A reader writes … playing well in the sandbox of life

I just wanted to thank you for your book “Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road”! It is sustaining me through a very difficult time in my ministry. Long story, but suffice it to say that I am part of a church which has long defined itself, particularly the very conservative side, by what they are against rather than what they are for and so has not played well in the sandbox of life with those who may see things differently than we do.
I am a pastor [from a highly conservative denomination] who has believed for over 50 years what you say about relationships with other Christians and those outside of the Christian tent. My church and I recently chose to join our community’s Lenten Series and as part of the series, I spoke in the large Catholic church in town for a Wednesday night service, and the priest from that church spoke two weeks later in mine. The repercussions have echoed all the way to our denominational headquarters with cries from the ultra-right side of our denomination that I be summarily fired. I believe that what we chose to do was the right thing and I don’t regret it. But it has been hard to suffer the slings and arrows from what is really a very narrow but very vocal section of our church.
A friend had recommended your book and I have been reading it as part of my personal time with God every day. And, ever day it seems that the Holy Spirit guided you to say just what I have needed to hear for that day.
As a published author myself, I know that the feedback a person gets is almost always the negative, so I just wanted to let you know that if, for no one else, that book is for me.

I’m so sorry you’re going through this, and I’m so grateful the book was helpful to you. If you get kicked/pushed/edged out, I encourage you to go graciously and kindly but not quietly … in other words, tell the truth – graciously – about why you are leaving. See your departure as an opportunity to speak a needed truth – again, graciously – one last time. And if you decide to form a new faith community “on the outside” – you might find my upcoming book helpful as well. Praying for you today, my brother.