December 26, 2009

How is Obama Administration Doing on HIV/AIDS Initiatives?

Not bad according to this article in Bay Windows (Boston, MA):

Although we can’t deny the Bush Administration credit on international support of HIV/AIDS, it was openly hostile to any attempts to address core issues that drive the epidemic in our own country. They ignored science and supported abstinence-only programs despite the studies that demonstrate this strategy does not work. They also reduced funding for and did whatever possible to squash innovative and evidence-based interventions for gay men.

The Obama Administration has done just the opposite. The President appointed a gay man to run ONAP and has made it clear to the CDC that a focus on gay men in its HIV prevention plans is critical. The Administration also supports evidence based programs and did not include funding for abstinence-only programs in the President’s budget. Just last week, Congress passed a budget that demonstrated its commitment to science and did not include any set aside funds for abstinence-only programming.

The President has set three very specific goals for his Administration regarding the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic:

Encouraging Words 12/26/09-Is Change Possible for Evangelicals?

Rev. Janet Edwards, a Presbyterian minister, believes that evangelicals can change their minds and accept LGBT people and stop fighting against equal rights.  Here is an essay she wrote for The Advocate suggesting what needs to be done for that to happen:

It is true the tide has shifted toward acceptance of LGBT people as equal members of society. But one need look no further than the string of defeats at the ballot box to understand just how far we have to go.

The conventional wisdom tells us that to win, we should focus all our resources on getting out the progressive vote and solidifying the support of social moderates because the hearts and minds of evangelical Christians are unwinnable. I believe it’s time we dispensed with the conventional wisdom.

The fact is, we remain a country where 77% of our citizens identify as Christian. Shifting public perception on any issue requires engaging them. Evangelical Christians carry significant weight with many Christians across most denominations on this issue. For this reason, I believe the tipping point for LGBT equality will come when evangelical Christians recognize our common humanity — that we are all equal in the eyes of God.

Easier said than done? There’s no denying that LGBT people have suffered greatly from the hurtful words and actions of some within the evangelical Christian community. There will likely always be religious hard-liners who won’t budge from their convictions. Yet change is possible for many.
Click here to read the rest of the essay.

Encouraging Music 12/26/09 "When My Heart Finds Christmas" by Harry Connick, Jr.

SNN Recommends 12/26/09-"Holy Ambition: What It Takes to Make a Difference For God" Ratings: 8 of 8 reviewers give it at least 4 of 5 stars
SNN Rating: 4 stars

If the idea of walking with Jesus doesn't make you uncomfortable, you haven't thought seriously enough about His presence in your life. The passed-down, packaged Jesus turns out to be quite different from the one who steps alive and kicking out of the pages of Scripture. Author, pastor and radio teacher Chip Ingram outlines what it takes to follow this renegade Jesus toward the idea of Holy Ambition. Stretching outside of your comfortable existence is just the beginning. Dislocated hearts and broken spirits give way to radical, faith-filled strategies that equip you to truly make a difference for God right now.

God is not looking for the brightest and the best. God is looking for people who are willing to live on the edge—people who so long to see God’s agenda fulfilled in this fallen world that they attempt what seems impossible, ridiculous, and “outside the box,” for God’s glory.
Click here to purchase the book and read the customer reviews.

"How Newsweek Got It Wrong on Gay Rights"

A few days ago we linked to a story in Newsweek that was very pessimistic about the prospect of action on gay rights matters in Congress in 2010. Here's a different view by Dr. Jillian T. Weiss posting on The Bilerico Project:

No one reading my columns here and knowing my view of LGBT rights in the Obama era will mistake me for a dewy-eyed optimist. At the same time, however, the prediction that "Obama does nada on gay rights" in 2010 is beyond bold and moves into the realm of just plain silly.

There won't be as much progress as progressives, including myself, would like, that's for sure. That's why we're called progressives. To say that there will be none, however, has a certain quality of sheer spite to it. There is movement on important LGBT rights issues that will continue into 2010 and could result in some important victories. Such victories are by no means assured, but despair is the enemy of victory.

Why would Newsweek, which has run many stories strongly sympathetic to LGBT rights, make such a wrong-headed and defeatist prediction? Anyone with any experience in legislative work knows that there are many ups-and-downs in a legislative campaign. Witness the health-care reform effort, in which the reform advocates have just pulled a health-care rabbit out of a Senatorial hat after weeks and months of moaning about the intransigence of the Senate. Admittedly, it's a sickly heath-care rabbit, and in dire need of a Medicare card, which it's not going to get, but a rabbit is a rabbit.

