Volume 10: Issue 3
Table Of Contents
Behold the Butt of God
--By: Candace Chellew-Hodge
Behold the butt of God! God is not concerned about
images. God's power does not lie in images. God is not vain. We don't
worship God's image.
Why Is Luther Winking?
--By: Lori Heine
According to the ELCA, Luther is winking because
he was an earthy and fun-loving guy. We are, evidently, trying to
get people over the Garrison Keillor-inspired notion that Lutherans
are dour and gloomy. My own, personal view, however, is that he's
winking because he's come to know -- maybe a little more than most
people -- about the love and mercy of God. This man, who suffered
through a youth tormented by fear of a wrathful deity, lived long
enough to make his peace with God.
God Is ...
--By: John H. Campbell
I do know
in my heart that every time I open my eyes and take a breath, I am
reminded of God's Existence. Every time I share an intimate moment
with one of my partners. Every time one of the cats curls up in my
lap and falls asleep purring contentedly. Every time I see a beautiful
sunrise or sunset. Every time I see a work of art another person created,
a song that someone wrote moves me, or I hear of someone accomplishing
what at one time may have seemed impossible or through their faith
and perseverance, overcoming what seemed like insurmountable odds.
Every time I feel love or share honest, unconditional love, or joy,
I feel God.
Knowing God Like I Know My Mother
--By: Greg Smith
The kind of knowledge I have of my mother has developed over time
through sharing time with her and reflecting upon those times. The
kind of knowledge I have of my God comes in the same way.
God: Above and Beyond
--By: Daniel Payne
constant theme throughout Scripture is that God is above and beyond
what we can comprehend. Descriptive language of God is limited to
our finite vocabulary, and can never do justice to the actuality of
Defining the Indefinable
--By: Bro Frank K Clark
God is not
some "being" who just created the universe and left mankind to strive.
He is not a figment of humanity's imagination.
--By: Claire White
Can I possibly
risk everything to experience being one with God? Have I the guts
to abandon my old creature normality to learn afresh? Do I have the
courage to be born again? Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, he showed
prudent caution, he instinctively knew that to walk the aisle would
have profound ramifications.
How to Know if We are in God's Will
--By: Rev. Dr. Jerry Maneker
Sometimes, I wonder if I'm even in the will of God, or if I'm deluding
myself that such a sinner as me has been chosen by God to proclaim
I Believe ...
--By: Jo Ellen Kanne
So here is a walk through the beloved Apostle's creed in my eyes,
with the pictures made with words as closely as I can render them.
--By: Dotti Berry
parents were taught certain myths about gay people from society, as
well as religious institutions. They believed that being both gay
and a person of faith was an oxymoron, and unacceptable.
Articles of Faith: Sewing a Quilt of
Black Gay and Spiritual Pride
--By: Rev. Cedric Harmon
Throughout history, black people have found tremendous strength in
communities of faith. And yet those communities of faith have sometimes
been the first to reject their LGBT children.
It's Not Okay
--By: John Tyler Connoley
After one counseling session, my therapist looked at me with a stern
grimace on his face. "I think you want me to tell you this is okay,"
he said. "I'm not going to say that, because it's not okay."
Out at Forty-Five
--By: Jimmy Chappelle
It's been a long bumpy and difficult road to this place of peace and
beauty that is now my life. I played the fool, a court jester pretending
to be something, and someone, that I wasn't. Well at age 45 after
decades of lying, and living a false life I came clean. I outted myself!
The Rice Crackers of Good Fortune
--By: Ezekiel Krahlin
The Asian woman then retrieved a small package from her purse: two
thin cookies spotted with white sugar frosting and wrapped in cellophane.
She offered them up to me: "Do you like Japanese rice crackers?"
New Web Site Seeks to Connect Gay
and Lesbian Christians
--By: Candace Chellew-Hodge
you're gay or lesbian, you're already in the minority. Add "Christian"
to the mix and the population you're included in shrinks even further.
For gay Christians trying to network, or find a life partner of faith,
the challenge becomes huge. Where do you go?
Exercising Their Faith
Progressive Christian Group Plans Walk to Promote Inclusive Vision of
--By: Liz Massey
vision has blossomed into the creation of the organization CrossWalk
America, which will present a 2006 event aimed at connecting progressive
Christian organizations and introducing the country to a set of Christian
values rooted in love of God, neighbor and self.
