Volume 8, Issue 5: Reclaiming Our Spiritual Center

Cover Stories

Reclaiming Our Spiritual Center
–By: Candace Chellew
We cannot transform our social system without attending to our own spiritual transformation. We cannot hope to make progress in the social sphere without actively seeking progress in the spiritual sphere. This does not mean that we all become screaming Jesus freaks. It simply means that the center of our lives rests in the strength, peace, justice and mercy of the living, active, creating God that is the very ground of our being.

Our Way Home
–By: Lori Heine
The powers-that-be hope that we don’t learn enough about history to understand that the very Bible that liberated African-Americans from slavery was the one that, for centuries, was used against them. Think how it would transform the thinking of many in our world — black and white, gay and straight, Right and Left — if we were to realize that the same con-game is being perpetrated against us all today!

Common Ground, Holy Ground
–By: John H. Campbell
Let us attempt to break down the barriers of fear which divide us from one another and from God, the barriers of black and white, LGBT and heterosexual, liberal and conservative, and so on. So long as there must be an “other” to be left out, demonized, and ostracized by the many, then we are in my opinion still not listening to what God has to say through Jesus.

No Compromise
–By: Brian Bennett
Why are so many Christians today concerned with what goes on in a person’s bedroom if the Lord wasn’t? It would seem that the real thing being compromised is the commandment to love.

Homospirituality

The House
–By: Candace Chellew
The image of God as grand manipulator had to go. I could no longer believe in a God that would hold a house over my head until I figured out what God willed for my life. I could no longer imagine a testy God with his arms folded saying, “Nope that’s not the right path either. What a simpleton! I’m not going to sell the house until you get it right!”

Finding Harmony as a Married Gay Man: Part 2
–By: Mike Garoutte
This has been a time of great heartache for myself and my family; a time of doubt about many things that I have believed and held dear for much of my life, especially in my relationship with the Lord. There has been much confusion and disorientation. A disorientation that has left me drifting spiritually and emotionally.

Pope Increases Obsessive Attacks on GLBT Community
–By: Archbishop Bruce Simpson
I once again call for the various elements of the gay community to come together to fight a common enemy. This time the enemy is Rome.

Gnostic Cat
–By: Darrell Grizzle
In my dream the cat was talking
(as he sometimes does in dreams)
but I wasn’t paying close attention,
concerned about what he was doing:
working on electrical outlets,

Created Blessed, not Condemned
–By: Debra Rivera
Jesus has commanded us not to judge one another. How can they truly call themselves Christians if they can judge me simply because of who I love?

Features

A Matter of Life or Death
— By: Tyler Connoley
Instead of going to see The Passion of the Christ, I’m spending my two hours and seven dollars decreasing the suffering in the world. Instead of participating in Jesus’ death, I’m going to participate in his life.

Unwrapping God’s Gift to Humanity
–By: Brent A. Smith
When a President speaks of something having its origin in God, he opens himself to evaluation by that standard. In other words, using his metaphor, he “unwraps” God’s gift in public view, exposing the ways human activity can distort or extend the good of which a free society is capable.

Marriage Matters
— By: Arthur E. Farnsley II
If “gay marriage” is the question, then “gay” must be the issue, because “marriage” is collapsing in the U.S. no matter what the President, the courts, or the mainline denominations think.

Letters To The Editor

Transgender Spirituality

Are We Being True to Our Faiths?
— By: Rachel Miller
I believe the direction the United Methodist Church is taking is in basic conflict with the Gospel message. As a follower of Jesus and a member of the UMC, I felt compelled to encourage others to re-examine their positions and begin dialogs to bring the entire denomination into alignment with the Gospel message.

From the Pulpit

Ah! The Power of Prayer:
Part Six — “Hip Action Prayers”
–By: Rev. Brad Wishon
Hip Action Prayers that involve only hands on the hips never work. The ones that involve you getting into the mix of your life, the good and the bad, into the mix of the world, into the challenges we face and even into the cause and the fray of what is just and right and then loving the people on the other side of the line – they work.

Lifting the Veil
–By: Rev. Candace Chellew
Certainly, Jesus’ experience on the mountaintop was a metamorphosis – a glorious change that exalted him as the Christ. But, Christ is not the only person who can experience transfiguration. This kind of glorious change is available to all of us – if only we’ll take the time to experience it.

The Miracle of Being Worthy
–By: The Rev’d Elizabeth Kaeton
I have come to believe that “unworthiness,” like most categories of sin, is a social disease. Like most social diseases, is an “equal opportunity” sin, affecting people regardless of gender, age, race, social status or educational background.

Craving Heavenly Wine
–By: Gary Simpson
God uses judgment to free His people from those who seek to enslave the people of God physically, spiritually and in every other way. Those who condemn God’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender children need to think about that! God will not allow their condemnations to enslave His people. The Lord does not use judgment to condemn His own! Instead of judgment, He gives the joy of the wine of redemption to His own people.

Bible Study and Inspiration

Lepers, Loons and Losers: The Outcasts of the Gospels
Part 3: The Suffering Woman
–By: Tom Yeshua
The woman with the hemorrhages needed a ritual bath to be made clean again. For people broken and harmed by personal or societal sin, there is a ritual bath of sorts available to us: the precious blood of Jesus.

Queering the Gospel, Part 2
–By: Jerry S. Maneker
We are called upon by God to live the abundant life, the good life! To engage in this endeavor, we must be authentic and not only accept but embrace ourselves and others for what we and they are. Indeed, we are not to judge others or even ourselves!

Holy Humor!

Freedom from Pets
–By: Jade Catherine Devlin

Protecting the Presidency
–By: Tyler Connelley