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Chi Rho Connection, Vol. IV, No. 7

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    ************************* CHI RHO CONNECTION The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press, Your LGBT Christian Publishing House Vol. IV, No. 7 15 April 2003
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 14, 2003
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      *************************
      CHI RHO CONNECTION

      The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press,
      Your LGBT Christian Publishing House
      Vol. IV, No. 7
      15 April 2003

      *************************
      Contents:

      1. Montgomery Village Memoir, New Short Fiction
      2. New Remainder Table on Web Site
      3. "The Children Are Free"
      4. Sanctoral Cycle
      5. Adam's Last Word:

      --------------------------------------------------

      This Issue's Quote:

      "Our deepest fear is NOT that we are inadequate. Our
      deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
      It is our light, NOT our darkness that most frightens
      us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant,
      gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are
      you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing
      small does not serve the world. There is nothing
      enlightening about shrinking so that other people
      won't feel unsure around you. We were born to make
      manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is
      not just in some of us, IT IS WITHIN EVERYONE! As
      we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give
      other people permission to do the same. As we are
      liberated from our own fear, our presence
      automatically liberates others."
      -- from Nelson Mandela's 1994 Inaugural Address

      *****

      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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      to see our entire lines of books, handouts, videos, tapes,
      tchochkas, and stained glass.

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

      --------------------------------------------------

      1. Montgomery Village Memoir, New Short Fiction

      As usual, Montgomery Village has been embroiled in
      controversy.

      This week the Village is taking sides about the
      relationship between Susie Parker, Lane Parker's
      little sister, and Brad Bradley. Susie and Brad are
      seniors at the high school here in the Village. They
      are both extremely pretty, the most popular kids in
      school.

      In keeping the with unorthodox nature of Montgomery
      Village, which you will recall we think of as the Hub
      of the Universe, Brad is not the quarterback of the
      football team. He is the pitcher for the high school
      baseball team, the Whispering Eagles. Susie is of
      course the head of the cheerleading squad. They are
      the Golden Children of our high school, and of course
      haven't had an intellectual experience in all their
      18 years.

      Brad and Susie are sweet kids, but they are vapid and
      rather vacant. Last year Brad started agitating for
      sandwiches to be named for them at the Village Bistro.
      Oscar Fernandez, the Bistro's owner, headed off the
      potential controversy by announcing that he HAD named
      sandwiches for the two shining youngsters, the Patty
      Melt and the French Dip.

      Aleecia the server explained that Oscar had decided
      not to use their real names, but rather to invent new
      nicknames for Susie and Brad. Of course, the kids
      bought it like uranium pellets in a Baghdad market.
      Brad tells people that Susie's eyes "just make me melt."
      Hence she is "Patty Melt."

      Susie says that Brad is "so exotic, so sophisticated,
      why he is almost French!"

      Another controversy averted, much to be dismay of the
      Village residents, who like a good contretemps from
      time to time.

      But now the Precious Pair is at risk of graduating
      from high school. Brad hopes to be accepted at
      Montgomery College, a decent two-year school which
      he then hopes to parlay into a CPA at Maryland
      University, the Gaithersburg campus of course, after
      his successful three or four years at Montgomery
      College. Brad can be incredibly realistic about
      his scholastic future. He has no back-up school.
      He really loves his job at the Sports Authority,
      so he is unconcerned about College. And baseball
      season has started.

      Susie has been accepted at the Baltimore Beauty
      School, which means she will be moving up Route 95
      about 50 miles to Maryland's largest city. That is,
      if she graduates from the high school this year.

      And therein lies the latest Village controversy. What
      will happen to the Romance of the Decade? With Brad
      the French Dip staying at home with his parents, Bill
      and Betty Bradley, and Susie Patty Melt Parker going
      off to distant Baltimore, can this love affair last?

      Lane Parker says that it is impossible. He doesn't
      believe in long-distance relationships, from bitter,
      but intensely private experience.

      Martha Pettigrew, the librarian at the high school,
      says, "Well, what does Lane Parker know? Everyone
      knows homosexuals can't keep a relationship going for
      love or money!"

      Lane Parker heard about that and called Martha a
      spinster with nothing better to do than to meddle in
      the affairs of her young charges. And the battle was
      joined!

      It's still early in their last semester, of course.
      And there is always the chance that Susie will fail
      Physics for the second time and have to stay in
      Montgomery Village to take her senior year over again.

      The Village's large Gay community, of course, is
      officially neutral, trying to mediate between the two
      sides. You could almost hear all of the Village's Gay
      men step away from Lane Parker after word got out about
      what Martha has said. The Village Lesbians tried, but
      failed to feel a lot of sympathy for Martha Pettigrew
      because of what Lane Parker had called her.

