October 31, 2009

LGBT Helping Hands 10/31/09-Fife House (Toronto, Canada)


To provide secure and affordable supportive housing and support services for persons living with HIV/AIDS.
Our Values

We believe that:

* Access to secure and affordable housing is a key determinant for the health and well-being of people living with HIV/AIDS.
* Our services must be provided in a flexible manner in order to meet the diverse needs of residents, clients and those who support them.
* Co-operation, collaboration and partnership with other service agencies are essential to the delivery of focused, cost-effective services.
* Principles of equity, access and respect of diverse communities are the cornerstone to helping PHAs thrive.
* The meaningful involvement of diverse PHA communities is essential to building and leading our agency to bring about positive and lasting change.
* Our research informs our direction through knowledge creation, transfer and exchange that lead to improved services that enhance the quality of PHA’s health outcomes and lives.
* All people have the right to live and work in an environment of mutual respect, compassion and dignity.
* Hope is essential.

Philosophy of Care

We provide our services in order to enhance quality of life, build on individual strengths and promote independence.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 10/31/09-"The Faith to Ask and the Faith to Follow"

Enjoy this sermon from Rev. Paul Turner from the Gentle Spirit Christian Church in Atlanta, GA based on Mark 10:46-52.

The Faith to Ask & The Faith to Follow from GentleSpirit on Vimeo.

SNN Recommends 10/31/09-Potters House International Fellowship (Tampa, FL)

Potter's House International Fellowship seeks to be the open arms of Christ to all people without distinction. We are an Intentionally Radically Inclusive spirit-filled church welcoming all God's children home. We stand together for the purpose of worship, fellowship, ministry, and evangelism.

Our Vision

Is to grow a lively, vibrant, cross-cultural, multi-racial, inclusive and affirming expression of the Christian community.

At Potter's House International Fellowship all are welcome at the table of the Lord regardless of gender, age, physical ability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, or socio-economic status.

Potter's House International Fellowship is dedicated to exemplifying the Radically Inclusive love of Jesus Christ.

We worship with prayer, preaching, and song. This combination produces an uplifting experience that will fill your soul to overflowing with the Love of God. If you are in need of the love of Jesus Christ; come to the Potter's House where the pieces of your life can be mended.

Lives are being changed and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is being lifted up!

Click here to check them out.

Encouraging Music 10/31/09 Coat of Many Colors by Shania Twain

Matthew 25 Resource 10/31/09-Boradway London

Our work at Broadway is helping to provide long lasting solutions in people’s lives. We want to make a real difference that lasts; it’s about helping people turn around their lives, not just changing immediate situations.

What we have learnt is that long lasting change takes time, even though we often need to act swiftly to help people in dire circumstances. As such our vision sets out a long term approach to our work, in terms of the ambitions we have for the people we work with in helping them to move their lives forward, the intentions we have for Broadway as a charity, and the competencies we need to further develop to make it happen.


Every person finds and keeps a home.


To support, challenge and inspire on the journey from street to home.


Personal - keeping the individual at the centre of all we do.

Committed – providing long lasting solutions to help people turn around their lives.

Creative - finding innovative and effective solutions.

Click here to find out more.

Obama Starts Delivering for the LGBT Community

President Obama made some of the moves this week the LGBT community has been waiting for since he took office. First, he signed the hate crimes legislation into law. Below is video from The Adovcate of his comments at the signing ceremony:

Then, on Friday he signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act and ended the ban on entry into the United States for people infected with HIV/AIDS. More here from CNN.

Daily Devotional 10/31/09 My Peace I Give You

From: Reflections

John 14:27, NIV: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

This verse provides comforting words for those who believe. My prayer is that each of us would gain a better understanding of the peace Christ brings. It is a peace that sustains the hearts of those whom possess it. But, it also provides others a beacon of hope. For as others see the peace of God in you, the Holy Spirit can use that peace as evidence to draw others to a saving knowledge of our Lord.

October 30, 2009

LGBT Helping Hands 10/30/09-Miami (OH) University GLBTQ Services

Our mission is to make the Miami community an open, safe, and inclusive environment for people of all sexualities and gender identities. We provide programming, support, and resources intended to raise awareness regarding gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) issues. Through education and conversation, we endeavor to eliminate homophobic, transphobic, and heterosexist attitudes and behaviors. As a unit of the Office of Diversity Affairs, GLBTQ Services assists the university in establishing an environment committed to diversity.

Drop by the office to chat, seek information, or just hang out. People of all gender identities and sexual orientations (heterosexual allies too!) are welcome. No assumptions about your identity will be made.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 10/30/09-"Moving With God"

We had the pleasure of meeting Rev. Tim Jainniney, the Associate Pastor at New Hope Sanctuary in Roanoke, VA at a conference in May and became Facebook friends with him. He recently posted a sermon on his page there and was kind enough to give us permission to share it with you here:

Numbers 9:15-23


We all know by now that NHS is about to move. Our lease will soon end and we have decided that now is the time to move on and not renew. NHS has been on the move before. From a home, to a rented room, to this sanctuary, and now, to where, we are not sure, but we are hopeful about a place. We are believing God to have His way and for His will to be accomplished.

Moving to any new location is quite a step. Our passage this morning will show us some dynamics of a people of God on the move.

May I ask today - Are we ready to move? But may i further ask, are we ready to move with God?

As God moved His children along in our passage, and as God is about to move us, let's consider three key lessons.

