December 12, 2009

Coming Out Late In Life

An interesting article at

Howard Selekman knew he had been attracted to men since he was 8, but in his 20s he still planned to marry a woman and have children with her. When he brought his fiancee to see his psychiatrist, the young woman was optimistic, even though she knew Selekman was gay.

"My wife-to-be said, 'I think love will overcome the obstacles,' " he said. "And I will never forget my psychiatrist saying, 'No, it will not overcome all of the obstacles.' "

The next 36 years would prove his psychiatrist right -- Selekman never overcame his feelings that indicated he was gay. This year, at age 61, he finally divulged his sexual identity to his brothers, and "went public" through sharing his story on CNN's iReport.

Marrying someone of the opposite sex, but coming out as gay or lesbian later in life is not uncommon, therapists say. A prominent example is actress Meredith Baxter, 62, who had been married to men three times but recently announced that she has been dating women for the past seven years. The thought of being gay "had never crossed my mind," before seven years ago, she told People magazine earlier this month.

Women, more often than men, report having these awakenings later in life, said Chris Kraft, clinical director at the Johns Hopkins Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit. Males who decide to adopt a gay lifestyle late in adulthood generally have known about their orientation since their school years but do not want to risk telling others, he said.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Encouraging Words 12/12/09-Anglicans Speaking Out Against Ugandan Anti-Gay Bill

From the Christian Post:

Over 3,000 Anglicans are lobbying for the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion to retract a recent statement he made on the election of The Episcopal Church’s second openly gay bishop.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury has failed to exercise moral leadership to protect gays & lesbians in Uganda and has instead exercised political pressure to attack a bishop-elect in Los Angeles because she is a lesbian,” state the members of the Facebook group “Anglicans who want THIS statement from Canterbury,” which has recruited over 3,000 people since it was created this past Tuesday.

“As Anglicans who treasure their Communion and expect more from their Archbishop, in the Advent spirit of John the Baptist's cry to the religious leaders of his time, we call on Rowan Williams to repent of his earlier statement and issue this one instead,” they add before offering a three-paragraph statement addressing the "lack of outrage ... by the Church of Uganda" regarding the punishments included in the country's contentious Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Encouraging Music 12/12/09 "O Holy Night" by Celine Dion

SNN Recommends 12/12/09-"The Children Are Free"

Amazon rankings: 31 of 37 reviews gave 5 out of 5 stars
SNN ranking: 5 stars

We believe this in an excellent book for those who are beginning to question condemnation of same-sex relationships by the church. Jim used this as one of his references when he first came into contact with the LGBT church.

In The Children Are Free, Rev. Jeff Miner and John Tyler Connoley offer a comprehensive yet easy-to-read examination of the biblical evidence regarding loving same-sex relationships and God's attitude toward them.

In Chapter One, the authors lead the reader through a discussion of each of the six passages traditionally used against gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. In their friendly and authoritative style, they demonstrate how an anti-gay interpretation is a misapplication of these scriptures.

Then, in Chapter Two, Miner and Connoley turn our attention to the biblical stories and passages that affirm loving same-sex relationships. Did you know Jesus once met a gay person? Jesus' loving response is just one of the well-researched stories presented in this chapter.

Chapter Three asks readers to take seriously the call of Jesus to think more deeply about biblical rules. And Chapter Four calls Christians to action, making a connection between the conflicts in the early Church and those occurring within the Church today.

This book belongs in the library of any Christian questioning the role of Scripture in the lives of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people, or the role of GLB people in the Church.

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

Who Are The Top Gay Icons"

As reported by MSN, the winners are Elton John and Judy Garland.

Sir Elton John is the top male gay icon of all time.

The legendary pop star - who married his long-term lover David Furnish in a civil partnership ceremony in 2005 - has been declared the male most respected by homosexuals, while the late actress Judy Garland was named the most iconic female.

The male list was predominantly made up of gay men - including late Queen singer Freddie Mercury, British TV star Stephen Fry and 'Faith' hitmaker George Michael - apart from soccer hunk David Beckham, who is married to Victoria Beckham.

