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Chi Rho Connection, Vol. V, No. 2

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    ************************* CHI RHO CONNECTION The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press, Your LGBT Christian Publishing House Vol. V, No. 2 14 February 2004
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 14, 2004
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      *************************
      CHI RHO CONNECTION

      The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press,
      Your LGBT Christian Publishing House
      Vol. V, No. 2
      14 February 2004

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

      1. A New Book of Lenten Devotions, "You Need Only
      to be Still"
      2. Our First Book of Lenten Meditations, "For
      Another Flock"
      3. Pre-publication Sale of "LIVING AS THE
      BELOVED: One Day at a Time"
      4. Meet Our Newest Author, Randy Jedele
      5. The "2004 Liturgical Calendar"
      6. Sanctoral Cycle
      7. Adam's Last Word: Two books for Lent, news on
      "Living as the Beloved," a new car, Sts. Cyril and
      Methodius, and February: five Sundays, the beginning
      of Lent, and still winter!

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

      This Issue's Quote:

      "Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand
      firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will
      bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will
      never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need
      only to be still.'"
      Exodus 14:13-14

      *****

      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
      mailto:ChiRhoPress-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

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      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. A New Book of Lenten Devotions, "You Need Only
      to be Still"

      Lent begins on Wednesday, Feb. 25, just eleven days away,
      and Chi Rho Press is very proud to announce the publication
      of a new book of Lenten devotions. "'YOU NEED ONLY TO BE
      STILL:' Using the Hebrew Scriptures to Journey Through
      Lent," by Randy Jedele. Spiral bound, 5½" x 8½", 100
      pages. A book of daily devotions for Lent, in which
      author Randy Jedele takes us on a journey through the
      Old Testament. A lay Christian Education minister in
      the United Church of Christ in Iowa, Randy Jedele has
      drawn on his strong Protestant and Congregationalist
      background to enliven the Hebrew Testament for us in
      new ways in these Lenten devotions.

      In "You Need Only to be Still," each of the 40 days of
      Lent, starting with Ash Wednesday, features a Hebrew
      Testament passage, followed by two questions for your
      consideration to bring the passage into our own lives.
      Then Randy provides his own "Thoughts for Meditating,"
      a few paragraphs reflecting on the ancient Bible story
      in which he offers some background information where it
      is needed and his own thoughts on the two questions.
      On the right hand page for each day in Lent there is
      space for the reader to write his or her own "Personal
      Reflections," an opportunity for the reader to respond
      and record thoughts and feelings. Each day concludes
      with a prayer, a personal moment between the reader
      and God. For each Friday, Randy has chosen a passage
      from the Psalms.

      The six Sundays of Lent in "You Need Only to be Still"
      have a very different format with two blank pages for
      each Sunday, one for "Reflections from the Past Week"
      and one for "Opportunities to Seek in the New Week."
      Randy writes, "I have chosen the Sunday format for a
      couple of reasons. First of all, I have chosen not
      to have a Scripture passage for Sundays because I did
      not want to interfere with the scripture passages
      used in the regular lectionary for the day. Secondly,
      it is my practice to do just as I have suggested on
      Sundays. I spend my devotional time on Sundays to
      reflect on the events of my past week and contemplate
      on opportunities that may lie before me in the new week.
      I think it is important for us to remind ourselves of
      the lessons we have learned, the joys we have known,
      and the pains that have pierced our hearts. It is
      also good for us to make plans for the days that come
      before us. Reflecting is truly a time of quiet
      meditation and being still before God."

      The title, "You Need Only to be Still," comes from
      Exodus 14:13-14, "Moses answered the people, 'Do not
      be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance
      the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see
      today you will never see again. The Lord will fight
      for you; you need only to be still.'" Randy Jedele
      writes, in the Introduction, "Too often we Christians
      ignore the Hebrew Scriptures and build our relationships
      with God on the New Testament. However, as I have
      journeyed through the Hebrew Scriptures through the
      years, I have always marked passages that spoke to me.
      It has not surprised me to discover a wealth of
      spiritual wisdom throughout the Hebrew Scriptures.
      It is my hope and prayer that those who use this
      devotional as they journey through Lent will also
      discover the richness of the God of the Hebrew
      Scriptures. Truly, there is much to be learned as
      we discover the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
      the God of Hannah, Ruth, and Esther, a God who was
      a powerful source in the lives of those who learned
      to seek the presence of the living God and to live
      in the stillness of God's grace."

