Vol. II, No. 8 of Chi Rho Press' eNewsletter
Chi Rho Press eNewsletter
Vol. II, No. 8
16 March 2001
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1. Author Bio: Roberta Showalter Kreider
2. Review of My Memory Book
3. Reflections on Lent, by Raye Ann Dorn
4. Called OUT! Now More Than Ever
5. New Promissory Notes
6. Adam's Last Word:
1. Author Bio: Roberta Showalter Kreider
Roberta Showalter Kreider is a remarkable woman, now in her 70s, who called
Rho Press one day out of the blue. She said, I am a 71 year old woman,
married to a retired Mennonite minister in rural Pennsylvania and I want
publish my book.
We were skeptical at first, but became captivated by Robertas energy, faith,
and vision. She believes that peoples minds will be changed about
homosexuality by getting to know lesbian and gay people of faith and hearing
their stories. Her book is a compilation of faith stories of LGBT people and
we were proud to publish From Wounded Hearts: Faith Stories of Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, and Transgendered People and Those Who Love Them, ($19.95 each).
Here is what Roberta writes about herself:
Roberta Showalter Kreider was born during a huge snowstorm on April 3,
a farmhouse near the small town of Inman in McPherson County, Kansas. Her
three older brothers remember that they were sent upstairs to play and when
they came down they had a baby sister. Two young cousins took a team and
across the fields to meet the doctor and bring him the remainder of the way.
Roberta arrived before the doctor did.
She attended a two-room country elementary school near Yoder, Kansas. Her
father was president of the small town bank and her mother was a homemaker.
1943, Roberta graduated from a Mennonite high school in Hesston, Kansas.
Her preacher brother, who later became a psychologist, often asked her to
summer Bible school in several states, including Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas,
Mississippi, and Alabama, beginning after she was a freshman in high school.
There was a shortage of teachers during World War II, and after one
college, Roberta was granted an emergency certificate to teach. She and a
friend boarded with a local family and taught in a two-room country school
Meade, Kansas. The first year she taught grades one through four and the
second year she moved to grades five through eight, so another friend could
teach the lower grades. As the upper grade teacher, she also served as
principal. Janitorial services were shared by both teachers.
In April 1946, Roberta married Harold Glenn Kreider, a farmers son from
Palmyra, Missouri. He was ordained to the Christian ministry in the Mennonite
Church in 1950. Harold finished college and seminary when their children were
in elementary and secondary schools. The couple served in pastorates at
Palmyra and Hannibal, Missouri, and Osceola and Goshen, Indiana. Harold
two terms as interim pastor in a team ministry at Perkasie Mennonite Church in
In 1983, they moved to rural Sellersville, PA, where they remodeled an old
stone house with their daughter Evelyn and son-in-law Nelson Martin. The
Kreiders live in the first floor apartment and the Nelsons and their three
children live in the two floors above.
Roberta has always enjoyed books. When Harold was in seminary she worked
part-time in the seminary library and after they moved to Pennsylvania, she
worked part-time in the Resource Center of Franconia Mennonite Conference for
seven years. Homemaking has always been a top priority for her. The couple
has three daughters, four grandsons, and one granddaughter.
In their retirement years, Roberta and Harold are involved in seeking justice
for their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered friends and enjoy the many
friends that God has brought into their lives.
You can read more about Robertas story, especially about how she changed her
mind about LGBT people, in the book she compiled and edited, From Wounded
Hearts, available from Chi Rho Press for $19.95 each. See the web page at
2. Review of My Memory Book
A hospice in southeastern Illinois recently ordered 100 copies of My Memory
Book: A Journal for Grieving Children, Second Edition, by Gretchen
Gaines-Lane. Since they have ordered this book frequently before, Chi Rho
Press Editor Kevin Stone Fries wrote the principle social worker responsible
for making these large orders. He inquired if she would be willing to
and let us know her thoughts on the value of this book. Here is her review:
I cannot compare My Memory Book to anything like it, because quite
[have] found nothing like it anywhere. It is a high quality book both
artistically and clinically. It provides appropriate guidance in journaling
precious memories about a deceased loved one, with easily understandable
on each page. It is a book which promotes healing and adjustment to the loss
of a loved one. Too often children are not encouraged to express their
memories, thoughts, or feelings after a death, and sometimes they are
as the adults around them grieve. This book is a gentle catalyst for a child
to deal with grieving, as well as a written document to record special times.
Part of the beauty of this book is that the child can work at [his or her]
speed . This is also a good tool for bringing adults and children into open
discussion of the loved one, and can allow them to begin a healing walk
grief together as they use the book as a springboard for discussion.
First of all, this is not the first book I use with children. I usually
counsel them first to prepare them for the pending death (if I have that
option). I use this booklet after the death, when I make a bereavement
visit I suggest they just do a little bit at a time, and that it will help to
record memories while the child is young enough to remember the loved one, and
that they then may look back in later years to rekindle memories. I tell them
that there will be tears as they complete the pages, and that this is normal,
and is OK. I often open the book, and read some titles to them, so that they
will have an idea what the book is like, and can address any questions they
might have. I have never had any adverse reaction to this book by any of the
children or adults it was given to. Initially, adults are sometimes afraid
to deal openly with the death, but the giving of this book normalizes that
children indeed can handle death, and I reassure them that this book is OK for
the child to work with.
