Members of our congregation at St. James Episcopal Church are loving the piece by Jesse Mayshark in Metropulse this week that includes an interview with our terrific priest, John Mark Wiggers, better known to many as “Father Dude.”
John Mark’s nickname arises from his great fondness for the Coen Brothers’ parable-film, The Big Lebowski (which does absolutely nothing for me, incidentally, but I know many super interesting folks who really love the movie).
Our church has a truly diverse congregation, especially for Knoxville, Tennessee, and one of the things I love most about it is that there are so many very active, vibrant, deeply thoughtful church members who are in their late 70s, their 80s and their 90s, and several women in the 80-ish age group were apparently sitting on the interview committee when John Mark was being considered as a candidate to become St. James’ new rector. Recently, I was at a luncheon with one of these women and she told me a hilarious story about how after she interviewed John Mark, and he had told her how meaningful he found this “Big Lebowski” movie she’d never heard of, she decided that she and several of her contemporaries should watch the movie to see what the heck this shaggy headed, laid back priest found so profound about it.
So they did.
Several of the age 75-plus ladies of St. James Episcopal Church sat down and watched “The Big Lebowski” from start to finish.
And John Mark got the job.
If you live in Knoxville and have been looking for a welcoming Christian congregation (the St. James community recently voted to become a certified “Welcoming Congregation” ministry, and are working toward meeting all the goals of the program) located near downtown in a gorgeous, historic church building, with a culturally, demographically, and ethnically diverse congregation, please pay us a visit at St. James.
As a cradle Episcopalian who wandered for a number of years sampling other faiths, trying to find the right church and congregation for me, I finally found my spiritual home at St. James, and I’ve never looked back. Not long after, my sister Betsy and her family also moved from the Episcopal church they had been attending over to St. James, and Betsy is now very active in various church activitie, including working on the commitee currently revamping the programs for youth and little kids. And last month, Danger Baby became the first member of our family to be christened at St. James since we all joined.
Seriously, come check us out at St. James. We’d love to meet you. If you want to know more, you can keep up with the latest St. James happenings via our church Facebook page.
Are you part of an organized faith community? Tell me about it. How did you end up there and what drew you to it? What were you looking for in a spiritual home base? Or if you’re still seeking, what’s on your “list?”