      "Over and over, God calls us to be still, so that God
      can minister to our hearts and prepare us to journey
      each day as a new day. . . . I have envisioned that
      [this devotional] will mostly be a personally journey,
      a quiet time each day when the readers will, on their
      own, seek the stillness of God. . . . As you read,
      meditate, and pray through this devotional, may God
      bless and enrich your life. It is my prayer that
      each of you will find God in the stillness of your
      busy lives and that God will provide you with wisdom,
      fill you with peace, and shower you with love."

      We know you will be blessed by this book of devotions
      for Lent. You may order it on our Web site at this link:
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/devotionals.html#Jedele

      $10.95 each, six or more copies for $8.95 each, plus
      shipping and handling.

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

      2. Our First Book of Lenten Meditations, "For
      Another Flock"

      For this Lent, you have a choice! In addition to
      Randy Jedele's excellent new book of Lenten devotions,
      Chi Rho Press continues to have a book of Lenten
      Meditations written from a Gay Roman Catholic point
      of view. "For Another Flock: Rainbow Meditations
      and Study Guide for Lent," 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:
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/devotionals.html#ForAnotherFlock.

      Written out of the deep faith and learning of a
      gay practicing Roman Catholic and from a Catholic
      perspective, "For Another Flock" includes daily
      meditations for all the days of Lent and Holy Week,
      beginning with Ash Wednesday (which this year is Feb.
      25), and ending with Easter Sunday (April 10, 2004).
      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: Solemnities and
      Feasts in Lent, Lectionary Cycle Calendar, The Books
      of the Old Testament of the Various Biblical Traditions,
      Small Group Study Guidelines, an Ash Wednesday Liturgy,
      a Maundy Thursday Liturgy, and a Bibliography.

      Jeff Lea writes, "Far too many gay women and men continue
      to view the primary Christian scripture, the Holy Bible,
      as a document hostile to people whose expression of
      intimate love is homosexual. Nothing can be further
      from the truth. While the Bible does condemn the
      ritualistic abuse of human sexuality it does not ever
      express a view of same-sex love as an abomination. In
      fact it affirms it in the love story of Jonathan and
      David.

      "The Bible's primary message is Love. To love God,
      ourselves, and each other as God has loved us. The
      Bible is not a handbook on how to hate sin. It is a
      transcript of the ongoing love story between God and
      the people of God.

      "Lent is the primary renewing and penitential season
      of the Church year. It is the time of personal
      examination and purification before we enter into the
      Paschal mystery on Easter Sunday. We are at the door
      to salvation during this time. Gay people are also at
      that door and we too have an experience of conversion
      and faith. These meditations present the point of view
      of a gay male Christian exploring the liminal experience
      of coming out gay, coming out Christian, and discovering
      affirmation in the Bible. The book provides both a
      daily meditation on the scriptural readings for Lent,
      and a seven-week group study that explores penance from
      a positive gay perspective."

      "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.
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/devotionals.html#ForAnotherFlock

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

      3. Pre-publication Sale of "LIVING AS THE
      BELOVED: One Day at a Time"

      We are very close to going to the printer with a new
      book of daily devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One
      Day at a Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra L. Bochonok.
      This pre-publication sale is on through the release
      of the book.

      The list price for the book will be $20.95, but until
      the book rolls off the presses, the special
      pre-publication sale cost is only $16.95 (plus shipping
      and handling), a savings of $4.00! Six or more copies
      are $14.95 each plus shipping and handing, an even
      greater savings. You can find this great opportunity
      on our Web site at
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/devotionals.html#Bochonok.

      Dr. Bochonok is the founder of the very popular Soul
      Food Ministry Web site (www.soulfoodministry.org), a
      special work of Metropolitan Community Church of
      Washington, DC.

      "Living As The Beloved" has a Scripture reading,
      meditation, and prayer for every day of the year.
      Dr. Bochonok's meditations are poignant, wise, and
      amazingly pastoral. Her many years of ministry as
      a military chaplain and pastor, and now as an Internet
      pastor shine through her every word. Her meditations
      are simple, basic Christian teaching, yet glow with
      power, grace, and beauty. These are devotions that
      will light your days for many years to come.

