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Chi Rho Connection, Vol. IV, No. 17

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    ************************* CHI RHO CONNECTION The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press, Your LGBT Christian Publishing House Vol. IV, No. 17 15 September 2003
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 15, 2003

      The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press,
      Your LGBT Christian Publishing House
      Vol. IV, No. 17
      15 September 2003


      1. "Forget backlash: We're just another
      American family"
      2. Our Fourth Anniversary
      3. New Book of Lenten Meditations in the Works
      4. New Board Member
      5. 2004 Liturgical Calendar is in process!
      6. Sanctoral Cycle
      7. Adam's Last Word


      This Issue's Quote:

      "You could move." Abigail Van Buren, "Dear Abby,"
      In response to a reader who complained that a gay
      couple was moving in across the street and wanted
      to know what he could do to improve the quality of
      the neighborhood.


      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.

      To join our list, send an e-mail message to

      To remove yourself from this list send an e-mail to

      Please visit our Web site at http://www.chirhopress.com
      to see our entire lines of books, handouts, videos, tapes,
      tchochkas, and stained glass.

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


      1. "Forget backlash: We're just another
      American family"

      This is not exactly like the Journeys of Faith column
      with which we often lead off the Chi Rho Connection,
      but in many ways the following column is like a faith
      journey. The author simply, calmly, boldly, and with
      his usual humor tells us part of the story of his life.
      What makes this column remarkable is that the author
      is Craig Wilson, whose regular column The Final Word
      appears every Wednesday in USA Today. Newspaper
      journalist, columnist, and book author, Craig Wilson
      is also, unabashedly and without either apology or
      fanfare, a gay man in a long term relationship.

      Craig's coming out has always been very matter of fact.
      He refers frequently to "my partner Jack" in his column
      and that's about as militant as he gets, until the
      following column. (Craig's partner Jack also happens
      to be Adam's boss at his secular job.)

      We think Craig almost always makes a lot of sense and
      no more so than in this column, originally published
      on Aug. 13, and reprinted here with his kind permission.
      Actually, here is what he wrote, "By all means you can
      reprint that column. Just be sure to credit me and the
      paper or, as I always say, those pesky corporate lawyers
      will come running after you. I got more than 3,500
      e-mails on that one [column], and I'm happy to say 99%
      of them were positive. A few whackos in the group, but
      that's what makes it fun."

      We hope you enjoy Craig Wilson's column from USA Today,
      entitled, "Forget backlash: We're just another American

      Craig Wilson's column, "The Final Word," in USA Today,
      on August 13, 2003. Copyright 2003 USA TODAY, a division
      of Gannett Co. Inc.

      I hesitate to write this column. I'm not a particularly
      political person, and this space, over the years, has
      never been a platform for my personal views or beliefs.

      The furthest I've ever stuck my neck out has been to
      advocate the use of Adirondack chairs, front porches
      and outdoor showers. I know most of you prefer it that
      way. A brief respite from the day's news.

      But over the years, I've mentioned my family on occasion.
      My partner of 19 years, Jack, and our dog, Murphy, who
      turns 13 this fall. Both feisty as ever, although Jack
      is slowing down a bit.

      Many of you, actually hundreds of you, have e-mailed,
      thanking me for talking about my "family" in such a
      casual, offhand manner. I never really thought much
      about it. If I was going to write a column about little
      slices of life, my life, it was inevitable they would be
      mentioned now and then. When I don't mention Jack for a
      while, some of you even write to ask why.

      Our life is nothing special. Maybe even a tad boring.
      We put out the flag on holidays in honor of our dads who
      fought in World War II, we pay our taxes, we go to our
      friends' kids' concerts. Our cousins, nieces and nephews
      call us to gossip. We even have our Republican neighbors
      in for drinks and a few laughs.

      And, along with everyone else, we go to Safeway on
      Saturday mornings, where I pull out my coupons in the
      checkout line, much to Jack's embarrassment. An American
      tableau, to the point of parody.

      So all the news of late has seemed, well, odd.

      The president, when asked about gays, throws out the
      line "we're all sinners." The pope issues another anti-
      gay missive, warning all Roman Catholic politicians to
      toe the "family" line. Some bishops in the Episcopal
      Church threaten to break away now that a gay man has
      been elected to their ranks.

