spiritual mission? 40 Hours of Prayer.  Starting tomorrow from the moment you wake up.  I implore your best spirituality.  Think upon true unity.  It is truly what Jesus would want. 

Mailbag Monday!

Daniel writes, “Bishop Barbie, do you have any enlightening words to share with us about the boycott of Target? Does the Church have an official statement about whether its members can support such a blatantly anti-marriage equality company in good conscience?”

Dearest Daniel,

I must be short since we are dealing with a major… ahem… situation (see post below) here at Higgins. Please stay tuned for a note written on our special letterhead in the days to come. This will be an official letter targeted to Target and targeting all other Target related targets regarding the blatant offenses against unity and the humanitarian efforts we here at Higgins place at the forefront.

Stay tuned. In the meantime, meditate. It’s for your own good.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mailbag Monday

Dearest Doves,

Many apologies for the delay.  Naturally many of you have wondered about my health and whereabouts. Sadly, I suffered an ear infection and it was mere torture to listen to anyone's perspectives on any one thing - let alone a sermon. So in the name of churchly unity I recused myself to the den and allowed Ken to bring me hot water with lemon.  Yet, now I have regained the strength to respond to my burgeoning bourgeois fan base. 

Love Always, Bishop Barbie

============
Rodrigo writes, “I'm an inner Lutheran and want to do graduate studies at a Lutheran Seminary. All of my friends say that Luther Seminary in Minnesota is the way to go. What do you think? I'm into personal and Church growth.”

Dearest Rodrigo,
The path toward Lutheran enlightenment begins with a single step.  I commend your spiritual interests and your future at one of our fine American institutions.  Naturally I am delighted that a non-white male, beautifully caramel with such strong Asian features is interested in the ministry.  You will help immensely with our demographic goals.  Please encourage your friends as well. 
Now, your question about Seminary is quite interesting and complex.  My first concern is your self-description as an “Inner Lutheran.”  Is this a Singaporean construct or English misnomer?  Or has the church in Singapore simply been so missionally stunted that you do not understand that to be truly Lutheran is to not be Lutheran at all, but spiritually free like the bird, the antelope, or the Calvinist? 
My advice to you is to develop an inner self of justice, love, and butterflies.  Only then will you truly know the Divine self that the God[dess] has planted within you.  I see that you work now among prostitutes and other wayfaring gypsies.  Please send me a sermon or two so that I might ensure you are not insinuating that those you serve ought to reconsider their holy vocation.  Luther once said, “if there were no prostitute to serve the town, it is the duty of the Christian to fill in.”
Who are these friends of yours advising Luther Seminary?  Naturally there may be some faculty with who you may develop a meaningful and spiritual relationship.  There have been tales regaled here on Higgins about candles burnt in classrooms as representatives of the Holy Ghostself.  One of my Bishop colleagues preached there a few years back and finally acknowledging that we no longer need the instruction of scripture.  I, myself, went to school elsewhere and fully support alternative schooling, for example taking three years at an Ashram prior to your Lutheran year.
As you choose an institution of higher learning simply ensure that such learning is free-spirited and well balanced.  That will best serve your interests in personal and church growth.  A location that clearly embraces and encourages the reality that there is no one answer and idealizes your nationality, otherness, and work in the Geylang districts would be the best choice. 
Tell me more about your darling fiancĂ©e? 
Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

Daniel writes, “Who will be the next group with whom our fine church will enter full communion? With what kind of spirit are you endowing the Department of Ecumenical Relationships?”

Daniel, my Pet,
Our Brave New Church is naturally extending offers to all bodies interested in peace, love, and unity.  For too long churches have been doctrinally and biblically focused when in reality these foci only dug trenches of hatred between us.  Jesus did not teach hatred, Daniel, and neither will Higgins. 
But more to the point of your question, I prefer to focus on the churches and institutions we will NOT seek to engage full communion.  These are the churches and bodies that embody hatred and division and it is our holy duty to oust them for their true identity.  For example, historic African-American churches build walls around their churches as they focus on the words of scripture that exclude the GLBT community.  How offensive!  We used to seek the company of other-hued individuals, but it was a fruitless endeavour as they would not bend to our theological needs and agenda. 
Secondly, we will not be seeking a relationship with any of the Orthodox community.  Between their ethnic titles and grandiose patriarchate, they seem to hang with a tight death grip on their cultural values rather than embrace the visionary mind of the ELCA.  However, we have called in moles to observe their high church liturgies and steal some of the art and design riches displayed in orthodox places of worship.  The more religious we appear the more open we become.  Art opens the heart, whilst before the Bible closed the soul. 
Furthermore, we are avidly creating a new series of liturgies in the form of a MadLib.  You will now be able to fill in the pronouns of your choice along with titles and descriptors of deity as you feel most comfortable.  As you listen closely to the noun, verb, adjective, and preposition choices (et. al.) you will be enabled to open your heart and mind to worshippers around you and create a new and effective spiritual experience every time you meet. 
Stay tuned to an upcoming blog for a sample packet of this emerging, cutting edge liturgical style. 
Dearest Daniel, I hope this answers your question with appropriate vagueness, all the while inspiring hope and joy within your heart!
Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Survival of the Spiritual

Good Morning, my Doves!