      Bruce C. Birch, Dean and W. W. and M. B. Miller
      Professor of Biblical Theology, at Wesley Theological
      Seminary, Washington, DC, writes:

      "Sandra Bochonok has spent years listening to and
      feeding the spiritual needs of those seeking to know
      themselves as beloved of God and neighbor. She is
      the founder of www.Soulfoodministry.org, a website
      helping persons learn of prayer and gospel as paths
      to claim the life of God's love. Now she makes the
      wisdom distilled from these years available in a rich
      spiritual feast of readings for each day of the year.
      Reading through the stories and reflections for each
      day cannot help but draw us into "living as the beloved"
      because it is clear that we have a guide who knows
      herself to be beloved. I urge you to take the journey
      through this year with her."

      Rev. Dr. Judy Dahl, former director of Global Outreach
      for the Metropolitan Community Churches, writes:

      "Sandra teaches us, the way her grandmother taught her,
      how to live and pray and touch God- one day at a time.
      She invites us to welcome our 'belovedness' and unwraps
      a daily surprise in her devotional filled with her
      warmth and deep spirit. She weaves her spiritual
      understanding with the wisdom and blessings of the
      Gospels, especially Matthew's.

      "Sandra invokes words from Nouwen, Mother Teresa,
      Madeleine L'Engle and embraces wisdom from other
      faith traditions and wise people to add depth and
      breadth to her work. In her November 12th entry
      entitled, 'Priceless' she writes, 'Although I am
      distinctly Christian... I have actively learned a
      great deal from the major world religions. They
      enhance my own spirituality and growth. Soul food
      comes in many different forms and shapes. I am
      deeply enriched by other faith traditions. They
      have much to offer me and help my inner growth.
      Likewise, they are enriched by my precious faith!
      We are on a spiritual journey together. We have
      different paths, but we all search for meaning and
      dignity in our lives. Respect is a holy word. We
      can live together in peace and unity. Cherish your
      faith. It will sustain you in times of need and
      bless others.'

      "Sandra blesses us and her work is a soul food the
      world needs. Write on sister!"

      And Dr. Rembert Truluck, author of "Steps to
      Recovery from Bible Abuse"
      (http://www.chirhopress.com/products/gayandchristian.html#Truluck),
      writes:

      "I welcome the opportunity to commend to you this new
      book of daily meditations by my friend Sandra Bochonok.
      The meditations are centered in a realistic practical
      understanding of love and recovery 'one day at a
      time.' Filled with personal experiences, helpful
      information and quotes from other sources, the book
      is easy to read. Dr. Bochonok draws upon her own
      personal spiritual pilgrimage and her loving listening
      relationships with many people in her own family and
      in her life as a minister and teacher at MCC DC. Thank
      you, Sandra, for passing on to us what you have
      discovered that has been helpful to you."

      Order your special pre-publication sale copy of
      "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time" today.
      Only $16.95, plus shipping and handling, six or
      more copies are $14.95 each plus shipping and
      handing.
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/devotionals.html#Bochonok

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

      4. Meet Our Newest Author, Randy Jedele

      Currently, Randy Jedele is the chair of the Humanities
      Department and teaches writing at Des Moines Area
      Community College in Des Moines, Iowa. Randy is
      committed to teaching his students the beauty and
      power of words. He has always believed that teachers
      who are also students make better teachers.
      Consequently, he is a life long learner and is working
      on a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
      at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Besides being
      a faculty member at his college, Randy plays several
      other roles. He is the coordinator of learning
      communities, chairs the Instructional Delivery Work
      Group for the Strategic Planning Counsel, and serves
      on the Assessment Commission.

      Randy is a member of the National Academic Advising
      Association. He has held various Board positions with
      the organization and is a faculty member for the
      association's Summer Institute, which focuses on
      training and developing administrators and academic
      advisors in order to improve their student advising
      programs. Randy has also presented several papers at
      national conferences on how to work with and advise gay,
      lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students and to
      create safe campuses for all students who live on the
      margins.

      Randy is an active member of the Urbandale United Church
      of Christ in Des Moines, Iowa, where he rediscovered his
      relationship with the living Christ ten years ago when
      he joined this open and affirming congregation. Randy's
      roots are in the Lutheran church with some Southern
      Baptist experiences while completing his undergraduate
      degree at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green,
      Kentucky. However, when he came to terms with his
      sexuality and came out as a gay man in 1981, his faith
      journey slowed to a painfully dismal walk through a
      desert of isolation, until he discovered Urbandale
      United Church of Christ. As a result of this church
      family's open arms and hearts filled with love, Randy
      has rediscovered the joy of living each day centered
      in Christ's love and empowered by the Spirit's presence.
      Randy is a member of the worship team, which assists the
      pastor in planning worship throughout the year.

