Who I Am Thus Far:

I’m Bob, I’m an Episcopal priest. Last year I moved from San Francisco to the suburbs of Atlanta to work as Office Manager at Dragon Networks. There I am learning some new skills in networking and HTML. I am also involved in the startup of a Website business, PlusWeb Services.

I am a member of a cyber-parish, St Sam’s, and an Anglican cyberpub, Magdalen One of our former members is a very fine devotional writer, and I recommend her Sabbath Blessings.

I have a complicated history, Out of college, I became a welfare worker in one of the worst ghettos, my local ghetto, East St Louis Illinois. Then I was in social services for the War on Poverty there. After a time of dropping out and being a hippie, i went back and was a welfare worker and supervisor in St Louis. After that, I was in the Society of St John the Evangelist, an Episcopal religious order. I entered because I deeply believe God was calling me there. In 1993, I left because I believed even more deeply that I was *not* called there. During my time there, I went to Harvard Divinity School and was ordained as a Priest in 1989. While in the Society I also developed as a spiritual director. I was also very much involved in the church’s ministry to persons with HIV disease.
I have struggled a lot over a number of years with what my vocation is. I spent fifteen years in a religious order, the Society of St John the Evangelist. During that time I became a priest. Reasons for my leaving are complex. One piece of the struggle with vocation is the questions of being a prophet, and what that might mean. I would appreciate some discussion of this, and would like to contribute to the discussion. So I am making available some of my ruminations on that subject.

Another piece of that discernment about leaving religious life has surfaced to me more recently. That is the nature of the vows. One promises to do certain thing. I have learned that one ought not to promise that which I cannot fulfill. If the vows were to try to do those things, I might find them more amenable. I did try and did fail in the long run.

After that, I lived in San Francisco for a year and then moved to Newark NJ, to work as a caseworker. Then I took a job as Vicar in Charge of a small mission in North Bergen, NJ. While in the Diocese of Newark, I was one of the clergy chaplains of the Oasis. The parish died painfully under my care. In 1997 I moved back to San Francisco, because I had heard that jobs were plentiful there. I did temp work, office work, was Office Manager of the SF Mime Troupe. Then I worked for Ask Jeeves. In mid-December of 2000 there was a 25% across the board staff reduction and I was one of those reduced. I was unemployed from then until August of 2002. I learned a lot about poverty and struggle then. I was unable to find work in San Francisco. So I took the Dragon job and moved to Georgia.

While in San Francisco, I served as a non-stipendiary priest at the Church of the Incarnation. I was able there to exercise most of my ministry skills, especially teaching and preaching. I have to date not done much spiritual direction.
I am also a convert from Microsoft Windows to Linux. If you are a Linux user, I would be glad to hear from you.

So there you have it. That’s who I am thus far. Feel free to ask me questions.

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