Chi Rho Connection, Vol. V, No. 17
CHI RHO CONNECTION
The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press,
Your LGBT Christian Publishing House
Vol. V, No. 17
15 October 2004
1. A Reflection on Canadian Thanksgiving 2004 --
6 Years After Matthew Shepard Died by Gary Simpson
2. 2004-2005 Liturgical Calendar Published!
3. Soulforce Plans Fifth Witness to Catholic
Bishops by Lawrence Reh
4. New Chi Rho Press Board Members
5. "Christian with a Twist"
6. Sanctoral Cycle
7. Adam's Last Word
This Issue's Quotes:
Here are some suggested winning responses in a contest
to collect good ways to respond to telemarketers.
"That offer sounds great. Is it dischargeable in
bankruptcy?" or "Do you accept welfare checks?"
If you catch the caller's first name, cry out in
surprise, "Judy? Is that you? Oh my God! Judy,
how have you been?" Hopefully, this will give Judy
a few brief moments of terror as she tries to figure
out where she could know you from.
Another reader wrote in about an irksome problem he
has with telemarketers. "Because our home is under
my partner's name, they almost always call asking
for him. When I tell them he's not here, they then
ask for 'Mrs.' I finally got brazen enough to reply,
'You're speaking to him. Now what can I do for you?'
More times than not, they hang up, especially if it's
a man calling. I guess the whole gay thing makes some
of them uncomfortable." Another of the many benefits
of same gender relationships!
"Caller number nine you're on the air. What would
you like to hear?"
Remember, the best way to avoid these calls is to
get on the Federal Trade Commission's Do Not Call
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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Direct all other e-mail to Adam@....
1. A Reflection on Canadian Thanksgiving 2004 --
6 Years After Matthew Shepard Died
by Gary Simpson
This was written by Gary Simpson (garysdeskcom@...)
who works as a Guidance Counsellor in a High School
and who is a Science, History, Business Education, and
Religion teacher. We thank Gary for his kind permission
to reprint his reflections on Thanksgiving (in Canada)
and the anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard six
years ago this week.
Canadian Thanksgiving was last weekend (Oct. 11). For
Canadians who are interested in gay rights, Thanksgiving
weekend is a time of mixed emotions. The Thanksgiving
weekend is difficult for me personally, because I work
with a couple of human rights related web sites.
Like other Canadians, we go to the homes of loved ones,
eat too much turkey and fine food, enjoy the feeling of
being full to the brim and good times with family. But
under the surface of the Thanksgiving celebrations, there
is the feeling of sadness for the gay community and for
the families of people who have lost loved ones, because
of homophobia. We know that the Shepards will always
have an empty plate at Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Matthew Shepard is not going to be coming home again.
He is not away at college. He is not working too far
from home to make it back for Thanksgiving. He is dead.
His death was due to the fears and hatred of two young
Matthew Shepard's death shows the world how ugly
homophobia and hate can be. The gruesome details of
his senseless death and his heroic battle clinging to
life in the hospital riveted the attention of the world
on the needs of an oppressed minority, gay people.
Unfortunately, Matthew Shepard was not the only person
to be murdered for being gay. Many other gay people
have been killed. The names of several other young
gay people who were murdered in the United States
come to mind in mere seconds.
Somehow, Thanksgiving seems like the right time to
remember Matthew Shepard and the many other victims
of homophobia and gay bashing. While we remember the
injury or loss of so many talented and dear people,
we can also look to the progress the gay community
has made and be thankful.
A gay Canadian Member of Parliament, Svend Robinson,
was sickened by the protests at Matthew Shepard's
funeral. He introduced a private member's bill that
added gay people to the list of minority groups
protected by hate crimes legislation. Private
member's bills rarely get passed. His bill was
passed. Now it is illegal to promote hatred against
gay people in Canada. We owe that to Matthew Shepard's
death and to Svend Robinson's hard work.
