White Episcopal priest proudly sports his dreadlocks

White Episcopal priest proudly sports his dreadlocks

Monday, January 27, 2020

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A white priest who proudly wears his dreadlocks as he carries out his canonical duties is a rare sight, perhaps never before seen in the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Long Island, New York.

The flowing dreadlocks of Minor Canon Rev Adam Bucko are an indication that the hairstyle associated with Jamaica's Rastafarian movement has crossed religious boundaries, light years away from the time when cops forcibly trimmed Rastafarians of their dreadlocks, then a mark of defiance of Jamaican societal norms.

Rev Bucko has been an influential voice in the movement for the recovery and renewal of Christian Contemplative Spirituality and is co-founder of the Reciprocity Foundation, serving homeless and marginalised youth in New York City. As part of his full-time role, he is involved in the development and launch of the Cathedral's new Center for Spiritual Imagination.

“I am excited and energised to be a part of the cathedral team to work on developing programmes that reimagine what our tradition has to offer to the contemporary world,” said Bucko.

Bucko was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons in January 2019 in the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island and joined the Cathedral staff in July. The Rt Rev Lawrence Provenzano, Bishop of Long Island, who ordained Bucko to the priesthood in September, spoke highly of the dreadlocked priest.

“It is a tremendous blessing to our diocese to include Adam Bucko to the staff. His deep spiritual life, his scholarly work and practical, pastoral skills will serve the people of God as we further envision our cathedral as a place of learning, living, and celebrating the joining together of all that God calls us to be in this day and age.”

The Rev Morgan Mercer Ladd, minor canon for Family Ministries, noted that: “Adam is a gifted teacher, and his wealth of experience both inside and outside the walls of the church make him uniquely suited to the work of translating ancient spiritual practices for the modern world.”

Prior to his ordination, Bucko co-authored the book Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation with Matthew Fox. The New Monasticism: A Manifesto for Contemplative Living, which he co-authored with Rory McEntee, was published in 2015. Both books focused on re-envisioning an inclusive and engaged spirituality for the 21st century.

— Desmond Allen

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