Oh, to encounter an integrated minister!
We all want to be integrated -- to be ourselves in the pulpit
and also out of it.
But it's tricky to pull off.
Pharisaical elements in the church -- usually one or two individuals
in the parish, who are present -- unconsciously -- in order to hide out themselves in some way or another -- can't long abide a minister who
is himself or herself.
Most of your listeners love it.
But there are one or two who, well, have an allergy.
(They are the ones that can get you every time.)
But then along comes someone like 'Mr. Tryan' in George Eliot's Scenes of Clerical Life. He breaks the mold.
Or, somewhat spectacularly, Dr. Syn. Dr. Syn, who was known in the movies as 'Dr. Bliss', is just about the most thoroughly integrated Anglican clergyman in history. Could any of us be like him? Dr. Syn is a brilliant swordsman, an agile swinger from church chandeliers, a powerful preacher,
a rousing music leader, a crafty smuggler, a loving father, a wily impeder of the taxation and revenue service, and a kindly pastor to his entire flock. He is Robin Hood and 'Fletcher of Madeley' rolled into one. Dr. Syn makes one wish to keep on going.
Hope you like him. Maybe we can do a breakout in his honor at Mockingbird. But everyone who comes will need to bring preaching bands, and
a phosphorescent mask.