1. We Need A Sense Of God's Presence (15-23)
In Ex. 40:2, almost a year before our passage, God led Israel out of slavery, into what is called the wilderness. From that point, God would lead them by a manifestation of His presence, a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Ex. 13:21-22). This manifestation was present on the very first day/night of their escape.

Israel could not ignore a sense of God's presence, especially since it was so very evident to them, right before their very eyes. Nor should we ignore a sense of His presence to us.

We need to purposefully, deliberately, each day, as God's children place ourselves in a position to be in His presence!

Even in a day where we have technology at our disposal and experts in every field of life, and multiple resources... never should we ever abandon the desire or substitute anything for the presence of God.

How do we place ourselves in and turn our senses towards God's presence? There are many way we can do this.

-By not denying that God is with us. "Our God is a very present help in time of trouble." (Ps. 46:1)

"Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If Isay, Surely the darknessshall cover me; even thenight shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee." (Psalm 139:7-12)

"And Lo I am with you alway (all the way), even until the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20)

-By God's Word.

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Ps. 119:105

"I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved." (Ps. 119:47)

-By prayer

"He shall call upon me, and I will answer him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him." (Ps. 91:15)

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." (Jer. 29:13)

- Praise and worship

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." (Ps. 100:4)

Psalm 22:3 tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people.

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15).
As we recognize his presence, I love what Psalm 16:11 tells us, "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in the presence is fullness of joy; at the right hand there a pleasures evermore."

2. We Need A Signal Indicating God's Direction (17)
Our text says that when the cloud lifted, the people set out and when the cloud settled, the people would camp.
This was divine guidance. We see a repeated phrase (18, 20 & 23). I encourage you to mark this in your Bible... "At the Lord's command..."
What does this tell us? At the Lord's command they moved or they camped. God want us to be obedient!
God wants to control every movement of our lives. Where we live, who we marry/partner, where we work, all that we do!
Notice this... The cloud did not follow the movement of the people; the people followed the movement of God.

3. We Need A Spirit Of Mobility (20-23)
What is meant by this? When we realize that we are in the wilderness as the Israelites were, or whatever circumstance in life and the we are on the move, marching to another destination, the last thing we should have is a spirit or attitude of permanence.
Israel at one point wanted to return to Egypt, the place of slavery/oppression simply because they felt that experience was easier, that they had a place to lay their head, a place of permanence and provision even if were at the hands of their captors.
In this experience (their freedom) the had to be ready to move at a moment's notice. They never knew how long they would stay in one place. They just knew that they had to be ready when the cloud/fire moved and when it settled.
Likewise, we must be ready as a people of God and as a local congregation.
What lessons should we see in having a spirit/attitude of mobility?
A. Movement is inevitable.
- God has the journey planned out. He does not expect us to stay in one place. Did you know that the lack of movement is unhealthy? Israel, daily looked at the cloud/fire and wondered if this would be the day to move or camp. If not, if they were complacent, they would be caught off guard.
B. It is foolish to put our stakes in too deep.
-Again, at any movement...
- If our stakes are too deep or if we are too attached to where we are, we may never be able to move on in our journey. Or... we may never want to.
C. Knowing everything about the move is not necessary.
-Even though the people of Israel knew they were on their way to Canaan, they didn't know where their path would lead them on the way.
-God doesn't always tell us everything. He may take us on a detour like He did Israel (Ex. 13:17).
-Our steps may be rapid or they may be slow for whatever reason. God's timing may not be our timing.
-He may move us through unexpected difficulties.
Where ever his presence is, this should be enough and this is where we should want to be. It is far better to be in His presence than alone in our journey. Security!

-God wants to be present and completely in charge.
-We need to be flexible.
-Who is in charge of the journey you are on? Who is in charge of the journey of NHS?
-If you read, you will find that Israel spent 39 extra years in the wilderness because they tried to run things.
-May we (individually and as a church) follow God's presence.

SNN Recommends 10/30/09 (Just For Fun)-More From I Can Has Cheezburger?

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

cute pictures of puppies with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

Encouraging Music 10/30/09 Lovesong for a Savior by Jars of Clay

Matthew 25 Resource 10/30/09-Three Square Food Bank (Las Vegas, NV)

Three Square is the valley’s food hub; a central location where donated and rescued food can be collected and distributed. We provide bakery, produce, dairy, non-perishable products and ready-to-eat meals to non-profit and faith-based organizations. We also facilitate childhood and senior nutrition programs. We are a place for members of the community to meet, serve and collaborate as part of the food solution.

A national model project, Three Square is a community collaborative partnership with the gaming industry, businesses, non-profit agencies, food distributors, UNLV, the CCSD, governmental entities, the media and hundreds of volunteers to efficiently and effectively serve hope to the hungry.

Click here to find out more.

Interview With Judge in Texas Gay Divorce Case

Recently, we posted about a story in Dallas, TX where a judge ruled that banning same-sex marriage violated the equal protection clause of the U. S. Constitution (duh!). The Dallas Voice interviewed her about how she approached the case and how she has dealt with the backlash (hat tip to PageOneQ). Here's an excerpt:

“I was sitting at my dining room table and I was thinking, I’ve got to make this decision, I’ve got to rip this Band-Aid off and I’ve got to make this decision,” Callahan said, adding that she wasn’t struggling with the constitutional principle behind the ruling, but with the backlash she was sure to face.