Meanwhile, the female list was full of glamorous female stars - including singers Kylie Minogue, Madonna and Cher - rather than famous lesbians.

Daily Devotional 12/12/09 Mary's Journal

From: Reflections

Luke 2:19, NIV: But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Tucked within her heart away,
While in a manger Jesus lay,
Mary wrote within her heart,
What all to her God did impart..

The hand of God was moving abundantly. We might imagine it was a bit overwhelming to Mary. But as the shepherds spread abroad the news, Mary "treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Many of us would be drawn to enter such things into a personal journal. Can you imagine trying to find the words to describe what she felt and thought?

December 11, 2009

"What is a Male or Female Personality?

That question is asked in an interesting essay from The Bilerico Project:

What is transgender? Well, there are two sorts who seem to be covered by the name, the drag kings and queens so good at portraying cartoon imitations of straight people, and transsexuals, the folks who report that from an early age they've felt themselves trapped in the wrong bodies. Despite the equipment they were born with that belies their assertions, they say they are really men or really women.

What does it mean to be really a man or a woman? Since it's not about genitalia, it must be about personality, and what, one asks, is a male or a female personality? Even straight people nowadays concede that some men are the warm, loving type that used to be thought exclusive to women, and some women are the strong, action-oriented sort that used to be thought exclusive to men. And lesbians and gay men have always known that people of the same gender can be very different from each other. Isn't it true that those we form mated relationships with are always complementary - even polar opposites - to ourselves?

Let me state it categorically. There is no such thing as a male or female personality. Personality is not a function of gender.

Encouraging Words 12/11/09-Prayer Is Just a Conversation With God

God wants to be our friend, and we usually enjoy talkilng over our lives with our friends.  We will never find a better friend than Jesus, yet we so often let time slip away without engaging him in conversation.  This article from Relevant magazine offers practical tips on how to avoid that:

Prayer—which is simply talking with God—is considered a critical aspect of faith. One prophet blurted, “Far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you” (1 Sam. 12:23 (TNIV)). Prayer is not some kind of pious decoration; it is the breath of the human soul. Unfortunately, some of us don’t breathe as often as we should—and it shows. 

Scripture exhorts, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Col. 4:2). The word “devote” is actually derived from the word “vow.” In other words, we should think about and commit ourselves to some consistent prayer rhythms. Yet, it seems so hard to do. There are reasons why we don’t pray. Some are valid ... some are maybe less so, but there are practical ways we can make our devotion a habit rather than a chore. So below are some common reasons people stop praying, and tips for how to overcome those obstacles.

Click here to read their tips to start praying.

Encouraging Music 12/11/09 "Shout to the Lord" by Cathedral of Hope Choir & Orchestra

SNN Recommends (Just for Fun) 12/11/09-I Can Has Cheezburger

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy 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

Rachel Maddow One-on-One with Ex-Gay Proponent Richard Cohen

In an extraordinary and detailed interview, out lesbian talk show host Rachel Maddow took on Richard Cohen, well-known ex-gay proponent, for his connection to the pending Ugandan anti-gay legislation and more broadly on his claims to offer therapy that can allow a homosexual to live a happy heterosexual life. We're particularly interested on your comments since we did not see eye-to-eye in our impressions of this interview.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Daily Devotional 12/11/09 God With Us

From: Reflections

Matthew 1:23, NIV: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.”

Perhaps it’s a good time for us to reflect on just what it means that Christ came to dwell among us. He came down to live among us, to save us from our sins, to bring us abundant life, and to live in our hearts eternally. Consider what this means: God with us. He is with us. Every day, and with every step we take—He is with us. And He has promised us: “…surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mt. 28:20). He is and will forever be—with us!

December 10, 2009

Rachel Madow on the Uganda Anti-Gay Legislation

Rachel Maddow had a very comprehensive report on the connections between this hateful pending legislation in Uganda and factions in the United States.  If you're not up on this story, this is the report to watch.  Hat tip to Gay Agenda.  Tomorrow morning, check out Maddow's interview with ex-gay proponent Richard Cohen.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Encouraging Words 12/10/09: Letting Go of God Because You're Gay?

