Chi Rho Connection. Vol. IV, No. 18
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CHI RHO CONNECTION
The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press,
Your LGBT Christian Publishing House
Vol. IV, No. 18
1 October 2003
1. Some Heartening Religious News
2. New Resource Available for Preserving Our History
3. "Together in Love"
4. "Family Stories" Video
5. "Positively Gay"
6. Sanctoral Cycle
7. Adam's Last Word
This Issue's Quotes, On Gays in the Military:
"Why can't they have gay people in the army? Personally,
I think they are just afraid of a thousand guys with M16s
going, 'Who'd you call a faggot?'" Jon Stewart
"Soldiers who are not afraid of guns, bombs, capture,
torture, or death say they are afraid of homosexuals.
Clearly we should not be used as soldiers; we should be
used as weapons." Letter to the Editor, The Advocate
"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable
seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" Ernest
"You don't have to be straight to be in the military;
you just have to be able to shoot straight." Barry
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. Some Heartening Religious News
The Associated Press reported on Sept. 29, (as carried
in the New York Times) that the Presiding Bishop of the
Episcopal Church in the US, Frank T. Griswold, said "he
voted at the church's General Convention last month to
confirm the [openly gay] Bishop-elect V. Gene Robinson,
because Episcopalians in New Hampshire had overwhelmingly
chosen him in an election."
"Bishop Griswold also said Scripture did not condemn
same-sex relationships. . . . 'I wasn't settling the
question of sexuality,' Bishop Griswold said. 'I was
affirming the choice of a diocese.' . . . Later, he
said that in biblical times there was no understanding
that homosexuality was a natural orientation and not
Bishop Griswold said, "Discrete acts of homosexuality"
were condemned in the Bible because they were acts of
lust instead of the "love, forgiveness, grace" of
committed same-sex relationships.
"Homosexuality, as we understand it as an orientation,
is not mentioned in the Bible," he added. "I think the
confirmation of the bishop of New Hampshire is
acknowledging what is already a reality in the life
of the church and the larger society of which we are
The Associated Press article went on to say, "The
comments were made at a critical time for his
leadership of the 2.3-million-member church. Next week,
the conservative American Anglican Council will gather
more than 1,400 lay Episcopalians, bishops, and other
members of the clergy in Dallas to decide whether to
break from the denomination over Bishop-elect Robinson."
Meanwhile the same article noted that "Archbishop Peter
J. Akinola of Nigeria called electing Bishop-elect
Robinson a 'satanic attack on God's church.'"
In other religious news, the Telegraph in the United
Kingdom reported on Sept. 26, 2003 that "Christian,
Jewish and Muslim leaders have signed an open letter
published today supporting Archbishop of Canterbury Dr
Rowan Williams in his efforts to combat homophobia.
In the letter, issued to coincide with Rosh Hashanah,
the Jewish new year, they write that Dr Williams's
election as Archbishop was celebrated by British
Christians, Jews and Muslims alike 'as heralding a new
era of increasing inclusiveness within the Church, of
greater inter-religious dialogue and respect for
They write that many Christians would be very concerned
that the movement within the Church to safeguard the
rights of gay Christian clergy had led to "virulent
attack by Conservative Evangelical groups on the person
of Dr Williams himself."
"On this Jewish New Year therefore, as Jews, Muslims
and Christians of diverse denominations together, we
affirm our resolute support for Dr Williams's endeavours,
and we rededicate our efforts to fighting fundamentalism,
aggressive proselytism, and homophobia, and to defending
the values of tolerance, inclusiveness and respect for
differences, which we all cherish."
Those signing included a number of rabbis and two imams,
one of whom, Muhammad Yusuf, chair of the Council of
University Imams, said, "All forms of fundamentalism,
whether fundamentalist Islamist or fundamentalist
evangelical, are abhorrent to the values of Britain's
multi-faith and multicultural society."
2. New Resource Available for Preserving Our History
The LGBT Religious Archives Network (LGBTRAN) has
released a new resource, "Guide to Preserving Historical
Records," to assist LGBT religious groups and leaders in
preserving their history. This fifteen-page document
covers these major topics: Identifying Your Historical
Documents; Considerations in Selecting an Appropriate
Archives; Safely Storing Papers or Records "In-House;"
and Frequently-Asked Questions about Donating Materials.
