After a year of search for satisfactory resolution and heartbreak for Norm, the archbishop suspended him “indefinitely”. Norm began to realize the Roman Catholic Church lacked in its governance the compassion and kindness to which Christ called it in Matthew 20:25. He began looking for another community with these Christian gifts, and found it in the Episcopal Church of St. Benedict in Plantation Florida. He was received there March 30, 2014.
A gentleman asked Deacon Norm in a private conversation in February, 2013 whether the church could ordain women. Norm responded, “Yes”, and the man informed by letter the Archbishop of Miami who suspended Norm.
Deacon Norm spoke of the media, the internet, and people who awaited with baited breath the word of Lebron James as to whether he would remain with the Miami Heat or depart for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He displayed the front page of the South Florida Sun Sentinel which was entirely given to that story. Norm then lamented the fact that few, if any, hung on the meaning of God’s Word in South Florida or anywhere.
Norm asked whether the word of Jesus might suffer because he spoke in parables. So Norm stated the reason for parables was because the message of Jesus was so hard-hitting so confrontational that it had to be clothed in the gentle soft garments of the parable
Jesus spoke of such in the parable of the sower. Norm described how he sowed his seed. Some fell on the hard path which did not receive the seed just as some do not receive the Word of God who have closed minds. Other seed fell on rocky ground wherein deep rooting was not possible. These are fundamentalists who cling to the literal meaning of the words and refuse to accept the wisdom hidden beneath. Other seed is choked by thorns which represent the monetary cares of the world. Finally, some seed fell on rich black earth and produced 30, 60, and 100 fold far in excess of what crop would yield at that time.
Norm asked the community members to resolve become “children of the Word” by either attending Bible Experience on Wednesday evening, Exploring the proclamations between Sunday Eucharists, or spend 10 minutes each morning with God’s Word and living the day in its presence.
Norm concluded by paraphrasing John’s eighth chapter: “If you keep my word, you will be my disciple; if you hold on, embrace, and live my word, you will never taste death.” Thank God, Jesus is a man of his word.