From OursceneTV via gayandchristian on Twitter:

So many people in our LGBT community feel this same way as Jason Chan in his article “WTF is with the Conservative Christians.” Jason shares his perspective on the church, various denominations and the Bible. I agree with so much that he shared but I was really sad to read that he has let go of his relationship with God because as an atheist he feels more love for himself and his fellow man than for the man the Bible "told" him how to be.

Many people in our community have walked away from their relationship with God due to religion. They have been forced out of churches, youth groups and ministry positions because of their sexual orientation. Man’s religious judgment has produced a massive wave of people exiting churches - if not by force, then by choice. After all, no one wants to be a part of a church full of hypocrites and hate.

I am a Christian lesbian who is desperate to change the message being taught from our pulpits. I am a pastor’s daughter who attended private Christian school my whole life and spent five years at an Assemblies of God Bible University. I’ve studied the Bible for over 20 years and am convinced that God’s love will always surpass man’s understanding. Though men dictate church, God will have the final say of who is “in” and who is “out.” Being a Christian is not just about following rules. It is about a relationship with your Savior, Jesus Christ, who is desperate to tell you that you are accepted just as you are!

Encouraging Music 12/10/09 "He's Always Been Faithful" by Sara Groves

LGBT Helping Hands 12/10/09-Rochester (MN) Area Gay & Lesbian Youth Services

Gay Lesbian Youth Services of Southeast Minnesota Welcomes you to our web site.

GLYS has been supporting the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth of Southeastern Minnesota since 1992 in a confidential and nonjudgmental atmosphere that allows them to be themselves. The youth come from Lanesboro, Spring Valley, Zumbrota, Lake City, Plainview, Saint Charles, Winona, Cannon Falls, Stewartville as well as Rochester.

While the main object of GLYS is to provide support we have other activities such as volleyball, picnics, dances, bowling, coffee night, game board night and movie night.

Check out the links and news & events pages for scholarship and upcoming Q-Quest conference information.

Click here for more information.

Springsteen Announces Support for Same-Sex Marriage in New Jersey

We're not very big here with celebrity endorsements, but when Jim's favorite all-time entertainer speaks out, we couldn't pass it up.  Bruce Springsteen, still rocking strong at the age of 60, posted an announcement on his website stating his support for the legalization of same-sex marriage in his beloved home state of New Jersey.  That's why he's "The Boss," he gets it.  For many years, he has visited and pulled together support for food banks in the towns he plays in, but this is the first time we know of that he has spoken out so strongly for the LGBT community.  Bruuuuuuuuuce!

From Bruce

Like many of you who live in New Jersey, I've been following the progress of the marriage-equality legislation currently being considered in Trenton. I've long believed in and have always spoken out for the rights of same sex couples and fully agree with Governor Corzine when he writes that, "The marriage-equality issue should be recognized for what it truly is -- a civil rights issue that must be approved to assure that every citizen is treated equally under the law." I couldn't agree more with that statement and urge those who support equal treatment for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to let their voices be heard now.

Daily Devotional 12/10/09 Anger Management

From:  Reflections

Matthew 5:38-39, NIV: “You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, ‘Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.’”

It can be like a slap in the face. Someone takes advantage of you or cheats you, and does so without a care. It’s evident that you are nothing to that person. You are simply a means to an end. What do you do? The easy and quick answer is to stand up for your rights. Some will tell you that, “You have to look out for yourself,” and, “You can’t let people walk all over you.” But the wisdom of Christ says something different. Jesus tells us to “turn the other cheek.” He tells us, “vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” He tells us, “bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” About this time, something in my flesh may want to rise up and say, “But what about…” in this case or that? Am I willing to put aside my desire for vindication, and seek God’s desire above all? I can go to His Word and find direction if I am willing to follow in faith and obedience. I can find through Him a peaceful resolution that will ease my heart, and also bring Him glory.