Have the journalists at Newsweek, hard-headed veterans of the ups-and-downs of many legislative campaigns, been assimilated by the Borg? In a word, yes. If you believe Newsweek, resistance is futile. Let me just say one thing: do not drink the kool-aid.

Click here to read the rest of the essay:

Daily Devotional 12/26/09 Light

December 25, 2009

The Brady Bunch-"The Voice of Christmas"

One of the most touching Brady Bunch episodes was in their first season, when Carol was supposed to sing at their church's Christmas service but lost her voice.  Did she get it back in time to sing?  Did Cindy's prayers for her mom get answered/  Check out the show via You Tube (in three parts) and find out.

Part 1            Part 2           Part 3

Encouraging Words 12/25/09-The Birth of Christ

Luke 2: 1-14

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Encouraging Music 12/25/09-You've Never Seen the Hallelujah Chorus Like This!

Enjoy the monks from "St. Francis de la Sissies" (actually the Pittsburgh Gay Men's Chorus) perform a truly unique version of the Hallelujah Chorus:

Encouraging Words 12/25/09-"Moving Mountains of Oppression"

A group is Charlotte, NC is doing their part to reach into organizations of various faiths and help them understand why they should be open and affirming and give them resources to do so.  Here's the story from Q-Notes:

Pamela Jones is adamant: Faith communities from all traditions should be more welcoming of LGBT worshipers.

A transgender advocate and member of the Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte board of directors, Jones is also co-founder of the city’s Interfaith Connection. She and other members of the group hope their outreach to local faith communities will help spark a growth in inclusive worship spaces.

“Our mission is to reach other churches on the cusp of becoming open and affirming and offer them resources,” Jones said.
Click here to read the rest of the story.

Spend Christmas With Judy Garland

Merry Christmas to one and all.  We are blessed to enjoy another Christmas together and hope you and your family are blessed.  We invite you, through the magic of You Tube, to spend part of the day with the one and only Judy Garland (and a young Liza Minelli) enjoying her 1963 Christmas television special (in 6 parts).  Unfortunately we couldn't embed the video like we usually do, but just follow the links through to You Tube.

Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4     Part 5     Part 6

December 24, 2009

In Our Own Words 12/24/09-Our Merry Christmas Wishes For You

We're sitting in our warm home with the fireplace going and listening to Christmas music tonight.  We realize how blessed we've been this year, and part of that blessing has been working on this blog and putting it out there for you.  We're received some truly wonderful and moving feedback during the course of the year which is appreciated and tells us that we are doing something worthwhile.

As Christmas Day is almost here, we want you all to know how much we value and love each and every person who our work has touched in some way.  We can say that about those of you we haven't met or even interacted with because we are children of the Most High, and are therefore of value and worthy of being loved because He first loved us.

Regardless of your family situation, we sincerely hope and pray that you seek the joy, peace, and hope that the birth of Jesus Christ, our savior, is all about.  If you haven't talked to Him recently, maybe just start out by wishing Him a happy birthday and see where the conversation goes from there.

Merry Christmas and God Bless everyone!

Jim and Brenda

Encouraging Music 12/24/09 "Blessed is the Child" by Kristen Trayer

SNN Recommends (Just For Fun) 12/24/09-I Can Has Cheezburger

Here's a little Christmas fun with the LOL cats:
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

A Look at the LGBT Health Disparities Gap

The Center for American Progess has an in-depth study of the gap between health services provided to the LGBT community vs. the general public (hat-tip to Twitter user TGWorldNews) .  Here's an excerpt:

Members of the LGBT population continue to experience worse health outcomes than their heterosexual counterparts. Due to factors like low rates of health insurance coverage, high rates of stress due to systematic harassment and discrimination, and a lack of cultural competency in the health care system, LGBT people are at a higher risk for cancer, mental illnesses, and other diseases, and are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, use drugs, and engage in other risky behaviors.

People who are both LGBT and members of a racial or ethnic minority will often face the highest level of health disparities. For example, as the National Coalition for LGBT Health notes, a black gay man faces disparities common to the African-American community as well as those suffered by the LGBT community, and a transgender Spanish-speaking woman, regardless of her sexual orientation, must navigate multiple instances of discrimination based on language, ethnicity, and gender.
Click here to read the rest of the report, there's a LOT more included.