“My dad always used to tell me that a billion people can believe in a bad idea, and it’s still a bad idea. And that man taught me to have the courage of my convictions and to do what’s right

— it’s always the right time to do the right thing. And as I’m sitting there and all this is going through my head, I’m looking at the back of this bag, and I went, ‘Oh my God, I just got my answer.’

“‘Let us have faith that right makes might,’” Callahan said, reading from the back of the bag, “and in that faith, let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it. — Abraham Lincoln.”

“I do my duty,” Callahan said. “That’s what you elected me to do.”

As Callahan concluded her brief remarks, fellow members of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas gave her a standing ovation, just as they had when she took the microphone.

"It's always the right time to do the right thing," now that's a keeper!

Click here to read the rest of the Dallas Voice story.

Daily Devotional 10/30/09 No Regret

From: Reflections

2 Corinthians 7:10, NIV: Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

What should have been sometimes escapes us. What could have been may cause regret. What would have been sometimes forsakes us, to blind us to what could be yet. It is unfortunate that many of us live enslaved to the past. Life is always ahead of us—what is behind us can become lifelessness. Mistakes made, heartaches, and regrets: they can be helpful teachers for our living today, but they can also be crippling if held on to.

October 29, 2009

Encouraging Words 10/29/09-"Be Willing to Start Small"

From Jentezen Franklin Ministries:

For who hath despised the day of small things?Zec 4:10

D. L. Moody became a spokesman for God and a changer of nations. But if you'd met him early in life you wouldn't have thought it was possible. Although he was raised in church, he was spiritually ignorant. When he moved to Boston he began attending a Bible-preaching church. In April of 1855, a Sunday school teacher came to the shoe store where he worked and led him to Christ. A month later, when he applied to become a member of that church, it was clear that he knew nothing about the Bible. One of his Sunday school teachers later wrote, 'I've never met anyone who seemed less likely to become a Christian of clear and decided views, much less fill any place of public usefulness.' So they asked him to take a year of Bible study. During his interview with the membership committee a year later, his answers were only slightly improved. He was barely literate and used atrocious grammar. Nobody on that church committee thought God would ever use him. But they were wrong. And the people who say you will never amount to anything for God, are wrong too! Every oak tree starts as an acorn. Jesus began in a stable but He didn't stay there. David was a shepherd boy with a slingshot but he became Israel's greatest king. Joseph was a prisoner but he became prime minister. Understand this: you are a seed capable of producing a harvest for God. So take all that you have and all that you are, place it into God's hands and be willing to start small.

SNN Recommends 10/29/09-Bretheren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests

Vision Statement

For our community we will:

* Visibly advocate for justice on behalf of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) people.
* Reach out to lgbt persons and allies who share a connection with Mennonite and Church of the Brethren heritages.
* Provide opportunities for lgbt persons and allies to nurture relationships, celebrate community, and build networks of solidarity, empowerment, support and care.
* Provide intentional support and advocacy for lgbt youth and young adults.
* Connect people with lgbt-positive theological and spiritual resources.
* Empower individuals and groups to advocate for justice and work for change.
* Acknowledge the limitations of our worldviews and commit to broadening our understanding and appreciation of human diversity.

For the church we will:

* Be a persistent voice for an open and inclusive church.
* Call congregations to be actively open and inclusive communities.
* Hold denominational leadership accountable to their denomination’s vision of social justice, expecting fair play, honesty, integrity, risk and courage.
* Develop denominationally sensitive theological, biblical and spiritual resources.
* Provide educational opportunities for our denominations and related educational institutions.

For society we will:

* Participate in the broader social justice movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people by building alliances with other denominational and secular organizations who share similar concerns.
* Responsibly advocate for religious practices and policies that support democratic visions and an inclusive society.
* Intentionally connect our experiences of injustice with other forms of social discrimination and commit ourselves to resist oppression in all its forms.

Click here to check them out.

Encouraging Music 10/29/09 Sing Me a Good O' Gospel Song by The Isaacs

Matthew 25 Resource 10/29/09-Our Savior's Outreach Ministries (Minneapolis, MN)

From homelessness to concentrated poverty to the marginalized immigrants and refugees... the inner-city is full of challenges and opportunities. For over 25 years, the programs of Our Saviour’s Outreach Ministries have been joining hands with our neighbors to address these challenges.

We provide educational services for adult immigrants and refugees – over 450 each year – including classes in English, math, computers, and citizenship preparation. read more

We operate an emergency shelter and transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness. Over 650 people each year find the encouragement and hope they need to get into traditional housing. read more

The engine behind it all? Our volunteer corps. Over 1,400 people each year come top serve meals, teach English classes, do grounds clean up – and so much more.

Click here to find out more.

National Resource Center on the way for LGBT seniors

From 365gay.com

The Department of Health and Human Services will establish a national resource center to help communities support and serve their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elders.

Through its Administration on Aging, HHS will award a single resource grant in the amount of $250,000 annually, depending on the availability of funds. According to HHS, the center will provide resources to LGBT organizations, as well assisting mainstream aging services providers in developing cultural competence in serving LGBT elders.

“Despite the many advances our community has seen, LGBT elders face significant discrimination from senior care providers, including in places where we are most vulnerable, such as assisted living facilities and end-of-life care,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “As more and more openly LGBT people reach their later years, it is incredibly important to ensure that we are treated with dignity, respect and fairness. We applaud HHS for taking this important step on behalf of older LGBT Americans.”

