CHI RHO CONNECTION
The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press,
Your LGBT Christian Publishing House
Vol. IV, No. 6
31 March 2003
1. Montgomery Village Memoir, New Short Fiction
2. New Remainder Table on Web Site
3. "The Children Are Free"
4. "Together in Love"
5. Sanctoral Cycle
6. Adam's Last Word:
This Issue's Quote:
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your
neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love
your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so
that you may be children of your Parent in heaven; for
God makes God's sun rise on the evil and on the good,
and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Creator is
-- Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:43-45, 48)
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1. Montgomery Village Memoir, New Short Fiction
As usual, Montgomery Village has been embroiled in
This week the Village is trying to remember Nathaniel
Winset's age. Some years ago Nathaniel decided that he
had gone far enough in the never-ending cycle of adding
a year each birthday. He simply stopped adding. After
a few years of being 38, his friends began to get
suspicious, so he started subtracting a year at each
birthday. Nathaniel is a sensible chap, so he did not
go overboard. He paused when he hit 30 again, stayed
there for a few years, and then started adding again.
He plans to stop again at 45, pause there for a few
years, then start back down until he regains 39, then
pause there for a while, and start going up. Well,
you get the idea.
But Lane Parker wants to throw a birthday party for
Nathaniel and he very sensibly thinks he should know
Nathaniel's true age. People in Montgomery Village are
always eager to take sides in a controversy and this is
a lot safer than whether Faith, Love, and Charity
Evangelical Lutheran Church should become a Reconciling
in Christ Congregation and openly welcome LGBT people.
Of course, the war against Iraqistan is not at all
controversial around here, we pretty much all oppose
it though of course we support our brave teen-age
The fact is, even Nathaniel doesn't have a clue how
old he really is. He has become one of those ageless
gay men. He has always dressed like a cross between
a member of the minor nobility in the 19th Century and
a mid-20th Century business man, with a bit of 1960's
hippie thrown in just for flavor. Sort of like the
late Quentin Crisp, without the hair.
Not that Nathaniel's hair isn't cause for comment as
well. Nathaniel has preternaturally brown hair. Now,
many brunettes are unremarkable. They have hair that
varies between mousey and nondescript.
But Nathaniel has hair that shimmers, it sparkles, it
scintillates. It is neither too long nor too short, a
good head of hair in length and styling that even the
most "homosexually challenged" heterosexual man would
not be ashamed to wear.
But the color! It isn't simply brown, it is BROWN!
It is a soft, voluptuous chestnut, with highlights of
amber and dark burnished gold. Nathaniel's hair is
decadent, but his hairstyle is so blameless and normal,
that one can't fault his hair at all. It is just so,
let me think, it is just so BROWN! It is as if the
essence of everything good about being brown had been
distilled in the hair of Nathaniel Winset.
Heterosexual men tend to look askance at Nathaniel.
The hair is so perfectly and innocently blameless in
the way it is styled. But the color, the color is
luscious. Heterosexual women have a hard time keeping
their hands out of Nathaniel's hair.
The other day Nathaniel and Lane Parker were in the
Village Bistro for lunch. Lane Parker was trying to
get Nathaniel to come up with a true age for himself.
Aleecia was their server of course.
Now Aleecia is a woman of indeterminate old age who
somehow back in the days of her youth decided that an
exotic name would be her ticket out of what was then
very rural Montgomery County. So she changed her name
from Alice to Aleecia. With two E's.
Her plan only half worked. She remained in Montgomery
County, but over the years it has stopped being a rural
backwater as Washington DC spread out and it became a
suburban backwater. Aleecia didn't go to the city, as
it turned out, the city came to her.
And as it turned out, Aleecia had no effect on the city
whatsoever, and the city had little effect on Aleecia.
Well, Aleecia was taking Lane Parker's order when her
hand strayed unwittingly to Nathaniel's hair. Luckily
Aleecia's one great skill is remembering what her
customers order. She never carries a pad or a pen.
