Reaching for the Infinite

“It is a repudiation of the Resurrection,” thundered Fr. Washington, his voice rising, “to suggest that my destiny is in the hands of anyone but the Risen Christ!”

Several months after the inauguration of Ronald Reagan in 1981, Fr. Paul Washington, the rector of the Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia, rose to the pulpit.  Fr. Washington, who died in 2002, had gained quite a reputation as a radical church and community leader, having hosted several Black Power conferences in the 1960s and hosted the so-called “Irregular Ordinations” of the first female Episcopal priests in 1974.

Peering over his glasses, he scanned the congregation, preparing to make a point. “I attended a banquet last week,” he intoned, “and the speaker declared that ‘with the election of President Reagan, our destiny is now in the hands of a madman.”  Many in the congregation nodded in assent and waited for the good rector to elaborate on his thesis.  And elaborate he did—but not on the so-called madness of Reagan. Instead, he chose to focus on destiny.

“It is a repudiation of the Resurrection,” thundered Fr. Washington, his voice rising, “to suggest that my destiny is in the hands of anyone but the Risen Christ!” Read more of this column by Harold Dean Trulear…

 

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