HRC and Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) host a collaborative forum on LGBT aging issues, available at www.hrc.org/issues/aging/. As part of the New Beginning Initiative, coordinat ed by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, SAGE has advocated for policy changes that would benefit LGBT elders. Earlier this month, the Administration on Aging issued the first-ever grant focused on LGBT aging to the Los Angeles LGBT Community Service Center.

Of course, the usual suspects from the anti-gay Religious Right have issues with this. From Holy Bullies & Headless Monsters:

Yesterday, the Family Research Council spoke out against Obama Administration plans to create a national resource center for lgbt seniors:

HHS has no idea how many LGBT seniors exist. No one does! The movement is only a few decades old, and people who are 80- or 90-years-old didn't grow up in a culture where it was acceptable to identify with this lifestyle.

Of course, the real tragedy here--apart from the unnecessary spending--is that, given the risks of homosexual conduct, few of these people are likely to live long enough to become senior citizens! Yet once again, the Obama administration is rushing to reward a lifestyle that poses one of the greatest public health risks in America.

These people no longer have a direct line to the White House, and statements like this are a reminder how important it is for LGBT rights to keep it that way.

Daily Devotional 10/29/09 The Former Things

From: Reflections

Hebrews 6:12, NIV: We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

We are told by Paul that if we are in Christ, we are a new creation; “old things are past away, behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). In his words and throughout scripture we find a principle of change that takes place, and continues to take place, in the heart of any who come to the Lord. We are encouraged not to turn again to the “former things” we did before we knew Him. But to continue moving forward--building on top of what God has made us--growing to maturity in our faith.

October 28, 2009

LGBT Helping Hands 10/29/09-AIDS Services of Austin (TX)

The mission of AIDS Services of Austin (ASA) is to respond to the HIV needs of the Austin area by providing services that enhance the health and well-being of individuals and the community in the face of an evolving epidemic.

In response to the AIDS epidemic, AIDS Services of Austin began in 1984 as Waterloo Counseling Center's Austin AIDS Project, and incorporated in 1987 as AIDS Services of Austin, a non-profit organization. We have grown from an all-volunteer organization to a professional agency of fifty staff, complemented by hundreds of volunteers and serving almost 1500 HIV-positive Central Texans each year. ASA is the largest community-based provider of HIV/AIDS social services and dental care in Central Texas, responding to the growing need for care and prevention.

Click here to find out more.

LGBT Helping Hands 10/28/09-The Black Hills (SD) Center for Equality

Black Hills Center for Equality is a community-based organization that envisions equality for all individuals regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. Our membership is increasing and our volunteer staff strives to bring you events that are unique and welcoming. We offer friendly familiarity, a genuine haven of support, and advocacy for our rights as individuals and as a community.

Mission Statement:

The goal of Black Hills Center for Equality is to provide the resources, education and networking necessary to enhance the lives of diverse groups of people, with special outreach services to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning community, and their friends and families. The Black Hills Center for Equality advocates for equal access by providing a safe and inclusive environment for all.


The Black Hills Center for Equality prides itself upon our no-cost HIV testing and counseling services for GLBTQ and heterosexual individuals. Our support group, Living Positive in the Black Hills, meets bi-monthly and offers information and services for those with HIV and their loved ones, family, and friends. Also, the organization works with youth, adults, and families seeking support, reassurance, and encouragement in their lives.

Click here to find out more.

Welcome to Midweek Worship 10/28/09

SNN Recommends 10/28/09-Equality Maryland

We are proud members of this advocacy organization in our home state. They have recently named a new Executive Director so we thought now was a good time to introduce them to our readership.

Equality Maryland works to secure and protect the rights of LGBT Marylanders by promoting legislative initiatives on the state, county and municipal levels. Our professional lobbyists and legislative team work with our allies in the General Assembly to shape and pass positive legislation in Annapolis and to beat back discriminatory legislation.

Equality Maryland's sister arm, the Equality Maryland Foundation, works to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against LGBT Marylanders through outreach, education, research, community organizing, training and coalition building.

* We act as an advocate for LGBT Marylanders.
* We aim to empower ordinary citizens to become extraordinary activists.
* We work to provide a strong and unified voice for LGBT concerns in the media.
* We will tirelessly toil until equal protection under the law has been achieved for all members of our diverse community.

As a non-partisan organization, Equality Maryland believes that equal protection under the law for LGBT Marylanders and families headed by same-sex couples is not and should not be a partisan issue. LGBT Marylanders are Democrats and Republicans, as well as Independents and members of third parties, and vote in virtually every county in Maryland. While few of us under the LGBT umbrella are single-issue voters, most of us do attach significant weight to the rhetoric and votes that surround the question of our civil rights. Therefore, it is vital to reach out to all fair-minded elected officials to seek understanding and advocacy on behalf of our civil rights.

Click here to check them out.

Encouraging Music 10/28/09 Mercy Said No by Cece Winans

Matthew 25 Resource 10/28/09-Alternatives For Girls (Detroit, MI)

Alternatives For Girls (AFG) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization located in southwest Detroit, Michigan, serving homeless and high-risk girls and young women. Since 1987, AFG has provided critical services to program participants, including safe shelter, educational support, vocational guidance, mentoring and counseling. The goal is to empower girls and young women to make positive choices. AFG helps them repair their lives, rescue their dreams and restore their faith in the future.

Click here to find out more.

