Chi Rho Connection, Vol. VII, No. 12
CHI RHO CONNECTION
The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press,
Your LGBT Christian Publishing House
Vol. VII, No. 12
27 August 2006
1. "The Journey is Our Home:" Sharing Our Faith
Journeys. On Silence, by the Rev. Jeremy
2. Become a Guardian Angel of Chi Rho Press
3. May We Suggest "Come Home"?
4. Step Number 6: "Confront the Scripture Used
5. "Christian with a Twist"
6. Sanctoral Cycle
7. Adam's Last Word
This issue's Quote:
"Gray hair is a crown of glory: it is the reward for
Welcome once again to the Chi Rho Connection, the
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Direct all other e-mail to Adam@....
1. "The Journey is Our Home:" Sharing Our Faith
Journeys. On Silence, by the Rev. Jeremy.
Back in September 2002 we started soliciting our
readers and authors to contribute essays for a series
in the Chi Rho Connection in which people tell part
of the story of their faith journeys. The title of
this column, "The Journey is Our Home," comes from a
wonderful contemporary hymn by Ruth Duck, called
"Lead on, O Cloud of Yahweh." The whole second
Lead on, O fiery pillar,
We follow yet with fears,
But we shall come rejoicing
Though joy be born of tears.
We are not lost, though wandering,
For by your light we come,
And we are still God's people,
The journey is our home.
We would like to resume this series, publishing a
new faith story in each issue of the Chi Rho
Connection. Our writers will be well known and
not famous at all, clergy and lay people, LGBT
people and non-gay people, people from all walks
of life, and even Christians and non-Christians.
If you would like to contribute the story of your
faith journey for inclusion in 'The Journey is Our
Home,' please try to limit your story to 500 words.
Write us at Connection@... with your
Here's a bit of the faith journey of my good friend,
Father Jeremy, a retired Roman Catholic priest who
lives in the "tundra," as he likes to call it, of
New England. Fr. Jeremy offers us a reflection on
I've been sitting here in "the great silence alone"
reflecting on just that, with the nearing and
distancing purr of the lawn mower.
I read this today, "Each soul must meet the morning
sun, the new, sweet earth, and the great silence
-- Charles Alexander Eastman.
For me, reading these words recreates a period of my
life when there was a goodly amount of silence in my
daily life, oftentimes silence in community.
Interspersed throughout the day were the communal
prayer times of chanting psalms, listening to
readings and then sitting in silence, communally
During the day starting with Vigils in early pre-dawn,
at noontime, and again at Vespers/evening prayer we
observed a half hour for this silent prayer, where
we just sat in silence together, often without even
the rustle of garments.
At the daily Eucharist, after all of us had been fed
with the Body and Blood of the Lord, an action binding
brothers and sisters more closely, we then sat in
communal silence for about 20 minutes, allowing the
Presence to penetrate, nourish, and draw into Unity
our separate hearts and souls. We ended this with
the final prayers of the Mass.
The entire day was blessed with this silence. Then
after the final prayer-time (Compline) we entered
into what was known as "the grand silence" which
ended the next day after breakfast, during which
time we didn't communicate, except if absolutely
To further aid this inner silence, there was the
custom called "custody of the eyes" where we just
didn't gawk around watching others and their comings
and goings with nosey curiosity. The bodily
outwardness enabled an inner openness of the heart,
to God, to myself, to the whole world.
By our world's business, one would think such silence
might engender anti-social or isolationist attitudes.
It may have in some, I don't know. But I do know my
experience brought me into a deep, deep relationship
with my brothers and sisters, a bond so different
from noisy nervous chatter and surface interaction.
I was always surprised by the knowledge of one another
we had, due to "the silent life."
And now in semi-retirement I live alone, with Chazz
(Fr. Jeremy's beloved dog) of course, who is a good
contemplative as he sits and observes the world about
him. My life is blessed by this "great silence alone."
2. Become a Guardian Angel of Chi Rho Press
As you may already know, all contributions to Chi Rho
Press are fully tax deductible. If you are able to make
a financial gift to this ministry, we would welcome your
support. Gifts and contributions of any size are welcome
We are committed to reviving our Guardian Angel program.
Our Guardian Angel Individual Sponsors program starts
with a minimum gift of $150 a year and our Guardian
Angels receive discounts on Press publications, free
gifts during the year, and special other perks.
