Okay, so I have to tell you about my friend, Father Mac. Father Mac and I are in seminary together. He’s not Catholic, at least, not anymore. He’s UCC, via Metropolitan Community and Catholicism. Originally studied to be a Catholic priest, had problems with their whole anti-homosexual thing, being gay himself, and wound up UCC. He works for his church, which requires him to often wear a collar, since he goes straight to meetings after class. And since he only has black shirts, he looks like a priest. Well, a tattooed priest.
Being a gay UCC and a heathen UU, we managed to find each other. We are both far enough along in school (and my school has gone through some amazing changes in the last couple of years) that rather than cling to each other silently in a sea of evangelicals, we take great joy in aggravating each other. He hisses under his breath, so that only I can hear, "Burn her, burn her!" when I speak out in class. “I’m not a witch, I’m a heretic,” I primly tell him. He rolls his eyes. I remind him that our churches are kissin’ cousins.
Last week, in front of our fairly conservative and nonplussed Worship prof, we darn near got in a knock-down-drag-out over denominational “firsts.” He claimed ordination of first woman and first openly gay minister. We argued back and forth about the first woman until we looked it up and realized we were both talking about Antoinette Brown, who was ordained by a Methodist into a Congregational Church, but later became a Unitarian.
We called that one a draw.
I am still trying to find out about the ordination of the first openly gay minister, which UCC claims, in 1972. But I’m thinking there has to be one before that, possibly of the “openly gay to his/her church, but not the world at large,” like some clergy friends I have right now in conservative denominations.
(Be sure to drop me a line if you know the answer to that one.)
In any case, we still have great affection for each other and the other’s church. Kissin’ cousins, UU and UCC. And have you seen their ad that’s making the rounds?
I’d teased Father Mac before about the “Unitarians Considering Christ” label for UCC. At the end of an email he just sent me, he signed his name, and put under it, “UCC (the Undeniable Children of Christ).”
Damn. I can’t come up with anything good for UUA.