Blog readers often want to know “who are you…what is that blog name about…and why are you writing a blog anyway?” Here is maybe more than you want to know…
The Gospel Side is the bloviating 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 on a variety of topics: Young adults, youth ministry, culture, and the Church in its relevant, multi-ethnic, and ancient/liturgical forms.
I am married to Kari. We have two children, Ellie and Luke. I like the Phoenix Suns and sailing. My paying gig is Associate Rector at St. John the Divine in Houston, Texas. Prior to that I was Canon for Youth and Young Adults for the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and led the multi-ethnic church planting team at St. Jude’s in Phoenix.
“The Gospel side,” for my non-liturgical friends, was the side of a traditional 2-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 am I coming from theologically? I am an unrepentant 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 from feminist theology with negative connotations – sort of catch-all term for power inequities. It is a combination of the Greek words: “Kyrios” (Lord) and “archy” (rule), literally 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 a town, and a statement the early Christians were forced to sign during persecutions. To say, “Jesus is Lord” was to defy all illegitimate human authority and power systems for another, higher obedience. I reclaim the term “kyriarchy” for myself as one seeking to place my life under the gracious leadership of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and invite others to join me in knowing the freedom of the reign of God in their lives. For me, faith in Jesus is about the process of being changed into the image of Jesus.
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.