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Volume 10: Issue 5
March/April 2006

Reaping the Spiritual Harvest:
Celebrating 10 Years of Whosoever

"Behold I am Doing a New Thing"
A Vision of Harvest


Table Of Contents


Cover Story: "Behold I am Doing a New Thing"
A Vision of Harvest:

God is Still Speaking
--By: Candace Chellew-Hodge

We must constantly remind ourselves that God spoke before the Bible was written and God continues to speak even though the canon is closed. Those who worship the Bible instead of the living, still-speaking God say that God would never do anything to contradict scripture, but wasn't that the purpose of Jesus' entire ministry?

 

Vision and Promise for a New Us!
--By: Suzie Chamness

People want identity, meaning in their life and belonging in community. I call these relational communities. There is discipleship in and through these communities. They are goal oriented and purpose directed in Christ's mission. The greatest teaching that Jesus left us; the number one feeling was LOVE. I see our future oriented toward concern for individuals in love.

 

A Beautiful Vision
--By: John H. Campbell

Jesus said in John 14:2 that, "In the House of (God) there are many mansions," and I have always interpreted this verse as His alluding to the fact that although all of us may be different, we all are of equal value and importance to God, and each of us in our uniqueness plays a part in God's World. We may walk very different paths, but each of us has a purpose.

 

My Excellent Cyberspace Adventure
(Or, How NOT to Win Friends and Influence People)

--By: Lori Heine

Whosoever stands in a unique position, perhaps in all of Christian history. We can help rescue the Christian faith from the Religious Right, and to bring true renewal to the Church. But we can only accomplish these things if we are careful to see our adversaries as individuals, most of whom are trying to live the Christian life the best they can.

 

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Homospirituality:

Check Your Heart
--By: Stacy Reynolds

You've felt the tug on your heart and you believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins on the cross and rose again in three days. It's the heart that has to believe. So your heart is in the right place and you have signed up. Believe it or not that was the easy part. Becoming a Christian is easy. Living a Christian lifestyle is hard. Especially if you are gay.

 

Fighting the Lies of the Anti-Gay Right
--By: Alvin McEwen

Despite all of their money and connections, the anti-gay religious right has one flaw: they don't operate on truth. They lie and liars always leave a paper trail. It is our job to find this paper trail and expose it.

 

Those Pesky Little Voices
--By: David R. Gillespie

You won't find it in the DSM-IV, but the fact of the matter is, we all hear voices.

 

Comfort in the Pain
--By: Suzie Chamness

As difficult as I sometimes find it, I would think that maybe through my or other's suffering, God may be able to touch the lives of others.

 

Exception to the Rule
--By: Tuan N'Gai

I encourage you to be the exception to the rule. The Creator has given us the power to create and make change in our realities. That's part of what makes us "His image." We can create whatever we can visualize. We can build strong families and communities. We can live and work with each other without tearing each other down. We can most definitely have long lasting, healthy relationships.

 

Finding God in the Deepest Distress
--By: Larry Roberts

I am a religious person, have been since I was a small child; going to church is something I do and during the worst years of depression, church was the only place of solace and relief. Many of my questions were directed at God. And I often felt a lack of any answer.

 

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Features:

Giving So It Matters
--By: Bishop V. Gene Robinson

How thankful are you? How blessed do you feel? Probably all of you have worked hard. Some of you inherited money because of an accident of your birth. Some of you benefited from the best schools, travel and social standing. Every time you write a check, a large one or a small one, let it be a reminder to you about how grateful you are for how blessed you feel.

 

Facing the Specter of Schism
--By: Maury Johnston

The Episcopal Church has a choice set before it: To fully incorporate gays and lesbians at every level of its common life with full sacramental and liturgical equality of access to its rites and ceremonies, or to grant only a limited toleration of their presence, carefully circumscribed by a curtailment of access to matrimonial rites and privileges in order to satisfy the demands of the self-proclaimed defenders of "orthodoxy."

 

Message of inclusion not just 'disputed' - it's 'urgent'
--By: Walter Brueggemann

The Jewish church had to make room for the very Gentiles it recognized it had categorized as "impure." So in our day, conservatives must make room for liberals and, in a harder challenge for our church, liberals must make room for conservatives. And all must make room together for those whom society dismisses as "impure."

 

When Will the Festering Cancer of Intolerance and Stupidity Cease?
--By: Most Reverend Bruce J. Simpson, OSJB

It is by the will of the people that elected government serves in the best interests of the people. But in order for this ideal to continue with the result of preserving our union as it has been handed down to us from our ancestors, we must take the responsibility to become involved to insure the integrity of our nation.

 

Why I Am Not a Democrat
--By: Bob Minor

LGBT people have learned that Democrats will betray their interests if the politicians are afraid it might cause them to lose.

 

David v. Goliath

In recent years, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people have faced unprecedented attacks from a highly organized religious right. David v. Goliath outlines the "parallel" progressive faith movement that welcomes LGBT people, and has grown simultaneously with the secular rights movement. It reveals the intense opposition to these progressive faith groups and the huge forces waged against them by the anti-LGBT industry, which has unabashedly and effectively rallied conservative people of faith to its cause.

