Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Father Jake

 Fr. Terry Martin who kept the blog 'Father Jake Stops the World' died unexpectedly yesterday.  According to his wife, he died in his sleep during a nap, probably due to a heart attack.

I began following Fr. Terry's blog almost 20 years ago during all the crises surrounding the consecration of Gene Robinson as diocesan Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003 - 2004.  Gene Robinson was the first openly gay partnered Episcopal Bishop.  The New Hampshire diocesan convention duly elected him and a majority of the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church accepted him.  Fr. Terry jumped into the huge controversy that followed as a courageous straight ally of gay causes.  At a time when outraged powerful conservatives commanded all the media attention, 'Father Jake Stops the World' provided one of the few forums at the time where those who supported Robinson's consecration and the full inclusion of LGBTQ+ people into the full life of the church could meet and talk.  I met a lot of people online who I still keep in touch with regularly through his blog.  Indeed, Terry Martin was godfather to this blog.  It was through my conversations on Father Jake's blog that I decided to start my own blog.

Terry Martin's life was no bed of roses.  He was an alienated and rebellious kid who spent time in reform school on and off.  Out of all that, he received a call to be a priest in the Episcopal Church and even more unexpectedly became an enthusiastic and courageous straight champion of LGBTQ+ causes in the church and beyond.  

I never met Terry Martin in person, but like so many others who followed his blog, he had a profound influence on my thinking and my life.  I'm so grateful for his work and for bringing so many wonderful people together who became longtime friends on social media.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

His masthead.

His blog icon.

The consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, March 7, 2004