CHI RHO CONNECTION
The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press,
Your LGBT Christian Publishing House
Vol. IV, No. 4
28 February 2003
1. A Special Ordination
2. "The Children Are Free"
3. Lent Begins on March 5
4. Sanctoral Cycle
5. You Can be Published by Chi Rho Press
6. Adam's Last Word: New Books, Mr.
Rogers' Death, Winter, 'Bowling for Columbine'
This Issue's Quote:
"Naturally the common people don't want war. . . .
But, after all, it is the leaders of a country who
determine policy, and it is always a simple matter
to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy,
or a fascist dictatorship or parliament or a communist
dictatorship. All you have to do is tell them they
are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for
lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.
It works the same in every country."
Hermann Goering (1893-1946) Nazi Reichsmarschall,
at the Nuremberg Trials, 4/18/46. (From Nuremberg
Diary by Gustave Gilbert)
Welcome once again to the Chi Rho Connection, the
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1. "The Journey is Our Home:" Sharing Our Faith
Journeys. A Special Ordination.
The Chi Rho Connection is pleased to continue its
series in which people tell about their faith journeys.
To continue "The Journey is Our Home" series, we are
doing something a little different. We want to tell
you about a very special ordination to the Catholic
priesthood, which happened last weekend. This
ordination is special because it is of a married woman
who was ordained by a large formerly Roman Catholic
Church which was excommunicated en masse because of
their commitment to inclusive ministry to women and
lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people.
Here is an amazing story of faith, and we hope you
are blessed by this spiritual journey.
+ + +
Congratulations to the Rev. Denise Donato, who was
ordained a priest last week at Spiritus Christi
Catholic Church in Rochester, New York.
Spiritus Christi Catholic Church is the former Corpus
Christi Roman Catholic Church where the priest, Fr.
Jim Callan, and the 4,000-member congregation were
all excommunicated by Bishop Matthew Clark in February
1999. The Roman Catholic Bishop excommunicated this
faithful community because of the congregation's beliefs
in an inclusive Gospel and their support for ministry
to the LGBT community.
Fr. Callan and his congregation have the temerity to
believe that the Gospel is for all, including LGBT
people, and they continue on as an independent Catholic
Church. Spiritus Christi Catholic Church not only
ordains women to the priesthood, but also has a vibrant
LGBT community. Check out their Web site at
I have joined the list-serve, CorpusChristiFC@yahoogroups.com
for this amazing community and recommend it and their
ministry to you as a witness to God's all-inclusive love.
And congratulations again to the Rev. Denise Donato, a
priest forever after the order of Melchizedek!
+ + +
2. "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.
Here's what some reviewers have said. "If you're
confused by all the misinformation about homosexuality
and the Bible, read 'The Children Are Free.' The
authors have created a wonderful, timely, easy to
read summary of the evidence that will inform and
inspire your search. Let the Spirit of Truth set
-- Rev. Dr. Mel White, co-founder of Soulforce, past
professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, and former
writer for Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell.
"This book reaffirmed my belief in God and gave me a
renewed sense of hope."
-- Justin Copeland, gay youth.
"It was refreshing to read this loving and supportive
treatment. I can hardly wait to use this material in
discussions with my Christian friends and neighbors."
-- Sue Hazer, mother of a lesbian daughter and member
"This brand new book is one of the best yet for
Christians who are struggling to find a pro-gay
understanding of Scripture. Short, clear, and
amazingly easy to read, this book does much more
than offering loopholes or excuses with regards
to the Bible. Instead, the authors combine careful
research with a tremendous respect for God's Word,
and they use humor, personal stories, and numerous
Biblical examples to make their case. A must-read
for anyone wanting to understand the Bible better!"
-- from www.gaychristian.net.
"Many books have argued that the Bible does not
condemn same-sex relationships. In the vast majority
of cases, however, the arguments sound like loopholes
and excuses, not a sincere reading of Holy Scripture.
(Sadly, this includes even the ever popular 'What the
Bible Really Says About Homosexuality.')