The Guide can be downloaded from the LGBTRAN web site
Acrobat Reader to open) or you can request a free, print
copy by emailing dmalkmus@... or calling
You can also review LGBTRAN's progress in enabling
the preservation of the history of LGBT religious
movements by visiting the Web site,
http://www.lgbtran.org There you will find extensive
information on the history of LGBT religious movements:
a) an Archives Exhibit with digital copies of some
early LGBT religious documents; b) a Pioneers Gallery
with biographies of more than thirty LGBT religious
leaders; c) a Collections Catalog detailing information
about dozens of LGBT religious collections; and d) a
Recommended Repositories listing.
You can learn more and support this ground-breaking
effort to preserve LGBT religious history by subscribing
to LGBTRAN's monthly email newsletter (a private and
confidential email list), write to subscribe@....
Our collective efforts will ensure that our voices and
stories are heard by future generations.
Chi Rho Press strongly encourages you to get involved
in the LGBT Religious Archives Network.
3. "Together in Love"
The anthology by Roberta Showalter Kreider, who
compiled "From Wounded Hearts" for Chi Rho Press, is
back in stock after selling out of our first order.
"Together in Love: Faith Stories of Gay, Lesbian,
Bisexual, and Transgender Couples" is an anthology of
LGBT couples, telling their stories of their faith
journeys as people in non-traditional relationships.
"Together in Love" has a foreword by psychiatrist Elsie
Enns Steelberg, is 360 pages, and contains 26 stories
by LGBT couples. It also includes other stories, poems,
and a father's message to the church.
Roberta Kreider compiled "From Wounded Hearts: Faith
Stories of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered
People and Those Who Love Them," originally published
by Chi Rho Press in 1998 and recently reissued in a
new edition that was privately published. Now, with
"Together in Love," Roberta has put together another
impressive anthology of LGBT people of faith telling
Roberta Kreider writes, "To truly embrace all of God's
creation as good and worthy of respect and love is the
most freeing experience I know. Never again do I want
to judge another person by skin color, status in life,
gender, sexual orientation, religion, or by what those
in authority determine for me. I am experiencing in
a much deeper way than ever before God's unfathomable
heart of love for me. May this also be true in your
experience." From "A Personal Message to Our Readers,"
Roberta Kreider's introduction to "Together In Love."
See "Together In Love" on our Web site at
"Together In Love" is $24.00 each, $18.00 each for six
or more copies, plus shipping and handling.
4. "Family Stories" Video
Speaking of Roberta Kreider, we have a video in stock
featuring Roberta Kreider and Mary Lou Wallner, with an
introduction by the Rev. Peter J. Gomes. "Family Stories:
Journeys of Spirit in Mixed Orientation Families" was
produced by John Davis and is available for $26.95, plus
shipping and handling.
"Family Stories" presents the journeys of two women whose
lives have changed dramatically in working through issues
of sexuality and religion. The untimely deaths of family
members (one a gay brother, the other a lesbian daughter)
lead them to confront their feelings of confusion and
hypocrisy. They provide hope for families, as well as
religious and social organizations, by clearly
demonstrating how minds can and do change.
Roberta Kreider compiled and edited the book "From
Wounded Hearts: Faith Stories of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
and Transgendered People and Those Who Love Them"
and the new anthology, "Together in Love: Faith Stories
of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Couples"
(see article 2). She is a 74 year old, heterosexual
Mennonite woman living in rural Pennsylvania with her
husband Harold, a retired minister in the Mennonite
Mary Lou Wallner is an active member of Soulforce, and a
frequent speaker across the country. Mary Lou resides
in suburban Chicago with her husband Bob, and is
completing a book of coping tools for Christians who
learn of a gay or lesbian loved one in their family.
She is also an R.N. and runs a free HIV clinic.
The Rev. Peter J. Gomes is the author of "The Good Book:
Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart." He has served
as Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard
University and minister in The Memorial Church since 1974.
"Family Stories" is in VHS format, color, and 35 minutes,
and sells for $26.95, plus shipping and handling.