Daily Devotional 12/24/09 Gift vs Wage

December 23, 2009

Conflict Over Gays Leads Churches to Withdraw From Homeless Ministry

You will probably find that headline aggravating and hard to believe.  Right on the first count, but unfortunately wrong on the second count.  From the Kalamazoo News via PageOneQ:

Theological disagreements over homosexuality are causing a divide within a downtown ministry that serves the poor, homeless and lonely.

Martha’s Table, through which eight churches have provided Sunday afternoon worship and meals for the needy at First Congregational Church, is losing three of the churches because of the issue of homosexuality, even though the ecumenical ministry takes no position on it, said the Rev. Matt Laney, pastor of First Congregational.

Agape Christian Church and Word for Life Church of God plan to withdraw from Martha’s Table at the end of the year, and Centerpoint Church (formerly Third Reformed Church) has already done so, Laney said.

Welcome to Midweek Worship 12/23/09 The True Meaning of Christmas

Encouraging Music 12/23/09 "Breath of Heaven" by Amy Grant

Matthew 25 Resource 12/23/09-Ruth Meiers Hospitality House (Bismark, ND)

Ruth Meiers Hospitality House opened its doors in 1987. The House is named after North Dakota's former lieutenant governor, Ruth Meiers, and rooted in her belief that each individual is unique with value and talents deserving respect and appreciation.

The mission of Ruth Meiers Hospitality House is to "provide housing and supportive services to assist homeless and low income people in achieving self-sufficiency".

According to the 2009 Point-in-Time survey conducted by the North Dakota Coalition for Homeless People, there are 276 homeless people on any given day in the Bismarck-Mandan region. We are proud to provide food shelter and support to these individuals in our community who need our help.

Please take the time to look through our beautiful website to learn more about our programs and how you can help the homeless in your area.

Ruth Meiers Hospitality House is grateful for the wonderful support that we receive from all the communities in this region of North Dakota. You can make a donation to Ruth Meiers by clicking on the "Donate with Impact" button.

Together we can make a difference!

Susan Martin, Executive Director
Ruth Meiers Hospitality House

Click here to find out more.

Is the LGBT Community Becoming Complacent About Marriage Equality?

That's the thought put out there in an essay on Pam's House Blend, one that could undermine the whole equality movement.  Here's an excerpt:

Why is it that we don't do more to fight for marriage equality? We both have very strong feelings about the issue, but aside from the occasional rally (like the march on D.C. earlier this year) or writing an occasional check (to support the fight against Prop 8), we never take any action to support the cause. We rarely even make it a point to talk to our straight friends and family about the issue. We never tell them how important marriage equality is to us. Why don't we get out there and fight for our rights?

Through our discussion, we realized that we don't fight because, deep down, we don't feel it is necessary for us to do so. We feel a sense of inevitability, a sense that history is on our side. After all, polls consistently show a generational gap in the support of marriage equality. A recent New York Times poll showed that 57 percent of people under the age of 40 support marriage equality, while only 35 percent of people over that age support it. If we're patient, it seems, marriage equality will come. Public opinion will eventually be on our side. When our generation is in control, we will be granted equal rights. We can wait.

Daily Devotional 12/23/09 Don't Spoil Your Appetite

December 22, 2009

Kate Clinton Looks Beyond the "Oughts"

Kate Clinton wrote an essay for The Bilerico Project looking ahead to the new decade that is almost upon us.  Here's an excerpt:

In the waning Obama oughts, we LGBTs have experienced heartbreaking marriage equality setbacks, the shuttering of our bookstores, and the collapse of publishing. Many LGBTs suspect deliberate dithering on DOMA, ENDA and DADT. They demand the shut down of the GayTMs.

Of course I am disappointed in my President. Mind you, it is a lovely change from my despair during eight years of Bush. Yet somehow during those Bush zero years of federally sanctioned homophobia we made progress: protection from discrimination and hate violence, recognition of LGBT families, safer and more accepting school climates for LGBT youth, relief from HIV and AIDS, more LGBTs in public service and broader acceptance of LGBT people. (To see the numbers: "A Decade of Progress on LGBT Rights").

As we begin this new decade, despite enormous financial challenges, LGBT organizations and individuals are working for full equality - some incrementally, some flashy and splashy, all exponentially. Just one year into the Obama administration we have seen LGBT inclusion in the census, the lifting of the HIV immigration ban, and the signing of the Hate Crimes Bill. Some amazing individual stories have emerged: Rachel Maddow's relentless coverage of anti-gay laws in Uganda; the election of Houston's Mayor Annise Parker; Arkansas' ten year old Phil Miller who refuses to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance until there is liberty and justice for all.