Of course the menu at the Village Bistro is rather
limited. But still, it is Aleecia's one verifiable
claim to fame. (We don't count her allegation that
her son Billy is the love child of Strom Thurmond, but
mostly because we are too liberal in Montgomery Village
to countenance such a thing and seriously doubt that
old Strom ever made it up this way. We know for certain
that Aleecia has never traveled the 20 miles to Washington
DC, which she tends to regard as someplace rather foreign
But any way, there Lane Parker was trying to decide
between the Patty Melt and the French Dip (both also
nicknames for the two most popular, pretty, and vapid
seniors at the high school here in the Village, but
more about them another time). Slowly Aleecia's hand
started toying with Nathaniel's hair. Lane Parker
stopped in mid-order, "I think I am going to do something
a little different and have the . . . ." He was about
to be daring and go for the crab cakes, but was totally
arrested by Aleecia's hand deeply immersed in the
lustrous BROWN of Nathaniel Winset's hair.
Time seemed to stop, which almost never happens in
Montgomery Village, which our neighbors think of as
the Hub of the Universe. Aleecia's hand had taken on
a life of its own, stroking, caressing, adoring the
luminous hair. Nathaniel, for his part, has always
been rather immune to the effect his hair has on people,
and barely noticed anything except that Lane had stopped
in mid-order. Nathaniel was impatient to see if he
could finally trip Aleecia up with an order so
complicated, so arcane, so convoluted, with so many
substitutions, details, and special directions that
she would at last have to WRITE IT DOWN!
Slowly Aleecia became aware of where her errant hand
had strayed and what it was doing and she reluctantly
extricated herself from Nathaniel's head of hair.
Lane Parker took a deep breath and finished his order,
"um, I'll have the crab cakes for a change, Aleecia."
"Tartar sauce or cocktail sauce, one or the other?"
was Aleecia's efficient response.
The only way we knew that Nathaniel was in any way
discomfited by the loving assault on his gorgeous hair
was that he ordered a simple hamburger, no cheese, just
lettuce and tomato, thank you, and oh yes, a diet Coke.
For her part, Aleecia was so flustered that she went to
the kitchen, got a pad, came back to Nathaniel and Lane
Parker's table, and WROTE IT ALL DOWN!
People in Montgomery Village are still talking about
Aleecia writing down Nathaniel and Lane Parker's simple
orders. And about how old we think Nathaniel really is,
of course. No one much mentions his hair.
2. New Remainder Table on Web Site
We are pleased to announce a new money-saving
opportunity for our customers, the Remainder
Table. Find it at
From time to time, books are returned to us from
bookstores or distribution houses. Often these
returned books are not able to be sold as "new"
because the bookstore has put a price sticker on
the back cover or the covers have been damaged in
transit. As a result, we will now sell these slightly
damaged books on our new Remainder Table at a
significant saving to you.
This insides of the books on our Remainder Table are
not damaged, just the covers. Most of the damage is
slight. The books on our Remainder Table are 40% off
the list price.
These five great books are available on our Remainder
"Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse," by Dr. Rembert
Truluck, remaindered at $14.95. That's a saving of
$10.00 off the list price!
"The Bible and Homosexuality," by the Rev. Michael
England, remaindered at $6.60. That's a saving of
$4.35 off the list price!
"From Wounded Hearts: Faiths Stories of Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered People and Those
Who Love Them," compiled and edited by Roberta
Showalter Kreider. This first edition is no longer
in print, but we have a few remaindered copies at
$11.95. That's a saving of $8.00 off the original
"Come Home! Reclaiming Spirituality and Community
as Gay Men and Lesbians," by Chris Glaser, remaindered
at $11.95. That's a saving of $8.00 off the list
"Called OUT! The Voices and Gifts of Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, and Transgendered Presbyterians," compiled
and edited by the Rev. Jane Adams Spahr, Kathryn
Poethig, Selisse Berry, and Melinda V. McLain,
remaindered at $10.75. That's a savings of $7.20
off the list price!
