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20th eNewsletter from Chi Rho Press

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Twentieth eNewsletter 19 July 2000 Welcome once again to the Chi Rho Press eNewsletter. Please pass this eNewsletter on to your friends and colleagues. To
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 19, 2000
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      Twentieth eNewsletter
      19 July 2000

      Welcome once again to the Chi Rho Press eNewsletter. Please pass this
      eNewsletter on to your friends and colleagues.

      To join our list and get your own copy of our eNewsletter, send an e-mail
      message to ChiRhoPress-subscribe@egroups.com.

      All other e-mail should be directed to Adam@.... See the end of
      this eNewsletter for a complete list of e-mail addresses at ChiRhoPress.com.

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

      Contents:

      1. Called OUT!
      2. Truluck Tour
      3. Press Financial News
      4. The Bible and Homosexuality
      5. Mel White
      6. New Book Store Liaison
      7. New Web Mistress
      8. Adam's Last Word - Some Thoughts on Soulforce

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

      1. "Called OUT!" Goes to a Second Printing

      We have received from our printer our second printing of the very popular
      book, "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 McLain, "Called OUT" was
      our first anthology and contains essays by 39 LGBT people who are members (or
      former members) of the Presbyterian Church.

      It is divided into six sections, "The OUT-Stretched Hand of God," "OUT of
      Order," "OUT and Organizing," "OUT from the South," "The Importance of Being
      OUT," and "OUT and Moved On." It also contains a brief history of the
      movement for full inclusion of LGBT people in the Presbyterian Church, a
      Brief Introduction to "Presby-Speak," a Chronology by James D. Anderson, and
      a Bibliography.

      In addition to the editors, contributors include Lisa Bove, Lawrence Reh,
      Rodger M. Wilson, Marvin Ellison, Daniel E. Smith, Charlotte Sindt (writing
      about her late son David), Doug Calderwood, Scott D. Anderson, Kathleen
      Buckley, Lisa Larges, Chris Glaser, James D. Anderson, George Link, Dick
      Hasbany and Craig Machado, Laurene Lafontaine, Howard B. Warren Jr., Winifred
      Legerton, Will Smith, Jim Earhart, Georgann Wilcoxon, Kathryn Cartledge,
      Walter Jay Kleine Jr., Barbara Lynn Smith, Merrill Proudfoot, Martha
      Juillerat and Tammy Lindahl, Charles Collins, Lorna Shoemaker, Susan Leo,
      James Graves, Kathleen Morrison, Bill Silver, Bet Hannon, Diana
      Vezmar-Bailey, and Sandy Brawders.

      The second printing of "Called OUT" retails for $17.95 and can be ordered
      from Chi Rho Press at Orders@....

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

      2. Truluck Tour

      Chi Rho Press will be bringing Dr. Truluck to the Washington area for two
      weeks at the end of July and the beginning of August. Here is his schedule
      so far:

      Sunday, July 30, preach and answer questions at two services at MCC Rehoboth
      Beach, Delaware.
      Wednesday evening, August 2, workshop at the monthly pot luck at New Light
      MCC, Hagerstown, Maryland.
      Friday evening, August 4, speak at a meeting with Integrity Northern Virginia.
      Sunday, August 6, preach and lead a workshop at MCC Richmond, Virginia.
      Tuesday evening, August 8, Christian education class at MCC of Washington, DC.
      Saturday, August 12, lead a workshop at MCC Baltimore, Maryland.
      Sunday, August 13, preach and lead a workshop to kick off an on-going Bible
      study, using his book, after worship at Holy Redeemer MCC in College Park,
      Maryland

      Dr. Truluck will be available beginning with Saturday, July 29 through all
      day Sunday, August 13. There are still some weekday evenings available, as
      well as during the days each week. He is available to preach, lead workshops
      based on the book "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse," lead workshops on
      many other topics (such as those found in the appendices of the book), and do
      book signings.

      Since all three Sundays are already booked, we encourage weekday events. If
      those work well for your church or organization and you are in the
      Washington, DC/Maryland/ Virginia region, I would strongly encourage you to
      consider inviting Dr. Truluck for a mid-week event. I will be coordinating
      Dr. Truluck's schedule, so please e-mail or call me to arrange for a visit to
      your church or organization.

