Volume 7: Issue 6
May/June 2003

God, Humans and Animals


Table Of Contents



Cover Story: God, Humans and Animals:

Every Creature is a Word of God
--By: Candace Chellew-Hodge

If we pay close attention to the animals in our lives, we can hear God speaking to us -- speaking words of love, charity, hope and grace.


Love, With No Questions Asked
--By: John H. Campbell

Just like pets who love us unconditionally and without judgment, I feel that God's Love is exactly like that multiplied: God does not judge things that are not hurtful of others. God does not judge me based on my sexuality or sexual orientation, or the fact that I am bisexual with a female and a male partner.


Ministers in Fur
--By: Darrell Grizzle

I believe my healing has been greatly accelerated, though, through the prayers of friends as well as by the ministrations of a Reiki healer and also by my partner Michael (a massage therapist). One member of my holistic healing team is a feline massage therapist who came into our household a few months ago.


The Gift of Free Will
--By: Robin Herman

Our lives are so busy, the TV is loud and we're expected at a friend's for dinner. No time to worry about our free will. No time to listen to God's voice inside our heart or to look for the face of God in the eyes of a puppy. No time to be a shepherd over those wandering sheep.


God's Creatures, One and All
--By: Bg Click

When taking a Christian Ethics class for my master's program, one of the subjects we studied was the sanctity of life. If we say we believe that all life is sacred do we believe that all life is sacred? Or do we have a level at which we determine that a particular form of life is not sacred?


A Warm Place in the Sun
--By: Thom Britton

Dogs have that ability to meet you where you are in life. They share your joy and happiness as well as your pain and sadness.


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Homospirituality

Nail Implies Hammer
--By: Ko Imani

Being LGBT or queer is more than a matter of who you are physically and emotionally attracted to, or whether you fit society's idea of your gender or not. Being queer should ignite a fire to know Truth -- a sort of drive toward intelligence that can only be satisfied when you can see the world from different angles at once.


Remember Who You Are
--By: Tom Yeshua

We forget who we are. We easily forget that we are royalty -- every one of us. We are princesses and princes, children of the King, Lord of Heaven and Earth!


Emmanuel
--By: Randy Johnson

We are often told that God is with us, that we should not be fearful, but secure in His love for us. Those are comforting words that we have heard often, but when trouble strikes us they can seem no more than words.


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Features:

Presbyterian pastor rebuked for performing same-sex marriage
-- By: Laura Montgomery Rutt

Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken, minister of Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church (USA), was found guilty April 21 of violating the PCUSA Constitution, which requires ministers to discriminate against gays and lesbians in marriage. He will be rebuked for his actions.


ELCA Council Forwards Progress Report on Studies on Sexuality
-- By: ELCA News Service

At the direction of the 2001 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the church is conducting a comprehensive four-year study on homosexuality and a six-year study on human sexuality. Current ELCA policy expects ministers to refrain from all sexual relations outside of marriage.


Rescuing the Bible From Fundamentalism
-- A Book Review By: Derek Miller

Since so many people will inevitably misconstrue the title of this book as a hysterical mantra against all things religious, I must stress that, contrary to some reviewers' attacks, Spong is an honest theologian whose purpose is to strengthen faith -- not destroy it completely.


Letters To The Editor

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The War With Iraq:

Love in a War Zone: A Journey of Peace to Iraq
-- By: Kara Speltz

This morning two of the Iraqi Peace Team who were in Baghdad, arrived around 5 a.m. after traveling all night. They tell us the road is still open, and while there was a burned out bridge, a burned out bus and ambulance, the journey was fairly safe. So we are in great hopes of leaving tomorrow, probably around 2 a.m., if all goes well.


Beyond this War, and the Next: Waging Peace for the Long Haul
-- By: Bruce Hahne

I suggest here five foundational needs for the U.S. peace movement - five objectives which we must pursue as part of a multi-decade process to build a society grounded in the equality of all human beings and a belief in the futility of violence as a long-term means of conflict resolution.


Sorrows of war: What would Augustine say?
-- By: The Christian Century Editors

Augustine is widely known--and frequently reproached--for developing the concept of a "just war," he believed war is essentially an occasion for remorse. "The wise person will wage just wars," he wrote, but even the possibility of war "should cause humans sorrow because humans are responsible for it."


Ad asks president to repent of foreign, domestic policies
-- By: The United Methodist News Service

"It is our judgment that some policies advanced by your administration give evidence of the spiritual forces of wickedness that exist in our world today," the ad stated. It called the notion of "pre-emptive violence" incompatible with Christ and his teaching.


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From the Pulpit:

St. Francis Celebration of Animals
--By: Revd Sarah Park

St. Francis of Assisi, whose imprint on our world we celebrate today, was a friend of furry ones. Francis was a lover of life. He knew about God and animals. He knew that God permeates all life. Francis saw God in children, poor and rich, kings and serfs, birds and wolves.


Spiritual Magna Carta
--By: Gary Simpson

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered believers are discouraged from coming to the Christ. Churches placed restrictions and demands on gay and bisexual believers that they would not place on anybody else. Queer Christians are sensitive to that, to receiving the right foot of fellowship for wanting to see Jesus.


Ah! The Power of Prayer:
Part One -- "The Fish in the Water is Thirsty!?!"

--By: Rev. Brad Wishon

Why spend so much time on a topic that most people think they understand? I believe a true life of prayer, of meditation, of devotion, of open-ness is the elemental basis for forward growth and positive change. It's what allows us to embrace it. Only in connection with the source of "all-that-is," the cosmos, God, the "out there," can we grown beyond our present state.


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Bible Study and Inspiration:

Peter and Cornelius at the MCC
--By: Steve Pearson

... we must, with Peter, lay aside our churches' conceptions of morality and ethics in order to accept God's call in our lives. We must be willing to do even that which we think is unlawful, which for many of us means we must stop trying to become something God has no intention of making us: straight.


Cut to the Chase
--By: Stacy Reynolds

We all go through trials and tribulations. We get our feelings hurt and we hold grudges. We behave badly and we commit sins. I Corinthians 13 is one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible because in its simplicity it speaks of love and how basic and wonderful it is.


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Holy Humor!

The Priest's Ass

Seeing Eye Chihuahua

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