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Chi Rho Connection, Vol. II, No. 25

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    ************************* CHI RHO CONNECTION The Chi Rho Press eNewsletter Vol. II, No. 25 2 November 2001 ************************* Just a reminder:
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2001
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      *************************
      CHI RHO CONNECTION

      The Chi Rho Press eNewsletter
      Vol. II, No. 25
      2 November 2001

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

      Just a reminder: contributions to Chi Rho Press are
      fully tax deductible. We need your support and
      partnership in this ministry.

      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.

      To join our list, send an e-mail message to
      mailto:ChiRhoPress-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

      To unsubscribe send an e-mail to
      mailto:ChiRhoPress-unsubscribe@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. New Press Board Member
      2. Reflection on the Lambda Literary Festival
      3. CRP Mail Bag
      4. Last Chance for the District Conference Raffle
      5. Holiday Shopping Guide
      6. The Sixth Step to Recovery from Bible Abuse
      7. Upcoming Chi Rho Press Events
      8. An Opportunity to be a Part of this Ministry
      9. Adam's Last Word

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

      1. New Press Board Member

      Please welcome Ms. Tina M. Robinson as a new member of
      the Board of Directors of Chi Rho Press, Inc. Tina lives
      and works in Silver Spring, MD, where she is owner and
      director of All aBout Children. ABC, Inc. provides day
      care and before and after school care for infants through
      age 12.

      ABC, Inc. is beginning the process of buying their own
      property. They currently employ four full time people and
      20 part time people, plus independent contractors who teach
      karate, science, drama, and dance.

      Tina has degrees in early childhood education, and is a
      certified child care aide. As a small business owner since
      1995, Tina brings wonderful skills, insights, and experience
      to our mix. Welcome aboard, Tina!

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

      2. Reflections on the Lambda Literary Festival
      by Kevin Stone Fries, Editor/Office Manager

      At the Fourth Lambda Literary Festival I found a supportive
      and energizing community. Along with a host of literary
      adventurers, editors, writers, publishers, and booksellers,
      I descended on the city of San Francisco on Friday, Oct. 19
      unsure of what lay in store for me. During the three day
      Festival I enjoyed many opportunities to bring the gifts of
      a beautiful and diverse community home to Chi Rho Press and
      to help me realize my own ambitions as a writer and editor.

      The Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF) organized the event,
      which was sponsored by a variety of small presses and other
      businesses. Visit http://www.lambdalit.org to learn more
      about this year’s festival, the conference’s sponsors, about
      joining LLF, and to follow plans for next year’s great event.

      My adventure continues to be one of learning not only the
      writing and publishing profession, but also following the
      spirit’s many forms. At the festival, issues of
      spirituality were mentioned in places both expected and
      unexpected. Writers Andrew Ramer, Mark Thompson, and
      Krandall Kraus joined together in a panel titled ‘Cliches
      & Crossroads: Ancient Wisdom and New Directions in Queer
      Spirit Writing.’ Dorothy Allison owned her Baptist
      heritage, and Felice Picano was asked about the undertones
      of spirituality and mysticism in his new book ‘Onyx’
      (Alyson Publications) as he discussed how he made fiction
      out of life.

      Present at the festival were members and friends of MCC
      who made the festival even more enjoyable, some of whom I
      have corresponded with since. In addition, other talented
      artists and visionary spirits were to be found in abundance.
      Bookseller Suzanne Corson of Boadecia Books in Kensington,
      CA, shined as she shared with me her list of topics LGBT
      writers have yet to explore, and that she hopes to stock
      their books once they do. Patrick Ryan, recipient of the
      New Americans Voices Award 2001, writer and contributor to
      Men on Men 2000, told me about his web site
      LodestarQuarterly, an online journal to launch next
      spring. Patricia Nell Warren led a panel discussion
      identifying the challenges in the business of LGBT writing.
      I found comfort among colleagues facing similar challenges.
      She encouraged teamwork and ingenuity in order to survive
      the pressures of an industry in which independent writers
      and publishers are forced to take more and more
      responsibility for speaking out.

      Attending as freelance editor, as Chi Rho Press Editor/
      Office Manager, and as one with my own dreams of writing,
      the festival provided me with a wonderful sense of community,
      as well as a source of inspiration and insight. While in
      San Francisco, I was also able to connect with friends
      living in the city. I was able to integrate in one trip
      visits with family friends, friends from school, and new
      writing friends full of great advice, all of whom wished
      me success and blessings. A hike up to Inspiration Point
      in the Rotary Peace Park seemed, given the current political
      crisis, almost a mythic moment for me. The trip
      transformed my perspective on the task of living out my
      love of literature and writing.

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

      3. CRP Mail Bag

      We received a wonderful e-mail the other day and wanted
      to share it with you. Janet Bohren is an associate
      professor in the College of Education at a nearby
      university. She says, 'I work whenever I can for LGBT
      rights both on campus and in my Presbyterian church,
      Heritage Presbyterian Church of Dayton, Ohio. I have 3
      grown sons. I have ordered a number of books from you
      and have enjoyed them ever so much.'