Transgender Person Named Homecoming Queen...And It's Not a Big Deal

That's how the students at William & Mary reacted to the election of Jessie Vasold as homecoming queen. Here is an excerpt of the report from their student newspaper, The Flat Hat:

Jessee Vasold ’11 made history at the College of William and Mary Wednesday when ze was announced as the school’s first transgender homecoming queen, representing the Class of 2011.

Vasold identifies as gender-queer and prefers to be referred to with gender neutral pronouns: “ze” in place of he or she and “zir” rather than him or her. Vasold has also created a Facebook account for a female identity, Kathy Middlesex.

Friends suggested that Vasold run for homecoming queen. Even though Vasold thought that there was a good chance at being elected, Vasold said the win was still surprising to hear.

“We figured it would be something different for the school to go through, something that hasn’t happened too often,” Vasold said. “I was kind of surprised that I won because I knew the other girls running. I know that they’re really friendly; they’re wonderful people, so I was unsure.”

This year marks the return of direct voting by students. Last year, there was no platform to host voting, so the homecoming kings and queens were chosen by class officers out of student-submitted nominations.

The alumni website was used this year to choose the homecoming court. The alumni office had no oversight over the nominations for the court, which was a purely student initiative.

“I thought it was much better done this year because students actually could vote for who they wanted instead of having five or six class officers select who they think should be the winner,” Junior Class President Mike Tsidulko said.

According to Tsidulko, there is no rule against men or women running for opposite roles. Students who made nominations were simply asked to describe how the candidate exemplified Tribe pride.

“In general, most descriptions were about what activities they were involved in on campus or spiritedness at sporting events or any other kind of campus activity,” Senior Class President Alyssa Wallace said.

Those students nominated with a description were put on the ballot.

“It basically came down to nominations,” Wallace said. “Jessee was nominated, Jessee’s peers voted and Jessee won. That’s really all there is to it.”

Around campus, the reaction has been positive.

“I’ve only had people congratulating me. I know that one of my friends was in a conversation with someone who didn’t think that it was fair that I was able to run, because I’m not female-bodied,” Vasold said. “But it generated a really good conversation, so they were able to talk about a lot of different things.”

This is simply more evidence that the day is coming where homophobia and transphobia will be marginalized to an outer fringe belief and those that don't conform to what are now considered gender norms will no longer have to live in fear and cope with constant discrimination.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Daily Devotional 10/28/09 Be the Blessing

From: Reflections

Romans 15:29, NIV; I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.

In some of the quieter times of traveling to relatives' homes, God has laid on my heart a simple thought for prayer: The thought that I might be a blessing to others. It is then I simply ask God to help me and show me ways that I can bless those I will soon be with. Each day, we come in contact with people in some fashion. And each day we have opportunity to be a blessing to someone else. May God grant us wisdom within our traveling times to simply pray, “Lord, make be a blessing to others.”

October 27, 2009

LGBT Helping Hands 10/27/09-Life Foundation (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Life Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to stopping the spread of HIV and to assisting people who are living with HIV and AIDS. Since opening its doors as Hawaii's first AIDS organization in 1983, Life Foundation has been implementing innovative programs such as AIDS case management, school based AIDS education, the sterile needle exchange, peer support for positives, treatment education and peer-to-peer HIV prevention outreach.

In 2008, Life Foundation works with nearly 700 HIV-positive men, women, children and transgenders to insure they are receiving proper medical, financial, and emotional support. Life Foundation also offers HIV testing and counseling. All services are free and confidential.

Our Mission:
To stop the spread of HIV and AIDS. To empower those affected by HIV/AIDS and maximize their quality of life. To provide leadership and advocacy in responding to the AIDS epidemic. To apply the skills and lessons learned from the AIDS epidemic to other related areas of public health or concern.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 10/27/09-"Living Like You Mean It"

We hope you will be blessed by this sermon from Pastor Tom Millner of the Church of the Holy SpiritSong in Ft. Lauderdale, FL titled "Living Like You Mean It."

SNN Recommends 10/27/09-The Moderate Voice

The Moderate Voice was founded in December 2003 by journalist/entertainer Joe Gandelman as a personal weblog that would offer an independent voter’s irreverent comments, and serious analysis of events, issues and people in the news. A prime guiding principle was that differing ideas don’t give people brain cancer, so from the start TMV linked to Democratic, Republican, liberal, conservative and centrist blogs. It also put a special emphasis on linking to blogs written by “independent thinkers” of any (or no) party who sought to discuss issues and promote dialogue rather than hype specific candidates or repeat talk show (of the left and right) talking points.

Since then, TMV has grown into one of the Internet’s fastest growing and respected group moderate/centrist sites. And it hopes to grow more in coming years.

Click here to check them out.

Encouraging Music 10/27/09 When Jesus Says It's Enough by Gaither Vocal Band

Matthew 25 Resource 10/27/09: Harvesters: the Community Food Network (Kansas City, MO)

Hunger erodes the body and mind and wears away at our community. Children struggle to concentrate in school. Parents make desperate choices to put food on the table. Seniors compromise their already fragile health.

Harvesters is the community's response to hunger. By providing food we give sustenance and hope to those in need. We also work toward long-term solutions through nutrition education, hunger awareness and advocacy.

As Kansas City's only food bank, Harvesters is a clearinghouse for the collection and distribution of food and related household products. We've been helping people in need since 1979 by

* Collecting food and household products from community and industry sources
* Distributing those products and providing nutrition services through a network of nonprofit agencies
* Offering leadership and education programs to increase community awareness of hunger and generate solutions to alleviate hunger

Our network includes more than 550 nonprofit agencies throughout our 26-county direct service area, including emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, children’s homes, homes for the mentally disabled and shelters for battered persons. Our network provides food assistance to nearly 60,000 different people each week. Harvesters is a certified member of Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, serving all 50 states.

