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Chi Rho Connection, Vol. V, No. 17

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    ************************* CHI RHO CONNECTION The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press, Your LGBT Christian Publishing House Vol. V, No. 17 15 October 2004
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 15, 2004

      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.

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

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

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

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


      1. 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
      Matthew Shepard).

      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
      God's judgments.

      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
      Community Churches.

      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
      the Beloved"
      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
      ministry facility.

      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
      promptly departed.

      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
      church today!

      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
      ordering information.


      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
      this year!).

      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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      For all e-mail correspondence, please write

      Our snail mail address is:

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

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

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

      Copyright 2004, Chi Rho Press, Inc.
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