      Those in favor of a graduation day break-up seem to
      have an edge over those who favor sticking it out in
      a long distance relationship. Brad and Susie seem
      somewhat oblivious to the controversy.

      Betty Bradley says she is not quite sure Brad knows
      that he runs the risk of graduating from high school
      this year. "I love him and he is my son and all, but
      we have to be realistic. Brad isn't the brightest
      bulb on the string."

      It's all the Village can talk about this week.

      --------------------------------------------------

      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 http://www.chirhopress.com/products/remainders.html.

      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
      Table now:

      "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
      list price!

      "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
      price!

      "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
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/remainders.html .

      --------------------------------------------------

      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
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/gayandchristian.html#Miner

      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
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/gayandchristian.html#Miner

      --------------------------------------------------

      4. Sanctoral Cycle

      As a regular feature in the Chi Rho Connection, we
      are offering up traditional and modern saints and holy
      days listed in the 2003 Liturgical Calendar and
      Lectionary from today until our next scheduled
      electronic newsletter. This week we are adding
      information from the Liturgical Calendar about
      Holy or Maundy Thursday, Good Friday (including
      the Seven Last Words of Christ and the Stations of
      the Cross), and Easter Sunday as a way of enhancing
      your Easter worship.

      Wed., April 16 (sunset) -- Thurs., April 24, Passover
      (Jewish). Pesach, the celebration of the Hebrew's
      exodus from Egypt and freedom from slavery.

      Thurs., April 17, Holy Thursday. If one were to
      define a sacrament by the traditional Protestant
      criteria (commanded by Jesus and found in the
      Scriptures), foot washing would qualify as a
      sacrament. It is a powerful symbolic action, but
      requires preparation so people in the congregation
      are comfortable with what can be a very intimate
      act. Those who choose to participate are invited
      forward, without socks or hose, while selected persons
      (both lay and clergy) wash and dry their feet. This
      may be done in silence or to the singing of other
      music (especially a setting of Ubi caritas, "Where
      Charity and Love Prevail").

      The Stripping of the Church is an ancient ceremony in
      which the altar and sanctuary are completely cleared
      of all moveable items after Communion. This is a
      dramatic way of symbolizing the sense of abandonment
      of Jesus in his long night of prayer in the Garden of
      Gethsemane. Selected persons come forward and
      solemnly remove all cloths, banners, candles, or
      decorations from the worship space. This is
      traditionally done to the reading of Psalm 22, but
      can also be done in silence or while music is played
      or sung. The sanctuary then remains completely bare
      until the Easter Vigil or Easter Sunday.

      In some churches it has become customary to celebrate
      a Passover meal, or Seder, on Holy Thursday. This is
      the most important of Jewish household ceremonies,
      celebrating the Exodus from Egypt. It is likely that
      this was the meal Jesus celebrated with his friends in
      the Upper Room the night before his death. While the
      symbolism of the Eucharist has deep roots in those of
      the Passover, the Christian celebration of this event
      in the life of Jesus is not adequately represented by
      replacing the ceremonies of Holy Thursday with a Seder
      dinner. More importantly, it is an affront to Jewish
      tradition to celebrate this sacred Jewish family meal
      without a Jewish family as host. Churches are
      encouraged to invite members of the Jewish community
      (especially where there is a local GLBT or friendly
      synagogue) to lead them in a Seder meal at some other
      time during Lent or Holy Week. This is an excellent
      opportunity to build interfaith understanding and
      communication.

      In some traditions Holy Thursday is a time for blessing
      oil to be used for the coming year. This oil is then
      used for liturgies of baptism, anointing the sick,
      confirmation, ordination, etc.

      Fri., April 18, Good Friday. The Liturgy for Good
      Friday features the Proclamation of the Passion of
      Jesus and the Meditation at the Cross (including silent
      meditation and the Reproaches, or Christ's Lament).
      The reading of the Passion ordinarily takes the place
      of a sermon (see notes for Palm Sunday). During the
      meditations a large wooden cross can be brought in and
      persons invited to come forward to kneel (or sit or
      stand), pray, and express some gesture of devotion to
      the cross (such as touching, kissing, or making the
      sign of the cross) while music is played or sung.

      Although originally a Catholic devotion from Peru, a
      popular service among Protestants has been the Devotion
      of the Three Hours (noon through 3:00 pm) featuring the
      Seven Last Words. Ecumenical community services often
      include a series of short homilies, interspersed with
      hymns and other music.