Many people have been touched by Matthew Shepard's
death. Some people have e-mailed us, or have posted
comments in the guest book or the forum stating that
Matthew Shepard changed their lives.
Somehow out of a very terrible situation, God is
moving to bring some good things. That realization
is part of what Thanksgiving is all about. Even
within the darkest of times, there is hope. And
at Thanksgiving, we express our gratitude for the
blessings we have, blessings that give us hope and
courage for a better world.
2. 2004-2005 Liturgical Calendar Published
Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary, Year A, November
2004 through November 2005, compiled by Raye-Anne Dorn
and the Rev. Clay Witt. $11.95 each, six or more
copies, $9.50 each, plus shipping and handling.
Chi Rho Press is pleased to announce a brand new
Liturgical Calendar for the coming 2004-2005 church
year. The Liturgical Calendar features readings from
the Revised Common Lectionary, widely used as the
ecumenical consensus on readings for each Sunday and
holy day in the three-year cycle. 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 the popular 8 ½"
x 11" format.
Featured in this new Liturgical Calendar are these
sections: A Heading that identifies the day in the
church year (for example, the first Sunday of Advent,
or Proper 20) with alternative descriptions where
appropriate. The Revised Common Lectionary readings,
including a brief summary of each reading.
Next is a section on Worship Planning, including the
liturgical Color of the day, Symbols and decorations
that can be used to enhance the worship experience,
and Special Events and secular and Jewish holidays
for the week which the congregation may want to
remember and commemorate on Sunday.
Rev. Witt has added lots of Notes in the Worship
Planning section which serve to explain in more
detail information about the time of the church year,
provide resources for further study and information,
and develop liturgical themes to make your worship
experience more rich and meaningful.
The last section for each Sunday is called Following
God's Footprints and is the unique contribution of
Raye-Anne Dorn. For every day of the year, Raye-Anne
gives us a traditional saint, with a brief overview
of an important theme for which the saint is
remembered and what that particular saint can
teach us. Some Diversity Dates are also included,
special occasions for celebrations of diversity,
such as special celebration days for specific
cultures (e.g., Cinco de Mayo) and special days for
the GLBT community (e.g., a day of remembrance for
The 2004-2005 Liturgical Calendar will be a helpful
aid for anyone involved in planning worship, as well
as a useful resource for all who want to know more
about the Church year and the rich liturgical life
of the Church Universal.
You may now order the 2004-2005 Liturgical Calendar
and Lectionary on the Chi Rho Press Web site at this
You may also order by sending your order, along with
your name, address, telephone, and credit card name
and expiration date by e-mail (to Orders@...),
snail mail (to Chi Rho Press, P.O. Box 7864, Gaithersburg,
MD 20898), or telephone or fax (at 301/926-1208). Or if
you prefer you may send a check or money order to our
post office box.
The Liturgical Calendar is $11.95 each, six or more
copies are $9.50 each, plus shipping and handling.
3. Soulforce Plans Fifth Witness to Catholic Bishops
by Lawrence Reh
This short essay was written by Lawrence Reh, a good
friend and investor in Chi Rho Press, and moderator of
the excellent First Light list-serve, at
A bishop in Spain likened same-gender marriage to
releasing a virus into society. A cardinal in Mexico
said our families are fake -- that they are like
counting cats and dogs and even cockroaches living
under the same roof as family. These are but two of
the many extreme examples of intemperate rhetoric
that the Roman Catholic hierarchy around the world
has unleashed into the LGBT community -- like flame-
throwers -- in just the most recent weeks. Rhetoric
that demeans our personhood and denies our place in
the family of God, but which also demeans the Catholic
faith, bleeds it of the compassion of Christ, and
provides justification for the so-called faithful
to condone and even perpetrate violence against LGBT
It reminds me of a slogan that was stenciled in paint
on the urban sidewalks around my church in downtown
Oakland by anti-war activists in the early months of
2003, prior to Bush's launch of his war against Iraq.