See it on our Web page at
5. "Positively Gay"
Chi Rho Press has copies of the third edition of
"Positively Gay: New Approaches to Gay and Lesbian Life"
(Celestial Arts, 2001).
Chi Rho Press is now carrying this book in part because
our founder and Director, Adam DeBaugh, wrote the chapter
entitled, "Using Your Gay and Lesbian Voting Power."
This is an important book and the updated new edition,
in the bright red cover, is an important addition to
every LGBT library.
"I wish we had published that!" says Adam DeBaugh. "But
I am proud to have been a part of Positively Gay since
the publication of the first edition in 1979. This
book has been a classic for 24 years, a must read for
all LGBT people and their allies!"
"Positively Gay has been widely and consistently praised
for its practical treatment of the variety of topics
affecting the lives of gays and lesbians. In this revised,
third edition, Dr. Betty Berzon has brought together an
impressive list of contributors from diverse backgrounds,
disciplines, and approaches to spotlight significant but
frequently overlooked issues that often take center stage
in a gay or lesbian person's life." (From the book jacket.)
Author Michelangelo Signorile says, "Positively Gay was the
first gay book I ever read. It scared me. It challenged
me. It excited me. And it eventually made me feel good
Sections of the book include, Being Gay: Personal Issues,
Social Options; Partnering: The Special Issues of Same-Sex
Coupling; Family Relations: Fresh Perspectives; Aging: A
Season of Grace; Religion: Reconciling the Spiritual
Dilemma; The Practical Aspects: Taking Control of Your
Life; People of Color: The Special Experiences of
Minorities Within a Minority; Young People: The Future
of Our Community; and Telling Our Stories. There is
also a helpful discussion guide.
Authors include the compiler and editor, Betty Berzon,
Mark Thompson, Betty Fairchild, Del Martin and Phyllis
Lyon, Rabbi Denise Eger, Rev. William Johnson, Father
Robert Nugent, Brian McNaught, R. Adam DeBaugh, Teresa
DeCrescenzo, and John Preston. U.S. Rep. Barney Frank
wrote the Foreword.
"Positively Gay" sells for $14.95, plus shipping and
handling. See it on our Web site at http://www.chirhopress.com/products/gayandchristian.html#Berzon
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.
Sat. Oct. 4, St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226). Friar
and founder of the Franciscan order. Likely the most
popular and admired of all the saints, and also the
least imitated; Francis was completely devoted to the
poor and the suffering of Christ. Born into a wealthy
family, he sought glory as a young knight, but instead
ended up seriously ill and in prison. Encounters with
beggars and lepers touched him so deeply he embraced a
life of poverty. Late in his life he became the first
to receive the stigmata, or wounds of Christ in his
hands, feet, and side. Because of his deep love for
them, his feast day is often celebrated by blessing
animals. He reminds us of the radical simplicity of
the gospel and the sacramentality of creation.
Sun. Oct. 5 (sunset) - Mon. Oct. 6, Yom Kippur (Jewish).
The Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the Jewish
year, is observed with strict fasting and ceremonies
Mon. Oct. 6, Founding of the Universal Fellowship of
Metropolitan Community Churches (1968). Anniversary
of the first service held by Rev. Elder Troy Perry.
A former Pentecostal minister from Florida who had
been thrown out of his church for being gay, Troy
Perry knew that his experience was not unusual.
Called by God to start a church where GLBT people
would be welcome, he held the first service in his
living room near Los Angeles. Twelve men and women
joined him for the first service of what became MCC
LA, the Mother Church of UFMCC, now the largest
religious organization in the world for GLBT people.
Tue. Oct. 7, Sts. Sergius and Bacchus (d. 290).
Martyrs in death and lovers in life. These two
saints were tortured for refusing to compromise
their faith by making a sacrifice to Jupiter. They
were officers in the Roman army and lovers. After
their arrest they were paraded through the streets
in women's clothing, which was meant to humiliate
them. Bacchus died first and came to Sergius in a
vision, telling him not to lose heart, they would
soon be together for eternity. They later became
patron saints of the Byzantine army, and are still
honored among certain Arab nomads. Early Christian
writings show that the Church has not always had a
negative view of homosexuality.