"This book is remarkably different! The authors don't
make excuses or water down the text; instead, they
take the Bible seriously and treat it respectfully,
allowing the Bible itself to provide the best evidence
of their case. Meanwhile, this book is so short,
simple, and easy to read that anyone can benefit from
"'The Children Are Free' is chock full of anecdotes
and examples, making it a delight to read, even for
people who don't normally read about the Bible. Those
of us more familiar with the subject will appreciate
the clarity of the authors' argument.
"Other, similar books made me think, 'Yeah, I guess
I can see that,' but this one left me wondering, 'How
could you come to any other conclusion?'"
-- from amazon.com, a reader from Raleigh, NC, USA
About the Authors:
Jeff Miner is the pastor of Jesus Metropolitan
Community Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was
raised in fundamentalist independent Baptist churches,
and received his undergraduate degree from Bob Jones
University. In college, Jeff felt called to the
ministry, but deferred that calling while trying
to come to terms with being gay. In the meantime,
he attended Harvard Law School, graduating with
honors in 1983. Several years later, after
intensive study of the Bible and homosexuality,
Jeff came to peace with being gay. Soon he
discovered the Metropolitan Community Churches,
a Christian denomination that has arisen out of
the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.
There, Jeff realized he could fulfill his call to
ministry. He completed his clergy training and was
ordained in 1997.
Before his ordination, Jeff worked as an attorney
for 13 years, last serving as Deputy Chief Council
for a federal banking agency.
Jeff lives with his spouse, David Zier. They were
joined in Holy Union on September 8, 1990, and live
John Tyler Connoley is the son of Wesleyan
missionaries. He spent most of his childhood years
in Zambia, Africa, and has lived in Korea, the
Philippines, and all of the West Coast states.
He came out to himself in 1991, while attending
Indiana Wesleyan University, and has since sought
to live a life that integrates his deep faith in
God with his sexuality. While working on "The
Children Are Free," Tyler completed his M.A. in
Biblical studies at Earlham School of Religion in
He is married to Rob Connoley.
See and order this exciting new book on our Web site at
3. Lent Begins on March 5
Ash Wednesday is March 5, just a couple of days away,
and there is still time to get your copy of Chi Rho
Press' new book of Lenten meditations and study guide,
"For Another Flock," by Jeffrey Lea. ($10.95 each,
$8.95 each for six or more copies, plus shipping and
handling.) View it on our Web site at
"For Another Flock" includes daily meditations for all
the days of Lent and Holy Week, beginning with Ash
Wednesday (which is March 5), and ending with
Easter Sunday (April 20, 2003). Scripture readings are
provided for every day in Lent and Holy Week followed
by a reflection from a uniquely gay and Catholic point
of view and a prayer.
Following the daily meditations is a seven-week Lenten
Bible Study Guide. Jeff Lea's introduction explores Lent
as a penitential season, discussing penance and repentance.
Each weekly Bible Study starts with a Gospel reading.
There is a Lenten theme for each of the seven sessions.
Week One is "An Ash Wednesday Ritual and Discussion of
the Nature of Penance." Week Two is "The Nature of
Temptation." Week Three is "The Meaning of Sin in our
Lives." Week Four is "Faithfulness and Homosexuality."
Week Five is "The Joy of Being Gay." Week Six is "The
Meaning of Judgement." And the concluding session is
"The Last Supper and the Mandatum" (New Commandment).
Seven Appendices conclude the book.
"For Another Flock: Rainbow Meditations and Study Guide
for Lent" is spiral bound, 5 ½" x 8 ½", 104 pages, and
sells for $10.95 each, $8.95 each for six or more copies,
plus shipping and handling.
4. 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.
Sun. March 2, John and Charles Wesley (1703-1791) and
(1707-1788). Anglican priests and founders of Methodism.
