Volume 3, Issue 3

The Power of Prayer

Cover Stories

Heartwork: A Loving Meditation on Various Forms of Prayer
By Amanda Udis-Kessler
Prayer – like the Holy – is available to all people, regardless of doctrinal position (or lack thereof), church membership, prior life experiences, political and ethical values, or belief in prayer’s usefulness.

The Power of Honest Prayer
By Candace Chellew
It’s tempting to pray for things we want, then to sit around and wait for them to happen. When they don’t fall into our laps, we become bitter and angry at God for ignoring us. The problem is, we’ve only prayed, we have not acted. We’ve prayed dishonestly.

The Power of Prayer: God at the Coalface
By Rev. Vera I. Bourne
Rarely do we realize the steady, ongoing growth of intimacy produced by the constancy of this our interaction with God. Prayer is the switching on, or the opening of circuits, of power between our Creator and ourselves.

Rooted in Prayer
By Mark T. Beedy
Without prayer (communication with God), a Christian begins to wither and grows distant from his/her faith. Eventually the faith dies and the Christian, while perhaps thinking that he/she is a good Christian, has really died too.

Praying in Every Season
By Caroline Mason
I saw a truth deeper than the simple words “praying always” conveyed. What I saw was that prayer belongs in every season that we pass through in our lives spiritually.

The Power of Prayer is Real!
By Glenda E.
Without the constant prayer exchange between myself and God, life would be unbearable.

Homospirituality

Berdaches … and Assumptions About Berdaches
By Patricia Nell Warren
Berdaches, it’s said, were accepted in the native world, and viewed as having mystical powers. They were colorfully portrayed in the 19th century art of George Catlin and other artists. Some in the gay community today feel a great connectedness with the berdache, and a yearning to be similarly powerful and accepted in American society.

Is Fundamentalism Right for the Gay Christian?
By L. Louise
The fundamentalist’s definition of God is too small. It doesn’t allow any room for individual thinking or doctrinal differences.

On Becoming A Conscious Instrument of God’s Will
By David Mundy
I have experienced in a small way that service brings me closer to God, and that I can enrich my own spiritual life by sharing it with others. My current personal goal is to become a more conscious instrument of God’s will in my community.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!
By Rev. Vera I. Bourne
This Christmas we could ponder the limits we can be expected to observe regarding mercy and justice – just as Peter and Jesus pondered the limits of forgiveness. Does our involvement in justice and mercy end in our own communities, cities or countries?

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A Story
By Ron Belgau
“I don’t know why I’m gay. I’ve snuck down to the library and read a bunch of books about it, you know. Some people say its genetic. That’s what I think makes the most sense. But other people think its caused by having a bad relationship with your dad, or being too close to your mom.”

Special Report: The Death of Matthew Shepard

Death and New Life
By Parker Allen
We must not let the death of Matthew scare us into inaction.

What Can You Do?
By John Aravosis
Resources for action after the death of Matthew Shepard.

Features

Battling For The Heart of Christianity: An Interview with Bishop John Shelby Spong
By Candace Chellew
For Spong, Christianity is all about breaking down the barriers that separate people from God. He sees the ultimate of acceptance of gays and lesbians into the church as part of the natural order of this barrier breaking action of Christ.

Human Authenticity: The Key To Spirituality – An Interview With Author Daniel Helminiak
By Candace Chellew
What that innate understanding of spirituality needs is guidance. That’s what Helminiak offers in his new book, Religion and The Human Sciences, An Approach via Spirituality.

UFMCC Celebrates 30 Years
By Rev. Troy Perry
I’ve felt a healthy sense of accomplishment. I’ve recalled the lives we’ve touched and helped. I’ve thought about the ministries we’ve reclaimed and — literally! — the lives we’ve helped to save.

What MCC Has Meant to Me
By Candace Chellew
I honestly don’t know where I would be without MCC. This denomination came to me in one of the darkest moments of my life and shined the light of God into it. For that I am eternally grateful.

Letters To The Editor

Readers Give Praise!

Youth

Making Prank Calls To God
By Erik Stavlund
Why is it that so many Christians prank call our Heavenly Father?

From The Pulpit

In The Flesh
By Dan Chambers
Whether it is anticipated with light or heavy heart, we help give birth to Christmas. We help in all of our seasonal rituals. We bring the birth of Christmas in the lighting of candles, the writing of letters, the singing of carols, the baking of cookies, the welcoming of friends and relatives into our homes, the remembering of treasured Christmases, the wrapping of presents.

When I am Still, I Hear the Quiet Voice
By Russell L. Bennett
It is one thing to believe that God exists. It is quite another thing to listen to God. It is what is meant by the word “obedience.” The root of the word “obey” is “to listen.”

Messing Ourselves Up
By Candace Chellew
What getting messed up means to me is that a theological education demystifies many of the things about the Bible and the Christian religion that have always seemed magical.

What Would Jesus Do?
By Mary Warejcka
This world is all about what’s in it for me, including one of those WWJD bracelets.

Bible Study and Inspiration

Transvestism, Transgenderism, and Deuteronomy 22:5
By Elisabeth Anne Kellogg
How can the transgender person, whether male or female, be comfortable with himself/herself within his/her gender? To address this issue it is necessary to understand who and what a transgender person is.

The Bible Is An Empty Closet
By Dr. Ralph Blair
Ideas and understandings of sexuality have changed greatly over the centuries. People in biblical times did not share our knowledge of customs of sexuality; we do not share their experience.

Holy Humor

Dear Pastor: Letters From Kids

God Sues Kansas Preacher

Where Pets Come From