Q: Why did you want to be a priest?
A: I didn't want to be a priest. I wanted to do the work that priests do, and that required becoming a priest. But I wanted to visit in hospitals, and I wanted to celebrate Communion, and I wanted to baptize babies, and one had to be a priest to do those things. So it wasn't so much a wish for the status as it was the work.
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Q: In addition to tiredness and busyness, was there a part of it that had to do with your faith and your beliefs?
A: Beliefs have become unimportant to me. Faith as radical trust became even more important to me during this time. Because so many of my certainties about who I was and what I was supposed to be doing fell away, that faith was really what I had left. [...]
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Q: You had taken a vow to seek and serve Christ in all people?
A: That's a baptismal vow: "Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?" We say that every time we baptize a baby in the Episcopal Church. It's one of five baptismal promises. I don't know that that was part of the ordination service, but the primary identity for me was as a baptized person. The ordination is a secondary identity. But that was a question that is central to the way of life I'd chosen.
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Q: What do you live by now?
A: I live by the simplest, perhaps facile command that Jesus ever gave, which is to love God with the whole self and the neighbor as the self, and I find that's entirely consuming. To do those two things leaves me very little time to do much else.