When I first began this blog a year and six months or so ago. I had just started the church Start Church of Jesus Christ Reconciler with Tripp Hudgins and Jane Schmoetzer. Trip and Jane had encouraged me to blog. I resisted. I finally gave in after reflecting on what blogging could mean. I named the blog Raw Edges. I saw blogging as an unfinished tapestry that could be linked with my life and other blogs and the lives and blogs of other bloggers I knew. I resisted the idea of a blog as a journal, and attempted to leave my life out of the blog.
Life intruded. While I still don't see this as a journal, what I write here is inextricably linked to my life. Raw Edges was the way for me to discover what the connection between blogging and my life was like. Priestly Goth Blog is not a journal though the posts that are found here emerge out of what I am doing and how I reflect on and think about what I am doing. The three main things I am doing is pastoring, painting and working as a temporary office worker. Though listing those occupations only scratches the surface of my life.
A little about the title "Priestly Goth Blog". I identify myself as a Goth; this identification generally puzzles people, partially because of the stereotype of Goth, partially because I am a Christian, and largely now because I am a pastor. A friend of mine who has never been puzzled but always intrigued by my being Goth and a pastor, asked me after a few months of our knowing each other "would you say you are a Goth priest or a priestly Goth?" The question surprised me, but it did not take me long to answer "Priestly Goth." My friend being who she is asked me why? Actually I didn't know why I had answered as I did. it just seemed to fit better while "Goth priest" felt awkward and clunky. I don't remember exactly what I answered then, however it is that being a pastor and a Christian qualifies and colors everything about who I am, but those things that are among who I am cannot and do not qualify my being a pastor or Christian. Being Goth is transformed by my being a Christian and a pastor. To me that is the meaning of being in the world and not of the world. What is in the world is transformed by the coming of Christ, the world is to conform to Christ not Christ to the world. This reality though is more complex than most Christians tend to think. So I call myself a priestly Goth, and live with the ambiguity that I believe simply exists in the Christian call to be in the world but not of the world.