I am optimistic about what we can accomplish under President Obama.
Click here to read the rest of the essay, and let us know if you too are optimistic as we head into 2010.

Encouraging Words 12/22/09-Support for LGBT Discrimination Protection in the Deep South

From the Shreveport Times via The Advocate:

Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover said today that he wants the city’s discrimination policy to be clear, including protection for sexual orientation, gender identity and disabilities.
Glover joined three City Council members who will push for the passage of accompanying support from their panel.

The mayor’s executive order – his first – offers defense to city workers who are punished or treated unfairly. City policy, at least in practical form, already included guards against inequity based on race or gender.

“It is the right, proper and appropriate thing to do,” Glover said, adding that it has been a goal since he ran for mayor in 2006.
"The right, proper, and appropriate thing to do"--amen!
Click here to read the rest of the story.

Encouraging Music 12/22/09 "All I Really Want For Christmas" by Steven Curtis Chapman

LGBT Helping Hands 12/22/09-NWA Center for Equality (Fayetteville, AK)

About the NWA Center for Equality

Mission Statement
A grassroots support and advocacy movement working to achieve full equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in northwest Arkansas.

Vision Statement
To see a time when all have the right to be themselves regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation and without fear of harassment or discrimination. We dream and work for full legal rights and social equality in our local communities and beyond.

Guiding Principles
The principles that guide the actions of the NWA Center for Equality Board of Directors, volunteers, and staff, as well as the design and implementation of all programs, shall be to provide for:

* Inclusiveness and Diversity Founded on Human and Civil Rights for all
* Financial Stability and Integrity
* Compassionate, Quality Service Delivery
* Comprehensive and Open Communication
* Continual Quality Improvement
* Leadership Development
* Cost-Effectiveness
* Measurable Outcomes

Click here to find out more.

"The High Price of Coming Out For Gay Athletes"


Gareth Thomas is one of the toughest rugby players around, becoming the first Welsh player ever to win 100 international caps. The man withstood a brutal kick to his neck in a 2006 match that led to a suspected stroke after an artery ruptured, and earlier this year had his ribs smashed in a game against Australia that led weeks away from the field and x-rays of rib cartilage.

But those injuries are nothing compared to the next test Thomas will face: being quite possibly the most high profile openly gay athlete in the world.

Thomas came out of the closet this weekend in an interview with the UK's Daily Mail, admitting that hiding his sexual orientation drove him to depression and almost suicide.

"I was like a ticking bomb. I thought I could suppress it, keep it locked away in some dark corner of myself, but I couldn't," said Thomas. "It was who I was, and I just couldn't ignore it any more."

Boom. Cue the closet door opening around the world. That's great news for Thomas (who has been out to teammates for a few years now, but not on a global scale). But what does it mean for his future in professional sports, and how will the world of rugby -- let alone the world of international sports -- react to an openly gay athlete in one of the toughest sports around?

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Daily Devotional 12/22/09 Danger Lips

December 21, 2009

Mexico City Approves Same-Sex Marriage

Good news from the Los Angeles Times:

Mexico City lawmakers today made the city the first in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage, a change that will give homosexual couples more rights, including allowing them to adopt children.

The bill passed the capital's local assembly 39-20 to the cheers of supporters who yelled: "Yes, we could! Yes, we could!"

Leftist Mayor Marcelo Ebrard of the Democratic Revolution Party is widely expected to sign the measure into law.

The bill calls for changing the definition of marriage in the city's civil code. Marriage is currently defined as the union of a man and a woman. The new definition will be "the free uniting of two people."

The change would allow same-sex couples to adopt children, apply for bank loans together, inherit wealth and be included in the insurance policies of their spouse, rights they were denied under civil unions allowed in the city.
Click here to read the rest of the story.

Encouraging Words 12/21/09-'Evangelical Church Opens Door Fully to Gays


The auditorium lights turned low, the service begins with the familiar rhythms of church: children singing, hugs and handshakes of greeting, a plea for donations to fix the boiler.

Then the 55-year-old pastor with spiked gray hair and blue jeans launches into his weekly welcome, a poem-like litany that includes the line "queer or straight here, there’s no hate here."