December 09, 2009

"Lesbian Priest Reignites Church Storm"

From Rev. Irene Monroe's column at The Bilerico Project:

Since the 2003 consecration of the Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the church's first openly gay bishop, that set off a worldwide firestorm of reactions both positive and negative, the recent election of an openly lesbian candidate, the Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspool of Baltimore, as bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Los Angeles will re-ignite the storm once again.

Glasspool's election has already brought immediate concerns to the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. Issuing a cautionary statement in response to the Diocese of Los Angeles' election of Glasspool Williams stated the following:

"The election of Mary Glasspool by the Diocese of Los Angeles as suffragan bishop-elect raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole. The process of selection however is only part complete. The election has to be confirmed, or could be rejected, by diocesan bishops and diocesan standing committees. That decision will have very important implications."

Although Williams denounces anti-gay prejudice in the church, Glasspool's election is the prism through which we see the Episcopal Church's long-time struggle and history with homosexuality.

Williams candidly told the Episcopal News Service "changing the Anglican theological position on homosexuality would have to be based on the most painstaking biblical exegesis and on a wide acceptance of the results within the Communion."

And that acceptance won't come easy.

Click here to read the rest of the essay.

Encouraging Words12/9/09-Ohio Churches Support LGBT Rights Bill

From the Advocate:

The Ohio Council of Churches has endorsed a proposed state law that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

By a vote of 9-0, with five abstentions, the council’s governing body passed a resolution supporting House Bill 176. The vote was taken in late October, but was announced Monday by Equality Ohio, an LGBT rights group. The state house of representatives approved the bill in September, and it is pending in the senate, where it has been referred to the rules committee.

The vote is an “important and courageous step” that “marks important progress in gaining widespread support for fairness in employment, housing, and public accommodation,” Kim Welter, Equality Ohio’s director of programs and outreach, said in a press release.

The council includes Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic churches, among many other denominations. It joins numerous large and small companies, 19 Ohio municipalities, and more than 150 individual churches and pastors in supporting the bill, according to Equality Ohio. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Ohio chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management have taken a neutral position on the legislation.

Encouraging Music 12/9/09 "Because of Who You Are" by Vicki Yohe

Matthew 25 Resource 12/9/09-DC Central Kitchen

DC Central Kitchen began its first phase of operations on January 20, 1989, redistributing the excess food from the Presidential inauguration. The Kitchen is founded on the premise that when fighting poverty, one must fight to win by using every resource available. Be it food, money, or people, we at the Kitchen hate to see wasted potential. Since its inception, DC Central Kitchen has used the kitchen as a central location to recover unused food, prepare and deliver meals to partner social service agencies, train and employ homeless men and women for the food service industry, and intellectually engage volunteers.

DC Central Kitchen is not a "soup kitchen." Our cohesive approach to solving the interconnected problems of poverty, hunger, and homelessness has led us to become a recognized national leader in our field. As a community kitchen, we recycle over one ton of surplus food each day that would otherwise go to waste and turn it into 4,500 meals for the hungry in the greater Washington, DC region. Among the people preparing these meals are the students of our Culinary Job Training program; once homeless and hungry individuals themselves, these aspiring men and women are equipped with professional and life skills. DC Central Kitchen uses the existing ingredients of our society to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities.

As we continue to focus on long term solutions, we look to forward to creating a more sustainable future. By partnering with local farmers, small businesses and concerned citizens, our goal is to increase our sustainability by generating 50% of our own revenue, while shining a light on new forms of business as philanthropy. At the same time, we will step forward to advocate for an engaged and flexible non-profit sector as we face rapidly changing demographics and issues in our society.

Click here to find out more.

Does the Catholic Church Have the Moral Authority to Oppose Same-Sex Marriage?

Wayne Besen sure doesn't think so, and makes a pretty good case to support his opinion. In order to have people respect any moral authority you might claim as an individual or organization, your actions need to be above reproach and, even more importantly (especially for a religious group), follow the example Jesus set during His time on earth. The examples Besen point out hardly qualify. This failure only hurts the efforts of those sincerely trying to live lives in Christ's image and help others do the same, in part by fostering and reinforcing the cynicism that is evident in Besen's essay:

Next time a Roman Catholic cleric tries to degrade loving same-sex relationships, stop him mid-sentence and say:

"The Roman Catholic Church has no moral authority to oppose loving gay relationships."

