Make It a Great Year: Your 2021 Stewardship Calendar
1/6/21: A Reckoning of My Identity
Greater NW Pride: Inclusive Language: Update (Again)
Inclusive Language: Update (Again) When I was born, and during my early, formative years of life, the Bible that I read, and the society in which I lived, used words such as “mankind” and “men” as all-inclusive words. "Father God" was normal language. Even in 1969, the astronaut Neil Armstrong uttered the phrase on the moon: that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” And women were to feel included in such phrases. The idea of anyone being non-binary gender was not on ...
Paycheck Protection Program, Second Stewardship Letter, and More!
Greater NW Pride: Landmarks
Landmarks In a recent, year-end, issue of Portland’s alternative newspaper, Willamette Week, there was a review of the changes in Portland in 2020 since the arrival of the COVID 19 pandemic. New leaders sprung up around the city. New habits we have picked up (masks, anyone?). New issues came to the light of day that had long been hidden. And landmarks around Portland had closed. One of those landmarks is well-known in the Portland LGBTQIA+ community: CC Slaughters. Reporter Shannon Gormley ...
Greater NW Pride: Pondering
Pondering In the Gospel of Luke, the word, “ponder” is used twice in the first two chapters. The first time is when the angel Gabriel visited Mary, saying, “’Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greetings this might be” (Luke 1: 29). The second time was after Mary was visited by the shepherds who came with a message from the angels, in which “Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart”(Luke 2:19)....
Greater NW Pride: The Ten Year Anniversary of the Repeal of DADT
The Ten Year Anniversary of the Repeal of DADT On December 22, 2020, we as a nation, especially in the LGBTQIA+ community of US citizens, will have something to celebrate. We will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the repeal of the dreaded, awful, Rube Goldberg-inspired, compromised and compromising DADT policy in the US armed services. What is DADT? For those not familiar with this abbreviation it stood for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” It is an historic practice that was evil. A bit of ...
And the Winner Is...The Top Inspiring Generosity Posts of 2020
Greater NW Pride: On Being an LGBTQIA+ Parent
On Being an LGBTQIA+ Parent In 2007, my book, On Being a Gay Parent was published by Seabury Press/Church Publishing Group. It was a first in many parts of the publishing world. I wrote the book and hosted/wrote a blog with that name, simply because there were very few books in the world that spoke about being a gay man of faith, ordained as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), raising his children with his partner and the children’s mom in the same town, and living life fully as a ...
5 year End Tips for Greater Giving
Greater NW Pride: Gay Hallmark Holiday Movies and Me
Gay Hallmark Holiday Movies and Me While I was aware of the presence of Hallmark movies during the pre-cable days, when television merely had stations—yes, I’m that old—I’m also aware of the Hallmark Channel that can be streamed, with 24/7 viewings of Hallmark movies, along with Lifetime, Amazon Prime, Hulu, TLC, HGTV, and Bravo. The formulaic script for these Hallmark Hall of Fame movies are well known in our middle-class, white, suburban, straight, cisgender society. By and large, the ...
COVID Impact for the Long Haul
Greater NW Pride: World AIDS Day, December 1, 2020
World AIDS Day, December 1, 2020 In the rush of good news of three possible COVID 19 vaccines in the last week, the impact of such news is not lost among those who are alive and HIV positive (HIV poz). Indeed, many lessons about how to deal with this pandemic have come from dealing with the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s. Testing, contact tracing, and other preventative measures that have been executed during the COVID 19 pandemic’s early days are straight out of the book(s), articles, ...
A Thanksgiving Like None Other
Greater NW Pride: Calendars, Remembrances, and Thanksgiving
Calendars, Remembrances, and Thanksgiving I carry two paper program calendars with me from my respective homes in the Presbyterian Church (USA)(PCUSA) and The United Methodist Church (UMC). Each one tells me the holy days in the life of the Church, the secular holidays like Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, as well as the programmatic special days, like “World Communion Sunday,” “Youth in the Church,” and “Disability Sunday,” to name a few. On my iPhone, I also have a calendar that reminds me ...
Greater NW Pride: Role Models
Role Models In 1980, I went to Princeton Theological Seminary to pursue an M. Div. My call to ministry was somewhat split between pastoral ministry and an interest in how people with intellectual disabilities understood or knew God if they were unable to communicate using written or spoken language. Having been a music therapist, I knew that the young people I worked with, many who were labeled as autistic, knew the world through music, but not necessarily through spoken, let alone ...
Steal This Letter! Christmas Edition
2 More Reasons to Consider a Second Pledge Drive in the New Year
Greater NW Pride: Quitting Church
Quitting Church In an article this week on religionnews.com website, “Study finds that queer Christians quit the church twice as much as others,” Kathryn Post writes of a study by Brandi Woodell (sociology professor at Old Dominion University) and Philip Schwadel (social profession, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln), published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion that reports that “same-sex attraction, behavior, and queer identity is strongly associated with a decision to step ...
Patient? You Want Me to Be Patient?
Patient? You Want Me to Be Patient? Now this is patience. Peter Fischer@pixabay I want to know who the ignoramus was that said, “Patience is a virtue.” What? You say it was Saint Paul? And he said it a few times? Maybe not exactly in those exact words, but pretty close? Oops. My bad. Sorry Paul. And here’s proof: Romans 8:25 – But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. And then there’s Galatians 5:22-23 (which I almost hesitate ...
Patient? You Want Me to Be Patient?
Greater NW Pride: A Rushed Wedding
A Rushed Wedding The below post started to spring up all over my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts in the last few weeks. I lost count of how many times this message, or something like it, sprung up, with pastors, ministers, rabbis, and priests from all denominations and religions, including some retired bishops of both The United Methodist Church and Episcopal Church, some who never “showed their hand” about where they stood on marriage equality before, offering officiating ...
My Silent Witness, Four Years Later
Greater NW Pride: Two Dads Coffee, LGBTQIA+ People, and the Church
Two Dads Coffee, LGBTQIA+ People, and the Church Those who know me well will not be surprised when I write that I like to drink coffee in the morning, and sometimes into the afternoon, which I am currently doing as I write this blog. I prefer a dark roast, without half and half or sugar. Along the way I’ve collected mugs as well for drinking my coffee. And wherever I’ve been on pilgrimage around the world, I’ve tasted some great coffees, from Machu Pichu in Peru, to Spanish coffee in ...
Greater NW Pride: Pope Francis and the United Methodist Church
Pope Francis and The United Methodist Church This is not the blog I was going to post this week. But one thing that I’ve learned in writing newspaper columns and personal essays is to go with the flow of the news when big events happen. The other blog that I was working on will be great next week as well. The big news yesterday, October 21, 2020, happens to be Pope Francis making a pastoral move in the movie, “Francesco,” in which he says, on camera, that “homosexuals have a right to be ...