      Your cost will be a love offering or honorarium for Dr. Truluck for each
      event you schedule with him. If you care to purchase copies of "Steps to
      Recovery from Bible Abuse" for resale to your church members, we have
      discounts so that your church can even make some money!

      You may contact me at 301/926-1208 or by e-mail at Adam@... in
      order to arrange for Rembert Truluck to visit your congregation. I look
      forward to hearing from you.

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

      3. Press Financial News

      We have had an influx of new capital over the past month. Many thanks to our
      new investors! The sale of $10,000 in Promissory Notes has enabled us to
      become more effectively capitalized.

      As a result, we have completely paid off our expensive credit card debt (held
      on three of Director Adam DeBaugh's credit cards). We have also finished
      paying off Promissory Notes sold to fund production of "From Wounded Hearts"
      and begun paying off Notes sold to fund production of "Come Home."

      In addition, we have funds to pay for new printing and new books. The sale
      of Promissory Notes (paid in eight quarterly payments over a two year period
      at 8% simple interest) provides a good return on investment for our
      supporters and relatively inexpensive capital for the Press.

      Chi Rho Press will still issue Promissory Notes to any of our supporters who
      wish to invest in YOUR LGBT religious/spiritual publishing house. Notes are
      available in increments of $500 and $1000. Write Adam@... for
      more information and to arrange for your investment.

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

      4. The Bible and Homosexuality

      The issues raised by homophobic religious people who claim that the Bible
      condemns LGBT people and homosexuality are dealt with in many of the books
      published by Chi Rho Press.

      "The Bible and Homosexuality" by the Rev. Michael England is a wonderful
      treatment of the subject and has been a perennial best seller for many years.
      Now in its fifth edition, "The Bible and Homosexuality" sells for $10.95
      each ($8.95 each for six or more copies), plus shipping and handling.

      Michael England addresses at some length the "clobber passages" that have
      been used to condemn sexual minority people. He also has important
      introductory material on Inspiration; Critical Interpretation; Textual,
      Historical, Source, and Form Criticism; the "Contra Naturam" (against nature)
      argument against homosexuality; Heterosexual Marriage as "the Only Biblical
      Model;" and Adultery and Fornication. A Bibliography is
      also included.

      "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" by Dr. Rembert Truluck has exploded onto
      the scene since its publication at the end of January, and we have already
      sold over half of our press run. Dr. Truluck does deal in one of his 13
      steps with the "clobber passages" that have been most often used to condemn
      LGBT people, but most of the book concentrates on finding the truth of God's
      love for ALL people in the Bible. Each of the 13 steps contains four Bible
      Studies, for 52 Bible Studies in all, one for every week of the year. The
      Bible studies are wonderful for small group study and discussion.

      "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" is available for $24.95 each, ($18.75
      each for six or more copies), plus shipping and handling.

      Roberta Kreider believes that "my own life and attitude has been profoundly
      changed by listening to the stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
      transgendered people and their families." We are able to change minds about
      the issue of homosexuality by coming out and revealing our life and faith
      stories to non-gay people. As a result, Chi Rho Press is very proud of the
      two anthologies we have published containing LGBT people telling their
      stories.

      Roberta Kreider compiled the 49 stories in "From Wounded Hearts: Faith
      Stories of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered People and Those Who
      Love Them" as a way of letting more people get to know LGBT people and their
      families. "From Wounded Hearts" is a powerfully compelling and affecting
      book. It is available for $19.95 each ($14.95 each for six or more copies),
      plus shipping and handling.

      "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 McLain, was our first
      anthology. As you read in the first story in this edition of the Chi Rho
      Press eNewsletter, "Called OUT!" is now in its second printing. It is
      available for $17.95 each ($15.25 each for six or more copies), plus shipping
      and handling.

      We recommend all four of these wonderful books!

