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Chi Rho Press' eNewsletter, Vol. II, No. 14

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    ************************* Chi Rho Press eNewsletter Vol. II, No. 14 29 June 2001 ************************* Welcome once again to the Chi Rho Press eNewsletter.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 29, 2001
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      *************************
      Chi Rho Press eNewsletter
      Vol. II, No. 14
      29 June 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
      mailto:ChiRhoPress-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please
      visit our Web site at 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.

      --------------------------------------------------

      Contents:

      1. Name This eNewsletter!
      2. New Review of �Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse�
      3. Chi Rho Press Combined Travel Schedule
      4. Presbyterian Victory!
      5. Dr. Truluck and the Southern Baptists
      6. Adam's Last Word

      --------------------------------------------------

      1. Name This eNewsletter!

      OK, this is our last request. Help us name this
      eNewsletter!

      The first volume of Chi Rho Press� eNewsletter began
      on May 1, 1999 and ran for 34 issues, through the end of
      2000. The second volume (2001) has had 14 issues now. We
      have decided that it�s about time to name the eNewsletter!

      So we turn to you, our faithful readers, for suggestions.
      We would like something catchy, descriptive, and appropriate.
      Please send your ideas to eNews@....

      The Board of Directors will make the final judgement from all
      of your ideas. The suggestion the Board chooses will win
      your choice of any one item from our catalog (see
      http://www.ChiRhoPress.com).

      Send in your suggestions today!

      --------------------------------------------------

      2. New Review of �Steps�

      Our new friend, Toni Pizanie, wrote an excellent article
      in her column �Sappho�s Psalm� about Chi Rho Press author
      Dr. Rembert Truluck, entitled �Bible Abuse.� Toni�s
      column appeared in the New Orleans LGBT newspaper Ambush,
      Vol. 19, Issue 12, June 8-21, 2001. It is reprinted here
      with Toni�s gracious permission.

      Sappho�s Psalm Column, by Toni J. P. Pizanie, �Bible Abuse�

      �For thousands of GLBT individuals, the Bible has been a
      source of painful condemnation rather than support or
      inspiration. Dr. Rembert Truluck has written one of the
      most stimulating accounts of this abuse set upon us by
      �right wing� Christians. His book, �Steps to Recovery
      From Bible Abuse,� is an uplifting educational experience
      that all Christian believers should study and enjoy.

      �I was made a gift of this book by Dr. Truluck when he was
      invited to Faubourg Marigny Books, 600 Frenchman St., for
      a signing that will take place on Fri., June 8, 6pm till
      8pm. Dr. Truluck will be on hand not only to sign his book
      but to answer questions of importance to GLBT people and
      their families. Please come and join with us that evening.

      �Like many, Truluck was raised in a small Southern town
      where the church was the center of one's social, and
      spiritual, life. He began as a young man preaching and
      working in the Southern Baptist faith. Truluck attended
      seminary and brought honor to himself through scholastic
      excellence. Although he questioned his sexuality at a
      young age, he did what was expected of him as a good man
      of God. He married, fathered three children and led his
      church flock in the path of righteousness.

      �Truluck pursued his higher education with vigor which
      resulted in his becoming a seminary professor in 1971
      at The Baptist College in Charleston, SC. Here Truluck
      developed a program of recruitment, church placement and
      supervised ministry students until 1981.

      �This was all to end suddenly when a long-time friend,
      who was also Gay, outed Truluck to the college. Truluck
      was told to resign after a secret meeting of the college
      trustees where no written records were made. Two days
      later, he moved to Atlanta to be with his sister. His
      family had been lost to him. It would be five long years
      before he would see his children again.

      �In Atlanta, depression and alcohol claimed Truluck. He
      is understanding of what low self-esteem can do to destroy
      our lives. With love and understanding from his parents
      and a Gay AA group, Truluck fought back against the system
      that rejected him. He used his superior intelligence to
      study the Bible more closely and to dispel the ignorance
      of �sick religion.� In 1988, he was ready once again to
      face his calling in church ministry. Dr. Truluck has
      continued his Bible research, preaching and teaching at
      First MCC Atlanta, Golden Gate MCC San Francisco, MCC
      Nashville and other congregations to the present.