 

Articles of Faith:
Religious right's moral failures a result of repressive religion

--By: Rev. Steven Baines

The moral hypocrisy of many right-wing religious leaders comes from their fundamental misunderstanding of religion as the practice of a complicated and esoteric set of rules designed to restrict human freedom, rather than a way of living which frees individuals to lives of greater compassion and personal growth.

 

Reflections on the Life of Coretta Scott King
--By: Rev. Dr. Penny Nixon

With the passing of Mrs. Coretta Scott King, we have lost not only a woman who stayed in the struggle for freedom but also a leader who embodied the ideals and true values of that freedom.

 

William Werc's Prayer
--By: Louie Crew

I come here to your cross, Christ,
a raging quean.
I want to walk with my head high,
a child of God,
but I am feeling too much
like the scum people take me to be.

 

Backstairs in the Night:
Adding Up the Clues About Brokeback Mountain

-- By: Lori Heine

So when I say that Brokeback Mountain is suffused with patriarchy, just what do I mean? I mean that it calls attention to its existence not by using the word yet one more time (I daresay "patriarchy" is one word no character in this movie would ever have occasion to utter), but rather by showing it in action. Every creative writing instructor I have ever had pounded it into us to "show, don't tell." This is a film that shows us patriarchy -- in all its naked ugliness -- as brilliantly as any I have ever seen.

 

Love Knows No Gender, Only Soul
-- By: Jonathan Shuffield

Finally the lights went down and the previews started. You could feel the impatience in the room as we waited for it. After what seemed like eternity, the music started and soon the words hit our awaiting eyes and I exhaled, as if I had waited my lifetime for this. "Brokeback Mountain" emblazoned across the screen and I was transfixed!

 

Letters to the Editor

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A Decade of Whosoever:

New publication helps homosexuals, Christianity connect
-- By: Diana Shuh

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 January 9, 1997 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

 

Growing up as a Whosoever
-- By: Virginia Dicken

God used Whosoever to answer my prayer for humility in high school. Through this community, God showed me that I had much to learn about faith and diversity. As I came out to friends and family, I had to admit that I had been wrong in my stance against homosexuals in the past.

 

Mustard Seeds
-- By: John H. Campbell

I think about how, over time, I have grown in my faith and grown spiritually, and how much both reading and writing for Whosoever has assisted in that. I feel so blessed and grateful that I did that first Internet search close to ten years ago now, that I decided to answer the call for contributions, and that I continue to use the gift God gave me to express myself to possibly reach out and offer a possible "mustard seed" of faith to others or make them open to the possibility that God is there for them if they only believe.

 

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Same-Gender Marriage:

Same-Sex Marriage:
A Test Case In Living Our Principles

-- By: Rachel Miller

In the case of same-sex marriage, we are failing the test of living one of our country's founding principles - to provide unalienable rights for all!

 

O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing:
A Presentation on Marriage Equality

-- By: Rev. Rebecca Voelkel

Ultimately, for me, marriage equality is not the end goal, rather it is about protecting and blessing families so that they can be freed to greater faithfulness and so that the culture and the church can be blessed by the breadth and depth of their gifts.

 

Protecting All Families
-- By: Candace Chellew-Hodge

Should the family discrimination amendment pass this coming November in our state it will relegate one section of the population, and their children, to second class citizenship. This is discrimination in its purest form, and no fair-minded American supports any form of discrimination.

 

Pro-Life, Pro-Family . . . Anti-Adoption?
-- By: Nate Nelson

Christ warned us that we would know those who claim to speak in his name by their fruits, the effects of their words and actions. What fruits can we look forward to from this bill born of the unholy pairing of Ohio's rightwing political and religious leaders?

 

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From the Pulpit:

Prophet Making Opportunities
--By: Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge

If you stop and think about it, our world is full of prophet making opportunities - chances for truly prophetic people to move our world forward in ways conventional wisdom tells us is not possible. Things that we take for granted today were, at one time, wild prophecies, and the prophets envisioning these fantastic things were thought to mad - or at least silly.

 

Transformed By Grace
--By: The Reverend Nancy L. Wilson

We come to this "holy ground" of meeting at the Ninth Assembly of the World Council of Churches, filled with hope and love. We expect to make many new friends, to have moments of encouragement as well as discouragement. We expect to leave here with a new level of commitment to the common ecumenical movement, and with a deeper sense of our unfinished mission.

 

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Bible Study and Inspiration:

Jesus' Prayer Book Part 2: Psalm 18
--By: Tom Yeshua

God is, indeed, our strength. We do not have to go through times of trial alone. We can if we choose to, but the theological term for this is: stupid!

 

Seeing the Whole Story
--By: Lincoln Rose

Where we stop reading, stop seeing, and stop asking has a big impact on the way the stories that shape our existence are formed.

 

We are Called to be Courageous
--By: Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker

God calls us to courage! He calls us to trust Him regardless of seen circumstances such as disappointments, illnesses, accidents, career disasters, pains in interpersonal relationships, or anything else.

 

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Holy Humor!

Hotline to God

Ralph Knows Everybody

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