You may contribute on line, paying with your credit
card at http://www.chirhopress.com/sponsor.html or
send your check or money order to Chi Rho Press, P.O.
Box 7864, Gaithersburg, MD 20898.
Thanks for your support!
3. May We Suggest "Come Home"?
A loyal reader, Gary, writes, "I just finished reading
the book this weekend. The book is very well written.
Chris Glaser has many profound insights. I strongly
recommend reading the book."
"Come Home! Reclaiming Spirituality and Community as
Gay Men and Lesbians," second edition, by Chris Glaser.
First published in 1990 by HarperCollins, the second
edition was published in 1998 by Chi Rho Press with
the addition of five new chapters to the original 20.
"Come Home!" is perhaps Chris Glaser's best book. It
is divided into five sections, each with five chapters.
The five sections are entitled, "Welcoming God's
Acceptance," "Receiving Our Inheritance," "Discerning
Our Call," "Making Our Witness," and "Declaring Our
Bishop John Shelby Spong called "Come Home!" "powerful,
sensitive, and provocative. . . . Glaser stands inside
his own humanity as a gay male and hears the word of
God through the Bible. Christians, gay and straight,
need this book if we are to be the body of Christ."
This is a brilliant and important book by perhaps the
best-known Gay Christian writer in the U.S. today.
The Rev. Carter Heyward called "Come Home!" "an
enthusiastic compelling testimony to the power of
faith in the lives of many gay and lesbian Christians."
Virginia Ramey Mollenkott said, "If courage, honesty,
and insight are beautiful, then this is one beautiful
book. . . . I rejoice that in this book all the gay
men and lesbian women who have been robbed of their
spirituality are issued an urgent invitation: Come
"Come Home!" by Chris Glaser offers a vision of faith,
hope, and affirmation inviting gay men and lesbians to
come home to their spirituality through Christian faith
and community. Order your copy today!
"Come Home!" is available for $19.95 each, $14.95 each
for six or more copies, plus shipping and handling.
4. Step Number 6: "Confront the Scripture Used
Step Number 6 in the "Steps to Recovery from Bible
Abuse," by the Rev. Dr. Rembert Truluck, is to
"Confront the Scripture Used Against You."
Here is the introductory material from chapter 11 of
"Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse," in which Dr.
Truluck outlines the sixth step needed to recover
from Bible abuse.
The Sixth Step: Confront the Scripture Used Against
Learn the facts about homosexuality and the Bible.
The truth will set you free.
Jesus said, "You search the Scriptures, because you
think that in them you have eternal life; but it is
these that bear witness of me. . . . You will know
the truth and the truth will set you free" (John 5:39;
Jesus frequently showed how the Bible had been used
incorrectly to hurt people. In Matthew 5:17-48,
Jesus said that he had come to fulfill the Law, not
that he had come to force you to keep the Law! In
this passage Jesus corrected several mistakes in the
Old Testament by saying repeatedly, "you have heard
it said, but I say unto you." Things that Jesus
corrected were based on quotations from the Bible.
Jesus corrected mistakes in the Bible.
Jesus spent most of his time dealing with abusive
and oppressive religion and showing how he had come
to replace law with love. He taught his disciples
to think objectively and logically about their
relationships with God and with other people.
The burden of proof concerning Bible condemnation
and rejection of gay people is upon those who use
incorrectly translated and out-of-context passages
to hurt people who were not intended in the original
texts. Frequently I have been asked to prove that
the Bible does not condemn homosexuals. That
question is backwards.
No word for "homosexual" exists in biblical languages.
No reference to sexual orientation exists in the Bible.
Of the six Bible passages used against gays, three of
them, Genesis 19:5; 1 Corinthians 6:9; and 1 Timothy
1:10 are translated incorrectly, and three, Leviticus
18:22; Leviticus 20:13; and Romans 1:26-27 are taken
out of their correct context of condemning idolatrous
religious practices and applied incorrectly to people
of the same sex who love each other. The Bible nowhere
condemns love, affection, or sex between people who
love each other. In fact, no word for "sex" exists
in the Bible.
When the verses that are used to condemn people for
their sexual orientation are examined carefully in
their context and with the accepted methods of
academic research and logic, there is no evidence
that the Bible says that gay people are evil and
hated and rejected by God. No evidence exists in
the Bible to prove God's rejection of gay men and
women. The case against gays and lesbians is
dismissed for a lack of evidence.