      Besides work and church activities, Randy is an avid
      gardener, gourmet cook, and world traveler. Working
      the soil of a garden and creating a palette of floral
      beauty, cooking a nourishing and sustaining meal to
      be shared in fellowship with others, and seeing the
      cities and treasures around the world are all good
      methods of therapy for Randy. However, in his
      estimation, there is truly nothing better for the
      soul and the self than the stillness that comes from
      a quiet moment alone with the living God, while the
      heart meditates on a passage of scripture. These
      moments each day fill his soul with the richness of
      God's presence, peace, and pleasure, and give his
      life meaning.

      Two pictures of Randy are on the Chi Rho Press Web
      site. Check out this link:
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/AboutTheAuthor.html#AuthorRandyJedele

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

      5. The "2004 Liturgical Calendar"

      We have gone to a second printing of "A Liturgical
      Calendar and Lectionary, Year C, November 2003 through
      November 2004," compiled by Dr. David Kerr Park. Spiral
      bound, 8 ½" x 11", 84 pages. $10.95 each, six or more
      copies for $8.95 each, plus shipping and handling.
      Now available on our Web site at
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/devotionals.html#Park2003.

      Our 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 is spiral bound so it can lie flat
      for easy use, in a new, larger 8 ½" x 11" format.

      Order your copy of the 2004 Liturgical Calendar today!
      See it on our Web site at:
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/devotionals.html#Park2003

      $10.95 each, six or more copies for $8.95 each.

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

      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 2004
      Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary from today until
      our next scheduled electronic newsletter.

      *****

      Sat. Feb. 14, St. Valentine (d. 269). Martyr. Though
      long since removed from the lists of 'official' saints,
      Valentine's Day has been taken over by the greeting
      card industry and become fixed in the popular calendar
      of most people. Its seems to have its origins in
      England, where it was noted that birds began to pair
      and mate around the feast of St. Valentine. The
      original Valentine was likely a Christian priest in
      Rome who was beheaded for refusing to renounce his
      faith. By giving his heart to God, he really did
      show us the depth of true love.

      Mon. Feb. 16, Janani Luwum (1924-1977). Anglican
      Archbishop of Uganda and martyr. Luwum was Archbishop
      of Uganda during the dictatorship of General Idi Amin.
      He was not the type to be drawn toward social justice
      issues or protests, he tried at first to maintain a
      neutral stance of cooperation. Luwum realized the
      church could no longer stand silently by as Amin's
      paranoid reign of terror led to the murder of tens
      of thousands. He was confronted with trumped up
      charges, and when ordered to sign a confession he
      responded by praying. This sent Amin into a rage,
      and he drew a pistol and executed Luwum himself.

      Mon. Feb. 16, President's Day (U.S.A.). Federal
      holiday.

      Wed. Feb. 18, Martin Luther (1483-1546). Reformer
      of the Church. Originally trained as a lawyer, Luther
      was ordained a priest and taught theology at the
      University of Wittenberg. He was tormented by an
      unrelieved sense of guilt, and suffered from what
      we would today describe as clinical depression.
      Contrary to Catholic teachings of the time, he
      declared that salvation was by God's grace through
      faith alone. His "protests" were the foundation of
      the Protestant Reformation movement, which by the
      time of his death had spread through much of Europe.
      In recent years Lutheran-Catholic dialogues have
      found common ground in each other's teachings.
      Luther was also a musician, and his most famous hymn
      is "A Mighty Fortress is Our God."

      Fri. Feb. 20, Frederick Douglass (1818-1895).
      Abolitionist. Born into slavery, Douglass managed
      to escape to the North and freedom. There he became
      a champion of the abolitionist movement as he lectured
      across the United States and Europe. He was noted for
      his amazing oratorical skills. Although a lay preacher
      in the AME Zion church, he became increasingly critical
      of the silence of much of Christianity regarding
      slavery.

      Sun. Feb. 22, Beginning of Great Lent (Eastern Orthodox).
      Evening of Forgiveness Sunday.

      Sun. Feb. 22, Al-Hijra (Islamic). Islamic New Year
      remembering Mohammed's migration from Mecca to Medina.
      (All Islamic holidays begin at sunset the preceding
      evening. The actual dates sometimes may vary from
      this calendar, as the day is based on the actual
      sighting of the moon.)