Keep repeating this until the hypocrite walks away, head bowed in shame.

As far as I know, there has never been a huge, multi-decade scandal of gay activists molesting children. No GLBT community centers raided and shuttered. No billion dollar lawsuits against gay bars for abusing children.

Sure, one can always find a rotten apple, but the GLBT barrel -- for the most-part -- is stocked with the organic, red, shiny, healthy variety.

The same cannot be said of the Roman Catholic Church.

Daily Devotional 12/9/09 Doodles

From: Reflections

Psalm 8:9 KJV: Oh Lord our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!
 Are you a doodler? Do you ever remember a time that you really liked someone? Do you remember doodling the person's name while thinking of him or her? I'm not sure if I doodle because I like to draw, or daydream, or what; but I do remember many times I scribbled and drew the name of some special someone--block letters, balloon letters, 3-D get the picture.
We may have many or few loves along the way, but we each have one love who is our first love--that being Jesus. Have you ever found yourself daydreaming about Him? Do you remember times you sat and doodled His name? There are many things we do to worship God. To me, doodling His excellent name is just one very wonderful way, to use a pencil, to draw my mind to Christ.

December 08, 2009

"A Concervative Case for Gay Marriage"

A very refreshing point of view is discussed in this essay from the Providence Journal:

Conservatives shouldn’t just allow same-sex marriage. They should insist on it.

The conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks made that argument in a 2003 column, and the liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. recalled his words when he was in Providence on Nov. 8 to speak at the Central Congregational Church.

Dionne, who describes himself as a progressive Catholic, said he used to oppose same-sex marriage while favoring civil-rights laws protecting gay people. “I’m not going to say anybody who is against gay marriage is a bigot because I once held that position myself,” he said in an interview.

Dionne said he changed his mind because he was persuaded by the conservative case for same-sex marriage.

Welcome to Midweek Worship 12/9/09

Encouraging Words 12/8/09: A Church Helps Out Gay Youth Shelter in a Big Way!

When you hear the word diocese in the news in recent times, it is often referencing a lawsuit due to transgressions by a priest or quotes statements of intolerance, frequently toward the LGBT community.

This story is just the opposite. From the New York Times via QueerJohnPA on Twitter.

Since 2002, when he opened the Ali Forney Center, which helps homeless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, Carl Siciliano says, he has often witnessed the baleful effects of some religious institutions on some young people. He said he had regularly heard stories about priests verbally or physically abusing youngsters who had come out to their parents, urging them to suppress their sexuality and telling parents to disown their children.

So when the Episcopal Community Services of Long Island contacted Mr. Siciliano about creating a shelter for homeless gay youths, he paused.

But a $200,000 donation later, the charity, and the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, of which it is a part, helped create a new 16-bed shelter at the Church of St. Andrew’s in Astoria. The Ali Forney Center, which is named for a gay homeless teenager who was killed in 1997 and which has seen its budget cut in the past year by nearly $450,000 because of the economic downturn, is partnering with the church in operating the shelter.

Daily Devotional 12/8/09 By Faith We Understand

From: Reflections

Hebrews 11:3, NIV: By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
We seem to try so very hard to simplify, clarify, and reason things as such that they become agreeable to our own understanding. The familiar Proverb tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5). There are many things about God we will never understand, and yet we try. We try often to put God in a little box, so we feel comfortable in our knowledge of Him. Yet, it is “by faith we understand” in truth. Imagine how much we would truly understand—how much we could learn, and know—if we would allow ourselves to stop expecting God to teach us through what is visible, and allow Him to show us so much more through faith.

Encouraging Music 12/8/09 "Mary, Did You Know?" by Clay Aiken

LGBT Helping Hands 12/8/09-First City Network (Athens, GA)

First City Network, Inc. is a local, private, non-profit community service organization charted in 1985 by concerned citizens seeking a gay and lesbian positive community. First City Network serves as a forum to share strengths and ideas, stimulate personal growth and provide social activities. We provide national, state and local information and referral services for health care, counseling, education, advocacy and mutual support.