With older children, [My Memory Book] becomes their very own healing tool.
. The very act of giving them their own book (I have a separate book for
grieving adults given to their parents at the same time), validated the depth
of loss that the child had, a grief often neglected by the adults who were
overwhelmed by their own grief. The children appreciated being recognized as
having deep feelings and issues of their own.
I really love [Gretchens] book.
Many thanks to our loyal colleague for her frank and useful comments. We
like to receive your reviews and comments about any of our books as well.
3. Reflections on Lent
by Raye Ann Dorn
Lent is a reminder of our necessity to reunite ourselves by a penitential
spirit with Christs work of salvation. The fasting during Lent enables us to
unite ourselves more closely and effectively with Christ. But Lent is a
useless season unless we make a sincere and personal effort to change our
and make them better, to lead these lives with greater reliance on Christ
making reparations for our past.
I tend to think of Lent as a forty-day retreat into self-development. Lent
presents Christ as the example to imitate. Through fasting, penance, and
prayer, we are united to his sufferings so that we can partake of his
The meaning of Lent then is for us a season of spiritual development. This
development involves taking a long, hard look at where we are and where we
should be. It involves the assessing of our values and seeing how they stack
up against Jesus example.
So why do Lent? Lent is a time for making a necessary serious mind and heart
change, and fasting, like all of the penitential exercises, is offered to God
for Gods use in molding us.
Raye Ann Dorn is a member of the Chi Rho Press Board of Directors. She wrote
this reflection on Lent for the bulletin at Holy Redeemer MCC, College Park,
4. Called OUT! Now More Than Ever
The big news this week is that a majority of Presbyteries have voted
amendment that would have prohibited Presbyterian ministers from celebrating
holy unions for same sex couples. At the most recent count we have seen,
the 173 Presbyteries in the United States voted against Amendment O, which
would also have banned same sex unions from even being held in Presbyterian
This is a significant victory for LGBT Presbyterians and their supporters. It
may herald a return of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to its traditional
policies of tolerance and local autonomy.
The struggle now moves toward the Presbyterian General Assembly this June in
Louisville, where there are many overtures or bills pending that affect the
role of LGTB people in Presbyterian churches. We believe that Presbyterians
need to read Called OUT! The Voices and Gifts of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgendered Presbyterians now more than ever.
Called OUT! was compiled by the Rev. Jane Adams Spahr, Kathryn Poethig,
Selisse Berry, and Melinda McLain. In it 39 LGBT Presbyterians tell their
stories about their lives in, and out of the Presbyterian Church. People from
both the old northern and southern churches, and the reunited Presbyterian
Church (USA), from all over the United States, tell their stories here with
candor, wit, and faith. An important book for all who either are Lesbian or
or would seek to understand Gay people of faith, regardless of their
Now in its second printing, Called OUT! has been called an incredibly
valuable book. Former Stated Clerk William P. Thompson (who was arrested with
Soulforce activists at last years General Assembly) said Presbyterians
read Called OUT within the year.
Called OUT! is available from Chi Rho Press for $17.95 each, six or more
copies for $15.25 each. You may order on our web site at
5. New Promissory Notes
We are getting ready to reprint two of our major books. We will be doing a
second edition of "From Wounded Hearts: Faith Stories of LGBT People and Those
Who Love Them," compiled by Roberta Showalter Kreider, and a second
Dr. Rembert Truluck's "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" will be
the printer this coming week.
Funding is always an issue, so we are issuing new Promissory Notes to help pay
for each of these new printings. The good news is that both books have sold
well. The bad news is that it takes money to print books!
As before, $1,000 Promissory Notes are available from Chi Rho Press, at 8%
simple interest, repaid in eight quarterly payments over a two-year period.
Write mailto:Adam@... for the text of the Promissory Note, and
your check for $1,000 (or $2,000, $3,000, or even $5,000, or more!). We will
send a signed Note after the receipt of your check.
Thanks for your support!
7. Adam's Last Word:
We are eagerly anticipating taking delivery on the second printing of
Recovery from Bible Abuse next week. The books should arrive from the
Monday or Tuesday. We have some back orders pending, so there will be a great
deal of activity around the Chi Rho Press offices as we get those ready for
My Memory Book is also selling well, many hospices are ordering copies,
thanks to a mailing we are doing to all the hospices in the US.
And Press Editor Kevin Stone Fries is hard at work on two manuscripts, Chris
Hubbles book on the Biblical romance between David and Jonathan and Sandy
Bochonoks book of daily meditations. So it continues to be a busy time here
at the Press.
We are also eagerly awaiting the coming of spring. The Bradford pear tree
outside the window in Kevins office is beginning to bud and will be beautiful
in a few weeks. It hasnt been that bad a winter, but I still long for spring
and warmer weather.
I hope the Lenten season is a time of good reflection for you as we prepare
Eastertide. Have a great couple of weeks until we chat again.
We are glad you are partners in ministry with us here at Chi Rho Press. We
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
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Copyright 2001, Chi Rho Press, Inc.
R. Adam DeBaugh, Director, Adam@....
Kevin Stone Fries, Editor/Office Manager, Kevin@....
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