While attending Oxford, John and Charles founded the
"Holy Club" to practice the worship and discipline of
the Prayer Book. They were so strict they were given
the nickname "methodists." Both became Anglican
priests, but later had experiences of inner conversion,
which John described as having his heart "strangely
warmed." They began a revival in England that spread
to the Americas, organizing local groups that met in
homes for prayer and study. When thrown out of local
churches for being too "enthusiastic" they turned to
preaching in the streets. John created a synthesis
of sacramental faith, a personal religion of the
heart, and an active concern for social justice.
Charles is remembered for writing over 6,000 hymn
texts, including "Christ the Lord is risen today,"
"O for a thousand tongues to sing," and "Hark the
herald angels sing."
Sun. March 2, Four Chaplains Day (Interfaith).
Remembers an event in World War II when four
chaplains (Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant) gave
their life jackets to others as a troop ship sank
in the Atlantic.
Tuesday, March 4, Shrove Tuesday. Carnival (Mardi
Gras, or Fat Tuesday) celebration before beginning
of the Lenten fast. Pancakes are often served, and
(in the U.S.A.) jazz played.
Wed. March 5, Ash Wednesday. Begins Lenten season
with imposition of ashes as a sign of penitence.
The forty days of Lent do not include Sundays, which
are always a celebration of Easter.
Wed. March 5, Karl Rahner (1904-1984). Theologian.
Probably the most influential Catholic theologian of
the 20th century, Rahner was a Jesuit who worked to
build bridges between Christian faith and the modern
world. He believed that all human existence was
rooted in the holy and infinite mystery of God.
He tried to reduce the divisions between faith and
science, the church and the world, and emphasized
grace as a relationship. He played a critical role
in the Second Vatican Council.
Wed. March 5, Al-Hijra (Islamic). Islamic New Year
remembering Mohammed's migration from Mecca to Medina.
Fri. March 7, Sts. Perpetua and Felicity (d. 203).
Martyrs. Perpetua, who came from a wealthy family in
North Africa, and Felicity, her friend and servant,
were martyred at Carthage during a period of Roman
persecutions. Despite the pleadings of her family
and the prospect of being torn apart by savage
animals, Perpetua refused to renounce her faith
in Christ. In death they comforted each other,
and in one final act before the jeering crowds
they kissed each other. Writings about their
death were wildly popular in the early church, and
are important for reflecting the perspective of an
independent woman of faith who claimed her own
identity and vocation despite the demands of a
Sat. March 8, International Women's Day.
Mon. March 10, Harriet Tubman (1820?-1913).
Abolitionist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped
to the North in 1849. In the next ten years she
made 19 trips into the South, leading 300 slaves
to freedom. Soon she was known as "Moses." During
the Civil War she served as a spy, scout, and nurse.
Later she worked for the cause of women's suffrage.
She was a member of the AME Zion Church, and said
her actions were revealed to her by God through
Fri. March 14, Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977). Prophet
of freedom. Raised in a family of sharecroppers in
rural Mississippi, Hamer rose up as a prophet to
challenge the oppression of segregation and poverty.
At the age of 45 she attended a civil rights rally
and committed herself to the freedom movement. On
several occasions she was arrested and beaten, but
despite the dogs, fire hoses, clubs, and bombs she
drew on her deep biblical faith and vision of justice
to challenge the powers of oppression. She died of
Order the full 2003 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary,
complete with the entire year's Sanctoral Cycle, at,
5. You Can Be Published by Chi Rho Press!
As you know, one of the regular features of the Chi Rho
Connection, is a series in which people tell the story
of their faith journeys. The title of this column,
"The Journey is Our Home," comes from a wonderful
contemporary hymn by Ruth Duck, called "Lead on,
O Cloud of Yahweh." The whole second verse reads,
Lead on, O fiery pillar,
We follow yet with fears,
But we shall come rejoicing
Though joy be born of tears.
We are not lost, though wandering,
For by your light we come,
And we are still God's people,
The journey is our home.