      And a minister on CNN last week hauled out the old
      chestnut that gays make a "choice" to live this life,
      adding the sinister "gay agenda" for good measure.

      How strange to be thought of as so dangerous, I thought,
      especially since we have the nicest window boxes on the
      street. And the only agenda I have is to get the windows
      washed before Labor Day.

      I am not surprised by the recent news. Saddened, maybe.
      I foolishly thought we had moved on.

      The recent Supreme Court decision striking down sodomy
      laws gave a glimmer of hope that tolerance was winning
      out, that a part of the population was finally being
      seen as just part of the mix. Not better. Not worse.
      Just there, and recognized.

      And now a backlash.

      I'm probably more taken aback than most because I've
      lived in a bubble for so long, in a neighborhood where
      I'm just Craig, the guy around the corner, the guy with
      the dog that barks at people on bicycles, the guy who
      takes in everyone's UPS packages. Why, there have been
      days here that I've felt almost "normal."

      Those of you who write on occasion, literally saying
      I'm going straight to hell, will continue to give me
      fair warning, I'm sure. Fair enough.

      And I'm sure the shock jocks who have been reading these
      weekly musings on the air for a couple of years now, and
      always with a lisp, will continue to do so. At least, I
      hope they will. It's been great publicity.

      And I'll continue to write about the little things in
      life, like Adirondack chairs and the friends who come
      to sit in them, because in the end, that's really what
      matters most.


      2. Our Fourth Anniversary

      August 31, 1999 was an auspicious day for Chi Rho Press.
      On that day we launched this list-serve, ChiRhoPress-

      So far, our twice-monthly electronic newsletter, the Chi
      Rho Connection you hold, um, on your screen right now
      (if you haven't printed it out and aren't holding it in
      your hands) has seen 103 issues since it began on May 1,
      1999. We quickly saw the value in these new-fangled
      list-serves and set up the Chi Rho Press list-serve
      first with OneList, then E-groups, and now YahooGroups
      as each one got bought out and taken over by the next
      one in line.

      On July 29, 2001, we began sending out the Chi Rho
      Reflection to our subscribers every Sunday, a Gospel
      reading and meditation based on it written by LGBT
      Christians, taken from the book "The Road to Emmaus."

      We hope you do not feel inundated with e-mail from us.
      Two Connections and four (sometimes five) Reflections
      a month does not seem over-much, we hope you will
      agree. And we are grateful for the kind words that
      occasionally come our way.

      We would like your help, to help us celebrate this
      anniversary of sorts. Let your friends and colleagues
      know about the Chi Rho Connection and weekly
      Reflections. If you like what we are doing here,
      certainly let us know, but also tell your friends
      about us. Post your personal endorsement and our
      subscription information on any other list-serves
      you are on, to your church e-mail list, to your
      personal e-mail list. Help us to build our
      subscription list to the next level!

      To subscribe, have your friends and colleagues send
      blank e-mail from the e-mail address at which they
      wish to receive the Chi Rho Connection/Reflection to
      ChiRhoPress-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Thanks for
      your support!


      3. New Book of Lenten Meditations in the Works

      The Board of Directors of Chi Rho Press has signed a
      contract for the publication of Randy Jedele's new
      book of daily meditations for Lent. "You Need Only
      to be Still: Using the Hebrew Scriptures to Journey
      through Lent."

      On each day in Lent Randy suggestions an Old Testament
      reading, followed by two questions for the reader's
      consideration, a brief meditation based on the reading,
      space for the reader to jot down personal reflections,
      and concluding with a prayer. Randy Jedele is active
      in the United Church of Christ and lives in Des Moines,

      He writes firmly from the Reformed Protestant tradition
      and "You Need Only to be Still" will be an exciting
      counterpoint to the Catholic perspective of "For
      Another Flock," by Jeff Lea, which Chi Rho Press
      published last year and which is still available.

      We hope to have "You Need Only to be Still" out well
      before the end of the year, Lent begins on Ash
      Wednesday, which is Feb. 25 in 2004, so we want to
      have both of our Lenten resources available well in
      advance of the beginning of this traditional time of
      penitence, reflection, and study.