The Rev. Mark Tidd initially used the word "gay." But he changed it to "queer" because it’s the preferred term of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people invited to participate fully at Highlands Church.

Tidd is an outlaw pastor of sorts. His community, less than a year old, is an evangelical Christian church guided both by the Apostle’s Creed and the belief that gay people can embrace their sexual orientation as God-given and seek fulfillment in committed same-sex relationships.

We are happy to add Highlands Church to our list of independent, affirming churches.
Click here to read the rest of the story.

Encouraging Music 12/21/09 "What Child is This?" by The Moody Blues

Matthew 25 Resource 12/21/09-The Healing Place (Louisville, KY)

From Jay P. Davidson

For 15 years The Healing Place has provided men and women the opportunity to gain freedom from homelessness and freedom from alcoholism and/or addiction.

As the new President and Chief Executive officer, I am truly humbled by the past accomplishments of The Healing Place and the men and women who are no longer homeless or victims of the disease of addiction. Because of all of the public and private support of many individuals, corporations and government agencies, The Healing Place has become a "Model that Works" in Louisville, Lexington, Raleigh, N.C., and in Richmond, Va.

As we enter a new era of opportunity and success for The Healing Place, the demand for the recovery program continues to grow. We have the challenge and blessing of continuing to provide a successful recovery program to the indigent and underserved while helping other communities replicate a "Model that Works." I believe we can and will be successful in decreasing the demand for drugs and alcohol by helping men and women find sobriety, while increasing recovery program services for those who need them.

I am excited about this challenge because The Healing Place has the best and most competent staff in its history. They are dedicated and empathetic to the demands of those suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction. We are supported by a very dedicated and passionate Board of Directors focused on the mission and committed to ensuring the continued success of the organization.

The future of The Healing Place is bright and exciting. I have the best job in the world. I want to thank everyone for their confidence and support as we begin the next 15 years.

Click here to find out more.

Trading One Hell For Another-One Transgender Person's Struggle

This isn't one of those feel-good heart warming stories, but hopefully it will be some day.  From the Comox Valley Record (CA) via Twitter user TransNewsGirl:

Jessica has worn holes into her size 11 practical Mary-Jane shoes.

They’re obviously not shoes she wears as a costume, they’re shoes she wears for real life.

And real life these days seems to be wearing holes in Jessica.

“You go from everyday, living in hell, knowing you’re living in the wrong body to the hell of the ignorant public,” said Jessica.

Jessica is transgendered. Born with male organs, she said she’s always known she was meant to be a female. It’s taken decades for her to come to terms with it — years spent living a man’s life she was unhappy with, which led to a drug addiction, homelessness and destructive relationships.

Finally, Jessica realized life had to change, or had to end.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Daily Devotional 12/21/09 Jesus and Santa Part 3

December 20, 2009

A "Christian Voice" Supports Dealth Penalty for Gays-FAIL

We try to keep most of the stories here positive and affirming, but we also feel the need to raise awareness to some of the hatred directed at LGBT people around the world.  Here is an ugly example of that. From Wales Online via Twitter user CommonComrades:

The Welsh leader of a Christian campaign group has spoken out in support of the death penalty for homosexuals.

His comments come almost a month after Uganda proposed a law that would make gay sex punishable by a life sentence or even death.

In a statement that will outrage human rights groups, Stephen Green, the director of campaign group Christian Voice, claimed:

o Gay people who have sex knowing they are HIV positive should be given the death penalty because they have “committed murder”;
o Capital punishment is acceptable because it is ordained by God in the Bible;
o Britain’s laws “promote perversion” because they do not make homosexuality a criminal offence.

Click here to read more of this twisted story.

LGBT Helping Hands 12/20/09-Durban Lesbian & Gay Community & Health Centre (South Africa)

The Durban Lesbian & Gay Community & Health Centre (a project of the KZN Coalition for Gay & Lesbian Equality) offers a safe and secure space for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal.

The Community Centre provides, Personal, HIV/AIDS, Sexual Health and Legal Education, Counselling and Advise on matters ranging from understanding your own sexual and/or health status, to coming out, mitigating/fighting stigma and discrimination, homelessness, drug use/abuse, living positively, to same-sex marriages.

The Community Centre houses an extensive Research and Resource Centre on LGBT, women, youth, children, sex and sexuality, sexual health, human rights, reproductive rights, social, political, health, disability, and many other aspects of communities. It also houses a collection of LGBT, HIV/AIDS and related media clippings in its archives. These will, hopefully over time, be made available on this website.