"Who Would Jesus Bomb?" Like the war that continues
against the Iraqi people, Vatican assaults on LGBT
people are based on false assumptions, inflated claims
of threat, and demonization of 'the enemy.' Who would
Jesus condemn and exclude? His harshest recorded words
in the Bible were uniformly directed at religious
leaders who believed they had a monopoly on truth
and righteousness, believed that their judgments were
The Catholic Church has a long and ignoble history
of condemning opinions, behaviors, even demonstrable
scientific facts which challenge the church's
orthodoxy, its rigid doctrines, because each such
challenge was seen as a threat to the church's
authority, prestige, status, and most of all, its
power to dictate and control the lives of the people.
In the face of such massive misinformation and
disinformation, one of the goals of Soulforce, Inc.,
is to relentlessly confront the untruths of our sisters
and brothers in God, reminding them that only God has
ultimate truth, that we are called by Jesus to 'love
one another, as I have loved you.'
Visit Soulforce at http://www.soulforce.org and join
with Soulforce in Washington, DC for the fifth year
in a row witnessing at the U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops annual meeting, November 14
through 17, 2004.
4. New Chi Rho Press Board Member
Please join us in welcoming Chi Rho Press Board
member the Rev. Martha Daniels. Here is a little
bit about her:
Martha Daniels is pastor-elect of MCC-Windsor, Ontario,
Canada. She earned her Master of Library Science
degree from the University of Maryland, and her Master
of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary,
Washington, DC. Martha worked as an information
specialist with several corporations in the Washington,
DC area before she began her ministry in the United
Methodist church. She served in several capacities
as a layperson, and as associate pastor and then
senior pastor before transferring her clergy
credentials and ordination to the Metropolitan
Her special interests are in the areas of liturgy,
theology, and exegesis, particularly in the interplay
between the three. She has also done a study of
Christian theology after the Holocaust, and the
ways in which Christian exegesis has created and
reinforced institutional anti-Semitism. Currently
she is studying body theology and sexuality.
She and her partner, Diane, recently celebrated their
Holy Union at MCC Baltimore.
5. "Christian with a Twist"
Because we have published two books of reflections
and meditations on Scripture this year, we want to
be able to share samples of both with you. The weekly
Chi Rho Reflection, e-mailed every Sunday, features
the meditation of the day taken from our first major
book this year, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok. "Living as
and is available for $20.95 each, six or more copies
for $15.75 each, plus shipping and handling.
Not wanting to short change our readers, we have
decided to include a selection from our second major
book of reflections, "Christian with a Twist:
Reflections on Scripture that are a bit more inclusive,
a bit more relevant, and with a bit of a bite," by
William Gaston, in each of the Chi Rho Connections,
published twice a month.
"Christian with a Twist" is available for $19.95 each,
$14.95 each for six or more copies, plus shipping and
handling. You can read more about it and order it at
Bill Gaston wrote these reflections each Sunday over
a three year period for publication in the church
bulletin and newsletter of MCC of Washington DC.
Bill's reflections are based on one or more of the
Lectionary readings for the Sunday and his work pretty
much covers the three year cycle of the Lectionary.
As the subtitle suggests, Bill's writing has a bit
of a bite, and we believe you will enjoy his sharp,
but loving take on Scripture, life, and faith.
Here is a selection from the Ordinary Time section
of "Christian with a Twist."
Please read Psalm 46:1-2, 6 and Matthew 7:21-27
We refer to the main room of our church as the sanctuary
a sacred place, a place to seek refuge. It is that, and
maybe even more. It is the place where we come to be fed
spiritually. Though it is cumbersome, I am glad that in
MCC Washington we make a point to refer to the
congregation as the church and the building as the
Our building is mostly a glass house. It could never
afford protection on its own. We protect one another
by declaring our place of worship to be a safe place
where all are welcome to come and seek to know the God
of all creation.
