Everyday Blessings

Greater NW Pride: Symbols Matter

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Symbols Matter   Symbols and signs in our culture matter. They are indicators of what direction a people and a culture are taking. The difference between a symbol and a sign is that “a symbol can convey a deeper and more complex meaning than a sign. A sign is an indicator or marker for something very specific, very concrete and, in general, unambiguous in meaning. ... A symbol conveys a message of deeper meaning and is open to interpretation.”   Another way of saying it is that symbols, more ...

Greater NW Pride: Inclusive Language: Update (Again)

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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 ...

Greater NW Pride: Landmarks

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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 ...

Greater NW Pride: On Being an LGBTQIA+ Parent

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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 ...

Greater NW Pride: Gay Hallmark Holiday Movies and Me

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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 ...

Greater NW Pride: World AIDS Day, December 1, 2020

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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, ...

Greater NW Pride: Calendars, Remembrances, and Thanksgiving

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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

Brett Webb-Mitchell


  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 ...

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