What is this blog about? The Gospel Side is the public cud chewing of a post-Young Life Episcopal priest whose desire is to help people walk with the triune God. I post rants, resources, and things that make me smile. I post on a variety of topics: Young adults, youth ministry, culture, and the Church in its relevant, multi-ethnic, and ancient/liturgical forms.
Who are you? I am married to Kari. We like each other. We have two grown children with of active Christian faith and commitment to the church. I like NBA basketball and sailing. My paying gig is Associate Rector at The Episcopal Church of St. John the Divine in Houston, Texas. Prior to that I served as Canon for Youth and Young Adults for the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and led a multi-ethnic church planting team at St. Jude’s in Phoenix.
What’s up with your blog name? “The Gospel side,” for my non-liturgical friends, was the side of a traditional two pulpit church from which the Gospel was read (as opposed to the Epistle side). Currently the Gospel is proclaimed from the center of the church, among the people. In his brief years on earth, Jesus brought the presence of God into the midst of the people, rather than off to the sides or hidden away in sanctuaries. The implication is that every “side,” ancient or modern, conservative or progressive, sacred or secular, are Jesus’ business.
Where are you coming from theologically? I am an ecumenical kyriarchist. Ecumenical: I think Christians should work together across boundaries and major on the majors so that we can reach a lost and hurting world with the Good News of Jesus. And kyriarchist, a term I am reclaiming from feminist theology, meaning the “rule of the Lord.” The first creed among the followers of Jesus was, “Jesus is Lord.” It was a response to the cry “Caesar is Lord,” mandated to be shouted by the crowds as Roman rulers passed through town. To say, “Jesus is Lord” was to defy all illegitimate human authority and power systems for another, higher obedience. I am reclaiming the term as one seeking to place my life under the gracious leadership of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and invite you to join me in experiencing the freedom of the reign of God in our lives.
Matt Marino+ June 2017
*Yes, Matt is available, on occasion, to speak at camps, retreats and conferences on issues of the church, youth ministry, and, of course, Jesus.