CHI RHO CONNECTION
The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press,
Your LGBT Christian Publishing House
Vol. IX, No. 6
16 April 2008
1. New John McNeill Book
2. May We Suggest Chi Rho Cards?
3. Special for Churches
4. "Christian with a Twist"
5. Adam's Last Word
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.
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Direct all other e-mail to Adam@...
1. New John McNeill Book
Progress is accelerating on the new book by the
Reverend John J. McNeill, to be published this
year by Chi Rho Press.
"Sex as God Intended it to Be" is a meditation
on sex and sexuality by one of the premier
pioneers of the theology of sexuality. Under
the leadership of the Rev. Elder Jim Mitulski,
the book will also be a "festschrift," or a
compilation of tributes to the ministry of this
remarkable man of faith.
In addition to Father McNeill's new manuscript,
"Sex as God Intended it to Be," there will be
essays on his life and ministry by Mark Jordan,
Ken Paige, Bob Goss, Sr. Jeannine Gramick, James
Donahue, Mary Elizabeth Hunt, Jim Mitulski, and
John McNeill is a former Jesuit priest who has
been involved in LGBT ministry for over 40 years.
Fr. McNeill has a doctorate in philosophy from
Louvain University in Belgium. In 1972 McNeill
decided to dedicate himself to ministry to LGBT
people through writing and direct ministry. He
helped found Dignity/NYC, a ministry to gay and
lesbian Catholics in New York City. He published
his first work "The Church and the Homosexual" in
1976. This was the first work by a competent,
qualified theologian to question Church teaching
on homosexuality. McNeill argued that all the
traditional arguments against homosexuality were
invalid. Consequently, the churches should
seriously reexamine their teaching on
One year later, the Vatican ordered McNeill to
silence on issues concerning homosexuality. He
observed that order for nine years. In 1988 he
decided he could no longer obey that order in
conscience. As a result, McNeill was expelled
from the Jesuit order after forty years of
membership. He continued to publish. His next
two books, "Taking a Chance on God: Liberating
Theology for Gays, Lesbians and Their Lovers,
Families and Friends," (1988), and "Freedom,
Glorious Freedom: The Spiritual Journey to the
Fullness of Life for Gays, Lesbians and Everbody
Else" (1995) were published by Beacon Press.
His autobiography, "Both Feet Firmly Planted
in Midair: My Spiritual Journey," was published
by Westminster/John Knox press in 1998.
In 1972, John was invited to give a retreat to
LGBT people at Kirkridge, an ecumenical retreat
center in the Poconos, He gave two retreats
every year for the next twenty-five years.
At present, John has retired to Fort Lauderdale,
Florida. While retaining his identity as a Roman
Catholic priest and theologian, John is an active
associate in the pastoral ministry of Sunshine
Cathedral, a Metropolitan Community Church.
In March, 2007 the National Gay and Lesbian Task
Force gave its lifetime achievement award to John
McNeill, "for leading the way in understanding
that being gay is a gift from God."
For further biographical information visit John
McNeill's website: www.johnjmcneill.com
There are ways you can partner with us in the
publication of this landmark book. First, pray
with us as we finalize the gathering of the
festschrift essays, the final editing, and
layout and design of the book.
Second, help us financially as we gather the
funds needed to print and bind the book. You
can make a tax-deductible contribution for the
McNeill book by either sending a check to Chi
Rho Press, P.O. Box 7864, Gaithersburg, MD
20898, USA, or pay with your Visa, MasterCard,
or Discover card on our secure Web site at http://www.chirhopress.com/sponsor.html
We are also soliciting loans to be repaid out
of the sale of the book. Write Adam@...
for more information about this opportunity.
And third, watch for new of pre-publication
sales of the book and order your copy!
Lastly, celebrate with us as we publish an
important book by an important, openly Gay
theologian, who has inspired many over the
past 30 years with his writing, his teaching,
and his inspirational leadership.
2. May We Suggest Chi Rho Cards?
Please check out Chi Rho Cards: A line of Gay
and Lesbian greeting cards from Chi Rho Press.
With original artwork by talented New York artist
Timothy Leetch, Chi Rho Cards are designed by and
for the Lesbian and Gay community. Chi Rho Cards
are printed on 100% recycled paper and are affordably
priced, selling single cards (for $1.49 each), in
packs of five of one design (for $6.95), packs of
ten of one design (for $12.95), and in a sample
pack of two of each of the eight cards (for $16.95).
Women's Relationship Card. A religiously-themed card
for a Lesbian couple, suitable for Holy Unions,
Anniversaries, legal marriages, or just to celebrate
their relationship. On the cover, a dove of peace
holding entwined female symbols is superimposed over
the cross. Inside: "God's Blessings on Your
Men's Relationship Card. A religiously-themed card for
your favorite Gay male couple, suitable for Holy Unions,
Anniversaries, legal marriages, or just to celebrate their
relationship. On the cover, two men stand hand in hand in
a grand cathedral. Inside: "God's Blessings on Your
Lesbians' Anniversary Card. Two women, very much in love,
silhouetted on a seashore, make this a striking card for a
Lesbian couple's anniversary. Inside: "Happy Anniversary!"
Gay Men's Anniversary Card. An intimate scene of a Gay male
couple's bathroom decorates our card to celebrate your
favorite Gay couple's anniversary. "His and His" towels
are next to a steamed up mirror on which is written, "I
luv U" in a heart. Inside: "Happy Anniversary!"