I don't have much time this morning, what with my ecumenical arrangements, internal meeting, and a vestment fitting, but I posted the following article yesterday and wanted to be sure you viewed the information with the proper hermeneutical lens: Darwin.

Now observe the following chart:

ELCA Membership by Year

Statistics compiled by the ELCA Office of the Secretary

 

Year
Members Change % Congregations Change %
1987 5,288,048     11,133    
1988 5,251,534 -36,514 -0.69% 11,120 -13 -0.12%
1989 5,238,798 -12,736 -0.24% 11,067 -53 -0.48%
1990 5,240,739 +1,941 0.04% 11,087 +20 0.18%
1991 5,245,177 +4,438 0.08% 11,074 -13 -0.12%
1992 5,234,568 -10,609 -0.20% 11,055 -19 -0.17%
1993 5,212,785 -21,783 -0.42% 11,023 -32 -0.29%
1994 5,199,048 -13,737 -0.26% 10,973 -50 -0.45%
1995 5,190,489 -8,559 -0.16% 10,955 -18 -0.16%
1996 5,187,363 -3,126 -0.06% 10,936 -19 -0.17%
1997 5,185,055 -2,308 -0.04% 10,889 -47 -0.43%
1998 5,178,225 -6,830 -0.13% 10,862 -27 -0.25%
1999 5,149,668 -28,557 -0.55% 10,851 -11 -0.10%
2000 5,125,919 -23,749 -0.46% 10,816  -35 -0.32%
2001 5,099,877 -26,042 -0.51% 10,766 -50 -0.46%
2002* 5,038,006 -61,871 -1.21% 10,721 -45 -0.42%
2003 4,984,925 -53,081 -1.05% 10,657 -64 -0.60%
2004 4,930,429 -54,496 -1.09% 10,585 -72 -0.68%
2005 4,850,776 -79,653 -1.62% 10,549 -36 -0.34%
2006 4,774,203 -76,573 -1.58% 10,470 -79 -0.75%
2007 4,709,956 -64,247 -1.34% 10,448 -22 -0.21%
2008 4,633,887 -76,069 -1.61% 10,396 -52 -0.49%
2009 4,543,037 -90,850 -1.99% 10,348 -48 -0.46%
* Only congregations existing on December 31 are included in the overall membership statistics. Prior to 2002, all congregations that existed during the course of the previous year were included.

http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Communication-Services/News/Resources/Stats.aspx 

Yes, yes, I know that so many of our naysayers will try to pronounce terrible judgment upon the future of our Brave New Church.  How silly!  We must take note of two points.

First: We have no need for judgmental individuals.*  God (Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer) never judged anyone and we must follow suit.

Second: Note the Darwinian process.  We are simply noticing the decline of congregations as we lose the less vital, less relevant, less forward thinking population.  This is a statistic we take great joy in observing!  Those who have left have either died or gone to other denominations to offer their poisonous rhetoric and judgment.  We have no use for such backward minded thought in our Brave New Church!


So take heart, my beauties!  You are a member of a progressive church!  A church of love and understanding!  A church of interpreting God through a brave new libertine lens!  There is hope for Higgins!

 Butterfly Kisses to you from Heaven above!

Bishop Barbie


*Members of the church at Higgins Road and all supporters therein are exempt from this decree

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Gay Old Time!

My Dear Pets,


My College of Bishops gathered at the Round Table during the months following our grand assembly last year and we realized a clear opportunity in place for us: Gay Camp.


That's right!  A camp dedicated to happiness and spirituality!
Let's reclaim the Gay!



http://www.spiritualprideproject.org/spg_retreat.html 


Together we outlined the purpose (which you can read at the above website):


We are offering a weekend camp retreat as a safe, accepting and loving community where GLBTQIA (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Question Intersex and Allied) youth can discuss how their sexuality and sprituality are beautiful gifts from God. We will accompany each other on the faith journey as we celebrate and struggle with our faith, family, friends, school, relationships, and everything in between. This is still camp after all, so we will enjoy God's creation and have a blast sharing our creative talents, playing games,and challenging each other. All People of all belief backgrounds are welcome!


Now, now, I know what you're asking: How can I join in the fun when there are so many reasons I can't participate?  Here are some typical excuses:


I'm not a teen!
I can't take a full week off from work for summer camp!
I still wet the bed!
I can't be gay without alcohol!


Fear not.  There is room for all! ALL are welcome!  All are welcome in this place!  We at Higgins Road recognize that heterosexuality has gone out of style and in an effort to revamp and renew our Brave New Church, we've designed this program for the youth and a series of youth and adult retreats for the fall! 


Our fall and winter retreats will be held all over the country and sponsored by the Minneapolis and St. Paul area synods (until we get more financial grounding from other synods)!  Our faithful leaders will be taking groups to (Spiritual) Vacation Destinations like:


San Francisco!
Minneapolis!
Dupont Circle, Maryland!
Vegas!
Venice Beach, Florida (at the Villa Venice Men's Resort!)!