      The Seven Last Words:

      1st Word, Luke 23:34, Abba, forgive them
      2nd Word, Luke 23:43, Today you will be with me in
      paradise
      3rd Word, John 19:26-27, Woman, here is your son
      4th Word, Mark 15:34 or Matthew 27:46, My God, why have
      you forsaken me?
      5th Word, John 19:28, I am thirsty
      6th Word, John 19:30, It is finished
      7th Word, Luke 23:46, Into your hands I commend my
      spirit

      The Way (or Stations) of the Cross is a traditional
      Catholic Lenten devotion which may form the basis for
      a Good Friday service, or can be done earlier in the
      Lenten season. It is ideally done where people can
      move from station to station, each of which represent
      a moment in Jesus' journey to the cross. The stations
      listed here differ from the traditional ones in that
      only events found in the gospels are included. There
      are creative ways to make this ancient devotion
      contemporary and fresh, such as experiencing the
      Stations through the experience of persons living
      with AIDS or using the African-American spiritual
      tradition together with African.

      The Service of Tenebrae, or Service of the Shadows,
      is an extended meditation on the passion of Christ
      that has its origins in the 12th century. This
      service features the gradual extinguishing of 14
      candles (15 in some liturgies) as the passion story
      is read. The ancient monastic form included readings
      from Psalms and the Lamentations of Jeremiah. Hymns
      or songs may be sung between the portions. The final
      Christ candle is either taken away or put out, with
      a loud noise made to represent either Jesus' death or
      the earthquake at the resurrection. This service is
      sometimes used as a conclusion to the liturgy for
      Holy Thursday, but has also been used to replace the
      liturgy for Good Friday. There are a number of
      musical settings that can be used for choral
      presentations during Lent. It can also serve as a
      separate Lenten devotional service earlier in the season.

      The Way of the Cross:

      1st Station, Luke 22:39-44, Jesus prays in the Garden
      2nd Station, Matthew 26:47-56, Jesus is arrested
      3rd Station, Mark 14:61-64, Sanhedrin tries Jesus
      4th Station, John 18:33-37, Pilate tries Jesus
      5th Station, Mark 15:6-15, Pilate sentences Jesus
      6th Station, John 19:5, Jesus wears a crown
      7th Station, John 10:17-18, Jesus carries his cross
      8th Station, Luke 23:26, Simon carries the cross
      9th Station, Luke 23:27-31, Jesus speaks to the women
      10th Station, Luke 23:33-34, Jesus is crucified
      11th Station, Luke 23:39-43, Criminals speak to Jesus
      12th Station, John 19:25b-27, Jesus speaks to Mary and
      John
      13th Station, John 19:28-34, Jesus dies on the cross
      14th Station, John 19:38-42, Jesus is laid in the tomb

      Sat., April 19, Holy Saturday.

      Sun., April 20, Easter Sunday. The Great Vigil of Easter
      has its origins in the early church as the primary
      celebration of the Resurrection. It included an
      extended prayer vigil through the night, culminating
      with the baptism of new Christians (coming up out of
      the baptismal waters just as the sun broke over the
      horizon) and their joining the believers in their
      first Eucharist.

      The modern Easter Vigil includes four primary sections:
      the Service of Light (including the lighting of the
      Paschal Candle), the Service of the Word (which may
      include any number of readings, however the reading
      from Exodus 14 is never omitted, and a minimum of two
      additional readings from Hebrew Scripture should be
      included, in addition to the Christian Scripture
      readings), the Service of the Baptismal Covenant
      (whether for actual baptisms, or congregational
      renewal), and Service of the Table (a joyful
      celebration of eating with the Risen Christ). This
      service is the climax of the Great Three Days, in
      which the services for Holy Thursday, Good Friday,
      and the Easter Vigil form a single liturgical entity.

      The Paschal Candle is first lit on Easter Eve (or if
      no Easter Vigil is celebrated, on the first service
      Easter morning). It is a large white candle,
      traditionally held in a special stand of great
      dignity. The candle is placed by the baptismal
      font and lit at all services during the Easter season
      (including Pentecost Sunday), and at all funerals,
      memorial services, and baptisms through the rest of
      the year.

      Another feature of this service is the ringing of
      bells during the Gloria in excelsis or other great
      hymn of praise.

      Tue. April 22, Earth Day. International day first
      observed in 1970.

      Wed. April 23, Cesar Chavez, (1927-1993). Farmworker.
      Raised in a family of Mexican-American migrant workers,
      Chavez transformed a local labor struggle into a moral
      cause that challenged the conscience of the nation.
      He was committed to absolute nonviolence, and was
      supported by many religious leaders. Inspired by a
      priest who gave him a passion for justice, and a
      community activist, who taught him how to organize,
      he became the driving force in founding the United
      Farmworkers Union.