      Janet wrote, on Oct 30, 2001:

      Adam,
      I simply want to write and say thank you so much for your
      newsletter and the meditations from ‘The Road to Emmaus.’
      I have been reading your newsletter for over a year and
      enjoy it so much. Today I particularly liked the
      meditation on Matthew 13:18-23. Your newsletters are
      certainly seeds that will hopefully fall on much good
      soil in those that read them. Thank you for the growth
      they bring to us.

      I wish you a wonderful holiday season.

      Peace,
      Janet L. Bohren
      Lebanon, Ohio

      Thanks, Janet, and thanks to all our loyal readers!

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

      4. Last Chance for the District Conference Raffle

      A week from tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 10, we will raffle
      off a holiday Basket of Books filled with over $150 worth
      of Press books, tapes, the Kreider video, stained glass,
      and other goodies. This is your last chance to buy raffle
      tickets by mail.

      Raffle tickets are $1.00 each, six for $5.00. You
      can buy raffle tickets even if you are not able to be in
      Hagerstown with us. Just send us a check or money order
      for the number of tickets you want and we will send the
      ticket stubs (all filled out with your name and phone
      number) by return mail. You won’t have to be present to
      win. Remember -- $1.00 each, or six for $5.00!

      And if you are able to, please come join us in Hagerstown
      and say hello!

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

      5. Holiday Shopping Guide

      Christmas is less than two months away! Why not do all
      your Christmas shopping at Chi Rho Press? You will have
      wonderful gifts to give your friends and loved ones and
      you will be supporting your LGBT Christian publishing
      house as well.

      Here are some great ideas for your holiday shopping:

      *****

      We have designed gift certificates that can be made out for
      any amount you care to give.

      These are not yet available on our Web site, so send your
      check with a note indicating that you are buying a Gift
      Certificate and we will make up an attractive Gift
      Certificate for the amount of your check for you to give
      along with a copy of our catalog.

      Chi Rho Press Gift Certificates make excellent gifts!
      Order some today at Chi Rho Press, P.O. Box 7864,
      Gaithersburg, MD 20898.

      *****

      Salvation Army Protest Cards in protest of the Salvation
      Army’s attempt to circumvent local and state civil rights
      laws protecting gay and lesbian people. The cards are
      4 ¼” by 2 ¾” on light green card stock.

      They say, ‘Dear Salvation Army, While I appreciate the good
      works that you do in terms of feeding, clothing, and
      housing the poor and needy, I am appalled by your attempt
      this past summer to subvert local and state civil rights
      laws. Because of your homophobic policies, I am bypassing
      your Red Kettles this season and will be giving my
      charitable contributions to organizations friendly to the
      gay and lesbian community. Merry Christmas.’

      Buy a stock of cards and put one in the bucket every time
      you see a Salvation Army bell ringer this holiday season.

      Salvation Army Protest Cards are available at 15 cards for
      $1.00 plus shipping and handling. These are only available
      by direct mail, and are not on our Web site at this time.
      Send your check or money order to Chi Rho Press, P.O. Box
      7864, Gaithersburg, MD 20898. (E-mail us at
      Orders@... for exact cost with shipping of a
      specific number of cards.)

      *****

      Stained Glass: There are five designs to choose from on
      our Web page. In this issue we feature our rainbow Star
      of David. The rainbow Star of David is a perfect Chanukah
      gift for our Jewish friends. It is made of seven different
      pieces of glass (the points of the star are triangles of
      red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple with a frosted
      clear center).

      They are handcrafted in the copper foil and solder method.
      They have an attached hoop so you may hang it in a window
      or as a holiday decoration. Our rainbow Star of David is
      $18.00, plus shipping and handling. You may order on our
      Web page, using your credit card.

      *****

      ‘Positively Gay’ for an LBGT person just coming out, and
      even for someone who has been out for a while! Only
      $14.95, plus shipping and handling (six or more for
      $11.25 each), ‘Positively Gay’ is not yet available on
      our Web site. Send your check or money order for $17.45
      for one copy to Chi Rho Press, P.O. Box 7864, Gaithersburg,
      MD 20898.

      *****

      “Called OUT: The Voices and Gifts of LGBT Presbyterians,”
      compiled by Jane Adams Spahr, Kathryn Poethig, Selisse
      Berry, and Melinda McLain. Our first anthology wherein
      39 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered 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 Gay or would seek to understand
      Gay people of faith, regardless of their religion. Second
      printing, $17.95 each, six or more copies for $15.25 each,
      plus shipping and handling. Order on our Web page.

      *****

      ‘An Alien in a Foreign Land,’ by the late Rev. Jimmy Brock.
      Eleven sermons first preached at Joy MCC, Orlando, FL,
      where the Rev. Brock pastored, which are excellent for
      personal or corporate devotions, the basis for Christian
      education classes, Bible studies, discussion groups, a
      guide in private meditation, or for membership classes.
      $9.95 each, six or more copies for $7.50 each, plus
      shipping and handling. See our Web page to order.