Click here to find out more

Welcome to Sunday Worship 12/20/09

If you don't have a welcoming church near you, or you just can't make yourself step into one, we're bringing worship to you. Here are links to some worship music and services from open and affirming ministries (all times eastern). I hope you are blessed and take time out of your busy schedule to enter into the Lord's day.

Don't forget to click on the tab on the upper right of this blog and leave your prayer requests in the comment section so we can petition the Lord for your needs.

If you know of a service we should add to our list, please send an e-mail and share it with us. Live Sunday Services (all times Eastern)VIDEOFL-Potters'>">FL-Potters House International Fellowship, Tampa, 11:00 AM VA-Believers Covenant Fellowship, Vienna, 11:00 AMAL-Covenant Community Church, Birmingham, 12:00 AMNC-Church of the Holy Spirit Fellowship, Winston-Salem, 12:00 PMFL-Oasis Fellowship Ministries, Casselberry, 12:00 PMOK-Diversity Christian Fellowship International, Tulsa, 1:00 PMCA-Glory Tabernacle Christian Center, Long Beach, 1:00 PMWA-Living Water Fellowship, Kenmore, 1:30 PMCanada-Rainbow Community Church, Vancouver 9:00 PM

AUDIOCanada'>">Canada, Vancouver-Christ Alive Community Church, 10:15 PMFL-Beacon of Hope Ministries, Dunedin (Living the Good Life radio program) 4:30 PM
Video Archive
AL-Covenant Community Church, BirminghamCA-Glory Tabernacle Christian Center, Long BeachFL-Church of the Holy SpiritSong, Ft. LauderdaleFL-Oasis Fellowship Ministries, CasselberryFL-New'>">FL-New Hope Christian Center, PensacolaFL-Potters House International Fellowship, TampaGA-Gentle Spirit Christian Church, AtlantaGA-New Covenant Church of AtlantaNC-Church'>">NC-Church of the Holy Spirit Fellowship, Winston-SalemOK-Expressions Community Fellowship, Oklahoma CityOK-Diversity Christian Fellowship International, TulsaTX-The One Church, GarlandWA-Living Water Fellowship, KenmoreCanada-Rainbow Community Church, Vancouver

Audio ArchiveAZ-Community Church of Hope, PhoenixAK-Open Door Community Church, SherwoodCA-Christ Chapel of Long BeachCA-Christ Chapel of the Valley, North HollywoodFL-Beacon of Hope Ministries, Dunedin (Living the Good Life radio program)FL-Body of Christ Church of God, LargoFL-New Hope Christian Center, PensecolaGA-New Covenant Church of AtlantaKY-Covenant Community Church, LouisvilleMD-Kittamaqundi Community, ColumbiaNC-Revolution CharlotteOH-Emmanuel Fellowship Church, AkronOH-All Saints Community Church, CortlandTN-Covenant of the Cross, MadisonTX-New'>">TX-New Hope Fellowship Church, DallasTX-White Rock Community Church, DallasTX-Community Gospel Church, HoustonTX-Through Him Fellowship, HoustonUT-Glory'>">UT-Glory to God Christian Church, OgdenSouth Africa-Deo Gloria Family Church

Can we pray for you? E-mail

An Appeal to Help LGBT Youth

The Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center in New York makes a moving appeal for supporting his organization and others like it at Joe.My.God. here's an excerpt;

When I first began to work with homeless teens in the mid 1990's I met a gay boy who had nowhere to stay. We sent him to what at that time was the one youth shelter in NYC, Covenant House, a large Roman Catholic Shelter. The first night he stayed there he was placed in a dorm with about 15 other kids. After he fell asleep, the other kids in the dorm gathered around him and urinated on him to show their hatred and unwillingness to share their dorm with a gay person. I cannot tell you how many similar stories I have heard over the years, of LGBT kids being gay-bashed, humiliated and abused at Covenant House. Back in the 90's most LGBT kids felt safer sleeping on the streets.

I feel strongly that we, the LGBT Community, who call on each other to come out of the closet, have to be there to protect teens who come out only to be rejected and abandoned. I am very proud of the work that the Ali Forney Center now does to protect these kids and help them heal the trauma they've been put through, and help them rebuild their lives. We offer housing, food, clothing, medical care, mental health treatment, and vocational and educational assistance. We, and the many people who support us and volunteer for us become an extended family, who give these kids the love and support their own families cannot give.

Click here to read the rest of this essay.