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420Chi Rho Connection, Vol. VII, No. 8

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Jun 1, 2006
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      The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press,
      Your LGBT Christian Publishing House
      Vol. VII, No. 8
      31 May 2006



      1. The Quiet Sermon
      2. From the Editor's Cave by Adam DeBaugh
      3. May We Suggest Three Books on HIV/AIDS
      4. Step Number 2: Turn to God for Help
      5. "Christian with a Twist"
      6. Sanctoral Cycle
      7. Adam's Last Word


      This issue's Quote:

      "If you have an apple and I have an apple and we
      exchange apples then you and I will still each
      have one apple. But if you have an idea and I
      have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then
      each of us will have two ideas."
      -- George Bernard Shaw


      Welcome once again to the Chi Rho Connection, the
      electronic newsletter of Chi Rho Press. Thank you
      for passing this Chi Rho Connection on to others.

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      Direct all other e-mail to Adam@....


      1. The Quiet Sermon

      My good friend, Kathy S. Quinn, sent this to a
      list-serve we both are on. We are not sure who
      wrote it, but we found it very touching.

      A member of a certain church, who previously had
      been attending services regularly, stopped going.
      After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him.

      It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man
      at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.
      Guessing the reason for his pastor's visit, the
      man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair
      near the fireplace and waited.

      The pastor made himself at home but said nothing.
      In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of
      the flames around the burning logs. After some
      minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully
      picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to
      one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back
      in his chair, still silent. The host watched all
      this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone
      ember's flame flickered and diminished, there
      was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more.
      Soon it was cold and dead.

      Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.
      The Pastor glanced at his watch and realized it was
      time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the
      cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle
      of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once
      more with the light and warmth of the burning coals
      around it.

      As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said
      with a tear running down his cheek, "Thank you so much
      for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I
      shall be back in church next Sunday."

      We live in a world today, which tries to say too much
      with too little. Consequently, few listen. Sometimes
      the best sermons are the ones left unspoken.


      2. From the Editor's Cave
      By Adam DeBaugh

      [This article is the fourth of a series published in the
      "Epi-Grams," the newsletter of the health studies area
      of Westat. Adam is the editor of "Epi-Grams." Since
      "Epi-Grams" is only published quarterly, this, the fourth
      in the series, will be published June 15.]

      "Do you know the difference between a terrorist and an
      editor? You can negotiate with a terrorist."

      English is a strange and confusing language. But that
      is what makes it so much fun. And that is also why
      puns are so easy and prevalent in English. Rather
      than being my usual curmudgeonly self and complain
      about the myriad grammatical and spelling errors I
      encounter with alarming frequency in my work, I want
      to offer up a bunch of one-liners gleaned from the
      Internet. (Where else would I find this kind of

      Some of these one-liners are pretty obvious. Some you
      have to think about. The key for each of these is that
      you need to think just a little askew. The humor in
      some of them depends on thinking about the properties
      of some of the words, in the first one you need to
      recall that sponges soak up water, for instance.
      Others rely on literal readings (like the second one,
      "how long had I been gone? The whole time."). Some
      are just puns. But hopefully all of them will make
      you think, if only for a little bit, and most of them
      might even bring a smile to your face.

      Let me know if you don't get any of these. I promise
      not to make fun of you. Really. No, honest, I promise.
      Well, maybe just a little.

      Just think how much deeper the ocean would be if sponges
      didn't live there.

      I went for a walk last night and my kids asked me how
      long I'd be gone. I said, "The whole time."

      So what's the speed of dark?

      If you're sending someone some Styrofoam, what do you
      pack it in?

      I just got skylights put in my place. The people who
      live above me are furious.

      Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they
      taste funny?

      Isn't Disney World a people trap operated by a mouse?

      How come abbreviated is such a long word?

      If it's zero degrees outside today and it's supposed to
      be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?

      Why do you press harder on a remote control when you
      know the battery is dead?

      Why are they called buildings, when they're already
      finished? Shouldn't they be called builts?

      Why are they called apartments, when they're all stuck

      Why do banks charge you a "non-sufficient funds fee" on
      money they already know you don't have?

      Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?

      When two airplanes almost collide why do they call it a
      near miss? It sounds like a near hit to me!

      Why are there five syllables in the word "monosyllabic?"

      Why do they call it the Department of Interior when they
      are in charge of everything outdoors?

      Why do scientists call it research when looking for
      something new?

      If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?