Our programs will include trust falls, nature walks, and will culminate in a four part capstone experience:


An exciting evening of fun and games 
followed by a banquet and Coming Out Ceremony!
Your true self and sexuality will FINALLY be revealed 
in a safe and loving group environment!


A Celebration of Sexuality where on Sunday we will picket congregations 
who align themselves with groups like CORE or Word Alone Network 
or other insidious, hateful groups. It's an act of spiritual, evangelical love!


We will go door to door proclaiming our new found sexuality and love 
for all, gathering sheep to join our gloriously brave new church! 


Any couples finding LOVE at this event will be blessed 
at our final service of worship and joy in the LORD!


Just like summer camp, your retreat will be just as deep, just as open, just as open, and just as fun!  For more information on Inclusive Activities, please see the following website:


http://www.msp-synod-inclusivity.org/id16.html


Contact the members of each group for more information on God's love, God's church, and our gay new church! 


Now, I heard recently that a group called Exposing the ELCA came out... but they didn't come out the fun way.  They came out against our celebration of God's gift of self love.  So here's what I have to say to you naysayers:



Dear Exposed Members of the ELCA,                                                                                                       


I am deeply concerned that you do not realize the joy of
exposing yourself to the world. 
As the old camp song goes, "they will know we are Christians by our love" 
Don't you realize this means gay love too
Gay love is a God given, God created, and 
God blessed expression of love. 


So, go forth. Don't expose the ELCA. Expose yourself. It's what God wants. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mailbag Monday


Maret writes: “Dear Bishop Barbie, I see on your personal info that you are in an "open relationship." Who is your partner, and how to you make the "open" part work?”

 

Dear Maret,
Butterfly Kisses to you in the name of our Risen Lord!
It is an honor to be addressed by such a quaint woman as yourself!  Clearly you have marvelously old fashioned notions about “tradition” in the context of “relationship.” 
But please remember, quaint is endearing only when it comes to both you and the Amish.  Old fashioned is a joy in New England marina towns and vacationeries.  However, quaint has no place in our brave new church and I choose to lift myself up as a brave new role model of open love that we see boldly envisioned by God.
My partner is a delightful young man named Ken.  He has flawless skin, cropped blond hair and, as an homage to our current struggle to properly recognize gender differentiation in our church body, he is androgynously assigned – the stature of a man with the sexuality of an androgyn.  Plus he’s a practicing pagan which naturally gives me the spiritual space to experiment on behalf of quaint people like yourself.  Thankfully Ken realizes my love for him is wild and unceasing, but is spiced up with the presence of my many other loves, including Jesus and Allah and Krisha and Goddess, etc. 
The old fashioned people of our great church don’t understand openness, but please understand it’s a matter of caring and true love.  While many people choose to describe their current relationships as “complicated,” Ken’s and my love cannot be pinned down and we are both terribly happy.  It’s open, not complicated.  Ours is an earthly love with the openness of spirit.  As your head Bishop of the ELCA, I urge you to reflect the love of God and unbind yourself from the shackles of tradition as a religious exercise, no different than meditating or walking a labyrinth.  If you are married, please begin to use the language of “partnered.”  It’s the right thing to do and shows our disenfranchised members that we won’t be married until anyone, everyone, and everything can be wed.
In fact, start exploring the riches of an open spiritual relationship.  As your spiritual leader, I find myself delighting in the spiritual riches of my local Hindu temple and in the company of Scientology therapists - and in the wake of the nasty squabbles in New York City, I wore my pontifical adornments to worship at my local mosque last Friday.  There is nothing more refreshing than dabbling about with God AND your partner.
Bottom line:  Don’t limit yourself, dear Maret.  One husband? One name for God?  Heck, even one God?  The ELCA has options. 
Bravely Yours,
Bishop Barbie

 

Mark asked: “Bishop Barbie, Augsburg Grad. Could it be any other way?


Dearest Mark,
I knew one day I would rise to the top in all matters of spirituality, wealth, and power.  Augsburg gave me the necessary prerequisite credentials for my work while also offering helpful exposure to the importance of green living, veganism, alternative sexual orientations, and good grammar.  This must be the way it is at most ELCA institutions.
Naturally under my leadership, we will be investigating such issues among all our churchly educational institutions.  Every student should have the opportunity for a well-rounded cultural education, if for no other reason than to ensure commensurate pliability in our brave new church. 
It could have been another way, naturally, but Augsburg taught me everything I needed to rise to the top, like cream fresh from the Bovine-American.
Moo.
Bishop Barbie



 
Bryce writes, “Why is/would going to "Minnehaha Academay" be important for your development and spiritual journey to the enlightened state you now are in?”

My dear Bryce,
I was forced to follow the path chosen for me by my parents.  However, much like my educational experience at Augsburg, I found unmatched opportunities. 
For example, I met a young man named Mark Hanson and knew that if I simply put forth enough effort I could surpass his spirituality and become the true heir and guru of the ELCA bishop’s throne.   
Butterfly Kisses,
Bishop Barbie