We are a Christian Church. We do not just come together
to do any old thing. We try to follow the path Jesus
laid out for his disciples and the church leaders who
came after them. Like our sanctuary, the rituals we
carry out and the lessons we teach and learn are
fashioned by human hands and minds. God-given and
Christ-guided hands and minds, but still very human.
We cannot depend on them any more than we can depend
on the glass and cinder block walls.
The God of Creation is our ultimate refuge and the
source of our strength. Church buildings and even
congregations will come and go. The best of them get
corrupted and fall. God never falls and God never
Jesus taught us the greatest commandments to love one
another and the God who created us. Doing that, we can
always build a beautiful sanctuary and gather together
another group of supportive people. We cannot create
an uproar that God cannot calm with the word by which
God created us all LOVE.
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.
Fri. Oct. 15 (approximately, it depends on the sighting
of the moon), Ramadan (Islamic). Holy month of Islam
that commemorates revelation of Qur'an to Mohammed.
Begins when new moon of the ninth month is sighted in
Saudi Arabia. Strict fasting is observed daily from
sunrise to sunset. (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.)
Fri. 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.
Sat. 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.
Sat. Oct. 16, National Boss Day (U.S.A.).
Mon. 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.
Wed. Oct. 20, Birth of the B'ab (Baha'i). Honors
the founder of Baha'i, Mirza 'Ali-Muhammed, in 1819.
Fri. Oct. 22, Maura O'Halloran (1955-1982). Christian
Zen monk. Born in Boston and raised in Ireland, Maura
felt from an early age a deep compassion for human
suffering. Her concern for social justice and attraction
to meditation led her to explore Eastern spirituality.
She applied for admission to a Buddhist monastery in
Tokyo where many Catholic priests had studied Zen
meditation. There she underwent intense training as
a monk and was recognized for reflecting a remarkable
state of enlightenment. On her return trip to Ireland
she was killed in a bus accident in Thailand at the age
of 27. Her short life of holiness has been compared to
Therese of Lisieux, the French nun who also accomplished
her spiritual purpose in this world at a young age and
Sat. Oct. 23, St. James of Jerusalem (c. 62). Brother
of Jesus and martyr. James is traditionally believed
to be a brother or cousin of Jesus, but was converted
after Jesus' death and eventually became the first
Bishop of the church in Jerusalem. He was leader of
a more conservative Jewish wing of the early Jesus
movement that was uncomfortable with Paul's preaching
to the Gentiles, but Peter helped forge a compromise
between them. He is traditionally associated with
the Epistle of James, a short letter that tells us
much about the early church. Some of its primary
concerns include the intrusion of class divisions
among the believers, showing mercy toward the poor,
and letting our faith be reflected in our actions.
Sun. Oct. 24, United Nations Day.
Fri. Oct. 29, Clarence Jordon (1912-1969). Founder
of Koinonia Farm. An ordained Southern Baptist
minister with a doctorate in New Testament, Jordan
founded Koinonia Farm, an experiment in communal
Christian living in rural Georgia. Koinonia is
the word in Acts that describes the early church's
fellowship and sharing of resources. Long before
Supreme Court decisions on desegregation, he
promoted reconciliation between blacks and whites.
Koinonia became the object of a violent campaign of
persecution. Jordan wrote a vernacular paraphrase
of most of the New Testament, called the Cotton Patch
Version, which sets the story of Jesus in the modern
rural South. Jordan was committed to living his
faith as a disciple of Jesus in the here and now.
Sun. Oct. 31, Daylight Savings Time ends (U.S.A.).
Clocks are moved back one hour at 2 a.m. (Saturday
night/Sunday morning). Be sure you aren't early for
Sun. Oct. 31, Reformation Day. On this day in 1517
the German theologian, Martin Luther, posted his
famous 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church
in Wittenberg. This was the normal procedure for
announcing academic disputes at the University.