      4. New Board Member

      The Rev. Rebecca Ann Steen has accepted the invitation
      of the Board of Directors to join our number in the
      ministry of Chi Rho Press. Rebecca was elected to
      the Board at its last meeting on Sept. 7. A
      transgendered woman who was an ordained United
      Methodist minister until she was removed from her
      ministry in that denomination, Rebecca is now
      preparing to transfer her clergy credentials into
      the Metropolitan Community Churches. Her home base
      is at MCC Baltimore, under the able and Spirit-filled
      leadership of the Rev. David Smith.

      A fuller biography of Rebecca will be available soon.
      We welcome her to our Board of Directors and to active
      ministry with us at Chi Rho Press. You may write her
      to welcome her to this ministry at Rebecca@....


      5. 2004 Liturgical Calendar is in process!

      Despite some significant computer problems, the Rev.
      Dr. David Kerr Park is hard at work finishing up the
      2004 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary for publication
      by Chi Rho Press. Adam and David are rushing to get
      this valuable book into print soon.

      Year C begins with the first Sunday in Advent, Nov.
      30, 2003, and runs through the church year. As before,
      the Liturgical Calendar is packed with useful
      information for planning worship and preaching in
      the local church for each Sunday and Holy Day of
      the Church Year. It is intended for use by pastors,
      musicians, altar guilds, teachers, theological
      students, and anyone using the Church Year as a
      basis for worship or education. The Liturgical
      Calendar will again be spiral bound so it can lie
      flat for easy use, and in the 8 ½" x 11" format.

      We will send out special notification when the
      Liturgical Calendar is available.


      6. Sanctoral Cycle

      As a regular feature in the Chi Rho Connection, we
      are offering up traditional and modern saints and various
      holy days and holidays listed in the 2003 Liturgical
      Calendar and Lectionary from today until our next
      scheduled electronic newsletter.


      Monday, Sept. 15, Martyrs of Birmingham (d. 1963).
      Four young girls. A few weeks after Martin Luther
      King had given his famous speech, "I Have a Dream," and
      in the midst of an intense summer of civil disobedience
      and demonstrations, the situation in Birmingham, Alabama
      had come to a head. The nation watched as fire hoses
      and attack dogs had dramatized the evil of racism. Much
      of the civil rights movement was based in black churches.
      On a peaceful Sunday morning someone threw dynamite
      through the basement window of the 16th Street Baptist
      Church, where four young girls, who had just finished
      their Sunday School class, were changing into choir
      robes. In their eulogy Dr. King called them "martyred
      heroines of a holy crusade for freedom and human

      Monday, Sept. 15, Respect for the Aged Day (Japan)

      Tuesday, Sept. 16, Independence Day (Mexico)

      Tuesday, Sept. 16, Day of Peace. International day
      established by the United Nations.

      Wed. Sep. 17, St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179).
      Abbess and visionary. Hildegard is one of the most
      amazing women in church history. She started as a
      simple Benedictine nun, but excelled as an author,
      prophet, preacher, theologian, musician, composer,
      poet, doctor, and pharmacist. Her intense visions
      and ecological and holistic spirituality speak
      strongly to our own time.

      Thurs., Sep. 18, Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961).
      Secretary General of the United Nations. A skilled
      Swedish diplomat, Hammarskjöld served for eight years
      as the head of the United Nations. He was a rare
      person in that public service was not a means to gain
      power, but a religious vocation, a way of living out
      his faith. He was deeply committed to the cause of
      world peace. His personal journal, "Markings,"
      published after his death, revealed his own inner
      struggles with finding meaning in life. What is
      still unknown to most people is that he was also a
      gay man.

      Sat., Sep. 20, Henri Nouwen (1932-1996). Priest and
      spiritual guide. After ordination in his native
      Holland, Nouwen taught in the U.S. at Notre Dame,
      Yale, and Harvard. He was drawn toward monastic
      life, and became one of the most popular and
      influential spiritual writers of our time. The
      spiritual life, he said, was not something just for
      saints or "perfect people," but the call of Jesus
      was for all of us, even in our brokenness.

