White Boys Can Jump

“I went around to all the chaplains asking for help. Every Protestant chaplain said race separation was God’s will, and only a Catholic priest affirmed us through this curiosity, I started looking at religion,wondering why the catholic side of Christiantiy better understood humanity. This began superficial search into churches; Friends took me to their baptist or Methodist church services, but they were more centered on one man speaking.  And the Roman Catholic church seemed more ‘mysterious’ than mystery’.” Father David Kirk

Video Interview: KAB 12/13/04(Segment 1 26:00)

“There’s a very authentic evangelical Christianity, has great impressed me, ahhh,  has its roots in Germany, it means return to the biblical message, but this new kind of evangelical Christianity, to which I think she’s somehow related, evangelist and so on, most of their messages seem to be the gospel of prosperity; where as Jesus in the gospel spoke of the poor and being a Christian used to be  in with the poor and blessing of the poor.  The tv evangelist in one way or another preach the gospel of prosperity, you know.  Give money to, give money away, which really means give money to me.  And by doing that, you’ll be saved, you’ll be blessed, and you’ll be prosperous.  Which means that Donald Trump is probably the best Christian around, except that he doesn’t give anything.  It’s a very false kind of religion and there are very good things about it, but I feel that Jesus has been kidnapped by this kind of Christianity and we need again to find that Jesus was born homeless and who hung out with the hookers.” Father David Kirk

Oversimplified Notes

“In those days, I noticed that everyone seemingly involved in this movement were Christians.  At the Unviersity of Alabama during the crisis, I went to all churches for support; the only person who spoke for the equality and unity of humanity was a Catholic priest.  All ministers were racist openly.  Found the Roman Catholic church more mysterious than “mystery”‘ Protestant churches all centered on one  man, preaching long.  Someone told me that there was another haof of the Church, the Eastern churches.  I did not know the difference at the time, but nearest was the Melkite Catholic church in Birmingham, much farther away was a Greek Orthodox church.  I hitchhiked to Birmingham and found Father Joseph Raya, a dynamic, open, extraordinary priest.” Father David Kirk

Oversimplified Notes

“Father Joseph (Raya) taught me orthodox Christianity and a whole new way of looking at God, humanity, church, etc.  Different because of its stress, its emphasis, its traditional sources from which it draws food, image and likeness of God leading to the deification of the human person, the God oflove unfolding himself into time, the really real, the gorund of our being, living to our fullest potentail (which is God), Christ and the New Humanity, the spirituality of the heart, the goodness of people.  I can remember a hudnred teachings because they shocked me, knowing what I had heard from the “religion” in the deep South.” Father David Kirk

Oversimplified Notes

“I set about after I realized I had found my home and was duly baptized and chrismated; it seemed like there was a chrus of a hundred angels and spiritual beings in that lonely chapel that day.  I set about living daily my Christianity.  I had the Scriptures and a book of the Fathers from Father Joseph.  I took each point and started practicing, as I grapsed each point. Life simply suddenly presenting me with situations, to which I had to respond as a Christian.” Father David Kirk

History of Emmaus as a Melkite Ministry/ Byzantine Catholic World 8/1964

“On the Feast of Transfiguration, 1964 (also Hiroshima Day) I was ordained a priest for the poor in Jerusalem at the Melkite Basilica of St. Ann.  I chose this Featst because it stated how humanity could either be destroyed or transformed with energy.  My first Liturgy was in the Chapel of Christ Weeping Over the City on the Mount of Olvies, and a proper place to begin a diakonia to the urban poor, weeping by harlem the river.  On my way to Jerusalem I stopped in Istanbul on my 4th visit tothe patriarch Athenagoras of Constantiople; He blessed me: “we should be co-sponsors of these works of mercy with Eastern Catholics; it would be the true way of unity.” Father David Kirk

History of Emmaus as a Melkite Ministry

“Canon Law says that a priest must be defended and supported by his Bishop.” Father David Kirk

Letter to Niece, Debbie Jackson

“But fundamentalism, whether Christian, Jewish or Islamic, sometimes tends also to be arrogant, judgmental and not open to any experience fo God outside fundamentalism.  I believe that , in Jesus the Christ, the Church is the ground of truth and hope, but I think there are many places and religions that also offer some truth and hope.  ‘Truth is Truth, no matter where you find it; the Spirit of God blows where she wants to”, writes St. Thomas.  My basic faith is grounded in the Catholic and Orthodox Church of Jesus, but I find truth in Buddhism, in the wind and the rain, in a Bob Dylan song, in the face of a broken woman, even in fundamentalism.  But, fundamentalist of all kinds tend not to recognize what does not fit into their faith.  For example, we all know that Christ heals.  (But every healing must glorify God.)  But his healing is more than physical alone; His healing may be spiritual, psychic or other.” Father David Kirk