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

      5. Mel White Replies To the Christian Century Editorial
      "Ecclesial Protest: Acts of Disobedience"
      May 31, 2000

      (Editor's Note: You may have already seen this, but I think Mel White's
      response to a very patronizing editorial in the Christian Century is a very
      good description of what Soulforce is bringing to the various denominational
      gatherings this season. People are putting their lives on the line - here's
      why and here's what it means. See Adam's Last Word at the end of this
      eNewsletter for his comments on Soulforce.)

      We at Soulforce want to thank Christian Century for your recent editorial
      describing our civil disobedience in Cleveland's United Methodist General
      Conference as "media-driven street theater." You are correct. For thirty
      years Protestant and Catholic leaders have debated the homosexuality issue.
      That debate itself has become a primary source of suffering for millions of
      lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. Soulforce volunteers are
      using "media-driven street theater" at denominational gatherings this summer
      to send a clear message that for us this endless debate must end.

      No longer will we sit silently in church conferences, conventions, assemblies
      or congregations where the Bible is used to caricature and condemn us. No
      longer will we stand by in anger and grief while our relationships are
      demeaned and our ministries denied. No longer will we appear on church
      panels or media broadcasts with people from ex-gay "transforming" ministries
      who believe our sexual orientation is a sickness and a sin that can and
      should be changed. The debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is
      not a sickness, not a sin. We, too, are the children of God, created,
      redeemed, sustained, and accepted without reservation by our loving Creator.

      Our nonviolent demonstration at Cleveland is just the first step. These acts
      of "media-driven street theater" signal the launch of a long-term Soulforce
      program of civil disobedience and non-cooperation at other national and
      regional church conferences, conventions and assemblies. Call it what you
      will but plan for it at your denominational headquarters, at your seminaries
      and colleges, and even at your individual churches across the country that
      still see our lives as "incompatible with Christian teaching," that refuse to
      bless our relationships or honor our call to service.

      We are committed to the nonviolence teachings of Jesus, Gandhi, and King. We
      refuse to demonstrate violence of the heart, tongue, or fist. We will bring
      truth in love relentlessly to those who misunderstand and condemn us. We will
      love our adversaries and take upon ourselves any suffering that our direct
      actions may cause. (In Cleveland, for example, those of us arrested were
      honored with a permanent police record. We spent a day in paddy wagons,
      jails, and courtrooms across the city and at $150 each paid collectively over
      $30,000 in fines.) And we are willing to pay a whole lot more in time, money
      and energy to see the suffering end. We invite your readers to join us or at
      least to hear our side of the story at http://www.soulforce.org

      By the way, the writer of your editorial didn't mention that the 191 people
      of faith who were arrested in Cleveland at our "banal protest" included
      everyone of the "genuine" United Methodist heroes proclaimed in your
      editorial. We stood proudly with Jimmy Creech, Gregory Dell, Don Fado and
      many of the "Sacramento 67" as well as heroes from the civil rights movement
      of the 50s and 60s including Dr. Jim Lawson (the man who trained the students
      who integrated the lunch counters and rode the Freedom Busses) and Arun
      Gandhi, the steward of his grandfather's legacy in nonviolence.

      I'm grateful that your editorial mentioned "Dr. King's Letter from a
      Birmingham Jail." The primary thrust of that amazing document was not to
      define civil disobedience or to proscribe its use as a tool of spiritual
      resistance in future civil rights movements. At the heart of that historic
      letter is the author's terrible disappointment with the "white church" for
      its refusal to do justice for racial minorities. At our Soulforce event in
      Cleveland, Dr.
      King's eldest daughter, Yolanda, expressed a similar concern that white and
      black churches alike refuse to do justice for sexual minorities and quoted
      deeply moving passages from her father's writings that apply directly to our
      cause.

      "The contemporary Church," Dr. King writes, "is so often a weak, ineffectual
      voice with an uncertain sound. It is so often the arch-supporter of the
      status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the Church, the
      power structure of the average community is consoled by the Church's silent
      and often vocal sanction of things as they are. But the judgment of God is
      upon the Church as never before. If the Church of today does not recapture
      the sacrificial spirit of the early Church, it will lose its authentic ring,
      forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social
      club with no meaning for the twentieth century."

      We at Soulforce say, "Amen and amen!"

