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Borders, Boundaries, and Blessings: LGBTQ Lives Across the Globe

Borders, Boundaries, and Blessings: LGBTQ Lives Across the Globe

September 21, 2015 | As we consider the ways LGBTQ lives might be deconstructing borders and boundaries while at the same time bearing witness to blessing in a new way, we must also name and internalize the ways that LGBTQ are brutalized and demoralized around the world... And yet, and yet, and yet, LGBTQ lives are building alliances, challenging laws, forming relationships, engaging houses of theology and re-imagining for their communities what it means to be fully human, what it means to be loved by God. Read more »

Landscape and Soundscape: Border Crossing through Song

Landscape and Soundscape: Border Crossing through Song

September 16, 2015 | While I certainly travel more than my share, crossing physical boarders is not the subject of this reflection. Most of my vocation centers on bringing the sung witness – the soundscape – of others beyond the United States into our worship landscape in the United States. At first glance, this might seem insignificant or even trivial, especially in light of the suffering and struggle of so many around the world. While I am not suggesting that singing can solve the world’s problems, I have found that song has the potential to bring the witness of the “other” – strangers, sojourners, marginalized peoples – into to our comfortable landscape. In doing so, we may open our awareness to the gift of the “other” among us and, as stated in Matthew 25, recognize that we have welcomed the “Other” into our midst. Read more »

I Have Killed One Thousand Men

I Have Killed One Thousand Men

September 10, 2015 | Let’s return to Samson’s killing thousands of Philistines. Isis’ slaughter is nothing new. People acting with deep faith and in the name of God have caused immense bloodshed across the ages. Once again a quick label of “terrorism” glosses over a deeper understanding. So much of the Promised Land is still marked by the ruins of castles and walls built by Christians to keep “them” out our built by “them” to keep us out... The peril of faith is never with God. The peril of faith rests in those who believe. While Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, Samson turns this on its head saying “I will do to them as they did to me.”  Read more »

Challenging White Supremacy: The #UnitedWeFight Week in Ferguson

Challenging White Supremacy: The #UnitedWeFight Week in Ferguson

September 9, 2015 | I remember being in the living room of the Amen House in St. Louis on August 7 when I heard about 19-year-old Christian Taylor’s murder in Texas. We had come together to resist the systems that enabled these kind of injustices, but became re-traumatized by another report of a young Black man’s death at the hands of an agent of the state. Our wounds are raw. I find myself in a constant state of pain each time I hear of another black person killed by police or white vigilantes; it is scary to realize I am living in a country that doesn’t value black lives. Read more »

Notes on Becoming an LGBT Advocate

Notes on Becoming an LGBT Advocate

September 7, 2015 | In high school in Port Neches, TX, I was the proverbial nerd, straight-A student. I didn’t realize at the time that I was gay, but I saw the issue of difference as the school photographer. Riding the band bus to football games, I was told to not sit next to someone because he was suspected of being a homosexual people would suspect me of being the same if I sat with him. In 1970 I left for college at MIT in Cambridge, MA. That freshman year, I came out to myself as gay. I sought help from the student counseling center where the psychiatrist with whom I was speaking thought I should “try a girl” to see if I might not be heterosexual. Read more »

Borders and Ministry to Immigrants

Borders and Ministry to Immigrants

August 31, 2015 | My entire life has been one of crossing borders between the United States and Mexico. It started in 1978, when I came to the USA as an exchange student. I was barely 15 years old. Living in the United States at such a young age and far, far away from my family, became my first great multicultural experience. I met people from ethnic groups totally different from mine; I tasted food I had never even seen before; I heard new music and read new books; I wore clothes I did not even know existed. Who would have thought you need so many layers of clothes to endure the frigid winters of the Northeast? Coraopolis, PA became the locus through which I was able to look at Mexico, my home country, and see it in a new light. I learned to see it with eyes of love; a love that was not blind, but was even yet passionate. Read more »

Las fronteras y el ministerio a los inmigrantes

Las fronteras y el ministerio a los inmigrantes

August 31, 2015 | Mi vida entera ha sido una historia de cruzar fronteras. Comenzó en 1978 con una experiencia vital: el venir a los Estados Unidos a participar en un programa de intercambio estudiantil cuando tenía 15 años de edad. Vivir en los Estados Unidos tan joven y lejos de mi familia se convirtió en mi primera gran experiencia multicultural. Conocí a personas de grupos étnicos diferentes al mío; probé comidas que nunca había probado; escuché música y leí libros nuevos; vestí, incluso, ropa que jamás había vestido. ¿Quién habría dicho que se necesitaban tantas capas de ropa para soportar el gélido frío del noreste del país? Coraopolis, PA se convirtió en un nuevo punto de enfoque a partir del cual pude echar una mirada a la realidad de mi propio país natal, México, al que aprendí a ver con un amor más inteligente y al mismo tiempo más apasionado. Read more »

The Holiest Experience: A Reflection from Ferguson

The Holiest Experience: A Reflection from Ferguson

August 26, 2015 | I did not have to think too long about the opportunity to be around a group of like-minded people who had been doing the work for black liberation for over a year now. Not that I didn’t consider the risks – I knew that these same people had been facing fully armed police officers, tear gas, mace, and other psychological trauma that still effects them today... When people ask about my experience in Ferguson, I tell them it was the holiest experience of my life, and it was. I felt like I was putting feet on my faith, doing what Jesus has long commanded us to do. To fight with and for the oppressed. What I have carried with me every day since are the people that I met in St. Louis and Ferguson. Read more »

Crossing My

Crossing My "Red Rover" Zone

August 24, 2015 | In 2011, my friend told me our neighbor had kicked out their high school son because he could not successfully complete a program to help him “leave homosexuality,” and not be gay. Upon hearing that story, [my husband] Mark and I were moved to address the need for education and information regarding diverse human sexuality and gender identity, starting in our own neighborhood. We opened our home to persons interested in understanding their LGBTQ sibling, former spouse, child, parent, friend or their own LGBTQ identity. Because so much hate speech comes from faith communities, I called the group Another Story, realizing that something needed to be told other than what so many churches were telling. Read more »


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