We want to publish a new faith story in each issue of
the Chi Rho Connection and we are hoping that YOU will
submit your faith story for publication. We want our
writers to be well known and not famous at all, clergy
and lay people, LGBT people and non-gay people, people
from all walks of life, and even Christians and non-
Christians. We have already begun collecting these
faith stories for 'The Journey is Our Home' and hope
you are blessed by the spiritual insights found here.
And we need your faith story now as well!
Just send your faith story for "The Journey is Our
Home" to Adam@...
. Please try to limit
your story to 500 words. Tell our readers about a
significant event in your faith journey, what happened,
what it means to you, how it changed your faith journey
and your life. Be published in the Chi Rho Connection!
6. Adam's Last Word: New Books, Mr. Rogers'
Death, Winter, 'Bowling for Columbine'
We have been very excited about the new books in
"Together in Love: Faith Stories of Gay, Lesbian,
Bisexual, and Transgender Couples," compiled and
edited by Roberta Showalter Kreider, is an anthology
of LGBT couples, telling their stories of their faith
journeys as people in non-traditional relationships.
"Together In Love" is $24.00 each, $18.00 each for
six or more copies, plus shipping and handling.
It's not too late to get your copy of "A Liturgical
Calendar and Lectionary, Year B, December 2002 through
November 2003," compiled by Dr. David Kerr Park.
Spiral bound, 8 ½" x 11", 78 pages our Liturgical
Calendar sells for $9.95 each, six or more copies
for $7.95 each, plus shipping and handling. The Web
site link is, http://www.chirhopress.com/products/devotionals.html#Park
"For Another Flock," our book of daily meditations for
Lent, which also includes a Study Guide for a seven-week
Bible study during Lent and lots of informative and useful
appendices, is selling well. (See article 3 in this issue.)
And we are especially excited about the newest addition
to our inventory, "The Children Are Free," by the Rev.
Jeff Miner and John Tyler Connoley (please see article
2 in this issue). Visit our Web site to purchase your
copy today, at http://www.chirhopress.com/products/gayandchristian.html#Miner
I was saddened this week to hear of the death from
stomach cancer of Fred Rogers. He is perhaps better
known as "Mister Rogers" of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood"
fame. An ordained Presbyterian minister, Mr. Rogers'
television show emphasized kindness, gentleness, and
inclusivity to a couple of generations of kids (and
adults). "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" ran from 1968
Fred Rogers attended Sixth Presbyterian Church in
Pittsburgh, a More Light congregation committed to
welcoming LGBT people and including them in church
leadership and ministry. He really lived his beliefs
in tolerance and love, always telling his young viewers
to love themselves and others.
"We live in a world in which we need to share
responsibility," he said in a 1994 interview. "It's
easy to say 'It's not my child, not my community,
not my world, not my problem.' . . . Then there are
those who see the need and respond. I consider those
people my heroes."
It is still "a beautiful day in the neighborhood,"
as Mr. Rogers would always sing, but we have lost a
Winter continues to bedevil us here in the Washington,
DC area. I don't mind telling you that I am really
tired of snow and ice. Hopefully, this winter is
almost over (at least in theory) and March will
eventually provide warmer weather, so that all those
piles of snow and ice can melt.
I went to see the movie "Bowling for Columbine" with
some friends last weekend and I recommend it highly.
It is a documentary about the ease with which guns
are obtained in the United States centering around
the tragic murders of school children at Columbine
High School in Colorado. The two boys who went on a
killing spree in their high school bought ammunition
from the local K-Mart. In a very poignant scene,
Michael Moore, the producer of the documentary, brings
two students who had been wounded at Columbine (one
of them now permanently in a wheelchair) to the
headquarters of K-Mart to "return the bullets." This
excellent documentary is only playing in one theater
in the Washington area, so you may have a hard time
finding it, but it is certainly worth the effort!
That's it for this week. The next edition of the Chi
Rho Connection will be out March 15. I pray that Lent
will be a time of reflection and blessing for you.
R. Adam DeBaugh, Director, Adam@...
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Copyright 2003, Chi Rho Press, Inc.