      Mel White, Co-Chair, Soulforce
      Soulforce, PO Box 4467, Laguna Beach, CA. 92652 (949)455-0999
      RevMel@...
      www.soulforce.org

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

      6. New Book Store Liaison

      Mr. Don Neal has joined the growing Chi Rho Press community as our new Book
      Store Liaison. Don lives in northern California and he will be coordinating
      contacts with LGBT and other bookstores on behalf of Chi Rho Press.

      Please join us in welcoming Don and thanking him for his work with us. Don
      can be reached at DonNeal@.... He would appreciate hearing about
      any LGBT bookstores in your home town - don't assume that we already know
      about them - please send Don the name, address, telephone number, e-mail
      address, the owner, and the book buyer (or as much of that information as you
      can obtain). Thank you!

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

      7. New Web Mistress

      Chi Rho Press has retained the services of Ms. Dotti Berry, of D3 Marketing
      Innovations in Lexington, Kentucky, as our new web mistress. Dotti and her
      company will be adding a shopping cart to our web page (at
      www.ChiRhoPress.com) which, along with many other features, will allow us to
      accept credit card payments on line.

      You can view samples of Dotti's excellent work at www.e-globaltech.com and
      www.4phoenixcommunications.com and www.diversitypromotions.com. The Board
      and Staff of Chi Rho Press welcome Dotti to our community of faith and
      ministry and we look forward to working with her and with all the folks at D3
      Marketing Innovations.

      Our previous web mistress, Suzanne Hediger, found that the press of other
      duties at her full time job prevented her from having enough time to do all
      that we need to have done. Suzanne's work was excellent and we thank her for
      her brief time with us and wish her all the best!

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

      8. Adam's Last Word.

      Soulforce has changed forever the face of the LGBT civil rights movement in
      the United States. I am proud and honored to be able to call the Rev. Dr.
      Mel White and Mr. Gary Nixon my friends and colleagues. In much the same way
      that Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas K. Gandhi did before them, Mel and
      Gary are transforming the way our community approaches institutions which
      oppress our people.

      There are some people in the LGBT community who have criticized Mel and Gary
      and their ministry. I have listened patiently to some of these criticisms,
      but am troubled by some of them. I do not believe, for instance, that ego
      and self-aggrandizement motivate the people in Soulforce. I think it is
      churlish to suggest that this movement is all about developing a cult of
      personality. I know Mel White. I have worked with Mel White. I respect Mel
      White. I believe Mel White is motivated only by the compelling need to free
      all people from oppression, discrimination, and intolerance.

      I do not believe that the principles of Soulforce stand in opposition or even
      as an exclusive alternative to the lobbying methods used by other national
      LGBT organizations. We need to continue lobbying the churches, we need to
      continue to press for LGBT-affirming resolutions in the denominations, we
      need to continue to work within the churches to effect change. But we also
      need people who will put their bodies and lives on the line in the way that
      the Soulforce Saints as a visible reminder to the churches of the justice of
      the LGBT movement for full inclusion in the churches.

      I do not agree that Soulforce is working against the LGBT groups within the
      churches which have been targeted. In every case, members of those churches
      have been in the forefront of the Soulforce demonstrations and were a
      majority of those arrested. From what I have heard and read, Soulforce has
      been very sensitive to the needs of those LGBT people who work within the
      denominational structures.

      I do not agree that the tactics of Soulforce are unnecessary. It is time, I
      believe, to take more dramatic action, even while we continue to struggle in
      ecclesiastical courts and conferences and assemblies. Soulforce is correct
      when it says that it is time for the LGBT community to stop dialoguing about
      certain parts of the argument. We do not need to justify our existence,
      defend our faith, implore our oppressors to like or respect us, and assert
      that God does love us after all. God's love for us does not come as a result
      of any church saying so. God's love is not something that comes to us in
      spite of our sexuality. God made my sexuality and loves me, in part, because
      of it!

      I do not agree that these arrests are meaningless because, as some have
      suggested, they are coordinated with the police. We certainly saw in Orlando
      at the Southern Baptist conference that those arrested are faced with heavy
      fines and the real possibility of further jail time. Any time one submits to
      arrest one runs the risk that the experience will be more than just a walk in
      the park.

