50 Shades of Cray: An Invitation to my Awkward Sunday Sermon
by P. Braithwaite
Okay… I’m hosting my first telephone party! It’s actually called The Awkward Sunday Sermon and you basically call in and listen to me give a really inappropriate spiritual sermon for 20 minutes (this priceless experience is…free). It’s like a blog post that you don’t actually have to read! If you’re already convinced that this is, quite possibly, the best thing ever in the history of life, sign up here. If not…don’t worry, I explain it better below. My business coach says people like when things are easy to understand, but I like telling you guys stories, so I’ve gone back and forth about how to invite you all. In the end, I’ve done both: super simple details/FAQs are below, and there’s a story at the end.
I hope you guys register and call in on November 3rd @ 7:05 (EST). It’ll be an awkward good time.
What is The Awkward Sunday Sermon?
The Awkward Sunday Sermon is a super short sermon where I will read a short passage from a
spiritual text, and I’ll share a spiritual lesson. In this case, the text is 50 Shades of Grey.
Date: Sunday November 3rd
Time: 7:05 – 7:30pm (EST)
Place: Your phone.
You register here to get the call-in number. On November 3rd, you’ll call in and for 25 minutes we share good vibes. I will send you a reminder email so you remember that I exist. This experience hopefully helps you go into Monday morning lighter and happier.
That’s my intention, at least.
So wait, is it like a podcast, or Google HangOut, or something?
Nope. It’s an old fashion telephone call. When you register here, I send you an email that has the call in number. I’ll also send a reminder on the day of the call. You call in on Sunday Nov 3rdth, and you get to hear me wax poetic about the relationship between God and Christian Grey (or something). It’s literally like a blog post that you don’t actually have to read.
Is it true that you sound like a man?
Actually, that’s only partially true. When I’m most comfortable, I sound like I’m taking testosterone injections, and sometimes when…I’m less comfortable it bounces back and forth between squeaky and deep. During our sermon, I will try my best to sound like a phone sex operator…or something.
I like Jesus. Are You Going to read from The Bible?
Jesus and I have a really great understanding where we both regularly see other people. It works for us. To that end, I will not be reading from the Bible or any other overtly religious text. Instead, we will explore a passage from EL James’ 50 Shades of Grey. Here’s a synopsis if you’re interested (I assure you, my sermon will be no less spiritual as a result):
When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him…Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires. (via Amazon.com)
Register now. You know you want to.
You’re really weird. Why are you doing this?
I’ve had the privilege of receiving divine insight everywhere: on buses, on clever t-shirts, primetime television, on Twitter, and in smutty books. I’m a better person for it. So, I’m really into encouraging everyone to look at life with new eyes. There are so many messages that we miss because they’re sitting in the strangest places.
No, why are you really doing this. What do you hope to accomplish?
There are lots of reasons: I’m trying to take more chances. I’m trying to face some of my fears. I’m hoping to test my own theory: there spirituality in everything. I’m experiementing with how to build my business in ways that are actually authentic and…well, human. Interactions where I use my voice feel like a nice start.
Ultimately though, my intention is to serve in the way I know how. I’m a deeply spiritual being having a decidedly secular human experience. I watch cable tv, I’m building a business, I’m addicted to social media, I hate The New England Patriots, and I love the Kardashian franchise. It’s always a challenge to fit all of these seemingly disparate parts into a body that is routed in service…in love…in Godliness. I don’t like to take anything too seriously, but The Awkward Sunday Sermon feels like a way that I can serve others…as myself.
Okay, are you done? We like you better when you tell stories!
Sure, here’s the story behind the sermon…
When I was in silence, I had lots of thoughts to keep me company. In fact, the image that I conjured to visually express the way my mind works is the following:
Three fuzzy blonde kittens playing with purple yarn. They get tangled in it, and then the maneuver their bodies to get out. Then they get tangled up again. There’s also a black cat named Hector the projector. He has a Spanish accent and he distracts the cute kittens with disturbing images of other people. He’s also pretty harmless, but his projection machine is huge. I like yarn and mischievous kittens. My mind is a strange but benevolent place.
I came up with the idea of The Awkward Sunday Sermon while I was in silence. Why? Because the thought entertained me. I’ve been sitting on this idea for a good month or two when, one day after church, I saw a homeless man taking a shit on the side of the building. He was seriously bare-assed, pants around his ankles, copping a squat against the front of the church.
A few thoughts came to mind:
- Am I bad person? I come out of church full of love and then I’m disgusted by this homeless guy?
- Oh God, what does this all mean?
Here’s what I suspect it means: There is spirituality everywhere. There is spirituality in the profane, and profanity in the scared. There’s as much God in the church, as there is in the poop smeared on the building.
Divinity and Grace are everywhere.
So that’s how I knew it was time to try out The Awkward Sunday Sermon. It’s time to start uncovering the sacredness that exists in the profane. It’s time to start finding the spiritual lessons in the seemingly secular, because it’s all spiritual. Every fucking moment is designed to bring us into the awareness of the divine. This I know…for sure.
So join me…on November 3rd & 7:05 pm (EST). It’ll be over before The Colts face The Texans.
Okay, so I missed the other 400 links. How do I sign up for this ridiculousness?
Click here: www.awkwardsunday.eventbrite.com.
It would also be helpful if you invite your friends and share it with others.