Chi Rho Connection, Vol. VII, No. 8
CHI RHO CONNECTION
The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press,
Your LGBT Christian Publishing House
Vol. VII, No. 8
31 May 2006
1. The Quiet Sermon
2. From the Editor's Cave by Adam DeBaugh
3. May We Suggest Three Books on HIV/AIDS
4. Step Number 2: Turn to God for Help
5. "Christian with a Twist"
6. Sanctoral Cycle
7. Adam's Last Word
This issue's Quote:
"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we
exchange apples then you and I will still each
have one apple. But if you have an idea and I
have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then
each of us will have two ideas."
-- George Bernard Shaw
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1. The Quiet Sermon
My good friend, Kathy S. Quinn, sent this to a
list-serve we both are on. We are not sure who
wrote it, but we found it very touching.
A member of a certain church, who previously had
been attending services regularly, stopped going.
After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him.
It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man
at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.
Guessing the reason for his pastor's visit, the
man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair
near the fireplace and waited.
The pastor made himself at home but said nothing.
In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of
the flames around the burning logs. After some
minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully
picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to
one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back
in his chair, still silent. The host watched all
this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone
ember's flame flickered and diminished, there
was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more.
Soon it was cold and dead.
Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.
The Pastor glanced at his watch and realized it was
time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the
cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle
of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once
more with the light and warmth of the burning coals
As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said
with a tear running down his cheek, "Thank you so much
for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I
shall be back in church next Sunday."
We live in a world today, which tries to say too much
with too little. Consequently, few listen. Sometimes
the best sermons are the ones left unspoken.
2. From the Editor's Cave
By Adam DeBaugh
[This article is the fourth of a series published in the
"Epi-Grams," the newsletter of the health studies area
of Westat. Adam is the editor of "Epi-Grams." Since
"Epi-Grams" is only published quarterly, this, the fourth
in the series, will be published June 15.]
"Do you know the difference between a terrorist and an
editor? You can negotiate with a terrorist."
English is a strange and confusing language. But that
is what makes it so much fun. And that is also why
puns are so easy and prevalent in English. Rather
than being my usual curmudgeonly self and complain
about the myriad grammatical and spelling errors I
encounter with alarming frequency in my work, I want
to offer up a bunch of one-liners gleaned from the
Internet. (Where else would I find this kind of
Some of these one-liners are pretty obvious. Some you
have to think about. The key for each of these is that
you need to think just a little askew. The humor in
some of them depends on thinking about the properties
of some of the words, in the first one you need to
recall that sponges soak up water, for instance.
Others rely on literal readings (like the second one,
"how long had I been gone? The whole time."). Some
are just puns. But hopefully all of them will make
you think, if only for a little bit, and most of them
might even bring a smile to your face.
Let me know if you don't get any of these. I promise
not to make fun of you. Really. No, honest, I promise.
Well, maybe just a little.
Just think how much deeper the ocean would be if sponges
didn't live there.
I went for a walk last night and my kids asked me how
long I'd be gone. I said, "The whole time."
So what's the speed of dark?
If you're sending someone some Styrofoam, what do you
pack it in?
I just got skylights put in my place. The people who
live above me are furious.
Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they
Isn't Disney World a people trap operated by a mouse?
How come abbreviated is such a long word?
If it's zero degrees outside today and it's supposed to
be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?
Why do you press harder on a remote control when you
know the battery is dead?
Why are they called buildings, when they're already
finished? Shouldn't they be called builts?
Why are they called apartments, when they're all stuck
Why do banks charge you a "non-sufficient funds fee" on
money they already know you don't have?
Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?
When two airplanes almost collide why do they call it a
near miss? It sounds like a near hit to me!
Why are there five syllables in the word "monosyllabic?"
Why do they call it the Department of Interior when they
are in charge of everything outdoors?
Why do scientists call it research when looking for
If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?
Why is it, when a door is open it's ajar, but when a jar
is open, it's not adoor?
If "con" is the opposite of "pro," then what is the
opposite of progress?