      On Dec. 10, 1984, I was arrested at the South African Embassy as part of the
      daily arrest of three people to protest apartheid. US Congressman Mickey
      Leland of Houston, Texas, James Farmer, the founder of the Congress of Racial
      Equality (CORE), an early civil rights organization, and I shared the honor
      of submitting to arrest to protest intolerable injustice in South Africa. I
      was then District Coordinator of the Mid-Atlantic District of the UFMCC, and
      the first openly Gay person arrested in this round of protests.

      Though the DC police were clearly sympathetic to our cause, and it was all
      carefully orchestrated and choreographed, and one of my fellow arrestees was
      a United States Congressperson, for goodness sakes! There was that moment
      when the cell door clanged shut, and we were incarcerated and at the mercy of
      a government system that was not always attuned to the witness we were
      making. As we spent the night in jail, singing old civil rights songs
      together, telling each other stories about previous arrests in the civil
      rights and anti-war movements, and joking with our jailers, we were always
      reminded that we were indeed prisoners and we had deliberately made ourselves
      not free.

      I remember another time I was arrested, this time in protest of the bombing
      of Cambodia. I have told this story before in this eNewsletter, but I think
      it bears repeating. Religious leaders from all over the US were arrested in
      the Rotunda of the US Capitol after a peaceful sit in. Almost 200 religious
      leaders were arrested that day, including bishops, clergy, seminary
      professors, and others. I was a small fish in a very big pond, being head of
      the Center for the Study of Power and Peace, an inter-religiously funded
      research center for international affairs.

      After a night in jail all the men who were arrested were herded into a
      holding cell, awaiting arraignment - Bill Kunstler was our attorney - the
      women who had been arrested were held in a holding cell at the other end of
      the building. We were in the large space surrounded by bars, with the police
      sitting and wandering around outside. Many of those arrested wore their
      clerical colors.

      The Rev. William Sloan Coffin led the group in Martin Luther's immortal hymn,
      "A Mighty Fortress is Our God," lining out each verse in a loud, commanding
      voice. When we got to the fourth verse, our voices were incredibly loud and
      strong. We sang the powerful words, "Let goods and kindred go, This mortal
      life also, The body they may kill; God's truth abideth still, God's kingdom
      is forever."

      As we finished the hymn with those words we looked out and saw that all the
      cops were staring at us through the bars. And to our amazement, a few had
      even drawn their guns -- pointing them at this middle aged, often overweight
      group of clergy and laity as if by sheer force of our hymn the bars would
      break asunder. As our hymn of faith and defiance echoed down the halls we
      heard our sisters (many of whom really were sisters, nuns that is) singing
      the hymn as well, having heard our thunderous anthem.

      Bill Coffin looked out at the terrified police, repeated the last lines one
      more time, "the body they may kill, God's truth abideth still" and added in a
      great shout, "and let that be a lesson to you!"

      Just as the police of Washington DC were frightened by the words of truth
      20-some years ago, the denominations Soulforce faces will hear the truth of
      God's love through these demonstrations and arrests. And we can only repeat,
      with Martin Luther the reformation monk, "Let goods and kindred go, This
      mortal life also, The body they may kill; God's truth abideth still, God's
      kingdom is forever." And may that be a lesson to the church!

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

      We are glad you are partners 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.

      Grace and peace,

      Adam DeBaugh, Director

      If you've received our eNewsletter as a result of the good offices of someone
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      Chi Rho Press, Inc.
      P.O. Box 7864
      Gaithersburg, MD 20898

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

      You may order any of our books via snail mail, telephone, fax, or e-mail at
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      For the convenience of our friends outside of the USA, we suggest ordering
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      Our Canadian friends can order through our Canadian distributor, MAP
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      K0H 2H0; e-mail: mapenterprises@...; phone or fax: 1-613-386-5711;
      or toll free (leave a message) 1-877-245-9569.

      Copyright 2000, Chi Rho Press, Inc.

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

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      Grace and peace,

      R. Adam DeBaugh
      Chi Rho Press
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