      �His is the Christian success story that we can all share.
      His research and the written works that have been born of
      this endeavor are available for our needs. His words can
      calm our fears and renew our faith. I personally found
      this book so inspirational that I asked my mother to read
      it as well. I have known for some time that her acceptance
      of my lifestyle was tainted by sick religious teachings.
      Today, we both enjoy a renewed bond in our Christian
      beliefs and understanding.

      �I encourage you to purchase a copy of these lessons to
      overcome Bible abuse for your friends and family that have
      allowed unsubstantiated right wing teachings to destroy
      your relationship both with them and your God. The book
      is a comfortable read and the 52 lessons presents an
      opportunity to feed our souls and clear our minds. It
      gives us firm ground on which to rebuild relationships
      harmed by sick religious teachings. In Sept., 1997,
      Truluck debuted his Web site (www.truluck.com) and had
      over two million hits in the first two years. This site
      has become a source of power and information about
      Christianity and the GLBT community. Presently, Truluck
      is living in the San Francisco Bay area where he continues
      to write and teach.

      �Dr. Truluck's reasons for being in New Orleans in June
      are not to promote this worthwhile book. He is supporting
      and joining with Soul Force Christians and Jews who will
      peacefully take a stand against the �sick religion�
      practiced and taught by the Southern Baptist Conference.
      Dr. Truluck will also join with Dr. Mel White and Pastor
      Dexter Brecht at the MCC service on Sun., June 10 at St.
      Mark's Community Center on N. Rampart St.�

      Toni can be reached at mailto:Psalmwrite@... and the
      newspaper is at http://www.ambushmag.com/. Order Dr.
      Rembert Truluck�s book, �Steps to Recovery from Bible
      Abuse,� ($24.95 plus shipping and handling) at
      http://www.chirhopress.com/.

      --------------------------------------------------

      3. Chi Rho Press Travel Schedule

      July 21 and 22 we are going to New Life MCC in Norfolk,
      VA with our traveling bookstore. The Rev. Marty Luna and
      the Rev. Maria Wolfe are our hosts. The church meets at
      10:30 am at 4035 East Ocean View Ave., Norfolk, VA.
      http://www.newlifemcc.org/

      Sept. 23, MCC Richmond, VA tentatively planned.

      Nov. 25, Imago Dei MCC, Media, PA tentatively planned.

      More information about up-coming visits will be in
      future editions of the eNewsletter.

      --------------------------------------------------

      4. Presbyterian Victory!

      The Presbyterian General Assembly has given preliminary
      approval for overturning a provision that has effectively
      prohibited the ordination of non-celibate LGBT clergy.

      The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
      voted 317 to 208 to delete the passage in its Book of
      Order (its church constitution) that says elders, deacons,
      and ministers must �live either in fidelity within the
      covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity
      in singleness.� That ordination standard was inserted
      into the Book of Order in 1997.

      �The church has taken a step toward justice for God�s
      lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people,� the
      Rev. Janie Spahr was quoted as saying. Rev. Spahr
      is one of the editors of �Called OUT: The Voices and
      Gifts of LGBT Presbyterians,� published by Chi Rho
      Press. She is director of That All May Freely Serve,
      an organization that involves LGBT people in outreach and
      minstry.

      The change would also overturn the �definitive guidance�
      passed by the General Assembly in 1978 that �practicing,
      self-affirming homosexuals� cannot serve as ordained clergy.

      Final approval of the General Assembly�s June 15 vote to
      amend its Book of Order must come from a majority of the
      church�s 173 local presbyteries over the next year.

      --------------------------------------------------

      5. Dr. Truluck and the Southern Baptists

      Dr. Rembert Truluck joined with the Rev�s. Mel White,
      Jimmy Creech, and others of Soulforce to confront the
      Southern Baptist Convention earlier this month. Dr.
      Truluck was one of the 34 people arrested in New Orleans.
      Here is part of Dr. Truluck�s report:

      �When you want to exterminate vermin, you find a way to
      make them self-destruct. Religion in America has found
      a way to exterminate GLBT people, not by killing them,
      but by teaching and convincing them that they are an
      abomination to God and that they are evil and have no
      right to live. You don�t have to kill people you hate
      if you can make them kill and destroy themselves.

