After 23 years as a trailblazing Episcopal leader in Tucson, the Rev. Gordon McBride recently retired, saying it’s time for younger leaders to push the church forward.
A former history professor who specialized in Tudor and Stuart England, McBride is known for incorporating narratives and colorful history into his entertaining sermons. He’s also been outspoken on challenging tradition.
McBride for years has avoided using the word “Lord” at his church.
“If you need God to be a source of power, then great,” he said. “But if you think that’s not who God is, then it’s a useless term. That’s where I am. The notion of the big guy in the sky, it’s just not viable anymore.”
Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church was one of the first local churches to adopt an official statement welcoming gays and lesbians to worship there.
The church also made a local mark by bringing such prominent, controversial theologians as Marcus Borg and John Shelby Spong to Tucson.
Both created waves by challenging literal interpretations of the Bible, arguing that its stories are metaphorical.
It’s easy to see why 70% of the membership stay in bed on Sunday mornings.