Why is it that lemon juice contains mostly artificial
ingredients but dishwashing liquid contains real lemons?
Why do we wait until a pig is dead to "cure" it?
Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
Do Roman paramedics refer to IVs as "4s"?
Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?
I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's
the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it
would defeat the purpose.
War doesn't determine who's right, just who's left.
Here endeth the lesson.
3. May We Suggest Three Books on HIV/AIDS Ministry?
As we commemorate 25 years since the beginning of the
HIV/AIDS pandemic on June 5, 1981, it is fitting to
highlight three books published by Chi Rho Press that
are excellent resources for HIV/AIDS ministry and for
all those living with HIV.
HIV/AIDS is still an important issue in our community
and in this issue we are featuring three important,
small books on the HIV health crisis.
"Families Re-Membered: Pastoral Support for Friends and
Families Living with HIV/AIDS," by the Rev. Louis F.
Kavar, Ph.D. HIV/AIDS causes families to be re-structured,
enlarged and changed or "re-membered." This book explores
the dynamics of family systems and the realities of
extended families of choice in the context of HIV/AIDS.
$10.95 each, six or more copies for $8.25 each, plus
shipping and handling.
"To Celebrate and to Mourn: Liturgical Resources for
Worshiping Communities Living with AIDS," by the Rev.
Louis F. Kavar, Ph.D. "As people who continue to live
in the midst of AIDS, one of our greatest resources is
that of the community of faith." Dr. Kavar discusses
liturgical symbols that have special meaning in the AIDS
crisis for churches, and provides parts of liturgies for
various HIV/AIDS-related worship experiences. $3.95
each, six or more copies for $2.95 each, plus shipping
"I'm Still Dancing! A Gay Man's Health Experience," by the
Rev. A. Stephen Pieters. A powerful book by a long-term
survivor of AIDS: articles, sermons and journal entries
chronicle life with AIDS. Sick since 1982 and diagnosed
with AIDS in 1984, Steve's cancers have gone into complete
remission and he remains well to this day. He served for
many years as Field Director of the UFMCC's AIDS Ministry.
$8.95 each, six or more copies for $6.75 each, plus shipping
4. Step Number 2: Turn to God for Help
Step Number 2 in the "Steps to Recovery from Bible
Abuse," but the Rev. Dr. Rembert Truluck, is to Turn
to God for Help.
Here is the introductory material from chapter 7 of
"Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse," in which Dr.
Truluck outlines the second step needed to recover
from Bible abuse, turning to God for help.
Pray and ask God to guide you into a healthy spiritual
life and into a Christ-centered use of the Bible. God
wants you to be happy and to feel good about yourself.
God, as you understand and experience God, is very
personal and individual. Nobody else can give God to
you. This is why all recovery programs encourage you
to turn your life over to your "Higher Power" or to
God as you understand God. Your sense of self-esteem
and self-worth depends on your view of God.
Be anxious for nothing, but in every thing by prayer
and supplication let your requests be known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus
Cast all of your anxiety on God, for God cares for you
(1 Peter 5:7).
Buy the complete book, "Steps to Recovery from Bible
Abuse," on the Chi Rho Press Web site, at this link:
5. "Christian with a Twist"
Here is 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 the
late William Gaston.
"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
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 entitled "The Empty, Empty Tomb"
from the Easter section of "Christian with a Twist."
Please read Luke 24:1-7
Perplexed. I relate to these women. What happened to
Jesus' body has always perplexed me. I have no problem
understanding that Jesus died on the cross. God knows
humankind is capable of such a thing, we are sometimes
most cruel to the best among us. If scriptures and
sermons were not enough, theater productions like that
of "Godspell" which was performed at our church
recently, reflect the harsh reality of our rejection
of truth and love.
I have no problem knowing that Jesus rose from the dead.
I have seen the dead bodies of loved ones. I know the
spirit, the soul, the person we love is released from
the body and continues to live. I do not understand
how, but I can leave that mystery to God.