      Sun. Feb. 22, Washington's Birthday (U.S.A.)

      Tue. Feb. 24, Flag Day (Mexico)

      Tue. Feb. 24, Shrove Tuesday. Carnival (Mardi Gras,
      or Fat Tuesday) celebration before beginning of Lenten
      fast. Pancakes are often served, and (in the U.S.A.)
      jazz played.

      Wed. Feb. 25, Ash Wednesday. Begins Lenten season with
      imposition of ashes as sign of penitence. The forty
      days of Lent do not include Sundays, which are always
      a celebration of Easter.

      Wed. Feb. 25, Eastern Orthodox Ash Wednesday. This
      year the Orthodox holidays of the beginning of Lent,
      Palm Sunday, Easter, and Pentecost coincide with the
      Western calendar, an uncommon event.

      Wed. Feb. 25, Felix Varela (1788-1853). Cuban priest
      and theologian. Long revered as a champion of justice
      in his native Cuba, Varela spent most of his ministry
      in exile in New York, having argued for the independence
      of Cuba from Spain, and the abolition of slavery. He
      was the first Hispanic theologian in the U.S., and died
      in St. Augustine, Florida. His tomb was visited by José
      Martí, who called him a "Cuban saint." His remains were
      later returned to Cuba, where he is still honored.

      Sun. Feb. 29, Leap Year Day. The fifth Sunday in
      February, a very rare occurrence to have five Sundays
      in February.

      Tue. 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."

      Tue. 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.

      Tue. March 2, Ashura' (Islamic). Optional single day
      fast recognizing creation, Noah's leaving the ark, and
      the saving of Moses from Pharaoh. Shi'a holiday
      celebrating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the holiest
      day of the Shi'ite calendar. (All Islamic holidays
      begin at sunset the preceding evening. The actual
      dates sometimes may vary from this calendar, as the
      day is based on the actual sighting of the moon.)

      *****

      Order the new 2004 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary,
      complete with the entire year's Sanctoral Cycle, at
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/devotionals.html#Park2003

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

      7. Adam's Last Word

      Randy Jedele and Jeff Lea have presented us with two
      very different and unique small devotional books for
      Lent. Randy writes from a distinctly Congregationalist
      and Protestant point of view, using the Hebrew Testament
      exclusively in "You Need Only to be Still." Randy's
      openly Gay ministry in an open and affirming United
      Church of Christ congregation in Des Moines, Iowa, is
      reflected in his strong, faithful writing. His brief
      exegesis of the Hebrew Testament texts he has chosen
      for "You Need Only to be Still" reflect his commitment
      to justice and liberation. This is a book that will
      enliven your Lenten days and encourage and enable you
      to journey through Lent reflectively and in a
      contemplative way, gaining energy and purpose for
      the justice work we all face.

      Jeff Lea writes as a Gay Roman Catholic, not the
      easiest role for a person of faith these days. In
      "For Another Flock," Jeff presents meditations for Lent
      in a uniquely Gay and uniquely Catholic way, taking us
      on a penitential journey that leads ultimately and
      inevitably to the redemptive experience of Easter.

      It seems as if we are publishing a lot of daily
      devotions these days, and it is a wonderful thing
      to me! For many years there were few daily devotions
      written by and for the LGBT community of faith. Only
      "The Road to Emmaus" was out there with daily meditations
      that spoke to the LGBT Christian person in ways that
      didn't require translation of language of the
      heterosexually-dominant culture into words that we as
      a queer people understand and to which our life
      experiences can relate.

      Now we have two books of daily meditations and devotions
      for Lent in addition to "The Road to Emmaus" and we are
      nearing completion of "Living as the Beloved." If you
      are not in the habit of reading a daily devotional on a
      regular basis, I encourage you to do so this Lent. Make
      a start with one of these fine books. Let the Spirit of
      God feed and bless you through the words of these
      faithful Gay Christian writers.

      *****

      And yes! We are making good progress on "Living as the
      Beloved." We are very close to being finished with the
      boards and expect to take them to the printer within a
      couple of weeks at the most!

      Be sure to order your copy of "Living as the Beloved"
      now and save with our pre-publication sale! We expect
      to be going to press very soon.

