On the last night of Clergy Conference we held the second annual Anglican Idol "talent" show. Last year I read a poem that I wrote welcoming me to the diocese – because no one else was thoughtful enough to do so.
We were supposed to have Senator John Kerry come and speak to us as the headliner at this year's conference (last year it was commentator Ray Suarez). Unfortunately the Senator cancelled on us a couple of weeks before the conference. This wasn't all bad because it led to more of the coveted "free time" built into the schedule. Coming off Holy Week and hosting a huge regional confirmation on the Saturday after Easter and being completely fried, this translated into nap time for me.
Anyway, at this year's Anglican Idol I read a letter from Senator Kerry that I happened to stumble upon as I was dumpster diving outside the diocesan offices at 138 Tremont Street. Here it is (and I'm pretty sure I still have a job this morning):
Dear Clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts,
I regret that I will not be able to join you for your Clergy Conference on Cape Cod at Camp Good News. I have been busy hunting down Osama Bin Laden in my own personal swift boat. Unfortunately for my public opinion ratings the Navy Seals got to him first.
I trust you will be able to relate to the fact that being the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts is a bit like being the Bishop of Massachusetts. In other words I’m too busy fundraising to be bothered with such events. Also, I now insist that all Confirmations take place at the Cathedral. And, while the parallels don’t end there, I should note that I am a good bit taller than your current bishop and I could shed great insight on Title IV given my choice of John Edwards as a Vice Presidential candidate.
But I also wanted to write to you to dispel an unfounded rumor: I am not avoiding the guitar playing of a certain retiring bishop. I, too, can appreciate happy clappy songs about Jesus – don’t forget, I’m a Roman Catholic.
Not to complain but it can be difficult serving with that young rock star, Scott Brown. When he’s not pimping out his daughters on live television or illegally parking his pickup truck on The Mall, he’s busy stealing the limelight from me and Tom Brady. Okay, maybe not Tom Brady but definitely me and Mitt Romney.
I hope to be able to join you sometime soon. Perhaps at the Gayle Harris Camp and Conference Center – or whatever it’s called. And whatever state it’s in. But since most of you are liberals I really don’t need to waste my time courting the Episcopal clergy vote. How can I tell? Because my staff has informed me that the parking lot at the Ocean Edge Resort is filled with Priuses – complete with the factory installed Obama sticker.
In the meantime, I’ll be monitoring the proceedings of your Clergy Conference from the comfort of my yacht in Rhode Island. And I’ll hold you in my prayers the next time I’m in church being denied Communion because of my stance on abortion.
May God bless you.
Senator John F. Kerry