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Vol. II, No. 8 of Chi Rho Press' eNewsletter

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    ************************* Chi Rho Press eNewsletter Vol. II, No. 8 16 March 2001 ************************* Welcome once again to the Chi Rho Press eNewsletter.
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 16, 2001
      Chi Rho Press eNewsletter
      Vol. II, No. 8
      16 March 2001


      Welcome once again to the Chi Rho Press eNewsletter. Thank you for passing
      this eNewsletter on to others.

      To join our list, send an e-mail message to
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      http://www.chirhopress.com to see our entire lines of books, handouts,
      tchochkas, and stained glass.

      Direct all other e-mail to Adam@.... See the end of this
      eNewsletter for a complete list of e-mail addresses at ChiRhoPress.com.



      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
      you to
      publish my book.”

      We were skeptical at first, but became captivated by Roberta’s energy, faith,
      and vision. She believes that people’s 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,
      1926, in
      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
      semester of
      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 farmer’s 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 Roberta’s 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
      write us
      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
      simply, I
      [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 [Gretchen’s] book.”

      Barb, LCSW

      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 Christ’s 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 God’s 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
      against an
      amendment that would have prohibited Presbyterian ministers from celebrating
      holy unions for same sex couples. At the most recent count we have seen,
      88 of
      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 year’s 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
      printing of
      Dr. Rembert Truluck's "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" will be
      delivered by
      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
      “Steps to
      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
      Hubble’s book on the Biblical romance between David and Jonathan and Sandy
      Bochonok’s 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 Kevin’s office is beginning to bud and will be beautiful
      in a few weeks. It hasn’t 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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      Chi Rho Press, Inc.
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      Gaithersburg, MD 20898

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

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      Copyright 2001, Chi Rho Press, Inc.


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