Click here to find out more.

December 07, 2009

Ten Ways Homophobia & Transphobia Affect Straight People

From Q Resources via Queers United

.1. Homophobia and transphobia force us to act "macho" if we are a man or "feminine" if we are a woman. This limits our individuality and self-expression.

2. Homophobia and transphobia put pressure on straight people to act aggressively and angrily towards LGBTQI people.

3. Homophobia and transphobia can make it harder to be close friends with someone of the same sex.

4. Homophobia and transphobia often strain family and community relationships.

5. Homophobia and transphobia can cause youth to become sexually active before they are ready in order to prove they are "normal." This can lead to an increase in unwanted pregnancies and STIs (sexually transmitted infections).

6. Homophobia and transphobia prevent vital information on sex and sexuality to be readily available in classrooms, medical offices, and other educational venues. Without this information, LGBTQI people are putting themselves at a greater risk for HIV and other STIs (sexually transmitted infections).

7. Homophobia and transphobia can be used to hurt a straight person if they "appear to be gay" and/or express her/his gender outside societal expectations.

8. Homophobia and transphobia make it hard for straight people and LGBTQ people to be friends.

9. Homophobia and transphobia, along with racism, sexism, classism, etc. make it hard to put an end to AIDS.

10. Homophobia and transphobia make it hard to appreciate true diversity and the unique traits that are not “mainstream.”

Encouraging Words 12/7/09-BCF Praise Report

"You shall decree and declare a thing and it SHALL BE ESTABLISHED unto you!
Job 22:28

Greetings BCF Family & Friends,

What an awesome weekend and worship service at BCF yesterday! We had a beautiful first snowfall of the winter here in the DC area on Saturday and it just made for a picture perfect day of rest for most of us! Then worship service was just wonderful as Sister Lauren led worship on her guitar, along with Sister Linda on her guitar, Sister Jenn singing, the praise team and the heart of the congregation reaching out for the Lord! THANK YOU praise team for your faithfulness and service to the Body of Christ- you are growing so much in the flow of the Spirit, and your skills are getting better and better, too! I am totally blessed by your heart and abilities!

Elder Brenda Johnson then spoke a timely word of exhortation, reminding us all that the battle (for our provision and breakthrough) is already won, the VICTORY over sin and death is already accomplished through our Lord Jesus Christ, AND it is our responsibility to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and continue our non-stop confessions and declarations of God's WORD over our lives and circumstances. The enemy would like to get us to become complacent and begin to neglect "so great a faith" by falling back into judging, murmuring and complaining rather than decreeing and declaring what our Heavenly Father has said IS SO about us, our health, our finances, our provision, the Church and ministry- it is up to US to continue to be the occupying force until King Jesus returns. RELEASE YOUR FAITH IN GOD'S PROMISES TO YOU WITH YOUR MOUTH!!! FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE THAT MANIFESTS YOUR PROVISION- AND YOUR MOUTH IS THE KEY!Thank you Elder Brenda for preaching God's Word to us! We are DOERS of the Word, and not hearers only!

Yesterday was also our Helping Hands Sandwich Ministry Outreach. Special thanks to Ferris for coordinating everything and to everyone who stayed and helped prepare lunches and then delivered them to the needy in DC. It was a cold winter day and the Lord used us to bring the warmth of His love and provision to many people! God bless you and PRAISE GOD for the opportunity to touch other people's lives!!

Ferris asked me to remind all of us that you don't have to wait for a planned day or event to prepare some bag lunches and give them out to those in need. You can do that anytime, and in fact- you should!! How about when you are preparing your lunch, make a couple of extras and hand them out to those the Lord brings across your path. He will bring them if you will be prepared! GIVE! If you have a need- GIVE! If you want to be a blessing- GIVE! If you want to be blessed- GIVE! Give what you have, give what you can- God will bless it and increase you to give more!