Click here to find out more.

Daily Devotional 10/27/09 For This Very Purpose

From: Reflections

Exodus 9:16, NIV: But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

Even as the words were spoke to Moses long ago, the same still echo today. We were created for a higher purpose. We are called with a holy call. From the menial aspects to the important, these words of God call out to each of us who call Him Father: “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

Teach Your Children.....About Same-Sex Marriage

From 365gay.com:

Gay-marriage opponents claim that we gay folk are trying to influence your children. In one sense, they are quite right.

We are not trying to “recruit” your children, if by that you mean “turn them gay.” As gay people, we understand enough about how sexual orientation works to know that you can’t turn people gay—or straight, for that matter—by some act of will.

Rather, we’re trying to do just what those scary “protect marriage” ads say we’re trying to do. We’re trying to teach them about same-sex marriage. In school.

There—I said it. The secret’s out. The gay agenda has been leaked.

Part of my reason for wanting this has nothing whatsoever to do with my support for marriage equality. I also want schools to teach about genocide, and I’m pretty staunchly anti-genocide. Schools are supposed to inform students about what’s happening in the world. For better or worse, same-sex marriage is happening in the world. Even if it is taken away in Maine, it will keep happening elsewhere. Indeed, even if it were somehow eliminated everywhere, it would remain part of our history. Students need to know this.

What a logical approach to an issue where the debate is often driven by emotion.

Click here to read the rest of the essay by John Corvino.

October 26, 2009

LGBT Helping Hands 10/26/09-San Francisco LGBT Community Center

Fifteen years ago, during the height of the AIDS pandemic, the Center was born from a dream for a better tomorrow. Since opening in 2002, it has stood as a beacon for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in San Francisco and beyond.

Today, when visitors arrive at the Center, they find free services like career counseling, job fairs, computer lab, social activities, mentorships, youth meals, daycare, various workshops and much more. Here they can connect with other LGBT people and organize to secure our equal rights. Our vision for the future is a LGBT community united by common purpose, celebrating our history, culture and diversity, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

The Center has active partnerships with over 70 community organizations, providing leadership that brings the community together. We host over 75 programs weekly and serve over 9,000 individuals monthly. Center direct services assist community members most in need.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 10/26/09-BCF Praise Report

We will be linking to the workshop Brenda conducted referred to in this note when it edited into shorter segments--it will be a blessing to anyone open and willing to make an investment of time to enter in.

For we are God's own handiwork-His workmanship, recreated in Christ Jesus, and born anew that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them-living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live." Ephesians 2:10 Amplified Bible

Greetings BCF Family & Friends!

Blessings and SHALOM fill you- body, soul, spirit, financially and socially today and everyday in Jesus' mighty name!!! This morning I was reflecting upon our New Testament scripture yesterday at BCF, especially verse 10 of Ephesians 2. I sense in my heart that the Lord wants YOU to remember today and focus on the FACT that He not only LOVES YOU, but also that you are PERFECT in His eyes, that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, that He has a plan and a PURPOSE for you existing- and as the text above says, YOU WERE BORN TO DO GOOD WORKS FOR HIM!!! He purposes for US to be, act like, JESUS in all of His ways! Acts 10:38 speaks of how "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and POWER and He went about DOING GOOD!" So from here on out, until Jesus calls us home- let's make it our life purpose to DO GOOD, even as our Heavenly Father is GOOD- to ALL people, where ever we find ourselves, and do it as unto the Lord in and FOR His name's sake!

We had a wonderful time in worship and in the presence of the Lord yesterday. Sister Lauren led our women's praise team (it's just happening that way) on her guitar, with Sister Linda playing her guitar, Sister Melissa on the piano, Sister Heather singing- it was beautiful and the Holy Spirit grabbed hold of worship and soared!!! One person commented afterwards that they heard angels singing with us! Praise God! I know that God LOVES our heart for Him! And when we pursue Him with ALL of our heart, we ALWAYS find Him!!! THANK YOU LADIES for sharing your gifts and letting God use you to usher us into the presence of the Lord! I am so blessed at your eagerness to serve the Lord.

We had a busy weekend at BCF. Brenda Johnson, of Straight Not Narrow Ministries, did an incredible workshop called "Healing For Damaged Emotions." It is a powerful and eye-opening workshop that can really bring forth deliverance in our lives. We have archived it on our website and will be breaking it down into 5 parts for the iTunes podcast. It is one of those workshops that really digs deep into our being, so if you listen to it- be sure to have your pastor handy to help you process things. You are ALWAYS welcome to reach out to us here at BCF and Brenda & Jim at www.straightnotnarrow.org. THANK YOU again, Brenda for your faithfulness and service to the Body of Christ!

Last of all, our Fall Renewal/Outpouring is just a week and a half away!

We are ready for the 95+ people who have said they are coming. People are hungry for a FRESH encounter with the Living God; People are HUNGRY to hear the Word of the Lord....and THEY WILL!!! Please continue to intercede for this weekend and for all who will be serving and attending.

