Saturday, June 2, 2012

E. Perren Hayes

Hello and Happy Saturday!

I wish to thank Aine O'Brien for her very interesting interview of last week. I really enjoyed reading your answers and I thank you for sharing your faith journey with us!

Today we have a new interview so please welcome E. Perren Hayes. Perren is a Christian and I know you'll enjoy his interview as well!

Here Is E. Perren Hayes's Introduction:

 I am a retired priest of the Diocese of New York, living in the Diocese of Delaware. I was born and raised in Albany, NY, ordained Deacon and Priest in Albany in 1955. I have written extensively on matters theological. I earned my own living from 1971 until 1995. Fund Raiser for the Chamber of Commerce of the US; Securities Principal (NASD). A historian in church and state; using language principles to determine original meanings. Biblical scholar and critic. Raised and showed 6 generations of AKC Champion St. Bernard dogs, 3 of Irish Water Spaniels, and now have a Standard Poodle, black. Love to cook and to preach.

 I am preparing a Paper for the local parish Summer Series on Spirituality -- my topic is "Science and Religion Intersect." To be presented in St. Peter's Church in Lewes, Delaware, on Thursday, June 29.

1) What religion do you practice?
I am a Christian, Catholic within The Episcopal Church

2) Are you a convert/revert or were you raised within this religion? If you converted, what did you need to do to convert? And what did you practice prior to converting?
 I was born free (to quote St. Paul! I was baptized within two weeks of birth.

3)Within your religion are there degrees of observance (ie. Orthodox,conservative, moderate, liberal)? What are the defining differences between the degrees of observance?
 Yes to the first question; books are written (and wars have been waged) about the second question

4)Within your religion what degree of observance are you ((ie. Orthodox,conservative, moderate, liberal) ? Why did you choose this degree of observance?
 I am what is called an "Anglocatholic." I chose it for mystical, spiritual and historical reasons

5)What is the Afterlife within your religion? For example: what happens when a person dies? Are there places for reward/punishment? (such as a Heaven/Hell concept)
I was brought up with the statement "No one has ever returned from the dead to tell us anything at all about what happens when one dies. There is no reason for reward or punishment -- God loves us because God made us, and there is nothing we can do that will ever make God stop loving us. (see the Epistle to the Romans, chapter 4 etc.)

6) In your opinion, does everyone make it into heaven/paradise? If they do not, why?
See the answers to the previous question

7) What makes your religion a good fit for you?
Within the parameters of the historic faith, it allows great freedom of and for interpretation.

8) What are your holy days and what do you do to celebrate them?
 In order of importance (highest first) Easter, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi, Christmass and a number of individual saints days; see the Book of Common Prayer -- the "source book" for the Episcopal Church.

9) Do you consider people of other faiths to be your friends?
Sure -- all God creatures are friends, because were are siblings of the same God who loves everyone God created.

10) Would you ever join people of another faith to celebrate one of their holy days? Please explain why?
Except for my niece, the vast majority of my friends are christian; with some of them a celebration of their holy days is interesting; if any ask me to join their celebration, I am interested to join -- but I am not interested to be talked to about "converting." I tend not to do this, because I often become an observer, and not a participant -- to me, this is a kind of making fun of others. I don't want to do that.

11) What are your thoughts on the burka, and Shariah Law?
My thoughts are being raised by this question. In general it is not my business to question the practices of religions which are not my own -- I have no idea why these are part of their religion, and so I cannot condemn -- which is what I seem to think you would like me to do. There is nothing in christianity that directs any such thing under general practice. Although monastic communities -like the Convent where I was briefly a chaplain -- often use and even require similar practices.

12) Are women allowed to hold religious office (priest, minister, rabbi, iman etc) in your religion and how do you feel about it?
 Yes. When it first happened, back in the early 1970s, I was very opposed: contrary to historic practice; violation of Canon Law; full participation of the laity (non-ordained persons) was omitted; irregularly done. I joined an internet discussion, became a leader in it, and over a time of some length, The Episcopal Church regularized the first ordinations, and amended the Canon Law and regularized the procedures. Today women are fully and completely part of the ordained ministry, and our Presiding Bishop (Highest official) is a woman Bishop

13) Does your place of worship segregate?
No, but the number of non-whites in Delaware where I live is small, so they are few. If yes, how does this make you feel? However, since I was raised in a parish where -- as a kid --- a black man whose job it was to clean toilets in the public buildings of the city in which I was raised often was the partner of the white Mayor in bringing the money to the altar. They walked together, side by side, and knew each other well.

14) How much does your religion affect your daily life and how much thought do you give it when making a decision? Does it affect in any way your decision on abortion, gay marriage, etc?
My religion IS my daily life, and I like to believe that every decision I make is influenced by it. It greatly affects my opinion on abortion (I and the official position of the Episcopal Church) are "pro-choice." The Episcopal church consecrated an openly gay man, l.iving in partnership, as bishop of New Hampshire. I spoke before the Special Committee of the Senate of the State of Delaware urging them to permit "FULL Civil Unions" in this state. (They did; the governor signed it, and we are now trying to make Civil Union just plain Marriage.)

15) How would you react/feel if your child wished to marry outside your religion?
I have no children, but I suspect that I would support such a decision.

16) In your opinion, if someone is not of your faith, will they go to hell?
No. See previous answers about the extent of God's love.

17) Who do you think is not a practicing ----- in your religion and why? ie who in the public domain claims to speak for your religion? Do you agree with them or not?
If by "religion" you mean "Christianity" I believe right wing politicians, fundamentalists and clergy seeking to make Christianity the National Religion do NOT speak for me. In fact, they make me wonder if they in fact deserve to be called christians.

18) Have you ever been the target of a hate crime? Please explain.
 Yes, but nothing really serious. My desire and work  for "Peace" in Vietnam got me passed over for some positions; and my support for Gay Rights have shortened the list of my friends.

19) Do you ever feel like your religion devalues you?
No, but with all the c--p coming from the mouths of some of those in the answer to 17 above would sure give you that impression. Remember: There is nothing -- absolutely nothing - that you can ever do that will make God stop loving you for even an instant.

20) Does your religion give you peace of mind?
Absolutely -- that is part of the purpose of spirituality, mysticism and christianity.

21) Do you believe in reincarnation? Why or why not?
 No. There is no reliable evidence

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