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Greater NW Pride: Moving the Needle
Moving the Needle When I was first hired to be the LGBTQIA+ Advocacy Coordinator of the OR-ID UMC Conference, Paul, one of my close friends, said that my job was “to move the needle.” What needle? On the “gauge” of LGBTQIA+ justice and equality in life, on one end of the gauge it might read “empty” or “few,” as in separation or segregation and exclusion of LGBTQIA+ people, and on the other side of the dial is “full” as in all The United Methodist Church congregations in the OR-ID UMC ...
3 Steps Toward an Abundant Mindset
Greater NW Pride: Is God Gay?
Is God Gay? My answer, as the blogger, is yes. This is not the view of any official theological position of any denomination, including The United Methodist Church or Presbyterian Church (USA), which is the denomination in which I am ordained. And my response to this rhetorical question is yes. God is gay. Background. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the increased use of non-gender specific language in society and in the Church (universal) in terms of how we address one another. Many ...
Afraid to Ask? Give People Joy, Let Them Give
Preaching about Money: It's a Good Thing
Greater NW Pride: Recognizing NBHAD (National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness DAY)
Recognizing NBHAD (National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness DAY) February 7th was NBHAD, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. As Drs. Stephen Tang and Giffin Daughtridge wrote on hivplusmag.com, it “is a day to highlight the disproportionate impact of HIV on Black communities, to celebrate the work of Black HIV advocates, and to support Black people living with HIV in America. We also celebrate the efforts of our local and federal partners, the HIV workforce, and community advocates who have ...
4 Ways to Love On Your People for Valentine's Day
Greater NW Pride: “My Name is Pauli Murray”
“My Name is Pauli Murray” For over twenty-five years of my adult life, I lived in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. My Ph.D. came from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), in special education with a focus in the humanities. My doctoral studies were split evenly between UNC-CH and Duke University in Durham, NC. I got to know the “Tobacco Mile,” as the road was called between the two campuses, well. I lived in Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Pittsboro, NC. ...
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Greater NW Pride: LGBTQIA+ Young People and the Church
LGBTQIA+ Young People and the Church “When did you know you were gay?” is a question I am often asked in this work as the LGBTQIA+ Advocacy Coordinator. As I’ve said before on this blog and in many conversations in many church groups, I was either in the second or third grade at the time. I simply found myself more interested in young boys my age rather than young girls. Here was a pseudo-test for figuring all this out. Many people are asked when they kissed or wanted to kiss a person ...
Greater NW Pride: Symbols Matter
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 ...
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 ...
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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 ...