The Holy Spirit has been saying to us, "If MY People- who are called by MY Name, will humble themselves, pray and seek My Face, and turn from their own wicked ways- THEN will I hear from Heaven and HEAL their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14. I believe the Lord is calling us to live a lifestyle of HUMILITY, and to be praying diligently- especially in tongues, and to determine to walk in obedience to His Word....like NEVER before! God is calling His People HIGHER STILL than we have ever been.

I am praying for YOU to have a revelation of how important this Word of instruction is for you, your life, and your ministry! And I know that we are all praying for one another to walk in the full power and authority of the Lord Jesus and to bring in the Harvest! That is God's purpose for doing all of this- to win souls for Christ! We WANT you to succeed in what He has called you to do! So, we are praying for you and LOVING YOU unconditionally! You are not alone- you have our support!

Have a wonderful day and week in the Lord, and watch for more BCF emails to come your way in the next few days leading up to renewal.

The Lord BLESS YOU and KEEP YOU and make His Face to perpetually shine upon you and give you His SHALOM- with nothing missing and nothing broken in your life!

In Christ's love,
Ap Dale

SNN Recommends 10/26/09-Philadelphia Gay News

The Philadelphia Gay News is the area’s largest and oldest publication targeted to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Started in 1975, we strive to focus on and promote businesses and populations within our community to engender mutual success. This includes publishing special issues to highlight areas such as marriage, pets and health, as well as tackling sensitive issues like LGBT suicide and homelessness.

As a community newspaper, PGN’s mission is to be a platform for the LGBT community to communicate with each other on all their various viewpoints, as well as to communicate with the mainstream/ally community. We promote the community within and without. To be that platform, PGN reaches out to, builds rapport with and listens to its readers and supporters — and its critics. We strive to make the LGBT community more informed about resources in the community and to educate the non-gay community on who we are. Like any group, the LGBT community needs a communications tool to keep abreast of areas of concern, such as health issues and legislation, and to celebrate our successes.

Click here to check them out.

Encouraging Music 10/26/09 "I Am Free" by Newsboys

Matthew 25 Resource 10/26/09-Homes With Hope (Westport, CT)

The Interfaith Housing Association dba Homes with Hope, a not-for-profit agency with an IRS 501(c)(3) designation, is a local grassroots response to the tragedy of homelessness. With a caring professional staff and the help of more than 400 volunteers, Homes with Hope assists people who have lost their ability to lead normal lives.

Homes with Hope’s mission is to provide facilities and supportive services in a structured environment that enable homeless people in the communities we serve to achieve an independent and self-sufficient life. We will accomplish this through permanent affordable supportive housing, casework and supportive services, emergency shelter, food and meals and the life skills training critical in preventing homelessness from reoccurring.

Click here to find out more.

Hate Crimes on the Rise in London

Unfortunately, the United States is not the only place where an undercurrent of anger is manafesting itself in violent acts against the LGBT community. From the BBC News:

Homophobic crime in London has risen by nearly a fifth, according to the latest figures on incidents reported to the Metropolitan Police (Met).

Last summer, gangs of youths attacked people outside gay bars in east London on a number of occasions.

In one incident, a 21-year-old man was paralysed after he was stabbed repeatedly outside a bar in Hackney Road.

Meanwhile, the recent death of gay man Ian Baynham, 62, who died two weeks after being attacked in Trafalgar Square, has thrust homophobic crimes into the public eye.

According to the latest figures, 1,192 homophobic offences were reported in the year to September, up from 1,008 the previous year - a rise of 18.3%.

'Positive sign'

The Met says the increase in reported crimes is a "positive sign" that police are "moving in the right direction".

It says homophobic offences are under-reported and the rise shows more is being done to encourage people to report incidents.

It's becoming more violent. People are being targeted and brutally beaten up
Dr Stephanie Eaton, Tower Hamlets councillor

But gay rights group Stonewall says there is no evidence that the increased reports of homophobic attacks are because of increased confidence.

A study by Stonewall, conducted last year, showed one in five lesbians and gay men surveyed in London had experienced a homophobic hate incident in the previous three years.

But it found that three quarters of those experiencing such an incident did not report it to the police. In fact, seven in 10 people did not tell anyone else about it.

"Over a third of respondents in our research didn't report incidents to the police because they didn't believe the police could or would do anything about them," says a Stonewall spokesman.

So the number of people experiencing homophobic crime could well be far higher than crime figures show.

Click here to read the rest of the BBC report.

Daily Devotional 10/26/09 In Every Bad Experience

From: Our Daily Bread

Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel. —2 Kings 5:15

When I rear-ended a truck with my nearly new car, positive thoughts did not immediately come to mind. I was thinking primarily of the cost, the inconvenience, and the injury to my ego. But I did find some hope in this thought, which I often share with other writers: “In every bad experience, there’s a good illustration.”
Finding the good can be a challenge, but Scripture confirms that God uses bad circumstances for good purposes.
In 2 Kings 5, we find two people who had bad things happen to them. First is a young girl from Israel who was taken captive by the Syrian army. Second is Naaman, the commander of the army, who had leprosy. Even though the girl had good reason to desire bad things for her captors, she offered help instead. Israel’s prophet Elisha, she said, could heal Naaman. Eager to be cured, Naaman went to Israel. However, he was reluctant to follow Elisha’s humiliating directions. When he finally did, he was healed, which caused him to proclaim that Israel’s God is the only God (v.15).
God used two bad things—a kidnapping and a deadly disease—to change Israel’s enemy into a friend. Even when we don’t know why something bad has happened, we know that God has the power to use it for good.

