Reading the Bible is controversial. GLBTQ people know this intimately, because the Bible has been (mis)used to attack us. Here's a recent post on our Called Out list:

A Dismayed Democrat Reads the Bible

Talking to theologian Marcus Borg about biblical errancy, the spiritual body, and the scandal in American Christianity

By Candace Chellew-Hodge

Candace Chellew-Hodge is the founder/editor of Whosoever: An Online Magazine for GLBT Christians and currently serves as the pastor of Jubilee! Circle in Columbia, S.C. She is also the author of Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians (Jossey-Bass, 2008)

Marcus Borg has a formidable reputation in the world of Jesus scholarship, but if you ask him to describe himself he’s more likely to say he is “a dismayed Democrat”—the result of years of surveying the militaristic, individualistic attitudes of so many of his fellow American Christians.

Read the whole article on Religion Dispatches web site:

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Finishing the Journey: Questions and Answers from United Methodists of Conviction, book from Northaven United Methodist Church, a reconciling congregation in Dallas, Texas

The Covenant Service of Linda Enger and Eleanora Piombino, a photo essay by CORNET
On Friday, August 27, 1999, Linda E. Enger and Eleanora N. Piombino of Houston celebrated their love and commitment at a covenant service that took place on the street in front of Bering Memorial United Methodist Church in Houston, TX.

Faith Journey of Judith J. WestLee, co-convener of Affirmation
Through all of this, I feel the close presence of God standing with me. Where will this end? Only God knows. And I will trust God to make the wisest choice for my life as I have done ever since that prayer for God to take my life. I have never taken it back into my hands.

My Partner, Myself and God: Two Women Celebrate Their Love and Commitment
RR and SS "felt blessed" when they found a chapel at a United Methodist camp that seemed perfect for their commitment service. They called to reserve the chapel for a private "spiritual union" on Sunday, February 1, 1998. The camp asked if it was a same gender service. RR says, "After I responded that it was a lesbian couple, she said it was the policy of The United Methodist Church not to allow same sex unions in their churches...."

Testimonies (About Their Statement of Commitment)
United Methodist clergy who signed the Statement of Commitment (now retired), that they will participate in same-gender covenant services even if it is against church law, share their individual stories about how they arrived at their decision.

Baptism: Gifted and Called to a New Year of Justing Love by John Auer (officiant at California Holy Union) , January 11, 1999
"I suspect many of us who may well be risking our orders as deacons and elders in the church and as clergy members of this conference are remembering our baptisms, fondly, this morning! We may need them more than we know!"

"Catholic Spirit" by John Wesley
"...Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may. Herein all the children of God may unite, notwithstanding these smaller differences. These remaining as they are, they may forward one another in love and in good works." (18th Century)

Ecclesiastical Disobedience: The Ugliest Word in the English Language (Covenant Services) by Donald Fado
"I cannot remain silent in face of injustice. I have a choice between two options, it seems to me. I can leave the United Methodist ministry, or I can protest. I choose the latter."

Gratitude and Hope: A Letter from Jimmy Creech, December 2, 1999
I don't feel defeated. I am now among the laity of The United Methodist Church, called to the same ministry I've always been called to honor, called to "resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves."

"The Word of God, The Church, and Jimmy Creech" by Russ Hawkins
"The God I believe in, the God whose Word I was ordained to preach years ago, and whose Word I have tried to be faithful to, is a God of grace, a God who rejoices in the celebration of new life, a God who embraces and reaches out to all people...." (December 20, 1997)

Antiphonal Affirmation of Faith by Drew Cottle
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in God, creator of the universe and of Earth, creator of humanity and creator of Love.

Sarah Laughed by Drew Cottle
Often, when we are presented with opportunities beyond our own imagination, we laugh and disbelieve. Sarah's laughter then is no different from our own now.

Betty Berzon. Permanent Partners: Building Gay and Lesbian Relationships that Last. New York: EP Dutton, 1988. Although a little dated, Berzon covers a lot of territory including legal and commitment celebrations.

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