Pensacola, Prepare Yourself.

For years, the Orthodox Church has chiseled away at me, and I ignorantly followed along.  First, I did not go to Orlando to fight an ordinance preventing people from distributing food to the poor because a bishop forbid me from doing it.  Then, I allowed them to silence me in areas of advocacy for the poor in my own community.  After that, they prevented me from speaking publicly after my appearance at the Pensacola City Council to speak out against injustice.  Finally, our church community, and myself, could no longer stand under the mantle that was placed upon my shoulders, and we crumbled.  So the church relocated us to South Carolina, and the silencing continued, they tried to silence me from speaking out against sexual misconduct, abuses, and so they ordered me to no longer write, or speak publicly on any issue at all.  They forbid me from preaching or hearing confession.  And so finally I spoke out.  For the last few months I have hidden in shame, not willing to face my community, that I felt I had let down because I had become afraid, ridged, and silent.

I will be silent no more.

During my eight years in Pensacola we accomplished a lot, but we never really went all the way.  We were always held back by ideologies, because I was trying to fit into the box that religious folks where trying to shove me into.  I enjoyed my life a hell of a lot better hanging out in the parking lots of strip clubs than cathedrals.  However, even our more avant-garde activities like protesting the Bible Thumpers on gay pride weekend fell short, because though we were loving and kind, we were never truly affirming.  I was constantly living stuck in between two worlds, trying desperately to be kind and loving to people, while trying to live in a religious dogma and system that inherently teaches that people are broken, and by doing so, breaks people.

It has been two months since I left the priesthood and I have taken my time to rest, but I have received hundreds of emails over the last few months from people in Pensacola and the surrounding area begging me to come home.  I realize I have let my community down.  Where I need to be for the time being, is there, if it will have me back.  I’m ready, and now without restrictions, or dogmas to hold me back.

My goal is to return to Pensacola by the beginning of November and to do what I do best, and what Pensacola desperately needs, and that is to combat the intolerant religious ideologies that are holding everyone, from the poor to the gay community, back.  But I will need your help to do it.  To make a donation to help us get back to Pensacola, and to rebuild our lives outside of the Church, to get back to the basics of human rights and activism, then CLICK HERE.

PS – To my toll who will undoubtedly get on here and scream, bitch, and moan about me “begging” on the internet.  Respectfully, suck a duck.  (No offense is given towards the duck community, or its supporters.)


13 thoughts on “Pensacola, Prepare Yourself.

  1. Faith without works is dead, (James 2). Everyone that cries Lord, Lord will not enter the Kingdom of God, (Matthew 7:21). If you love me you will keep my commandments, (John 14:15-24). Do not think I have come to abolish the law but to fulfill, (Matthew 5:17). The grace that is given in, ( Ephesians 2:8) gives us the strength to overcome our sin, and to follow more closely to the commandments. That is why we pray for God to give us grace so we can overcome our shortcomings. (Matthew 5:19) Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach others to do so will be the least in the kingdom of heaven.

  2. I truly love the idea that you are coming back to Pensacola. It has always been a wonderful experience working with you on occasion for the homeless ministry on Thursday afternoons with booth Eyberg under the bridge.
    Pensacola will be better off with you back in the saddle and fighting intolerance.

    • Come on back. We will work some together I pray as God calls me also to work against the injustices in our communities. I look forward to seeing you under the interstate on Thursdays

  3. I’ve missed seeing you walking these streets. It will be wonderful to have you and voice back in Pensacola. Safe journey, and I will keep my eye out for you.

  4. I am not from Pensacola, but from a neighboring city in Alabama. I’d like to say Kudos to you for standing your ground, speaking up for what YOU have been led to believe in and moving on your beliefs. May you and your family be richly blessed by and in these actions in the coming months and years. I hope the positive ripples reach our area too.

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