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Volume 10: Issue 4
January/February 2006

Reaping the Spiritual Harvest:
Celebrating 10 Years of Whosoever

First Fruits: The Giving of the Harvest

Table Of Contents

Cover Story: First Fruits: The Giving of the Harvest:

It's in Giving That We Receive
--By: Candace Chellew-Hodge

I love St. Francis and his famous prayer. I want to believe that it is indeed in the giving that we receive. I want to believe Dave Matthews and to understand at a deep level that I only truly begin to live when I give - that I'll get the world! It just doesn't jibe with my checkbook ledger, however. If I give - how will I live?


God's Gift to Catwoman
--By: Lori Heine

The Old Testament practice of offering to God the "first fruits" -- the very choicest of each harvest -- was a means of bringing human beings around, very gradually, to the realization that God wants our best from us. That, as a matter of fact, what God wants from us most of all is the gift of ourselves.


The Gifts We Remember The Most
--By: John H. Campbell

While I think that giving things back to God is not required, everything I do comes from a place of sheer gratitude, not because I have to, or feel obligated to, or think God will "punish" me if I do not, but because I honestly desire to and cannot "not" do it, thank God.


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Stay Alive
--By: Stacy Reynolds

Many of us want to die. We want someone somewhere to give us permission to just let go. I've talked to people and I've been there myself. It's the place where we just wish we could die, but we know we can't kill ourselves because we know that is not what God wants. Something or someone is holding us to this life, but sometimes that is not enough.


Staying in the Moment
--By: Suzie Chamness

The greatest tribute I can make to a person is to keep my mind in that place for that person is truly the only person at that moment in time that means anything. To be of benefit to them or to myself is to be there with all my available thinking powers. I must keep all my thoughts with them.


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Going Gayly Forward:
Two Women and a Poodle Bridge the Gay/Straight Divide

--By: Candace Chellew-Hodge

Inspired by this event and the story of Lars Clausen, who launched a journey of understanding called Straight Into Gay America, Sapp, 40, and Berry, 52, decided to take their new-found boldness on the road and go gay into straight America - as it were.


The Annual War of Unbelief to Sell Christmas
--By: Bob Minor

The Christian right-wing has worked to correct Jesus' claim that Caesar and God represent two separate allegiances, by seeking Caesar's buttressing of their faith. God needs government subsidy. It's a cultural war after all. God should be more patriotic.


Time for Gay and Lesbian Catholics to Speak the Truth
--By: Dennis Kluge

I call upon the Church to stop its attacks on gay men and lesbians around the world.


It's Time for a Stonewall Moment
--By: Mary E. Hunt

After decades of the Vatican implementing a system that takes authority away from local communities and presumes to impose its will on Catholics who can think for themselves, it is time for Catholics to stand up, speak out and resist.


Leaving Jesus Behind
--By: Miroslav Volf

I am not sure which is worse, trading Jesus for political warring or transmuting him into the image of our own violent selves. In a sense, both amount to leaving Jesus behind.


No One Picture of HIV/AIDS
--By: James McLarty

When people think of HIV/AIDS, they have a picture in their mind of someone who is terribly thin, with sunken cheeks and perhaps even covered in lesions. However, this is not the case anymore. The face of these diseases has changed very much from when they were first diagnosed in the late '80s.


The Cherry Sisters
--By: Lori Heine

Indeed, how does pandering to ignorant stereotypes about people (women, the poor, substance abusers, gays and lesbians or anybody else) help society in any way? Should we not demand more from our media? Can we complain that they don't give us more when we never demand it from them?


New Study: Right-wing Religious Organizations use Deceptive Tactics
-- By: Charles Kenghis

For over a year, freelance journalist Alvin McEwen studied religious conservative studies as they pertained to the gay community. He claims to have found a huge pattern of lies.