All sales from the Remainder Table are subject to
availability. No returns or refunds are permitted.
Visit the Remainder Table at
3. "The Children Are Free" Is Now in Stock
"THE CHILDREN ARE FREE: Reexamining the Biblical Evidence
on Same-sex Relationships," by Rev. Jeff Miner and John
Tyler Connoley. (ISBN: 0-9719296-0-2) 91 pages.
$12.95 each, six or more copies for $9.75 each.
See it on our Web site at
Published by Jesus Metropolitan Community Church,
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, this book is a positive and
concise new look at what the Bible really says about
homosexuality and same-sex relationships.
The book is divided into four chapters. The first is
"The Clobber Passages" and deals with the scripture in
both the Hebrew and the Christian Testaments that have
in the past been used to condemn homosexual people.
The second chapter is "Finding Affirmation in Scripture,"
in which the authors explore same-sex love found in the
Scriptures and positive role models for sexual minority
people. The third chapter is about "How Jesus Applied
Scripture" and deals with Christ's take on the issues.
The fourth chapter discusses at length "Relearning an
Ancient Lesson," using stories of the early church in
the Book of Acts to illuminate our struggle to
understand God's will for us today. A "Final Word"
is addressed "To Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People."
This slim volume is an excellent resource for people
who are struggling with their sexuality and spirituality
and who have been taught that the Bible automatically
condemns sexual minority people.
See and order this exciting new book on our Web site at
4. "Together in Love"
The new anthology by Roberta Showalter Kreider, who
compiled "From Wounded Hearts" for Chi Rho Press, is
now in stock.
"Together in Love: Faith Stories of Gay, Lesbian,
Bisexual, and Transgender Couples" is an anthology of
LGBT couples, telling their stories of their faith
journeys as people in non-traditional relationships.
"Together in Love" is 360 pages, and contains 26 stories
by LGBT couples, other stories, poems, and a father's
message to the church. (ISBN: 0-9664822-1-2)
Roberta Kreider compiled "From Wounded Hearts: Faith
Stories of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered
People and Those Who Love Them," published by Chi Rho
Press in 1998. Now, with "Together in Love," Roberta
has put together another impressive anthology of LGBT
people of faith telling their stories.
Roberta Kreider writes, "To truly embrace all of God's
creation as good and worthy of respect and love is the
most freeing experience I know. Never again do I want
to judge another person by skin color, status in life,
gender, sexual orientation, religion, or by what those
in authority determine for me. I am experiencing in a
much deeper way than ever before God's unfathomable heart
of love for me. May this also be true in your experience."
From 'A Personal Message to Our Readers,' Roberta Kreider's
introduction to "Together In Love."
See "Together In Love" on our Web site at
"Together In Love" is $24.00 each, $18.00 each for six
or more copies, plus shipping and handling.
5. Sanctoral Cycle
As a regular feature in the Chi Rho Connection, we
are offering up traditional and modern saints listed
in the 2003 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary from
today until our next scheduled electronic newsletter.
Fri., April 4, Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968).
Apostle of freedom and renewer of society. Martin
Luther King was no simple black Baptist preacher. He
earned a Ph.D. from Boston University, and later the
Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He was the spiritual leader
of the modern Civil Rights movement. Inspired by the
example of Gandhi, he led a campaign of nonviolent
resistance to racial segregation, racism, and poverty.
He is best remembered for his famous "I Have a Dream"
speech given at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
His ideals were rooted in the teachings of Jesus'
message of love. He was repeatedly jailed, and his
family threatened, until he was finally assassinated
in Memphis, TN.
Sun. April 6, Daylight Savings Time begins (U.S.A.).
Clocks are moved forward one hour.