      Wed. April 23, Administrative Professionals Day
      (U.S.A.). Unofficial holiday (also known as
      Secretary's Day).

      Fri. April 25, St. Mark the Evangelist. Apostle
      and Evangelist. The writer of the second gospel
      is not named, but it is traditionally associated
      with either John Mark (a missionary companion of
      Paul) or another Mark associated with Peter. He
      is symbolized by a winged lion, recalling Jesus
      as the Lion of Judah. Mark was the first to write
      down the stories of Jesus. Around 70 ce, this
      Jewish Christian provided his readers, and us,
      with a handbook on how to follow Jesus.

      Mon. April 28, Oskar Schindler, (1908-1974).
      "Righteous Gentile." Here is an example of a
      person who is remembered not for being holy (living
      a religious or virtuous life), but rather for being
      used by God in doing something holy. Schindler was
      a German industrialist who made a fortune on the
      labor of Jews in his factory. Although raised as a
      Catholic, he was not religious. He was gambler,
      heavy drinker, and unfaithful husband who used others
      for his own gain. For reasons which have never been
      clear, and at great personal risk, he used his power
      and influence to save the lives of 1,100 men, women,
      and children. At the end of the war he was impoverished.
      Today he is buried in Jerusalem at Yad Vashem (Holocaust
      Memorial) among the "Righteous Gentiles."

      Tue. April 29, St. Catherine of Siena, (1347-1380).
      Doctor of the Church. An Italian mystic, teacher, and
      nun, Catherine devoted herself to serving the poor and
      sick around her. She showed her love for Jesus by
      loving her neighbors. She was known for mediating
      disputes for both individuals and powerful political
      and ecclesiastical leaders. Experiencing ecstatic
      visions, her relationship with Christ was so intense
      she finally received the sign of the stigmata.

      Tue. April 29, Yom HaShoah (Jewish). Day of remembrance
      for victims of the Holocaust by the Nazis in 1933-45.
      Not only were six million Jews murdered, but many from
      other groups, including gay men and lesbians.

      Thurs., May 1, St. Thomas รก Kempis, (1380-1471).
      Spiritual master and priest. Thomas was a simple
      Augustinian monk whose life is not remembered so
      much as his writings. His best known work on the
      spiritual life is "The Imitation of Christ," a classic
      that has been influential among both Protestants and
      Catholics. He emphasized the importance of conforming
      our lives to that of Christ. Noting that our actions
      are far more important than our knowledge, "At the Day
      of Judgment we shall not be asked what we have read,
      but what we have done."

      *****

      Order the full 2003 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary,
      complete with the entire year's Sanctoral Cycle, at,
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/devotionals.html#Park.

      -------------------------------------------------

      5. Adam's Last Word:

      Well, we are in the midst of Holy Week, with Palm/Passion
      Sunday behind us and the big liturgical weekend ahead.
      I am preaching a brief homily on one of the Seven Last
      Words at the Good Friday service at my home church, Holy
      Redeemer MCC, College Park, MD. I got "It is finished"
      to preach on. If you are in the area, please join us at
      7:30 pm. Find directions to Holy Redeemer on the
      church Web site, http://www.holy-redeemer-mcc.org

      It is not true, for you non-liturgical types out there,
      that Jesus' seven last words were, "I can see my house
      from here." OK, I apologize, no more bad Easter jokes.

      *****

      I am also just finishing my Lenten discipline with the
      daily reading of the Scriptures and meditations in Jeff
      Lea's "For Another Flock." I am glad we published this
      excellent little book and we intend to continue to keep
      it in stock throughout the year. I hope more people
      will pick it up next Lent to use in small groups or in
      individual study, as I did. Jeff is working on a book
      of daily meditations for Advent, which we will publish
      as well!

      *****

      I am excited about the progress I am making under the
      direction of my personal trainer, Den Burdette. Den
      comes to my house once a week and we work out together,
      then he e-mails my workout schedule for the week to me.
      I have lost an inch and a half around my waist and an
      inch and a half around my chest. My calves have grown
      an inch, working on my stationary bike. If you live
      in the Maryland/DC area and are looking for a personal
      trainer, I can recommend Den Burdette very highly.
      E-mail me and I can put you in touch with him. His
      rates are reasonable, he comes to your home or office,
      and he gets results!

      *****

      The Board of Directors of Chi Rho Press joins me in
      wishing you all a blessed Easter. Christ is Risen!
      He is Risen Indeed!

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

      ******************************************

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      Copyright 2003, Chi Rho Press, Inc.

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