I began writing Haircut and Homilies in 1999. The coming out process for me began late in life, at the age of 45. I was serving as a pastor in a United Methodist Church under the shadow of “don’t ask don’t tell.” From the very start of entering the ministry my goal was to call a congregation to live authentic lives of servanthood in a broken world. Living in the closet made preaching almost impossible. Once I decided to come out, writing was what I called, “cheap therapy.” I knew that leaving the ministry would be a very difficult step in the journey, but telling these stories helped me make sense of a life in transition.
They are called Haircut and Homilies in tribute to my father, Homer Amos Jenkins. He was Oregon’s worst barber and best storyteller. I learned the art of storytelling from my him. A close look at Scripture shows that the best preaching is actually really good storytelling. Even though my earliest homilies are filled with much pain, my pain and the pain of others, there is also a great deal of joy and humor infused by joining the stories of my childhood with those of my current journey.
And now the journey of coming out is overshadowed by the journey of going home. As I deal with end of life issues of cancer those struggles are once again blended with stories from a childhood that convinced me of my unique place in the world.
About David Jenkins
David Jenkins was born in La Grande, Oregon April 5, 1953. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Music Educations from Eastern Oregon State College and Master of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri in 1981. He was ordained in the Church of the Nazarene and served Nazarene congregations in Idaho, California, and Oregon. He later served United Methodist congregations in the Portland metro area. After leaving the ministry and being excommunicated from the Church of the Nazarene he worked as an Administrative Assist at the First United Methodist Church of Portland, for the last fifteen years.
He has been with his partner Sam Little for the last ten years and is devoting his current time to writing and philosophy. David writes, “One of the quirks of my father was to walk into a drugstore and ask the clerk to go find a jigsaw puzzle. He wanted the puzzle put in a paper bag and the box thrown away. He found great joy in putting the pieces of the puzzle together, not knowing the final outcome.”