Yesterday I assisted St. Boniface, SRQ Rector Ted Copeland at a funeral.
It was for the Revd. Keith Hedrick a retired Episcopal Priest who lived here with his partner of 36 years, the Revd. Bob Lewis (also a retired Episcopal Priest). Keith and Bob became my friends when I retired here.
This was my first funeral in 2 ½ years. I slipped easily into the familiar liturgy.
What was “different” was to look out into the congregation and to see just about all of the lesbian and gay friends I have met in SRQ. It was very moving to minister communion to folks I normally see at bowling, cocktail parties or dinners.
All but three of them had never before seen me in my ecclesiastical finery, let alone at the Altar. They’ve known me as a retired Priest, but never seen me “in action”. One man was moved to tears at the sight of his bowling buddy (me) assisting Ted Copeland at this funeral.
And I was honored to play a small part as the Church committed one of her Priests, the Revd. Keith Hedrick into the care of the Loving God.