Fri. Oct. 10 (sunset) Fri. Oct. 17, Sukkot (Jewish).
The Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths) is a harvest
festival and a remembrance of the journey of Israel
through the Sinai desert living in tents.
Sat. Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day. Anniversary
of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and
Gay Rights. This day has been marked yearly in the
GLBT community since 1987. In this powerful personal
act of liberation and rebirth we can experience the
reality of Jesus' words, "the truth will set you
free." Because equality cannot be achieved by staying
in the closet, it is important for each of us to come
out to our friends and family. When people know a
gay or lesbian individual personally, they are far
less likely to maintain negative stereotypes and
prejudices. Coming out is not a one time event, but
is rather a life long process. Whatever it may be,
take the next step toward living your own life with
Sun. Oct. 12, Matthew Shepherd (1976-1998). Victim
of hate crime. A 21 year old freshman at the
University of Wyoming, Matthew was abducted, tied to
a fence, and beaten into a coma by two young men. His
murder gave a face to the tragedy of gay bashing. He
is remembered not for any particular achievements in
his brief life, but as a symbol of the violence that
is bred by homophobia and the rhetoric of hate.
Sun. Oct. 12, Day of the Race (Mexico). Traditional
date for Columbus Day.
Mon. Oct. 13, Columbus Day (USA). Federal holiday,
can also be designated Peoples of the Americas Day.
Mon. Oct. 13, Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
Wed. Oct. 15, St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582). Mystic
and Doctor of the church. Raised in a wealthy Spanish
family, Teresa became a Carmelite nun. In an age in
which women's voices went unheard, she became a
towering figure, author of four books, religious
reformer, founder of 17 convents. As a woman who
based her authority on mystical visions, she fell
under the suspicion of the Inquisition. Her best
known work, "The Interior Castle," describes the soul
as a castle, and the journey of prayer that leads
from meditation to mystical union with Christ.
Thu. Oct. 16, Thomas Cranmer (d. 1556). Creator of
the Book of Common Prayer. During a time of political
and religious turmoil, as Archbishop of Canterbury
Cranmer was instrumental in the English Reformation
and the institution of the Church of England. Under
Queen Mary, a devout Catholic, he was declared a
heretic and burned at the stake. His legacy is
carried in the Book of Common Prayer, the beauty of
its liturgical language and its influence on Christian
prayer and worship even to our own time.
Thu. Oct. 16, National Boss Day (U.S.A.).
Sat. Oct. 18, St. Luke. Evangelist. Luke was the only
writer to attempt to tell the story of not only the life
of Jesus (the Gospel of Luke), but the founding of the
early Church (the Book of Acts). He was a Gentile who
never met Jesus, but tradition says he was a physician
and a later companion of Paul. We owe many important
stories to his writing: most of the Christmas story,
the parables of the Prodigal Son and Good Samaritan,
Pentecost, and Paul's missionary journeys. Luke is
marked by a special concern for the poor and
marginalized, women, reconciliation between Jews and
Gentiles, and liturgical prayer. His symbol is the
ox, and he is patron of physicians and artists.
Sat. Oct. 18 Sun. Oct. 19, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat
Torah (Jewish). Celebrates reading of the Torah (Law).
Features readings, processions, and blessing of children.
Order the full 2003 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary,
complete with the entire year's Sanctoral Cycle, at,
7. Adam's Last Word
We enthusiastically support the work and ministry of
the LGBT Religious Archives Network. Old friend and
colleague Mark Bowman is a leader in this wonderful
organization, which is building and facilitating
archives of the LGBT religious movement. Check out
their Web site http://www.lgbtran.org and subscribe
to their excellent newsletter, subscribe@....
Progress continues on our up-coming new books. But
also check out the Family Stories video, Positively
Gay, and Together in Love.
September was an amazing month for your LGBT Christian
publishing house, mostly due to the payment of a large
invoice to Bookazine, one of our distribution houses,
and a large and enthusiastic investment from one of
our wonderful supporters. You can take advantage of
our 6% Promissory Notes as well. 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).
Or 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 under 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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Copyright 2003, Chi Rho Press, Inc.
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