      �Genocide is �the deliberate and systematic destruction of
      a racial, political, or cultural group.� (Webster�s
      Dictionary) You cannot protest genocide too much.
      �Racial, political, or cultural group� includes gays,
      lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals. I have been
      basically a writer and teacher. I have always supported
      whatever protests my LGBT community has used to try to
      challenge and change the fear and violence of homophobia
      that is killing us by the thousands.

      �In New Orleans I had the great privilege and opportunity
      to join an act of open protest and civil disobedience
      with others in Soulforce and experience the increasingly
      harsh reality of closed minded and arrogant religion in
      my former religious affiliation of Southern Baptists.
      I have great respect and admiration for . . . all of the
      others [in Soulforce] who led in many ways.�

      �Did Baptists hear us? I think that many of them did.
      There is much unrest and a great disturbance in the force
      in the Southern Baptist Convention. A number of anti-gay
      resolutions were offered at this convention, but none of
      them were passed. I have had conversations recently with
      many past Southern Baptist leaders who feel as I do that
      the denomination that we love and once served and honored
      is now dead. God can raise the dead, and there is hope
      for Southern Baptists, whom I still love and pray for that
      they will enter into a new age of hope and love for all
      people.

      �The Spirit of God that was so evident to me in Soulforce
      people and actions is also in many Southern Baptists. The
      Spirit moves among and within us and brings us into
      understanding and awakening. Nothing is impossible with
      God. Even the most obstinately anti-gay religious group
      in America can change: one by one. The Holy Spirit is
      still working in all of us long after the convention and
      the demonstrations and the speeches are over. All that we
      can do is to testify to and demonstrate our truth in
      confidence and love. Then leave the results to God.�

      Dr. Truluck can be reached at rembert@.... See his
      web site at http://www.truluck.com and look for his book,
      �Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse,� on the Chi Rho Press
      web site, http://www.ChiRhoPress.com. Soulforce can be
      reached at http://www.soulforce.org.

      --------------------------------------------------

      6. Adam's Last Word

      It has been rare of late that we have had good news from
      a mainline denomination as regards LGBT rights in the
      church. So the vote of the Presbyterian General Assembly
      to overturn its ordination standard that effectively
      blocked LGBT people from exercising their ministries was
      a welcome and surprising piece of news. Congratulations
      to the Presbyterian Church (USA)!

      Lots of credit goes to the many, many Presbyterian LGBT
      people and faithful non-gay supporters! Our authors Janie
      Spahr and Chris Glaser, our friends Jim Anderson, Lawrence
      Reh (also contributors to our book �Called OUT�), Michael
      Adee, oh, and dozens and dozens of grace-filled, lovely,
      and powerful Presbyterians we have come to know and
      cherish over the years all deserve praise and thanks
      for this victory.

      We make bold to claim a little credit as well, thinking
      and hoping that our books made a difference. Chi Rho
      Press published two major works by Presbyterians, �Called
      OUT,� edited by Janie Spahr and her team of what I called
      �Lesbyterians;� and �Come Home!� by Chris Glaser. Please
      find them (and order them!) on our web page at
      http://www.ChiRhoPress.com.

      Of course, there is still a lot of work to do in the
      Presbyterian Church. The repeal of the odious �fidelity
      in marriage, chastity in singleness� language still has to
      pass in at least 87 presbyteries. We at Chi Rho Press offer
      any help we can to our Presbyterian sisters and brothers in
      getting this important legislation passed through the
      presbyteries.

      Perhaps copies of �Called OUT� can be purchased for people,
      pastors, and churches in your presbytery! What a wonderful
      gift!

      *********

      Summer is upon us here in the Washington DC area.
      Unfortunately, the Press office is on the third floor of
      my house and it does get rather hot. The air conditioning
      doesn�t seem to want to rise to the third floor! Poor
      Kevin is being a real saint, but I think we may need to
      get a window air conditioner to keep him from melting away!

      The Press office will be closed this Wednesday, the Fourth
      of July. Kevin will be working his usual hours of 10 am
      to 7 pm Thursday and Friday this week.

      *********

      Please keep the UFMCC in your prayers this week as they
      gather in Toronto, Ontario, for their General Conference.

      Thanks for your support!

      --------------------------------------------------

      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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      Copyright 2001, Chi Rho Press, Inc.

      ******************************************

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