We are praying for you and thinking about each of you! May the Holy Spirit flood your life right now with a fresh impartation of the LOVE of God!
We love you and we are here for you if you need us, just reach out!

God bless you with His SHALOM- with nothing missing and nothing broken in your life!

In Christ's faithful love,
Ap Dale

Encouraging Music 12/7/09 "Go Tell it on the Mountain" by Ray Boltz

Matthew 25 Resource 12/7/09-Mid-South Food Bank (Memphis, TN)

Mid-South Food Bank is an independent, nondenominational 501(c)(3) Tennessee corporation founded in 1981 Mid-South Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the national network of food banks (formerly called America's Second Harvest).

Our Mission: To fight hunger through the efficient collection and distribution of wholesome food, and through education and advocacy.

Our Vision: A hunger-free Mid-South.

Our Agencies: Any 501(c)(3) charitable organization or faith-based equivalent in our service area that feeds needy and hungry people free of charge is eligible to apply to receive food from Mid-South Food Bank. Emergency food providers include food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. Other agencies are youth programs, senior programs, residential programs, daycares and schools.

Click here to find out more.

"Whom Should We Call a Bigot?"

This is an excellent question.  An exxay on 365gay by John Corvino answers it by encouraging us to use caution in tossing that word around, in part because it says as much about us as it does the alleged bigot:

“We all know what bigotry is,” a friend said to me recently. But do we?

I mean, most of us have experienced it, and we can point to clear historical examples. But can we define it, articulating what those examples all have in common? Or is it more like Justice Potter Stewart’s grasp of pornography: “I know it when I see it”?

As is often the case with controversial terms, the dictionary is of limited help here. The American Heritage Dictionary defines bigotry as “characteristic of a bigot,” which it in turn defines as “one who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.” Webster’s definition of “bigot” is similar: “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.”

Now there must be a difference between merely disagreeing with those who differ and being “intolerant” of them. By definition, everyone disagrees with “those who differ”—that’s just what it means to “differ.” And everyone is “devoted” to at least some of his opinions. That’s the whole point of having convictions.

So it’s not bigotry merely to disagree with someone: one must also exhibit “intolerance.” But what does that mean? That one wishes to silence them? Surely it’s possible to be a bigot even while respecting free-speech rights. Thus, for example, those who believe that the races should be separated are bigots even if they believe that those who disagree should be permitted publicly to say so.

It seems, rather, that to call someone a bigot is in part to express a moral judgment. It is to suggest that the bigot’s views are not merely wrong, but somehow beyond the pale. So the dictionary definition only gets half of the picture: it’s not merely that the bigot doesn’t tolerate those who differ, it is also that we ought not tolerate him. In a free society we shouldn’t silence him, but we should certainly shun him.

Daily Devotional 12/7/09

From: Reflections

Cor.6:19-20, KJV: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

It boggles the mind to think what can come in small packages: a diamond, a gift certificate, a Christmas card that says more than any material gift could ever say. But the greatest gift of all came down from heaven, wrapped in flesh and bone, lived a life of service, died on a cross, rose from the grave, and now lives in many small and precious packages. What gift could possibly be any greater?

December 06, 2009

Uganda Moving Forward With Bill Including Execution of Homosexuals

On the way home from work Friday I (Jim) saw a lone individual standing in the rain in front of the Ugandan embassy in Washington, DC protesting the law under consideration in that nation's parliment which, even in this day and age, could result in the execution of homosexuals. Please make as many people aware as possible of this potentially horrendous injustice to LGBT people. That lone protestor neeeds company.

Here is a story from PinkNews excerpting part of a strong editorial from The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. condemning this bill:

In a strongly worded leader column, The Guardian condemns Uganda's proposed law that could execute gay people or leave them facing lengthy prison sentences. The newspaper says that Sweden is right to suggest that aid to the country should be cut if the law is passed.

David Bahati, the MP for Ndorwa West in the Ugandan parliament, would not normally come to international attention. His name is becoming notorious, however, as the sponsor of a wretched piece of legislation intended to rile the west and torment an already suffering part of his country's population. Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill 2009, which is now before parliament, is unpleasant even by the standards of anti-gay laws around the world. Its supporters will decry any criticism as neocolonial interference, but the reality is that Uganda is being misled, not least by evangelical churches, some of which have links with the American Christian right.