I understand that Jesus comes back to us. He has
entered my life, and I know the profound way his
living presence affects others. I have seen him in
the lives of people special to me and even strangers,
and if one day God intends to bring him back to us in
another way, that I can also count as one of life's
But the body. What would have happened to the body?
The words of the two men in dazzling clothes give me
comfort. We may understandably search for the living
among the dead, but really we find them among the
living. It is among the living that we find Jesus.
It is even among the living and the continuing life
forces of God's Creation that we find our own loved
ones who have passed on.
But the body. A body with no person living in it is
empty. A harsh but beautiful remnant of a life
remembered, but oh, so cold, still, and empty.
Perhaps the women who loved him so could not have
faced the sight of that emptiness. I do not know.
Still, there are mysteries that leave us perplexed.
6. Sanctoral Cycle
As a regular feature in the Chi Rho Connection, we
are offering up traditional saints listed in the 2006
Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary from today until
our next scheduled electronic newsletter.
Tues., May 30, St. Joan of Arc (Patron saint: rape victims).
God does speak to us: If we take the time to listen, we
can hear God's voice. St. Joan is a prime example of the
types of people that God chooses for great things. She
was an illiterate farm girl, unschooled and ill prepared
for what God had in mind for her, yet she heard God's voice
and allowed God to lead her.
Wed., May 31, St. Angela Merici. Waiting for God: We
want for much but to get it accomplished, that is for
God. "They who, when they have knocked, are angry
because they are not forthwith heard, are not humble
petitioners but imperious demanders. However long God
may leave you waiting, wait patiently for the Lord's own
time," St. Peter Chrysologus.
Thurs., June 1, St. Justin (Patron saint: lecturers). The
certainty of faith: We all receive the gift of faith with
little or no effort of our own. We need to learn how to
value it from those who reached it after a long search.
Let us fear, like St. Justin did, the account we shall
have to render for God's gift. "I know whom I have
believed, and am convinced that God is able to guard what
I have entrusted to God for that day" (2 Timothy 1:12).
Diversity Date: Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. (Please see
article number 2 in the last edition of the Chi Rho
Connection for alternative scripture readings for the
four Sundays of June, Pride-Tide.)
Fri., June 2, St. Mary of the Incarnation. Doing penance:
Sickness, humiliation and prosecution from every quarter,
endless personal sufferings and crosses of all sorts abound
in the life of St. Mary. They all make a great testimony
to the spirit that is totally surrendered to the will of
God. "Unless you do penance, you will all perish" (Luke
Sat., June 3, Holy Martyrs of Uganda. The narrow gate:
Central Africa in the 1800's was a place where God's name
had never been spoken and the evil one ruled supreme by
means of slavery, sorcery, and cannibalism. These
missionaries to Uganda were all martyred for their faith.
"Strive to enter by the narrow gate, for many, I tell you,
will seek to enter and will not be able" (Luke 13:24).
Sun., June 4, St. Francis Caracciolo. Worshipping Jesus
in the blessed sacrament: It is for us, not for angels,
that our Lord lives sacramentally upon the altar; yet
angels crowd our churches to worship him, while we
ignore him. Learn from St. Francis to avoid such
ingratitude and to spend, as he did, every possible
moment before the most Holy Sacrament.
Mon., June 5, St. Boniface of Crediton. Willingness to
let go: St. Boniface teaches us how the love of Christ
changes all things. It was for Christ�s sake that he
toiled, preferring poverty to riches, labor to rest,
suffering to pleasures, death to life, that by dying
he might live with Christ.
Tues., June 6, St. Norbert. Reverence: In the course
of their work, St. Norbert and his followers had to
stand up for the reverence and honor that is due to
the Holy Eucharist. We must guard in our present
worship practices against irreverence and outrages
offered by others. "Then the man said, �Lord I
believe,� and he worshiped Christ" (John 9:38).
Wed., June 7, St. Robert of Newminster. Setting
examples: Religion and reason both teach us that
we should act virtuously; but only facts prove that
we do so. This is why examples have more power to
move us, and why our individual actions are of such
crucial importance for others as well as for ourselves.