      Sun., Sep. 21, St. Matthew. Apostle and Evangelist.
      The author of the first book in the Christian
      Scriptures is traditionally associated with Matthew,
      also known as Levi the tax collector. These were
      hated as traitors who collaborated with Rome. Jesus
      was severely criticized for eating at the same table
      with them. Tradition says Matthew traveled to the
      East, but we really know nothing of his life and
      death. Most likely the Gospel was written by an
      anonymous second generation Jewish Christian in a
      Greek community. "Matthew" wrote the story of Jesus
      in a way that addressed the needs of the early church,
      a central concern to his gospel.

      Sun. Sep. 21, First Day of Autumn (Northern Hemisphere).
      The autumnal equinox marks when the day and night are
      of equal length, celebrated as the harvest festival
      Mabon in Wiccan communities.

      Wed., Sep. 24, Lailat al-Miraj (Islamic). Observance
      of Mohammed's night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem
      and his ascension to heaven.

      Fri. Sep. 26 (sunset) - Sun. Sep. 28, Rosh Hashanah
      (Jewish). The Jewish New Year is a time of introspection,
      abstinence, and prayer. Features include sounding of
      the ram's horn and sharing special foods.

      Sat. Sep. 27, St. Vincent de Paul (1580-1660). Apostle
      to the poor. Vincent began his life as a priest simply
      as a means of escaping his family's grinding poverty.
      Anything was better than living on the farm. He managed
      to obtain service among the wealthy and powerful of Paris.
      At mid-life he experienced a great transformation as he
      understood the seriousness of his vocation and dedicated
      his life to serving the poor. He founded hospitals,
      orphanages, and homes for the mentally ill.

      Mon. Sep. 29, St. Michael and All Angels. While angels
      (from the Greek word angelos, or messengers) are
      mentioned often in the Bible, only a few are named.
      The Archangel Michael is described as the captain of
      the heavenly host who helps humanity in fighting the
      enemies of God. Michael has been recognized as a
      protector, intercessor, healer, and guardian.


      Order the full 2003 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary,
      complete with the entire year's Sanctoral Cycle, at,


      7. Adam's Last Word

      Cover art for "Living as the Beloved" had been completed
      and the painting is ready to be transformed into the
      cover of this exciting new book, Chi Rho Press' next
      big publication. Dr. Sandy Bochonok's book is nearing
      completion now. Final author's responses have been
      entered and the final, Final, FINAL edit and proof-
      reading is underway.


      We are excited about the two smaller books which are
      also in the works, the 2004 Liturgical Calendar and
      Lectionary and the book of daily Lenten meditations.
      Watch for the announcement of their availability soon!


      September is shaping up to be an excellent income month
      for your LGBTQ Christian publishing house. Sales have
      been good, we have had a few generous contributions,
      and one of our loyal supporters has become an investor
      in the Press with a sizeable Promissory Note. With the
      addition of Rebecca Steen to our board of directors, new
      books nearing completion, and other exciting possibilities
      in the works, this is a thrilling time to be part of this

      Won't you become a more active part of Chi Rho Press?
      You can invest in a Promissory Note (returning 6% simple
      interest over a two year period to you). You can make a
      tax-deductible contribution of any amount at http://www.chirhopress.com/sponsor.html or become a
      Guardian Angel of the Press for a minimum contribution
      of $150 a year. And of course, we would really like it
      if you bought some books! Check out our Web site at


      Speaking of the Web site, you know Christmas is just a
      little over three months away. Give the gifts of
      knowledge and inspiration for the holidays this year.
      Give a book from Chi Rho Press.

      God bless you all!

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


      We are glad you are partners in ministry with us here at
      Chi Rho Press. We are eager for your comments, your
      suggestions, your assistance with selling our books,
      and your own purchases! And of course, we covet your
      prayers for this ministry.

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      order. Please always include your e-mail address,
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      For all e-mail correspondence, please write

      Our snail mail address is:

      Chi Rho Press, Inc.
      P.O. Box 7864
      Gaithersburg, MD 20898

      Our telephone and fax number is 301/926-1208.

      Customers outside the U.S. and especially our Canadian
      friends can order using credit cards on our Web page or
      through our Canadian distributor, MAP Enterprises, Mary
      Ann Pearson, at her Web page, http://www.christiangays.com

      Copyright 2003, Chi Rho Press, Inc.


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