Jesus never mentioned homosexuals or any issue
related to sexual orientation. If you follow
Jesus, you accept everyone equally. Jesus is
proof that God loves and accepts all people,
Author's note: This material on the Sixth Step w
as the most difficult part of the book to write.
When the Rev. Chuck Larsen first invited me to begin
research, writing, and teaching Bible studies for
gays and lesbians at First Metropolitan Community
Church (MCC) Atlanta in 1988, he suggested that we
look at the positive use of the Bible to help
encourage and strengthen the spiritual life of
our people and call the studies, "The Bible as
the Friend of Lesbians and Gays," which was the
first title of the material in this book.
Most of this book is about the positive use of the
Bible as a guide to Jesus and the good news of God's
love for all of us. Dealing with the abusive misuse
of the Bible against gay people is necessary, however,
because much of the oppression of gay men and lesbians
springs from the errors and mistakes that have been
read into the Bible in six obscure and questionable
passages, and none of it comes from the life and
message of Jesus. The basic problem in answering
the verses that are used against us is that it is
a negative task. We have to show what the passages
do not say, partly because the six verses used
against us do not make any reference to sexual
orientation and partly because the verses all are
relatively obscure and are usually used only as a
weapon to attack gays.
Jesus said nothing against gay people, though
homophobic legalists have looked long and hard
trying to find something. The bottom line is that
if Jesus is our true and only reliable guide to
understanding the Bible, there is no evidence at
all in the Bible to condemn us for our sexual
orientation. Praise God!
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 Gifts of Wisdom"
from the Pentecost and Ordinary Time section of
"Christian with a Twist."
Please read Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
I love today's passage. It gives me a chance to vent
about one of my pet peeves. Oh no, not again, you may
be thinking. But seriously, I think that wisdom and
understanding are too much ignored and even sometimes
discouraged in our religious lives. Many people seem
to park their brains outside the church door, and I
wonder sometimes if they remember to pick them up on
their way out.
That is harsh and negative, I know, but so much talk
of religion these days is negative. Our religious
institutions have to accept some of the responsibility
for that. I do not understand the conflict between
science and religion. What better way is there to
honor God's Creation than to study the intricacies of
it? And does not each new thing that we discover
lead to even more awe and wonder about the complexity
of what God has done?
Today's passage says that God created wisdom at the
very beginning of Creation, that wisdom was there
when each and every thing came into being. Of
course we can never understand it all, but it is
all real and all of it is knowable, if only to God.
There is a bit of God in each of us and we are each
a part of all that is.
We consist of body, mind, and spirit. We have
hospitals and health clubs to maintain our bodies.
We have schools and libraries to enrich our minds.
We have churches and scripture to support our spirits.
We would not think of accepting the level of health
care or education of Jesus' time, but somehow we
think that the level of spiritual development that
was good enough then should be good enough now.
Another of today's suggested readings is John 16:12-15
in which Jesus promises to send to us the Spirit of
Truth that will teach us what he could not in his time
and place. I think that the Spirit of Truth that Jesus
promised is not unrelated to the Wisdom spoken of in
Proverbs. I think that God desires that all of
Creation be alive and growing, certainly our part of
it which God created in God's own image.
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.
Sat., Aug. 26, St. Genesius of Arles (Patron saint:
actors). Love of the church: All of the martyrs
loved the church even to death and when persecution
did its worst they were certain of their final victory.
They teach us by their example that by love and
confidence in the church's teachings, we are truly
redeemed and have a place in heaven.
Diversity Date: Women's Equality Day
Sun., Aug. 27, St. Monica. Perseverance in prayer:
It is impossible to say what persevering prayer can
do because it can do everything! It gives us a share
in the divine omnipotence. St. Augustine's soul was
bound in the chains of false philosophy and an
unhallowed love, both of which by long habit had
grown inveterate. His mother's prayers broke both.
"We should always pray and not give up" (Luke 18:1).
Mon., Aug. 28, St. Augustine of Hippo (Patron saint:
brewers, theologians). The lives of saints: By
reading about the lives of the saints you are
gradually creating a society about you that in some
measure will force you to raise the standard of your
own daily life. "Ancient examples of faith, which
both witness to God's grace and give strength, were
set out in writing so that by the reading and
remembering of them, God might be glorified and we
strengthened." Passion of St. Perpetua and St.
Tues., Aug. 29, Bd. Juvenal Ancina. Brotherly love:
Bd. Juvenal was a living example of his master St.