--By: Ko Imani
Because the website is open to including every kind of LGBT-affirming
spiritual resource, from any belief system, there's no artificial
limit placed on your spiritual exploration or identity. You can be
everything that you are at myOutSpirit.com.
Weather of Mass Destruction
--By: Robert McElvaine
devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina provided a sodden,
gruesome opportunity for some who call themselves Christians to vent
their distortions of the religion of Jesus. They did so by extending
the old idea that a deadly storm like Katrina is an "act of God."
When Will We Get It?
(Personal Message from Katrina)
--By: Tuan N'Gai
the people who were evacuated from New Orleans and working along side
the people who descended onto Baton Rouge to help them has been bittersweet
for me. The media is showing one thing, and the stories are moving
to say the least. To see it first hand is quite another experience
-- By: Martin Marty
the point: "SHAHD-n-froy-duh" is "a malicious satisfaction in the
misfortunes of others." The adjective "malicious" forces us to call
it "sin." Now we enter the sphere of confession.
It's Time for Gay Conservatives
to Come Out
-- By: Patrick Guerriero
these historic times, the closet is not only a place which suffocates
personal dignity, it is also a place which suffocates the powerful
force of personal integrity that can change the hearts and minds of
even the most conservative Americans and most conservative politicians.
First Global Group for Gay Pentecostals
-- By: Anthony Venn-Brown
Freedom 2 B(e) is a network that has been created to connect and support
GLBTIQ people from Pentecostal and Charismatic backgrounds.
Finding Hope at Lake Junaluska
-- By: Rev. Tom Summers
A hopeful sign in all of this is that, historically, when some bishops
begin to step aside from the consensus or unanimity of the Council
of Bishops, things can begin to change.
A Farewell Message
-- By: Rev. Troy Perry
What am I feeling on this day as I prepare to close one chapter of
my life -- and prepare to open a new one? More than anything else
today, I feel a deep sense of gratitude. I am so thankful for the
calling God placed upon my heart 37 years ago, and I am thankful for
God's guidance, grace and strength that have sustained me along every
step of the way.
A Mandate to Teach Stupid Design
-- By: Robert N. Minor
So, a new type of discussion must take place in science classes. Teaching
evolutionary theory as a scientific explanation to understand and
predict biological change, is no longer enough.
Letters To The Editor
Sharing the Table
-- By: Suzie Chamness
remember the large dinners that we had as a youngster. Those were
the ones that mom and helpers cooked each holiday to celebrate the
day. At least I think it was to celebrate the day.
A Sense of Spirituality
-- By: Benjamin D. Thiel
Josephine says she wrote this book "as a means to express my experiences
as a transsexual and my life-long struggle to find peace in my skin."
When she writes, "I have grown into a beautiful woman," I know she
has found that peace and I know the world is a better place for her
having done so.
Perspectives from a trans-Woman
A Nation of Subcultures
-- By: Janice Josephine Carney
county is divided into subcultures, and at war with each other's cultural
concepts and values.
From the Pulpit:
Sermon Mad Libs
--By: Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge
My life had not made much sense in the years that I turned my back
on God. It was like a weird Mad Lib with odd words stuck in all the
wrong places. But, the moment I opened myself up to God's presence
in that church, all the pieces fell into place. Suddenly, my life
made sense again.
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
--By: Harry Knox
was grateful for the Thessalonians' labors of love. In Paul's guidelines
for how to be a Christian, he says love is a primary standard.
Up to Our Necks in Pearls
--By: Deacon John Williams
the parables is much like looking for pearls. You have to go through
a lot of sand and oysters to find the real pearl. I believe the pearl
in today's parable, as much from what it does not say as from what
it says, is teaching about celebration, which I think is appropriately
just another word for worship.
Seen, Heard and Have Come
--By: Gary Simpson
I Am. This is the same God who loves you. God has not changed. The
God who causes to be is the kind of God who changes history for you.
And that God is waiting, ever waiting to cause to be in your life.
Bible Study and Inspiration:
--By: Talitha Arnold
I resonate with Joshua's willingness to affirm what he believed, but
I want to do it without damning other faiths. How do I retain the
essence of his covenant without its exclusivity?
Dedication of the AIDS Memorial Quilt
--By: Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker
We memorialize and deal here with life interrupted! We mourn for what
might have been; for all the hopes, dreams, and accomplishments that
might have been realized by these precious lives, taken away from
us much too soon, much too tragically. When loved ones are taken away
from us, regardless of their age, it always comes too soon.
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