The proposed law is more a rant against homosexuality and the west than a workable piece of legislation intended for Uganda itself. Much of it consists of a list of unfounded claims, starting with the statement that "same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic". Infamously, it calls for the execution of gay men found guilty of "aggravated homosexuality" – by which it means those who are HIV positive, or who have sex with someone who is under 18 or disabled. The bill may be amended during its passage through parliament to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment, but that change would be only a gesture to spare the blushes of Uganda's aid donors. If passed – which looks likely, since its sponsor is a member of Uganda's ruling party – the bill will continue to write hate into law.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

LGBT Helping Hands 12/6/09-The Albert Kennedy Trust (U.K.)

AKT’s Mission is:

To ensure that all lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people are able to live in accepting, supportive and caring homes, by providing a range of services to meet the individual needs of those who would otherwise be homeless or living in a hostile environment.

We aim to do this by:

* Providing appropriate homes through supported lodgings, fostering and other specialist housing schemes.
* Enabling young people to manage independent living successfully.
* Improving attitudes within society towards lesbian, gay and bisexual young people.

To support our work all our staff, trustees, carers, mentors & volunteers are committed to:

* Delivering flexible and responsive services centred on the needs of LGBT young people.
* Engaging, supporting and nurturing LGBT young people.
* Providing accessible, safe and positive environments that are respectful of difference and diversity.
* Pioneering and innovative services to meet real need.
* Good communication and participation throughout the organisation and valuing and encouraging the contributions of all those involved. Excellence and best practice.
* Working in an open and honest manner, where trust is earned and given.
* Working as a team.Challenging perception both internally and externally.

And doing the above with passion, energy and enthusiasm.
Why Support AKT?

The Crisis around LGBT Youth Homeless

Despite 10 years of progressive LGB legislation which has enabled young LGBT people to feel more confident to come out at an early age – the reality is that when they do they are still greeted with the same level of homophobia & transphobia at home or school experienced 20 years ago when AKT was established in response to Albert Kennedy’s death...

Facts from AKT (2008)

* 1,400 requests for support (to our tiny organisation across Manchester & London)
* 55% of the young people who contact us in London are in need of emergency accommodation. We currently cannot meet this demand for carer households and our service is bursting at the seams.
* 85% of our young people have faced some level of rejection by their parents just for being brave enough to come out and be who they are. Previously research has suggested only 14% of LGBT young people have been rejected by their care giver.
* Over 2/3 of AKT young men have been offered sex or been forced to offer sex to get a bed for the night

Many of our young people will not use mainstream provision for fear of homophobia or transphobia from other service users or even the service itself.

AKT has developed some trailblazing partnerships with: Salford, Manchester & London Boroughs & Councils and Housing Trusts such as Knowsely,Trafford & Havering; who support our work to ensure mainstream services meet the needs of LGBT people.

AKT has recently launched it’s ‘Making a Difference’ scheme – a quality mark which is designed to help mainstream housing and homelessness services provide a service which supports LGBT young people. This is a response to our recent research report which showed a disparity in service provision for LGBT young people.

Click here to find out more.

Episcopal Church Elects First Lesbian Bishop

From the Baltimore Sun:

The Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, canon to the bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, was elected bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles on Saturday.

The Annapolis resident is the first openly lesbian priest to be elected a bishop in the Episcopal Church, and is the first openly gay bishop chosen since the 2003 election of V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire brought a longstanding divide over homosexuality within the church out into the open.

“I’m very excited about the future of the whole Episcopal Church, and I see the Diocese of Los Angeles leading the way into that future,” Glasspool, 55, told delegates at the diocese’s annual convention. “Thanks be to our loving, surprising God. I look forward, in the coming months, to getting to know you all better, as together we build up the Body of Christ for the world.”
Click here to read the rest of the story.

Welcome to Sunday Worship 12/6/09

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."> name="WMode" value="Window">

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