CHI RHO CONNECTION
The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press,
Your LGBT Christian Publishing House
Vol. IV, No. 7
15 April 2003
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
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1. Montgomery Village Memoir, New Short Fiction
As usual, Montgomery Village has been embroiled in
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
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
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
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
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
"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. 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Wed. April 23, Administrative Professionals Day
(U.S.A.). Unofficial holiday (also known as
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 á 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,
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
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.