Whosoever November/December 2009
Issue Theme: Giving Our All

Table of Contents

Cover Stories:

With All Our "Mite"
By: Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge

Like the widow's devotion to an institution that would deprive her of every earthly comfort, LGBT people who have persisted in staying part of the Christian church may seem crazy to people who have left the faith, or never participated in the first place.

The Macedonia Effect
By: Lincoln Rose

Our lives and the lives of those around us depend on it. Some may see us as 2 bits tossed into the collection plate on top of a hundred dollar bill, but God sees far beyond our limited horizons. And it is God who we will ultimately be accountable to.

With No Thought for the Future
By: Rev. Vera I. Bourne

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people bring as our gifts to the world the experiences we have of living out forgiveness towards those who have harmed us; we offer unequitable peace to those who know only the brutality and loss armed conflict brings in its wake.

Strong at the Broken Places
By: Lori Heine

The "all" we LGBT's have to give is our very hope for life eternal - our faith that our lives will mean anything lasting at all. This is nothing less than the same "all" given by Jesus, who blazed our trail into eternity. Is that really such a widow's mite?

Sometimes Less Really is More
By: Steve Schmidt

Sometimes putting ourselves on hold for awhile, and just being available and cooperative gives God an opportunity to use us in greater ways than our own abilities ever would have allowed - when giving our "all" actually interferes with our effectiveness, and our efforts get in the way of real results.

Living Your Gratitude: Sharing The (Spiritual) Wealth
By: John H. Campbell

Fear not if you feel as if you have nothing to give, even if your desire exceeds what resources you seem to have available, for it is the desire that matters most. We all have something we can contribute, even if we fear that we cannot in the ability God Has Given us to give of ourselves - even if that merely means sharing the love God shows us with them.

Features:

Study Process Aided ELCA Gay Breakthrough
By: John Dart

That the ELCA could reach this point before the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the United Methodist Church, which have had high-profile fights over homosexuality since the 1970s, was hinted at in findings published in journals in 2007 and 2008 by sociologist Wendy Cadge of Brandeis University.

Anglicans and Rome
By: Martin E. Marty

Bypassing forty years of Anglican-Roman Catholic conversations-cum-negotiations and blindsiding Archbishop Rowan Williams, the head of the seventy-million-member Anglican Communion, Vatican officials announced that they were taking steps to receive Anglican (in the United States, Episcopal) clergy through conversion into the Roman Catholic priesthood.

Whose Institution Is Marriage?
By: Robert Hanchett

Marriage is an institution that was created for us, to fulfill our needs; people weren't created to conform to any fixed notion about whom they must marry.

Keeping the Religious Right-Wing Alive
By: Bob Minor

Expecting to win over any of the right-wing who didn't vote for Obama or the more progressive Democrats by enabling them is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results - a definition of insanity.

An Open Letter to Potential Straight Allies of LGBT People
By: Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker

Any society that presumes to refer to itself as "decent" and "civilized" must not in any way discriminate against any group of people through its laws or their enforcement.

Homosexuality and Slavery in the Bible
By: Martin E. Marty

Arguments based on analogy, including this one, do not "prove" much of anything. They can, however, be instructive when the history of cultures, from the biblical settings to our own, is neglected, or when simply saying "the Bible says" shows unmindfulness of creative possibilities - and can harm individuals, lead to schisms, and hamper future witness.

Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't: Juggling Sexual-identity, Sexual-Orientation, Race, Class, and Gender in Lesbian- and Gay-Affirming Congregations
By: Larry Mihm

When race, class and gender are considered many efforts to be inclusive of sexual-identities and sexual-orientations actually may amplify other conflicts and reinforce other inequalities.

Controlling the Words
By: James L. Evans

Whoever controls the words that are used in translation ultimately controls how we are able to think about theological issues.

Honoring Our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Sisters and Brothers
By: Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker

It is high time that houses of worship throughout this and every country stand up and be counted as not only rejecting the all too often hate-mongering rhetoric that comes from pulpits throughout the world, but stand up in the embrace of God's LGBT children.

Letters to the Editor

Holiday Season:

Can You Hear It?
By: Rev. Vera I. Bourne

Jacob heard the voices of the returning shepherds. They were speaking excitedly about the baby they had seen in the stable. It would be a story they shared first with their families, and then with all who chose to climb the hills to hear their news.

'Tis the Season of More Mythology
By: Bob Minor

Whatever it's real, less fanciful history, and however dysfunctional family get-togethers really are, Thanksgiving is the perfect day to remind us of the fact that nations promote myths that sustain them.

From the Pulpit:

Do it Yourself Salvation
By: Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge

We have to take a stroll down the seemingly endless aisles of life, pondering every offer of salvation from the world, be it through love, money, power, sex, prestige, and figure out whether or not that's going to give us what we need. Besides, as the old saying goes, if you want something done right - you've got to do it yourself - especially when it concerns salvation.

Would You Like Fries With That?
By: Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge

The most important question you can ask is not, "What's in it for me?" but, "Would you like fries with that?"

Holy Humor:

Life's Great Truths Children Have Learned

Life's Great Truths Adults Have Learned

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