      Why is it, when a door is open it's ajar, but when a jar
      is open, it's not adoor?

      If "con" is the opposite of "pro," then what is the
      opposite of progress?

      Why is it that lemon juice contains mostly artificial
      ingredients but dishwashing liquid contains real lemons?

      Why do we wait until a pig is dead to "cure" it?

      Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

      Do Roman paramedics refer to IVs as "4s"?

      Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

      I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's
      the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it
      would defeat the purpose.

      War doesn't determine who's right, just who's left.

      Here endeth the lesson.


      3. May We Suggest Three Books on HIV/AIDS Ministry?

      As we commemorate 25 years since the beginning of the
      HIV/AIDS pandemic on June 5, 1981, it is fitting to
      highlight three books published by Chi Rho Press that
      are excellent resources for HIV/AIDS ministry and for
      all those living with HIV.

      HIV/AIDS is still an important issue in our community
      and in this issue we are featuring three important,
      small books on the HIV health crisis.

      "Families Re-Membered: Pastoral Support for Friends and
      Families Living with HIV/AIDS," by the Rev. Louis F.
      Kavar, Ph.D. HIV/AIDS causes families to be re-structured,
      enlarged and changed or "re-membered." This book explores
      the dynamics of family systems and the realities of
      extended families of choice in the context of HIV/AIDS.
      $10.95 each, six or more copies for $8.25 each, plus
      shipping and handling.


      "To Celebrate and to Mourn: Liturgical Resources for
      Worshiping Communities Living with AIDS," by the Rev.
      Louis F. Kavar, Ph.D. "As people who continue to live
      in the midst of AIDS, one of our greatest resources is
      that of the community of faith." Dr. Kavar discusses
      liturgical symbols that have special meaning in the AIDS
      crisis for churches, and provides parts of liturgies for
      various HIV/AIDS-related worship experiences. $3.95
      each, six or more copies for $2.95 each, plus shipping
      and handling.


      "I'm Still Dancing! A Gay Man's Health Experience," by the
      Rev. A. Stephen Pieters. A powerful book by a long-term
      survivor of AIDS: articles, sermons and journal entries
      chronicle life with AIDS. Sick since 1982 and diagnosed
      with AIDS in 1984, Steve's cancers have gone into complete
      remission and he remains well to this day. He served for
      many years as Field Director of the UFMCC's AIDS Ministry.
      $8.95 each, six or more copies for $6.75 each, plus shipping
      and handling.



      4. Step Number 2: Turn to God for Help

      Step Number 2 in the "Steps to Recovery from Bible
      Abuse," but the Rev. Dr. Rembert Truluck, is to Turn
      to God for Help.

      Here is the introductory material from chapter 7 of
      "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse," in which Dr.
      Truluck outlines the second step needed to recover
      from Bible abuse, turning to God for help.

      Pray and ask God to guide you into a healthy spiritual
      life and into a Christ-centered use of the Bible. God
      wants you to be happy and to feel good about yourself.
      God, as you understand and experience God, is very
      personal and individual. Nobody else can give God to
      you. This is why all recovery programs encourage you
      to turn your life over to your "Higher Power" or to
      God as you understand God. Your sense of self-esteem
      and self-worth depends on your view of God.

      Be anxious for nothing, but in every thing by prayer
      and supplication let your requests be known to God.
      And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
      will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus
      (Philippians 4:6-7).

      Cast all of your anxiety on God, for God cares for you
      (1 Peter 5:7).

      Buy the complete book, "Steps to Recovery from Bible
      Abuse," on the Chi Rho Press Web site, at this link:


      5. "Christian with a Twist"

      Here is a selection from our second major book of
      reflections, "Christian with a Twist: Reflections
      on Scripture that are a bit more inclusive, a bit
      more relevant, and with a bit of a bite," by the
      late William Gaston.

      "Christian with a Twist" is available for $19.95 each,
      $14.95 each for six or more copies, plus shipping and
      handling. You can read more about it and order it at

      As the subtitle suggests, Bill's writing has a bit
      of a bite, and we believe you will enjoy his sharp,
      but loving take on Scripture, life, and faith.

      Here is a selection entitled "The Empty, Empty Tomb"
      from the Easter section of "Christian with a Twist."

      Please read Luke 24:1-7

      Perplexed. I relate to these women. What happened to
      Jesus' body has always perplexed me. I have no problem
      understanding that Jesus died on the cross. God knows
      humankind is capable of such a thing, we are sometimes
      most cruel to the best among us. If scriptures and
      sermons were not enough, theater productions like that
      of "Godspell" which was performed at our church
      recently, reflect the harsh reality of our rejection
      of truth and love.