Tues., April 8, Birth of Buddha (Buddhist). Date
used in Zen tradition. (In Tibetan tradition this
is celebrated May 30).
Wed., April 9, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, (1906-1945).
Theologian and martyr. Recognized early on as a
brilliant theologian, Bonhoeffer was deeply committed
to the ideals of Christian community. He helped
organize resistance to the Nazi takeover of German
churches. When the Confessing Church movement was
snuffed out he was imprisoned for his participation
in the plot to kill Hitler. Influenced by the Social
Gospel movement in America, he later wrote in prison
of the need for a "religionless Christianity." His
writings have been a major influence on Christian
Ethics in our time.
Thurs., April 10, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin,
(1881-1955). Mystic and scientist. A French Jesuit
priest, Teilhard was both one of the most creative
theological minds of the 20th century and an eminent
scientist. He did extensive work in geology and
paleontology in China, helping to discover the remains
of "Peking Man." He sought to develop a synthesis of
science and religion, integrating the theory of
evolution with a cosmic vision of Christ at the heart
of the cosmos. His writings, seminal to the development
of Process Theology, were suppressed by Rome during his
Sun. April 13, Baisakhi / Vaisakhi, (Hindu / Sikh).
Hindu New Year and Sikh commemoration of founding of
the Khalsa brotherhood.
Sun., April 13, Palm or Passion Sunday. Care should
be given that the joyous Procession with the Palms does
not overshadow the telling of the passion story. There
is no crown without a cross. While it may not always
be practical to read the entire account of the
crucifixion, it is important that it be read as a
complete story either today or Good Friday. People
need to experience the story as a dramatic whole, not
just in small, controlled pieces we may want to preach
on. In fact, a sermon may not even be needed, if the
story is presented well.
Palms should be saved for use in making next year's
ashes for Ash Wednesday.
The Proclamation of the Passion of Jesus may be done
as a dramatic reading (with various parts assigned to
different readers), through a choral presentation (such
as a cantata or passion setting), or a lessons and hymns
pattern (similar to those done with carols at Christmas).
Despite older traditions, Palm Sunday is not an
appropriate time to celebrate Baptism, Confirmation,
or the Reception of New Members. Those should be held
Order the full 2003 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary,
complete with the entire year's Sanctoral Cycle, at,
6. Adam's Last Word:
My pastor at Holy Redeemer MCC in College Park, Maryland,
the Rev. Clay Witt, told us this Sunday about receiving a
notice from the church?s bank about one of the CDs the
church has invested in. The notice was headlined, "Notice
of Impending Maturity." Clay, who is "a gentleman of a
certain age" as my mother used to say, wondered aloud how
to avoid that "impending maturity."
Of course, in keeping with the banking language that
started his very public reverie, I suggested that you
avoid "impending maturity" by simply Rolling Over!
Well, perhaps you get the pun, perhaps you have thrown
it back at me. I don't care!
But this is an issue as much for the LGBT community as
for anyone, and often more of an issue for us. Often we
don't have children to care for us, or even spouses. And
what happens to the maturing lesbian or gay man whose
partner passes on before them? "Impending maturity" is
a serious issue for some of us.
In this issue we are introducing something very new for
Chi Rho Press. Fiction! The first article is a short
story, most probably fictional. Let us know what you
Lent is winding to a close and Spring is making a
fitful start here in the Northern Hemisphere. We had
temperatures in the 60s and 70s for a while last week,
and may again this week, but on Sunday is snowed. Not
enough to accumulate on the streets and sidewalks, but
a good couple of inches fell before it all turned to
rain. Most of it is gone already today, Monday, but
March certainly is going out a bit confused, neither
lion nor lamb.
Whatever the weather is like in your community, my
prayer is that you are blessed during this Lenten
season and Spring.
R. Adam DeBaugh, Director, Adam@...
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Copyright 2003, Chi Rho Press, Inc.