Philip's principle to think nothing of life or
reputation when it was a question of converting a
sinner or drawing a soul to Christ. Juvenal knew
who his murderer was and every circumstance necessary
to convict him, yet he forbade his name be mentioned.
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down
his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
Wed., Aug. 30, St. Philip Benizi. Last things: Act
like you would wish to have acted when you stand
before Christ on your judgment day. This is the rule
of the saints and the only safe rule for all. "My
God, the nearer I come to you the greater need have
I to humble myself in the dust," St. Philip Benizi.
Thurs., Aug. 31, St. Aidan. Gentleness: It is the
meek, the gentle, and the humble who spiritually
conquer the world. The less we give way to
impatience in our dealings with others, the more
the spirit of God works in us and for us. We have
to overcome inward feelings of pride and irritation
as well as their outward expressions. "But the
meek shall inherit the land and enjoy great peace"
Fri., Sept. 1, St. Giles (Patron saint: homeless,
disabled). The riches of poverty: The finest of
chains can hold a small bird captive and prevent
it from flying away. We cannot fully enjoy the
blessings nor love that God has for us as long as
one tiny single tie binds our hearts to sin.
"Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor yet making
many rich; having nothing and yet possessing
everything" (2 Corinthians 6:10).
Diversity Dates: Hispanic Heritage Month
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Sat., Sept. 2, St. Stephen of Hungary. With God
all plans come to fruition: Saint Stephen was a
man with a mission. This mission he managed to
accomplish in the course of his life and the
reforms he instituted lasted for centuries to
come. His most important contribution, though,
was to bring Hungary to the status of a nation.
Though small, this country would come to effect
Europe in some very important ways in future
Sun., Sept. 3, St. Pius X. Simplicity of living:
Simplicity of life and spirit, humbleness and
gentleness, carried St. Pius X to all of the world's
hearts and thus God glorified him to the world. "I
was born poor, I have lived poor, and I wish to die
poor," St. Pius X.
Mon., Sept. 4, St. Rose of Viterbo. Use of today:
Rose died when she was seventeen but she died a
saint. Many of us have lived much longer, yet
with what result? Every minute of every day there
is something we can do for God. Let us learn from
St. Rose's example to be up and doing every single
day. "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in
the day of salvation I helped you" (2 Corinthians
Tues., Sept. 5, St. Laurence Giustiniani. Seeking
divine wisdom: "Why do you go about trying to
satisfy your mind first with one thing and then
another? Rest is to be found only in the boundless
treasures of divine wisdom," St. Laurence Giustiniani.
Wed., Sept. 6, St. Symphorosa. Suffering: History
shows that Hadrian threatened to burn St. Symphorosa
alive as a sacrifice to his gods. She told him this
was beyond his power, if she was burnt, she would be
offered up, not to demons, but to Christ the Son of
God, and the fire that consumed her body would add
light to her crown. Her trial is an example to us
that no matter what comes our way, it is a means of
consecrating ourselves anew to Christ.
Thurs., Sept. 7, St. Tarbula. Guarding chastity:
Whatever your state of life may be, you too are
dedicated to Christ and bound to follow him in
purity of body and soul. "But among you there
must be not even a hint of sexual impurity, or
of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because
these are improper for God's holy people"
Fri., Sept. 8, St. Poemen. Kind judgments: We
can never arrive at true purity of heart until we
believe ourselves to be more worthless than anybody
else. This is not difficult, for even if we were
to see a murderer we could say, "He has only killed
one person, while I have put my soul to death many
times by my sins." "If we pass over people's faults
in silence, God also will hide ours, but if we
divulge them, God will make known our own," St.
Sat., Sept. 9, St. Peter Claver (Patron saint:
African Americans). Our neighbor's needs: When
we see someone in need, either for body or for
soul, do not ask why someone else did not help,
but be thankful for the opportunity to do it
yourself. "Who is weak, and I do not feel weak?
Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?"
(2 Corinthians 11:29).
Sun., Sept. 10, St. Nicholas of Tolentino. A good
death: Would you die the death of the just? There
is only one way of making sure of doing so. Live
the life of the just. For it is impossible that
one who has been faithful to God in life should
make a bad or unhappy end. "I love life only
because it leads quickly to death," St. Nicholas
Mon., Sept. 11, Bd. Charles Spinola. Death for
Christ: So deeply was Bd. Charles steeped in the
wisdom of the cross that he not only welcomed
suffering in every way and bore it when most
crushing, but even in the prison of Omura, more
terrible as he said, than death by fire, he imposed
mortifications on himself. "For to me, to live is
Christ and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21).
