Volume 12, Issue 2

We Come Bearing Gifts

Cover Stories

God’s Irrevocable Call
By Rev. Candace Chellew
Everyone has something to offer and no one is better than anyone else. We each are blessed with gifts like prophecy, teaching, contributing, or serving. We are all part of Christ’s body in the world and if we cut off any part of the body, Christ’s ability to work in the world is hobbled.

Canaries in the Mine
By Lori Heine
The gift gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender believers bring, among so many others, is that of safeguarding the state – the overall health – of the Body of Christ in today’s world.

Persecutions and the Fullness of Life
By Stephen Hanchett
Jesus wasn’t only talking about gays and lesbians when he warned that the world would hate us; though he was explaining how the world tends to hate those who are truly different. He wanted all of his followers to be different – not so that they could be persecuted, but so that they could help to change the world.

A More Spiritual Community
By Rev. Andy Sidden
If anything, we must acknowledge that we are inclined to great spirituality, just as it might be said we are inclined to the arts, music, and caring endeavors. More and more of our people are seeking the wholeness that fully honest religious lives can bring.

Blessed are the Excommunicated
By Gary Simpson
Anybody who stands with Christ for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-identified people and is rejected is in God’s favor and receives a special blessing.

Opening the Gifts of Disability as a Lesbian in the Church
By Lana Phillips
You’re not just a person with a disability, or a gay man, or a lesbian. You’re more than just a label. You’re uniquely designed by God with gifts and talents that can always be shared and welcomed by the right friends to journey with.

Features

Don’t Write off the Right: An Interview with Soulforce Founder Mel White
By Rev. Candace Chellew
Why do those on the Christian right believe gay and lesbian people are such a threat to the nation? White said it has everything to do with what conservative Christians call “God’s chain of command.”

Coming Home
By Rev. Paul M. Turner
Jesus is saying to all of us, the time away makes no difference, the wild and crazy times do not count, nor do the empty pockets. What matters is that we are coming home.

After the Storm
By John H. Campbell
It takes time, patience, faith and courage holding it together when it feels like your faith is coming apart at the seams. But if you try to maintain belief even when it seems as if there is none to be had, miraculous things can happen. With perseverance you can weather the storm.

Rest in Peace, Tammy Faye
By Darrell Grizzle
Tammy Faye was able to break out of the narrow restraints of her Pentecostal upbringing while still holding on to an authentic love for Jesus and his message of God’s radical love for all people.

Hiding the Family Values Gang’s Sexual Addictions
By Dr. Robert N. Minor
You’re just waiting for the next “Family Values” Republican to get caught with his pants down, aren’t you? They’re being exposed fast and furiously now that bloggers can do an end run around mainstream media enablers.

Christianity and LGBT People: A Teaching Summary
By Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker
Recently, I was asked to give an interview on a public listener sponsored radio station that largely has as its audience rather politically progressive people, most of whom can be expected to have an understandable disdain for anything “Christian.”

Introduction to Coming Out of Fundamentalist Christianity
By Carolyn Baker, Ph.D.
This book will strike raw nerves among homophobes and anti-gay members of the religious community, and LGBT folks may not appreciate my taking our community to task politically, but the story must be told, and for me, it cannot be told without dividing the book into two parts: 1) My story, and 2) Our World.

Churches That Won’t Bury Gays? Let’s Hold a Funeral For Misguided Principles
By Rev. Lea Brown
Whew. I don’t know about you, but I sure sleep better at night knowing the Christian churches in Texas are standing by their principles.

A Speech Before Congress
By Bud Young
It is time to put Biblical cultural bias aside. It is time we embrace true equality. It is time to quit using an imperfect book to justify unhealthy bias. It is time to stop denying responsible American citizens the right to legal acknowledgement of who they are.

Letters to the Editor

From the Pulpit

Where’s My Purse?
By Rev. Candace Chellew
In any situation where you’re getting caught up in worldly wants, these are the words to utter. “Where’s my purse?” Are you wearing it on the outside, collecting earthly treasure that can be taken from you or fade away? Or, are you wearing it inside, collecting God’s treasure that can never be stolen or destroyed?

Learning to Love Our Inner Lawyer
By Rev. Candace Chellew
We all have our inner lawyer, looking for the loophole and more often than not we find it. We justify withholding our agape love and our mercy – and usually feel pretty good about ourselves while we’re doing it.

Lazarus in the Pride Parade
By Gary Simpson
You may be hearing God’s call to be more open, to step out of the closet. Timing is important. Jesus planned the timing of this miracle. Lazarus was given new life at the right time. You can plan the timing of the miracle of coming out. Only step out of the closet when it is safe.

Holy Humor

A Pagan Goes to Heaven

The Taxi Driver and the Minister