      *****

      A great gift for mom and dad! Chi Rho Press author Roberta
      Kreider is featured in a video produced by John Davis. The
      new video, 'Family Stories: Journeys of Spirit in Mixed
      Orientation Families,' featuring Roberta Kreider (compiler
      of 'From Wounded Hearts') and Mary Lou Wallner, with an
      introduction by the Rev. Peter J. Gomes. VHS format,
      color, 35 minutes, $29.95, shipping and handling included.
      It is only available through the mail. Please send your
      check or money order for $29.95 to Chi Rho Press, P.O. Box
      7864, Gaithersburg, MD 20898. Pre-paid mail orders only please.

      *****

      Except where noted, please order on our secure shopping cart
      on our Web site at http://www.ChiRhoPress.com, using your
      credit card.

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

      6. The Sixth Step to Recovery from Bible Abuse

      (From Chapter 11 of 'Steps to Recovery from Bible
      Abuse,' by Dr. Rembert Truluck, pages 189 - 191.)

      The Sixth Step: Confront the Scripture Used Against You

      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; 8:32).

      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
      and 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, including you.

      Author’s note: This material in the Sixth Step was 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!

      *****

      The Sixth Step continues with Bible studies on Gay Pride
      Day in Sodom, What About Leviticus?, Discovering the
      Truth in Paul, and Homosexual Ghosts.

      You may buy 'Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse' on the
      Chi Rho Press Web site, http://www.ChiRhoPress.com, using
      your credit card on our secure shopping cart.

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

      7. Upcoming Chi Rho Press Events

      Nov. 9 and 10, the Mid-Atlantic District Conference,
      Hagerstown, MD. Chi Rho Press will have a book table in
      the Conference Book Store, selling books, handouts,
      stained glass, videos and tapes, and other items.
      Visit www.mcc-midatl.org for more information.

      See Article # 4 about raffle tickets which are $1.00
      each, six for $5.00. Come join us in Hagerstown and
      say hello!

      Nov. 17, Chi Rho Press Board of Directors meeting.

      Nov. 25, Traveling Bookstore at Imago Dei MCC, Media, PA.
      www.imagodeimcc.org

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

      8. An Opportunity to Participate in this Ministry

      New Promissory Notes are now available. The Chi Rho Press
      Board of Directors has authorized the issuance of new
      Promissory Notes. We have recently paid off the first five
      of the 19 Notes that are outstanding, and the Board feels it
      is timely to offer additional notes to continue our full
      capitalization program.

      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 Adam@... for the text of the Promissory
      Note, or send your check for $1,000 (or $2,000, $3,000,
      or even $5,000!). We will send a signed Note after the
      receipt of your check.

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

      9. Adam's Last Word

      Wednesday was Hallowe’en and hopefully good parents made
      sure their kids were protected and safe. The world is
      way too scary, children’s Hallowe’en costumes seem
      superfluous these days when the evening news brings as
      much frightening information as we can bear. Oct. 31
      was also the 13th anniversary of my mother’s death in
      1988, (last Sunday would have been her 77th birthday).

      All Saints Day was yesterday, Nov. 1, and today is All
      Souls Day. This is a good week to pause and remember
      all those who have gone before us, well-loved family
      members, friends and colleagues lost to HIV, mentors
      and teachers, lovers and friends, martyrs and just
      plain folks. They live on in our memories. We can
      best honor all our departed saints by being faithful
      to God’s call in our lives, by being kind to each other,
      and by doing all we can to meet human need where ever
      we find it.

      The holiday season has begun, as you can tell by the
      fact that we are starting to give holiday gift ideas.
      Please know that our prayers are with you all.

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

      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.

      If you've received the Chi Rho Connection as a result of the
      good offices of someone passing it along to you (which
      we certainly encourage) and would like to receive it
      directly from us, please follow the directions at the
      end of this Connection to subscribe.

      To order, please visit http://www.ChiRhoPress.com. You
      may pay by credit card on our web page or we will ship
      your order after receiving your check or money
      order. Include your e-mail address, mailing address,
      and telephone number please.

      If you have questions, please write to
      Question@....

      For comments and suggestions
      about this eNewsletter, please write
      Connection@....

      To learn about our Guardian
      Angel Individual Sponsor Program, please write
      Angels@....

      For all other correspondence,
      please write Adam@....

      Our snail mail address is:

      Chi Rho Press, Inc.
      P.O. Box 7864
      Gaithersburg, MD 20898

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

      Customers outside the U.S. and especially our Canadian
      friends can order using credit cards on our Web page or
      through our Canadian distributor, MAP Enterprises, Mary
      Ann Pearson, at her new Web page,
      http://www.christiangays.com.

      Copyright 2001, Chi Rho Press, Inc.

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

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      R. Adam DeBaugh, Director, Adam@....
      Kevin Stone Fries, Editor/Office Manager,
      Kevin@....
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