      I have no problem knowing that Jesus rose from the dead.
      I have seen the dead bodies of loved ones. I know the
      spirit, the soul, the person we love is released from
      the body and continues to live. I do not understand
      how, but I can leave that mystery to God.

      I understand that Jesus comes back to us. He has
      entered my life, and I know the profound way his
      living presence affects others. I have seen him in
      the lives of people special to me and even strangers,
      and if one day God intends to bring him back to us in
      another way, that I can also count as one of life's

      But the body. What would have happened to the body?
      The words of the two men in dazzling clothes give me
      comfort. We may understandably search for the living
      among the dead, but really we find them among the
      living. It is among the living that we find Jesus.
      It is even among the living and the continuing life
      forces of God's Creation that we find our own loved
      ones who have passed on.

      But the body. A body with no person living in it is
      empty. A harsh but beautiful remnant of a life
      remembered, but oh, so cold, still, and empty.
      Perhaps the women who loved him so could not have
      faced the sight of that emptiness. I do not know.
      Still, there are mysteries that leave us perplexed.



      6. Sanctoral Cycle

      As a regular feature in the Chi Rho Connection, we
      are offering up traditional saints listed in the 2006
      Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary from today until
      our next scheduled electronic newsletter.


      Tues., May 30, St. Joan of Arc (Patron saint: rape victims).
      God does speak to us: If we take the time to listen, we
      can hear God's voice. St. Joan is a prime example of the
      types of people that God chooses for great things. She
      was an illiterate farm girl, unschooled and ill prepared
      for what God had in mind for her, yet she heard God's voice
      and allowed God to lead her.

      Wed., May 31, St. Angela Merici. Waiting for God: We
      want for much but to get it accomplished, that is for
      God. "They who, when they have knocked, are angry
      because they are not forthwith heard, are not humble
      petitioners but imperious demanders. However long God
      may leave you waiting, wait patiently for the Lord's own
      time," St. Peter Chrysologus.

      Thurs., June 1, St. Justin (Patron saint: lecturers). The
      certainty of faith: We all receive the gift of faith with
      little or no effort of our own. We need to learn how to
      value it from those who reached it after a long search.
      Let us fear, like St. Justin did, the account we shall
      have to render for God's gift. "I know whom I have
      believed, and am convinced that God is able to guard what
      I have entrusted to God for that day" (2 Timothy 1:12).

      Diversity Date: Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. (Please see
      article number 2 in the last edition of the Chi Rho
      Connection for alternative scripture readings for the
      four Sundays of June, Pride-Tide.)

      Fri., June 2, St. Mary of the Incarnation. Doing penance:
      Sickness, humiliation and prosecution from every quarter,
      endless personal sufferings and crosses of all sorts abound
      in the life of St. Mary. They all make a great testimony
      to the spirit that is totally surrendered to the will of
      God. "Unless you do penance, you will all perish" (Luke

      Sat., June 3, Holy Martyrs of Uganda. The narrow gate:
      Central Africa in the 1800's was a place where God's name
      had never been spoken and the evil one ruled supreme by
      means of slavery, sorcery, and cannibalism. These
      missionaries to Uganda were all martyred for their faith.
      "Strive to enter by the narrow gate, for many, I tell you,
      will seek to enter and will not be able" (Luke 13:24).

      Sun., June 4, St. Francis Caracciolo. Worshipping Jesus
      in the blessed sacrament: It is for us, not for angels,
      that our Lord lives sacramentally upon the altar; yet
      angels crowd our churches to worship him, while we
      ignore him. Learn from St. Francis to avoid such
      ingratitude and to spend, as he did, every possible
      moment before the most Holy Sacrament.

      Mon., June 5, St. Boniface of Crediton. Willingness to
      let go: St. Boniface teaches us how the love of Christ
      changes all things. It was for Christ�s sake that he
      toiled, preferring poverty to riches, labor to rest,
      suffering to pleasures, death to life, that by dying
      he might live with Christ.

      Tues., June 6, St. Norbert. Reverence: In the course
      of their work, St. Norbert and his followers had to
      stand up for the reverence and honor that is due to
      the Holy Eucharist. We must guard in our present
      worship practices against irreverence and outrages
      offered by others. "Then the man said, �Lord I
      believe,� and he worshiped Christ" (John 9:38).