Letters to the Editor

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A Decade of Whosoever:

Whosoever Believeth
-- By: Richard Shumate

As Whosoever celebrates its ten year anniversary, we'll be presenting articles that have appeared over the years about Whosoever or by Whosoever founder and editor Whosoever Candace Chellew-Hodge. This article originally appeared in the December 19, 1996 edition of Bay Windows.


A Community of Conviction
-- By: Lori Heine

The Whosoever community is, very much, a community of conviction. We come together because we care about the same things. We get to know each other, and come to care about one another. I read the stories of the struggles and the epiphanies of other sexual minorities who share my faith, or who are seeking faith, and they become a part of me. Every time I click into Whosoever, I feel the same sense of anticipation that I get coming to church, or going away for a workshop or a retreat. I always wonder: "How will I grow this time?"


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Same-Gender Marriage:

Affirming Gay Marriage in the Christian Church
-- By: Craig L. Nessan

Two books, both arguing in favor of same-sex marriage, yet as different as can be!


A Victory Over Intolerance
-- By: Colin Blanchard

On December 5th, 2005 the proposal to legalise marriage for same-sex couples in the form of the Civil Partnership Bill became law in the United Kingdom.


Two-Years of Fairness in Massachusetts
-- By: Seth Kilbourn

The discussion around marriage is more than one of benefits. It's a discussion about the type of society we want to live in. It's the question of whether the "certain inalienable rights" of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are American ideals or simply nice ideas. It's about what we want to teach our children.


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Transgender Spirituality:

Coming Home
-- By: Virginia Stephenson

During my years of soul-searching to try to gain the strength to transition to female at my job, I remember having to face many fears of losing things.


Honduran Transgender Woman Wins Asylum
-- By: Victoria Neilson

In the fall of 2005, Immigration Equality represented Dulce, who is now in her 20s, in her application for asylum. Recently, the New York asylum office granted her asylum, so Dulce can remain in the U.S., free of fear of persecution.


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From the Pulpit:

It's Just Not Fair!
--By: Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge

When we look around and all we see is the unfairness of life, it's easy to get discouraged - to stop paying any attention to the things that might discourage us. It's easy to fall into a sort of a spiritual sleep - to forsake this world for the next. It's easy to look at the evil and the problems in the world and dismiss them as beyond our concern, and most definitely beyond our ability to change them.


All Christians Must Acknowledge the All-Inclusive Love of God
--By: Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker

God beseeches us to fight for justice and righteousness! In the context of our love for all of God's creation, the Church, God's called out ones ("ecclesia"), is to be in the vanguard of embracing and cherishing people; fight any oppression visited upon others; embrace all of God's children, particularly the marginalized and the oppressed.


How Should Lesbian and Gay Catholics Respond to the Hierarchy's Decision to Bar Gays from the Seminaries and the Priesthood?
--By: John McNeill

We gay and lesbian Catholics must not let our enemies outside ourselves define who we are. We must let the Spirit of God, the Spirit of love dwelling in our hearts, define who we are. And then give witness to all the great things the Lord has done for us. What, then, should be our attitude toward the institutional church?


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Bible Study and Inspiration:

Jesus' Prayerbook: A Look at The Psalms
Part One: Psalm 8

--By: Tom Yeshua

Over the next few months, I'd like to share with you a few of my favorites from the 150 psalms that have been handed down to us. May they stir up embers that may have cooled over the years and stoke the flames that still brightly burn in our hearts.


Two Queer Scriptures for the Pro-gay Toolbox
--By: John Tyler Connoley

I think even the Clobber Passages can be a source of hope for LGBT people and a challenge to those who condemn us in the name of God.


The Burden of Legalism
--By: Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker

Even though we know that it is only through God's grace, or unmerited favor, to us that we will spend eternity with Him, we still seek to put burdens upon ourselves and upon others. These burdens give the illusion that we are righteous and deserving of God's mercy. However, believing that illusion is probably the greatest sin of all!


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Holy Humor!

The Laws of the Natural Universe

Finding Jesus

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