Indianapolis Monthly

Sick to Death

TWENTY-SOME years ago, on a late spring evening, the phone on our kitchen wall rang. It was Dick Givan, the former chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, calling to ask if I would be interested in pastoring the Quaker meeting he attended, Fairfield Friends Meeting in Camby. I had left pastoral work the year before, wanting to spend time with my two small children. But anyone who has spent time with children knows the fresh hell of watching the same Disney movie 20 times a week, so I was ready for gainful employment and agreed to meet with them.

We gathered on a Wednesday evening, seated at folding tables in a and Dick Givan was there, along with various church members, young and old, including Dawn Sheets, a cheerful woman in her early 70s, who had brought cookies to the interview, winning my immediate affection. Someone prayed, I reached for a second cookie, then Dawn, apparently heading the enterprise, asked me what I believed. I told her I didn’t believe the Bible was inerrant, neither did I believe homosexuality was a sin, nor did I have any objections to conducting a same-gender wedding. There was a pause, then Dick rocked back in his chair, smiled, and said, “I like a man who speaks his mind.”

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