      *****

      Well, I had to buy a new car. In the midst of a snow
      storm here in Maryland, Peter Sean, my faithful 1996
      Saturn SL, died. It would have cost $1200 to fix it,
      and that made a pretty good down payment on a new 2003
      Saturn Ion 3, four doors, manual transmission, all
      electric. Uncle Adam now has one of those cool little
      gizmos that unlock the car doors from a few yards away.
      I can also open the trunk using this thingee and don't
      have to use a key to get into my car. For someone who
      in many parts of my life am mired deeply in the late
      19th Century, this is a major modernization! I can
      even beep the horn from afar! Ain't technology grand?

      And yes, I still don't have a cell phone. I mean,
      whom would I call? I would spend anxious days waiting
      for someone, any one to call me, all to no avail. I
      couldn't stand the constant feeling of rejection! And
      I really, I mean really!, despise those people who chat
      away on their cell phones while driving. I am sorry.
      If you are one of them, I am sure you are a perfectly
      nice person, I mean, you are reading the Chi Rho
      Connection, so you can't be all bad. But GET OFF THE
      PHONE AND DRIVE!!!!!

      I will stop before this turns into a full fledged rant.
      Back to the original point. I love my new Saturn! Lots
      of trunk space, cool electronic gadgets, CD player AND
      a tape player (one reason I went with the 2003 instead
      of 2004), a lovely wine dark red color, the battery in
      the trunk AND a battery terminal thingee under the hood
      in the front so I can jump the car from either end. I
      guess that makes my new car bisexual?

      And the people at Saturn are truly wonderful. The
      salespeople don't work on commission so there isn't
      this huge push to sell you all kinds of additional,
      costly stuff. I always get the feeling that they are
      looking out for my interests first and foremost. So I
      recommend a Saturn. And if you are in the Washington
      DC area, give me a call and I will give you a ride in
      my new car. But I still have to come up with a name
      for him!

      *****

      Today is Valentine's day. The Sanctoral Cycle doesn't
      mention two other saints whose day is celebrated today,
      the ninth century saints Cyril and Methodius. I have
      a fondness for these two. The feast of Sts. Cyril and
      Methodius is now celebrated today, Feb. 14, by the
      Western Church.

      I posted this remembrance to MCC's Lay Link list-serve
      today.

      Years ago when we started the UFMCC Washington Office
      in the Methodist Building on Capitol Hill, the US
      Catholic Conference donated two slightly used
      Selectric Typewriters to us. Yes, I know, the "US
      Catholic Conference?" But we are everywhere, as
      Troy Perry likes to remind us!

      I named the two typewriters Cyril and Methodius and
      they lasted a good long time, serving MCC.

      The old hagiography, before the silly canard that they
      were brothers or some such nonsense, used to say that
      Cyril and Methodius were "life-long friends and
      companions who shared a single blanket." Isn't that
      lovely? I have always remembered that wonderful
      phrase.

      Elder Nancy Wilson tells of attended a Polish Catholic
      Seminary in Michigan named for them and of art work
      over a door showing the two saints holding hands and
      gazing lovingly into each other's eyes.

      Cyril, as I recall, was a monk and Methodius was a
      bishop. The pope (I don't remember which one, let's
      just call him Pope Erronius) wanted to send Methodius
      to Eastern Europe to convert the Slavs. He wouldn't
      go unless Cyril could go with him.

      They are quite important to Slavic Christianity. The
      Cyrillic alphabet, used in Russia and elsewhere, is
      named for Cyril, though there is some question about
      his actual role in its creation, he had something to do
      with it.

      Great boyfriends of the faith! (And pretty durn good
      typewriters too!)

      *****

      Our next edition of the Chi Rho Connection is scheduled
      for Feb. 29, so Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday will have
      passed and Lent will have begun when next you read these
      cyber-pages. I hope Lent is filled with good reflection,
      meditation, and study for you.

      Oddly enough, there are five Sundays in February this
      year, in part because the first Sunday was Feb. 1 and
      we have the extra day for Leap Year on Feb. 29, the
      fifth Sunday. This won't happen again for something
      like 32 years! But February also contains Candlemas
      and Groundhog day at the beginning of the month, the
      combined President's Day holiday this Monday in the US,
      and Mardi Gras and Carnival, right before the onset of
      Lent on Feb. 25. Quite a jam-packed little month! For
      those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, I hope winter
      begins to mellow out and make its grudging way for
      Spring. Be safe and well!

      Warm hugs to you all,

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

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