Tues., Sept. 12, St. Guy. Reverence for the house
of God: Jesus was nine months in Mary's womb,
three hours on the cross, and three days in the
grave, but sacramentally, he is in the tabernacle
always. Does our reverence before him bear witness
to this blessed truth? "Zeal for your house will
Wed., Sept. 13, St. Francis di Girolamo. Attending
to sermons: In spite of the wisdom and power with
which St. Francis preached, his sermons were of no
use to those who listened with hardened hearts. If
we would hear preachers aright, we must examine our
own conscience instead of criticizing what is being
said. "They who hear the divine warning unmoved are
not worthy to be healed," St. Augustine.
Thurs., Sept. 14, St. Speratus. Perseverance: Beg
God for the gift of perseverance. Do not hesitate,
do not look back, do not listen to suggestions
against faith nor virtue. Go forward day by day
along the road which you have chosen, to God who
is your lover forever. "But they that stand firm
to the end will be saved" (Matthew 24:13).
Fri., Sept. 15, St. Catherine of Genoa. Purgatory:
St. Catherine said that the bitterness of the
suffering of Purgatory could not be expressed or
understood. Frequent reflection on Purgatory will
help us to escape it, by avoiding the least
imperfection that hinders our approach to God.
"Yet God was merciful; and forgave their iniquities
and did not destroy them" (Psalm 78:38).
Sat., Sept. 16, St. Cornelius. Compassion: The
surest way of keeping our souls in God's grace is
to have a humble compassion for those who have
fallen, remembering our own sinfulness. "I tell
you that in the same way there will be more
rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do
not need to repent" (Luke 15:7).
Order the 2005-2006 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary,
complete with the entire year's Sanctoral Cycle, at
7. Adam's Last Word
Summer wanders to it's close. I have been awash
with social events, which has kept me very happy!
July had two weddings and a funeral, two occasions
for joy, and one for great sadness. August has
featured barbeques, dinners, and lots of time with
good friends. I hope that your summer (if you are
one of our friends and readers here in the Northern
Hemisphere, that is) has been filled with delight.
I pray that the high temperatures over the last
couple of months have not burdened you over much,
and that the exorbitant price of gasoline has not
caused too much financial suffering. It sure has
beaten me soundly about the head and shoulders!
But most of all, I hope that summer has been a
blessed time for you all. And for our friends
in the Southern Hemisphere, well, winter is
surprisingly near for us. It will come sooner
than we think, or like! And you will bask in
the summer heat soon.
Financial strain is a difficult thing to deal with
and I have had my share this year. As you may
recall, I was out of work full time for a few
weeks in November and part time for most of
December, as a result of a badly injured lower
back. Workman's compensation, after first telling
me they would pay for the hours I was unable to
work after I went back to work part time at
doctor's orders, later reneged and refused to
pay me. I would have been better off not working
As a result, I have fallen woefully behind on some
credit card debts. The Press has had a slow year
as well, so we are struggling on both fronts. I
have talked to my excellent financial advisor, Ms.
Renee Green at Ameriprise Financial Services, and
she has helped me immensely. If you are in need
of a financial advisor, may I recommend Renee to
you? She is an out Lesbian and her company used
to be American Express Financial Services. She
has been doing this for a long time and she is
excellent. Call her at 1-800/573-1759, no matter
where you are in the US, or write her at
Renee.L.Green@.... I strongly recommend her!
And tell Renee that Adam sent you please!
Part of Renee's help has been to hook me up with
Clearpoint Financial, who I am working with to
have them take over my outstanding credit card
debt, renegotiate interest rates, and make
payments. Of course, I won't be able to use
those credit cards any more, which will probably
be a very good thing for me! But financial
reverses being what they are, any contributions
you may feel moved to make will be gratefully
received. You may make financial gifts to me
through Chi Rho Press on line at our Sponsors
site at http://www.chirhopress.com/sponsor.html
and note that the gift is for me! That way,
anything you care to give to help out will be
Of course, the Press also needs your gifts, and
more importantly your purchases!
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
Gracia y paz,
R. Adam DeBaugh, Director, Adam@....
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Copyright 2006, Chi Rho Press, Inc.