Thurs., June 8, St. Medard (Patron saint: good weather).
Shelter: St. Medard is always depicted as a young man
standing in the rain under the shelter of an eagle.
St. Medard teaches us that God�s love is as gentle as
a dove but as fierce as an eagle. We are sheltered
from adversity by God�s protection if we pray and
believe that God will provide. Just as St. Medard
was sheltered from the rain, so will God protect us.
Fri., June 9, Bd. Anne Taigi. Heavenly knowledge:
Every day duties are no hindrance to a full and
vibrant relationship with God. St. Anne would be
in the middle of everyday tasks when she would feel
God�s presence. She would immediately exclaim, "Leave
me in peace, Lord; leave me to my job!" "Your sons
and your daughters shall prophesy; and your old men
shall dream dreams and your young men shall see visions.
Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour
out my Spirit in those days" (Joel 2:28-29).
Sat., June 10, St. Margaret of Scotland. Letting things
go: Perfection consists in keeping a watch on the heart.
Wherever we are, we can make a solitude in our hearts,
detach ourselves from the world, and talk confidently
with God. Let us take St. Margaret as our example and
gain encouragement from it always.
Sun., June 11, St. Barnabas. Generosity: It is
remarkable to note the amount of time the apostolic
church spent on collecting and distributing alms.
For the first Christians, sending alms to Jerusalem
was a testament to their unity of faith as well as
the fervor of their charity.
Mon., June 12, St. John of Sahagun. Lovers of peace:
We all desire peace but few find it and enjoy it. If
you realized what peace would come to you and happiness
to others if you kept yourself in a good state, you
would be more anxious for spiritual benefits. "Turn
from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it"
Tues., June 13, St. Antony of Padua (Patron saint:
travelers). Hide: We need to love to pray and labor
unseen and cherish in the secret of our hearts God�s
graces and the growth of our own souls. Like St.
Antony, let us attend to this and leave the rest to
God. "But when you pray, go into your room, close the
door and pray to your Creator who is in secret; and
your Creator who sees what is done in secret, will
reward you" (Matthew 6:6).
Wed., June 14, St. Basil. Christian courage: "When I
look about me I seem to have no one on my side. I can
but pray I may be found in the number of those seven
thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal. I know
our present persecutors seek my life; yet that shall
reduce none of the efforts I owe to the churches of
God," St. Basil.
Thurs., June 15, St. Germaine. Patience: St. Germaine
was a peasant, ignorant in human knowledge, who learned
something that is very precious in God�s eyes: patience.
She spent most of her life watching over her family�s
flocks in the pastures, and in spite of neglect and
cruelty, she was good, kind, and devout. The
unhappiness in her home was borne with unfailing
Fri., June 16, St. John Regis. Others come first:
When St. John was struck in the face by someone whom
he had rebuked, he replied, "If you only knew me, you
would have given me much more than that." His meekness
converted the man. It is in this spirit that he teaches
us to win souls to God.
Sat., June 17, Sts. Marcian and Nicander. Christian
affection: Love God above all. Do not let any
attachments keep you from hearing God�s voice. You
help those you love best when you follow the call of
God. Do not grudge them to God when God calls them by
death. They are more than ever yours when they belong
to God alone.
Order the 2005-2006 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary,
complete with the entire year's Sanctoral Cycle, at
7. Adam's Last Word
I really encourage you all to become Guardian Angels of
Chi Rho Press. This will help us a lot as we prepare our
next books for publication. Just $150 for a year will
make you an important participant in this ministry.
Please check out the Chi Rho Cards! Our line of
greeting cards, by the talented New York artist Timothy
Leetch, are now available. See the descriptions of the
cards on our Web site at: http://www.chirhopress.com/products/cards.html.
Please order some cards today!
Gracia y paz,
R. Adam DeBaugh, Director, Adam@....
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Copyright 2006, Chi Rho Press, Inc.