There was nothing dramatic in this act, however the
content was to forever change Christianity. It has
come to mark the beginning of the Protestant
Reformation, which together with the Counter-
Reformation in the Catholic Church, led to major
changes in Christian thought and worship. Today
Catholic and Protestant churches are finding that
in our faith in Christ we have much more in common
than those particular beliefs which separate us.
Sun. Oct. 31, Halloween. Popular holiday, and one
the "High Holy Days" of the GLBT community. In
Wiccan communities this is known as Samdhain, a
celebration of endings and beginnings, and a time
for honoring elders.
Sun. Oct. 31, Nuzul al Qur'an (Islamic). Revelation
of the Qur'an to Mohammed. (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.)
Mon. Nov. 1, Feast of All Saints. The tradition of
remembering all the saints together dates to the
early history of the Church, which affirmed "the
communion of saints" as the mystical Body of Christ,
transcending both time and space. Even when no one
is visibly with us in our prayers and our spiritual
path, we are surrounded by their presence and
inspired by their witness. All the saints some
famous and some known only to God answered God's
call in their life in their own unique way. This
collective feast reminds us that each of us has our
own special gifts, and we are each called to do
something holy for God.
Tue. Nov. 2, Commemoration of All Faithful Departed
(All Souls Day). In some traditions there has been
a distinction between remembering the official
canonized saints on All Saints Day and commemorating
those whose names are not on any calendar, but are
cherished as models of faith, or are dearly loved
family and friends. They, as well, are part of
that great "cloud of witnesses" who encourage us
in our spiritual journey.
Tue. Nov. 2, Day of the Dead (Mexico). Dia de la
Muerte, a popular Mexican custom of remembering and
honoring the dead.
Tue. Nov. 2, Election Day (U.S.A.). The importance
of everyone voting today can not be overstated,
especially in this election for President of the
United States, when the very future of our country
in is the hands of the voters who will either re-elect
George W. Bush or elect John F. Kerry.
Order the brand new 2004-2005 Liturgical Calendar
and Lectionary, complete with the entire year's
Sanctoral Cycle. See the end of article number
one in this issue of the Chi Rho Connection for
7. Adam's Last Word
Clay Witt, our new Web minister, has been updating
our Web site, so please go to http://www.ChiRhoPress.com
to see all the changes and what Clay has done.
Because of the changes to the Web site, the link to
the 2004-2005 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary has
changed. Order your 2004-2005 Liturgical Calendar
now. You can find it at
Please join Chi Rho Press as a partner in ministry
with Dr. Rembert Truluck. You may buy his wonderful
and inspiring book, "Steps to Recovery from Bible
Abuse," on line at
Or make a fully tax-deductible contribution by making
your gift check out to Chi Rho Press, designate that
it is "For Dr. Truluck" in the memo line, and send it
to Chi Rho Press, P.O. Box 7864, Gaithersburg, MD 20898,
USA. If you prefer, you may make your contribution on
line at this link: http://www.chirhopress.com/sponsor.html.
Just note in the "Special Instructions and Comments" that
your contribution is designated "For Dr. Truluck" and we
will make sure he receives your generous gift.
Please do not forget the new way for local churches to
start their own church bookstores, our Church Bookstore
Starter Kit. Chi Rho Press would certainly be only one
of a number of publishing houses that a local church
might want to purchase books from for resale. In order
to make the process a little easier, we offer an easy
to deal with starter kit of books on consignment for
the first six months to serve as the nucleus for a new
local church bookstore.
See the last edition of the Chi Rho Connection to review
the terms for this opportunity, on the Web site at
It is not too early to think about your holiday
shopping! Christmas is almost two months away.
Chi Rho Press never closes, at least our Web site
never closes, and it is available for your shopping
needs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (366 days
If you intend to order stained glass, it would be a
good idea to place those orders as soon as possible,
so our Stained Glass Elf has plenty of time to
create your pieces in time for Christmas.
We hope you will consider doing at least some of your
holiday shopping at Chi Rho Press.
Gracia y paz,
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 2004, Chi Rho Press, Inc.