Non-Theist Clergy or former Clergy


Non-Theist Clergy or former Clergy

Perhaps you are still in the ministry but have become a free thinker, agnostic, atheist or some other brand of non-theist. Perhaps you were in the ministry and opted out or were tossed out when you became a non-theist.

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Latest Activity: Jun 5, 2014

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Comment by K J on April 10, 2014 at 1:53pm

I was raised in the Baptist tradition, and kicked out in my early 20's when they found out I am gay. Through friends, I became involved in a Pentecostal congregation, until they, too, discovered my "truth" and kicked me out as well. Eventually I found my way to an MCC (Metropolitan Community Church) congregation, where I became burned out as one of the few leadership people there, and invited to try out the United Church of Canada by another friend. At 18 I began studying at a fundamentalist Bible College to become a Baptist minister. I was there 2 years before transferring to an even MORE fundamentalist college because of my struggle with being gay and a Baptist minister. That lasted one term, and I dropped out. In the late 90's I allowed myself to be convinced that I was "called" to ministry, and began studies in 2001 at a UCC college, and was ordained in 2005. Prior to returning to school, though, my journey toward Atheism had already begun because I finally allowed myself to question, doubt, and wonder. The more I read, the hungrier I became in the search for "truth" (whatever that is). Now, over 15 years later, I finally allowed myself to admit that I am an Atheist almost a year ago. Unfortunately, I was unable to "correctly" answer the screening questions that would give me permission to become part of The Clergy Project, so was declined by that group. It was MUCH easier "coming out" as a gay man at age 27 than it is as an Atheist "trapped" in ministry at 55. I SO want off this bus....but without "the letters" after my name, the training, skills, and gifts I possess do not translate into the "real" world - and I have applied for many positions in the counselling sector, but am not considered because of this. Everywhere I have been, people have told me that I would be a wonderful counsellor, and have affirmed those skills. Because of my pithy pension, which is less than my monthly car payment, I am not able to take early retirement (which I am eligible for). I cannot afford to return to the retail or administrative sectors (for financial reasons), so remain stuck and trapped in a profession that becomes more difficult to remain in each day. Pretending to be someone I'm not is becoming more painful all the time. My lottery numbers don't seem to be coming up either. As Kermit sang many years ago, "It's not easy being green". Especially, and particularly, in our "enlightened", "civilized" society and culture.       

Comment by Dennis Smith on March 9, 2011 at 8:05pm
I was an ordained Presbyterian minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church for sixteen years. During that time I was active in a number of churches in various capacities until my ordination was withdrawn because I had not sought a "call" for about two years from 1995 until 1997.

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