All Purpose Anniversary Card. Our all purpose anniversary
card is ideal to celebrate anniversaries of relationships,
employment, sobriety, or any other special occasion. On
the cover, festive cards pinned to spell out "Happy
Anniversary." Inside: blank so you may write your own
Get Well Card. Send our little bear to cheer up a friend
who is ill, and speed their recovery. On the cover, little
Aloysius the Teddy Bear in his sick bed. Inside: "I Can't
Bear That You Are Ill. Get Well Soon."
Sympathy Card. An empty chair poignantly calls to mind the
loss of a loved one, through death or divorce. Inside:
"Grieving With You at Your Loss. You are in my Prayers."
Thank You Card. Our leaping figure celebrates all that we
have to be thankful for. Express your gratitude with this
joyous card. Inside: blank, write your own specific message.
All Chi Rho Cards measure 4-1/4" wide by 5-1/2" high and
come with plain white envelopes. Our packaging isn't fancy,
to save you money.
Order your selection of Chi Rho Cards now! Single cards are
$1.49 each, packs of five of one design are $6.95, packs of
ten of one design are $12.95, and a sample pack of two of
each of the eight cards is $16.95; plus shipping and handling.
Find them and see pictures of each card at
3. Special for Churches
Here's a way for your local congregation to partner with
Chi Rho Press and to make some money as well. Chi Rho
Press is an LGBT Christian publishing house that is part
Chi Rho Press will give your church a donation of 10%
of sales from people who list your church in the on-line
secure Web site order form.
Let your congregation know about this special offer and
send them to the Chi Rho Press Web site,
When they place an order,
ask them to list your church name and address in the
"Special Instructions and Comments" box on the check
Chi Rho Press will send 10% of the total order,
including shipping and handling, to your church.
Please advertise this in your church bulletin, newsletter,
Web site, list-serve, or other communication medium.
Spread the word and earn money for your ministries while
helping this ministry to grow.
Please let us know if you are going to participate but
. Thank you!
4. "Christian with a Twist"
Here is a selection from our 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 "Christ in Her"
from the Easter section of "Christian with a Twist."
Please read Mark 16:1-2.
Where do we find Christ? Certainly not in a tomb.
Most Christians take the story of Jesus' physical
resurrection literally, and those of us who do not
need to be a bit careful how we express ourselves.
No matter what the actual events looked like long,
long ago; Jesus is very much alive for us. But where
do we find him?
I think we often catch glimpses of Jesus when one
person serves another out of love. Sometimes we
see Jesus in the face of the server and sometimes
in the gratitude of the one served. In fact,
allowing another to serve you is often a way of
Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of Jesus in this
gospel version of the story went to serve Jesus one
last time. He was beyond need of that particular
service, but they were not beyond the need to serve
him. And they were not beyond the reach of his love
In another story about Mary and Martha, two sisters
and friends of Jesus, it was Mary who knew that the
best way to serve Jesus was to sit and listen to him.
Martha, more practical and more like most of us,
measured her own service in work accomplished.
Jesus told her that her sister had chosen the
Some say it was that same Mary who anointed Jesus'
feet and dried them with her hair in John's Gospel.
That is about as loving and personal as service can
get. Some of those gathered around just did not get
it and even complained that the expensive ointment
could have been sold and the money given to the poor.
There is no way to put a price tag on service when
Christ is found in it.
On the evening of the Last Supper Jesus insisted on
washing the feet of his disciples. In a way this is
the beginning of the course of events that transformed
the person of Jesus into Christ for us. Again, some
did not get it and wanted to wash his feet instead,
or to take the gesture to a meaningless extreme of
a total bathing.
But Jesus taught us that divinity dwells in the
ultimate servant, not he or she who demands service
valued in gold or dollars. We can do a lot of good
with our money and our resources, but it is when we
give of ourselves that Christ is revealed. Christ
was in each of the women named Mary in his story,
and each of them sought Jesus by giving of themselves.
It is in giving ourselves away that we find the
resurrected life that Jesus promised.
5. Adam's Last Word
We are very excited about Father John McNeill's book
and hope you will join us in this venture. As we
explain in the first article, there are three ways
you can help. First, keep Chi Rho Press in your
prayers as we continue final work on this manuscript.
Second, help us financially to assist in paying for
the printing of this important book, either by making
a loan to be repaid out of sales of the book or by
making a generous, tax-deductible contribution to
Chi Rho Press.
Third, watch for the announcement of the pre-publication
sale and buy advance copies of the book.
I believe "Sex as God Intended it to Be" will be an i
mportant contribution to the theology of sexuality
that John McNeill pioneered in 1976. Won't you help?
Please encourage members of your church to participate
in the special fund raising offer from Chi Rho Press.
We will make a donation of 10% of all sales from
people who mention your congregation in the "Special
Instructions and Comments" box on the check out page.
Please let your people know as soon as possible about
this opportunity to help both our ministries.
We had a wonderfully successful Traveling Bookstore
at Open Door MCC in Boyds, Maryland, USA last Sunday.
Chi Rho Press' old friend and former editor Kevin
Stone Fries was on hand to help out. Many thanks
to our generous friends at this wonderful church.
Read about Open Door at http://www.opendoormcc.com
The new Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary is still
available. Chi Rho Press' annual Liturgical Calendar
and Lectionary for 2007-2008, Year A is now on the
Chi Rho Press Web site and ready to ship. You may
view and order it at this link:
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,
Brother R. Adam DeBaugh, OSL
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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Chi Rho Press, Inc.
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Our telephone and fax number is 301/926-1208.
Copyright 2008, Chi Rho Press, Inc.