      Wed., June 7, St. Robert of Newminster. Setting
      examples: Religion and reason both teach us that
      we should act virtuously; but only facts prove that
      we do so. This is why examples have more power to
      move us, and why our individual actions are of such
      crucial importance for others as well as for ourselves.

      Thurs., June 8, St. Medard (Patron saint: good weather).
      Shelter: St. Medard is always depicted as a young man
      standing in the rain under the shelter of an eagle.
      St. Medard teaches us that God�s love is as gentle as
      a dove but as fierce as an eagle. We are sheltered
      from adversity by God�s protection if we pray and
      believe that God will provide. Just as St. Medard
      was sheltered from the rain, so will God protect us.

      Fri., June 9, Bd. Anne Taigi. Heavenly knowledge:
      Every day duties are no hindrance to a full and
      vibrant relationship with God. St. Anne would be
      in the middle of everyday tasks when she would feel
      God�s presence. She would immediately exclaim, "Leave
      me in peace, Lord; leave me to my job!" "Your sons
      and your daughters shall prophesy; and your old men
      shall dream dreams and your young men shall see visions.
      Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour
      out my Spirit in those days" (Joel 2:28-29).

      Sat., June 10, St. Margaret of Scotland. Letting things
      go: Perfection consists in keeping a watch on the heart.
      Wherever we are, we can make a solitude in our hearts,
      detach ourselves from the world, and talk confidently
      with God. Let us take St. Margaret as our example and
      gain encouragement from it always.

      Sun., June 11, St. Barnabas. Generosity: It is
      remarkable to note the amount of time the apostolic
      church spent on collecting and distributing alms.
      For the first Christians, sending alms to Jerusalem
      was a testament to their unity of faith as well as
      the fervor of their charity.

      Mon., June 12, St. John of Sahagun. Lovers of peace:
      We all desire peace but few find it and enjoy it. If
      you realized what peace would come to you and happiness
      to others if you kept yourself in a good state, you
      would be more anxious for spiritual benefits. "Turn
      from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it"
      (Psalm 34:14).

      Tues., June 13, St. Antony of Padua (Patron saint:
      travelers). Hide: We need to love to pray and labor
      unseen and cherish in the secret of our hearts God�s
      graces and the growth of our own souls. Like St.
      Antony, let us attend to this and leave the rest to
      God. "But when you pray, go into your room, close the
      door and pray to your Creator who is in secret; and
      your Creator who sees what is done in secret, will
      reward you" (Matthew 6:6).

      Wed., June 14, St. Basil. Christian courage: "When I
      look about me I seem to have no one on my side. I can
      but pray I may be found in the number of those seven
      thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal. I know
      our present persecutors seek my life; yet that shall
      reduce none of the efforts I owe to the churches of
      God," St. Basil.

      Thurs., June 15, St. Germaine. Patience: St. Germaine
      was a peasant, ignorant in human knowledge, who learned
      something that is very precious in God�s eyes: patience.
      She spent most of her life watching over her family�s
      flocks in the pastures, and in spite of neglect and
      cruelty, she was good, kind, and devout. The
      unhappiness in her home was borne with unfailing

      Fri., June 16, St. John Regis. Others come first:
      When St. John was struck in the face by someone whom
      he had rebuked, he replied, "If you only knew me, you
      would have given me much more than that." His meekness
      converted the man. It is in this spirit that he teaches
      us to win souls to God.

      Sat., June 17, Sts. Marcian and Nicander. Christian
      affection: Love God above all. Do not let any
      attachments keep you from hearing God�s voice. You
      help those you love best when you follow the call of
      God. Do not grudge them to God when God calls them by
      death. They are more than ever yours when they belong
      to God alone.


      Order the 2005-2006 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary,
      complete with the entire year's Sanctoral Cycle, at
      this link:


      7. Adam's Last Word


      I really encourage you all to become Guardian Angels of
      Chi Rho Press. This will help us a lot as we prepare our
      next books for publication. Just $150 for a year will
      make you an important participant in this ministry.
      Thank you!


      Please check out the Chi Rho Cards! Our line of
      greeting cards, by the talented New York artist Timothy
      Leetch, are now available. See the descriptions of the
      cards on our Web site at: http://www.chirhopress.com/products/cards.html.

      Please order some cards today!


      Gracia y paz,

      R. Adam DeBaugh, Director, Adam@....


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      Copyright 2006, Chi Rho Press, Inc.