Pope of the East CoastPosted: July 8, 2009
Since nearly every Episcopalian I know is in Anaheim, California for the triennial General Convention I’ve decided to take over the church on the East Coast. So for the next few weeks things are going to look a little different around here. Consider this your insider’s guide to the mind of an ecclesiastical madman. Here we go:
1. My Title — “Simple Country Parson” will no longer do. You will now refer to me as the Most Grand High Pope of the East Coast. The nice thing about this new moniker is that it rhymes (basically), gets to the heart of my new job description, and creates a simple yet easy-to-remember acronym that just rolls off the tongue: MGHPEC.
2. My Domain— I’ve taken over the Episcopal Church east of the Mississippi River. So everything from the river to the sea is my “see.” I look at my new territory as one giant mega-church where I’m the outlandishly paid Senior Pastor. (You should see the size of the collection plate I’ll be passing around on Sunday morning). I’m insisting on a 10% tithe from all of my subjects, I mean parishioners. Auditors are standing by to examine your most recent tax returns.
3. My Platform— Absolute conformity to my theological and liturgical whims. These may change on a weekly or seasonal basis so keep your eyes peeled for updates. You won’t actually receive any updates but you will nonetheless be expected to remain in sync with your MGHPEC.
4. Liturgical Dress— This is most important so pay attention. So there’s no confusion over who is lording what over whom (that would be me over you), my vestments will reflect my stature (in the church; not my actual height which isn’t important — 5’8″ is taller than it looks when you wear high heels). We’ll start with headgear. I won’t be wearing a miter so much as a replica of the Washington Monument. When I walk into my cathedral (which bears a striking resemblance to Giants Stadium) I don’t want to be mistaken for some measly acolyte. You won’t need to concern yourself with my other liturgical haberdashery since I will be carried into mass on a platform like the pharaoh.
5. My Polity— The church will be ruled by a top-down structure. I’m on top and everyone else is down below — which makes for a simple, easy-to-read flow chart. You may kiss my feet and/or you may kiss my ring (which is twice the size of the average Super Bowl ring). I keep it in my back pocket.
So those are some of the changes that will be implemented during General Convention. You may have thought that all the major decisions affecting the church were being made in Anaheim but this was mere propaganda. Come July 17th I may be your Pope-in-Exile. But until then I bid you to bow down and worship. Jesus, of course.
+Your Most Grand High Holiness+