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Volume 9: Issue 3
November/December 2004

Everyday Spirituality


Table Of Contents


Cover Story: Everyday Spirituality:

Realizing the Presence
--By: Candace Chellew-Hodge

God's presence is everywhere and in every experience of our lives simply waiting to be realized. Realizing that presence is a difficult habit to establish, but it is one we must work to acquire so that even our dullest moments are transformed into moments of awe and wonder.

 

"Seize the Day"
--By: Lori Heine

Although the slogan, "seize the day," is generally regarded as hedonistic (and therefore too decadent to be "morally Christian"), when it comes to our spiritual lives, it's actually very sound advice.

 

Everyday Spirituality
--By: Sheila K. Smith

The word everyday connotes essential. Something that is essential is something that is necessary. Believe it or not, spirituality is a basic necessity.

 

Cultivating Awareness
--By: John H. Campbell

My personal theory is that when one cannot see God in a given situation or place, it could be that either they are not looking for God, not open to God's Presence there, or perhaps even trying to look too closely. Even in bad situations, God can be found; God is there whether we feel that way or not. It is our choice to acknowledge and allow ourselves to feel that love to comfort us and see us through those difficult times, or to succumb to fear and struggle, or attempt in vain to substitute other things for God.

 

Saving the World - Everyday
--By: Steve Pearson

It is everyday that we, as Christians, save the world. In fact, that is our whole purpose and power as Christians; it is the very thing for which God has called and empowered us. We do it simply by virtue of following Christ.

 

Determination
--By: Bro. Frank K. Clark

We, as Christians, could learn a valuable lesson from golfers.

 

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Homospirituality:

How to Respond to Homophobic People
--By: Crystal Martinez

No matter how far we seem to come as a society, there are always those minds who just refuse to open. The following guide is meant to help you deal better when you encounter such people.

 

The Pharisee and the Windsor Report
--By: Katie Sherrod

The Pharisee would have been comfortable on the Lambeth Commission. He is apparently the ideal they want to hold up to us all - the person who follows all the rules and who has no flexibility in his or her approach to life or to the lives of others.

 

A Gay Male Carol
--By: Louie Crew

We three queans of Christendom are
bearing gifts we traverse afar,
lay and clergy, collared and mitred,
following yonder star.

 

The Cost of Discipleship
--By: Rev. Susan Russell

It is impossible for me to consider these texts - consider the cost of discipleship - and not be aware of the price being paid today by 21st century disciples following where they believe Jesus has called them to go.

 

This Graced Life: Parenthood
--By: Ted Mason

Our biggest test came when two of our sons declared themselves to be gay. We had no experience of homosexuality, didn't understand it and really didn't want to know. Because we love our sons very much, we embarked on the steepest learning curve of our lives.

 

The Christian Walk
--By: Michael Hinzman

As a gay Christian we are faced with more than our fair share of battles. The gay community wonders if we have been psychologically damaged by the straight Christians. The straight Christians think we are on a fast track to hell. It is a road that takes a brave soul to walk day in and day out.

 

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Features:

Will the Fundamentalists Win? A Question Revisited
--By: Dr. C. Welton Gaddy

In 1922, Harry Emerson Fosdick declared, "I do not believe for one moment that the Fundamentalists are going to succeed." Yet, fundamentalism seems more alive and sick today than it was when Fosdick spoke 82 years ago. Will fundamentalism win?

 

Just for Today - A Christmas Wish
--By: Rev. Vera Bourne

Perhaps each of us could choose this year, in this season, to take responsibility for the commission Christ has given us, to love with as much abandonment of self as does God.

 

The Natural Order of Creation
--By: Elisabeth Anne Kellogg

We have all heard the fundamentalist sound-bite, "It was 'Adam and Eve,' not 'Adam and Steve.'" This saying is shorthand for identifying that the speaker is a believer in the doctrine of the Natural Order of Creation. Just what is this doctrine, and does it have any applicability today?

 

Bishop Robinson: Beyond Activism to Reconciliation
--By: Darrell Grizzle

Bishop Robinson addressed the controversy head-on in his keynote address, emphasizing the work of reconciliation to which all of us are called as Christians. "To be Christian is to do the work of Christ, reconciling the world," he said (2 Corinthians 5:19).

 

Which Way Home?
--By: Elaine

And so here we are about to celebrate Jesus' birth and we are still at the crossroads. What do we do with this babe in the manger? Is He the Messiah? Is He a lunatic? Or is He one of many great teachers the world has known throughout the ages? What do we do with this historical, living, breathing man of God who claimed to be mankind's one and only Savior?

 

Church Within a Church Movement Sets Course
--By: Cathy Knight

While concluding that the legislation pertaining to Gay and Lesbian persons constituted a hostile stranglehold of legalism never before seen in the UMC, and acknowledging the need to more forthrightly continue the fight against racism, Church Within a Church decided to press forward in its Christian mission with a four-pronged strategy.

 

Pennsylvania Lesbian Pastor to Face Church Trial
--By: Press Release

After sharing publicly that she is a lesbian in a covenant relationship with a partner, The Rev. Irene Elizabeth Stroud will face a United Methodist church trial beginning on December 1, 2004.

 

Letters To The Editor

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Same-Gender Marriage:

Marriage and the Patriarchy
-- By: Rev. Elder Nori J. Rost

In this paper I will address the Judeo-Christian historical contours of marriage and how those foundational patriarchal beliefs about marriage still shape public and social policy regarding marriage entitlements, explore the unconscious reasons that conservative politicians and religious leaders oppose same sex marriage, and finally, seek to answer the unasked question with a different ethic that, in the words of Dr. Mary Hunt spoken to a summer school class in July, 2004, seeks relational equality for all rather than legal privilege for a few.

 

Major Same-Sex Marriage Victory In Canada
-- By: MCC Press Release

Nova Scotia has became the 6th Canadian province to grant same-sex marriage rights to LGBT couples.

 

An Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Marriage Equality
-- By: The Religious Institute

In our nation, families take many forms. All families should be supported in building stable, empowering, and respectful relationships. Marriage equality is a means to strengthen families and is especially beneficial to children raised by same-sex couples.

 

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From the Pulpit:

Will You Rejoice?
--By: Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge

We've all had our prodigal moments, where we have been found and celebrated, and we've all had our moments where we've refused to join the celebration of others who have been found. Jesus tells us a cautionary tale - one that reminds us to extend the welcome to anyone who seeks it, no matter what our opinion of them may be.

 

Dropkick Me, Jesus
--By: Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge

Perhaps we should take this halftime break to review our game plan. Now, at the risk of sounding like a preacher - let me paraphrase that great coach, Paul of Tarsus.

 

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Bible Study and Inspiration:

Lepers, Loons and Losers
Part 7: Zacchaeus

--By: Tom Yeshua

From time to time we all get lost, we all wander into places and occasions we should stay away from. Jesus understands this all too well; it does not surprise him in the least. That is why, possibly, he invited himself to Zacchaeus' house.

 

Cloud of Witnesses
--By: Eric Bicknell

It can be an amazing thing to look back and remember the self-sacrificing service that people have given, with no thought to their own gain, for the service of God. It is this kind of people we can look at and say that they are a part of our own 'cloud of witnesses.'

 

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Holy Humor!

The Price of a Baseball and a Baseball Glove

Jesus Sees You!

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