October 25, 2009

LGBT Helping Hands 10/25/09-Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN), (NC)

RAIN engages the community to transform lives and promote respect and dignity for all people touched by the AIDS crisis through compassionate care, education and leadership development.

RAIN will be recognized as a model for providing compassionate care and a leader for innovative and effective AIDS work that engages a diverse network of volunteers committed to putting faith into action.

We will aspire to integrate the wisdom and voices of those infected with HIV/AIDS in the planning and delivery of our services.

We will be a leader and educator among our health and human service organizations as well as faith-based and community groups, partnering with them on initiatives and promoting dialogue that seriously examines and deals with the spiritual and social justice issues connected with HIV/AIDS.

As a result of our work, we will inspire and empower more people to live, open more minds and help break the stigma of HIV/AIDS regionally, nationally and internationally.

Click here to find out more.

SNN Recommends 10/25/09-"Hitting Hard"

Amazon.com customer rankings: 2 0f 2 customers gave it at leat 4 out of 5 stars
SNN Ranking: 4 stars

For over two decades, Michelangelo Signorile has been among the most outspoken and controversial critics of American politics and culture. As a gay activist and journalist, he earned acclaim as the father of the "outing" phenomenon. Today, he remains one of the most widely read and talked about gay muckrakers. In Hitting Hard (Signorile’s first new book since his national bestseller, Outing Yourself), the author tackles the most heated topics of debate among gay people and the political left.

Best known as the columnist who invented the practice of "outing"—exposing closeted public figures whose actions damage the gay community—Signorile pursues controversy with verve and pizzazz in this briskly penned collection of essays and columns, many of which originally appeared in Out or the Advocate. Memorable pieces describe same-sex couples in the South; the difficulties of the gay rights movement in Italy; the eventful lives of "good buddy" (gay male) truckers; and the tough-minded high school student in Fayetteville, Ark., who found support first from his family, and then from GLSTN, a national organization that helps protect gay people in schools. Other, more polemical, pieces raised hackles on first publication. In the late 1990s, Signorile denounced a trend toward "barebacking" (intentionally unprotected sex) and, later, he caught gay conservative Andrew Sullivan soliciting such sex through the Internet. Signorile attacks the new pope for his explicitly anti-gay stance, parses mixed reactions to the coming-out of former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey, and warns repeatedly that AIDS and HIV are by no means problems solved. Less consequential politically, but equally important to Signorile's persona, are his writings on gay celebrities: two columns on Rosie O'Donnell show Signorile's swing from hostility to celebration as O'Donnell's stance toward her own sexuality changed.

Click here to purchse the book and read the customer reviews.

Matthew 25 Resource 10/25/09-Food Bank of Alaska

Food Bank of Alaska believes no one deserves to be hungry. We are dedicated to eliminating hunger in Alaska by obtaining and providing food to partner agencies feeding hungry people and through anti-hunger leadership.

A hunger-free Alaska.

Core Values
Customer Focus

Strategic Goal
13x13x13: Food Bank of Alaska will distribute 13 million pounds by 2013 in the 13 regions of Alaska.

Click here to find out more.

Welcome to Sunday Worship 10/25/09

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)
MI-Renaissance Unity Church, Warren, 10:00 AM
FL-Potters House International Fellowship, Tampa, 11:00 AM
VA-Believers Covenant Fellowship, Vienna, 11:00 AM
AL-Covenant Community Church, Birmingham, 11:45 AM
NC-Church of the Holy Spirit Fellowship, Winston-Salem, 12:00 PM
OK-Diversity Christian Fellowship International, Tulsa, 1:00 PM
CA-Glory Tabernacle Christian Center, Long Beach, 1:00 PM
WA-Living Water Fellowship, Kenmore, 1:30 PM

Canada, Vancouver-Christ Alive Community Church, 10:15 PM
FL-Beacon of Hope Ministries, Dunedin (Living the Good Life radio program) 4:30 PM

Video Archive

AL-Covenant Community Church, Birmingham
CA-Glory Tabernacle Christian Center, Long Beach
FL-Church of the Holy SpiritSong, Ft. Lauderdale
FL-Potters House International Fellowship, Tampa
GA-Gentle Spirit Christian Church, Atlanta
GA-New Covenant Church of Atlanta
MI-Christ Community Church, Spring Lake
MI-Renaissance Unity Church, Warren
NC-Church of the Holy Spirit Fellowship, Winston-Salem

OK-Expressions Community Fellowship, Oklahoma City
OK-Diversity Christian Fellowship International, Tulsa
TX-The One Church, Garland
WA-Living Water Fellowship, Kenmore

Audio Archive
AZ-Community Church of Hope, Phoenix
AK-Open Door Community Church, Sherwood
CA-Christ Chapel of Long Beach
CA-Christ Chapel of the Valley, North Hollywood
FL-Beacon of Hope Ministries, Dunedin (Living the Good Life radio program)
FL-New Hope Christian Center, Pensecola
GA-New Covenant Church of Atlanta
MD-Kittamaqundi Community, Columbia
NC-Revolution Charlotte
OH-Emmanuel Fellowship Church, Akron
OH-All Saints Community Church, Cortland
TN-Covenant of the Cross-Madison
TX-New Hope Fellowship Church-Dallas
TX-White Rock Community Church-Dallas
TX-Community Gospel Church-Houston
TX-Through Him Fellowship-Houston
South Africa-Deo Gloria Family Church

Can we pray for you? E-mail straight_notnarrow@yahoo.com