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Marching On

Like a cosmic singularity, the jam was so tight and strong, so energetic and energizing, that it ended with a Big Bang. The movement really began when the marchlesss marches ended, after the long waits at crowded subway stations. We got home, turned on our screens and gazed awestruck at the images of ourselves standing shoulder-to-shoulder, filling squares and boulevards and bridges, spilling into side-streets. Now we move from protest into organized, long-term activism to stop the inhumane, immoral, and unpopular agenda of Trump and the Republicans.

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A Taste of Embrace Festival, 2017

In May 2017, people from all over the world will gather in Portland, Oregon to share knowledge and wisdom, learn from each other, celebrate, be inspired, and find the tools needed to create and enliven local movements within our communities. Together we will explore sacred oneness, Christ consciousness, eco-spirituality, social justice and the way of universal and personal transformation that honors the Divine in all.

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Bishop Eddie Long’s cautionary tale about homophobia

When news hit the airwaves that Bishop Eddie Long died from an unnamed aggressive cancer resulting in dramatic weight lost, many now throughout the Black Church community wonder if his death was due to HIV/AIDS, and he was too embarrassed to admit it or seek medical care until it was too late.

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Pope Francis Needs His Gay Priests

To the shock of many of us LGBTQ people of faith is the Vatican’s recent decision in the document “The Gift of Priestly Vocation,” to ban gays to the priesthood; thus, reaffirming it’s 2005 stance.

Those of us who have “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” or who “support the so-called ‘gay culture’” are categorically denied to serve one of the church’s most revered and respected posts.

And to know that Pope Francis, our LGBTQ pope- friendly pontiff, approved the document have many of us in disbelief.

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Religion and Politics

We have tried to remain within the theological-only realm as we co-create what being a progressive Christian means in today’s world. However, as you can see from even our older versions of The 8 Points, three of the main points of progressive Christianity have been about the importance of social justice, inclusion and environmental stewardship. Clearly those values are broad umbrellas and with our recent political arena being what it is we are finding that the issues at hand are directly affecting the rights of human beings everywhere and threatening both social justice/equality and inclusion as well as the protection and restoration of our Earth.

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War on Christmas Continues

More than a decade now, when this holiday season rolls around we can always count on a yearly kerfuffle about what the appropriated season’s greeting should be, exemplifying the continued chapter in the culture “War on Christmas.”

This year we can see the divide between both religious and political party lines.

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A Contemplative Approach to Social Change in our Post-Election Reality

In our post-election reality, there is one part of contemplative practices that I resist the most. I tend to stay in liberal bubbles, lamenting the lack of connection and sensitivity demonstrated by one political party. I default to mourning the dignity that was stripped from many during the Trump/Pence campaign- from minorities of color, to persons of different national origins, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.

It is part of my faith to stand in these convictions. Recalling that Jesus put his life on the line for the marginalized and oppressed, my faith is made real in the world today by the same means.

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The Election: Of Hate, Grief, and a New Story

Normal is coming unhinged. For the last eight years it has been possible for most people (at least in the relatively privileged classes) to believe that society is sound, that the system, though creaky, basically works, and that the progressive deterioration of everything from ecology to economy is a temporary deviation from the evolutionary imperative of progress.

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The Peace That Starts in Your Mind

As progressives try to process the election of Donald Trump and we face the prospects of a ban on Muslim immigrants, the deportation of millions of undocumented Latinos, and appointments to the Supreme Court that could bring an end to legal same sex marriage and abortion, we look for a way through our disappointment, anger, fear, and grief, to find a path into moral leadership.

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“Stay Woke” this Thanksgiving!

***“Get woke” and “Stay woke” refers to being aware of what’s going on around you in regards to racism and social injustice issues. “Woke” is the past tense of “wake,” and it refers to waking up to what’s going on around us.

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Love and Violence in Black LGBTQ Communities

In 2016 many black churches are woefully far behind the country’s acceptance of LGBTQ Americans. These places of worship are still spewing homophobic rhetoric from their bully pulpits. And unfortunately, some LGBTQ victims of IPV have internalized the church’s message they are an abomination to God and therefore deserved to be abused, flogged and beaten.

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CalledOUT Response on Judicial Council Rulings

  In a week where United Methodist LGBTQI persons have been tokenized through the announcement of the Council of Bishops’ Special Commission on “A Way Forward,” we are not surprised, but are nonetheless harmed once again by …

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United Methodist Queer Clergy Respond to Naming of Special Commission

We speak as a collective voice with the authority of those who are called and claimed by a God whose love knows no bounds; as those whose Commissioning and Ordination have been affirmed by the Church: we …

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“LGBTQI Clergy Call UM “Way Forward” Commission Backward”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Rev. Alex da Silva Souto, alex.souto@nyac-umc.com, 415-706-5397 “LGBTQI Clergy Call UM “Way Forward” Commission Backward” October 26, 2016—On Monday, the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church announced the membership of the …

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Halloween: Our American LGBTQ Holiday

Halloween is America’s gay holiday.

In the words of the lesbian poet and scholar Judy Grahn, Halloween is “the great gay holiday.”

And this weekend of lavish costumed theatricality will attract everyone, but especially lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) revelers.

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Baptize these others in the name of the “Father.”

That word must not be thought of as the name of some external deity, but rather as the name of the Source of Life that inhabits the universe, calling us all to live fully. Baptize, too, in the name of the “Son.” That word must not be seen as the name of the founder of an exclusive religious system, but the name of the Source of Love, which embraces us all and then frees us to love wastefully, to love beyond every barrier. Baptize them in the name of the “Holy Spirit.” Those two words are not another name for God, but are rather the name of the Ground of Being, in whom we all are related and in which we find not only the courage to be all that we can be, but also, perhaps even more important, the courage to allow others to be all that they can be in the infinite variety of our humanity. The human community contains people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, ages, political persuasions and economic statuses. The call of God to us to be all that we can be is also the call to rejoice in the very being of all others. That is what forms the universal community of which the church is but a symbol; indeed, to build the universal community is the ultimate goal of the Christian church, and in the achievement of that goal the church itself will finally be dissolved.”

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US Senator & VP candidate says Catholic Church could change on marriage

US Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, a practicing Catholic, spoke on Saturday at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual dinner, at which he said he thought the Church might change its mind on same-sex couples marrying the way he had changed his own mind on the issue. The Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson reports that Kaine recounted that “as a result of his Catholic faith, he had a ‘difficult time with the idea of same-sex marriage,” but that changed during debate over an anti-marriage constitutional amendment campaign, which passed with 57 percent of the vote over his opposition.

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Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People

In Accidental Saints”, New York Times best-selling au­thor Nadia Bolz-Weber invites readers into a surprising encounter with what she calls “a religious but not-so-spiritual life.” Tattooed, angry and profane, this former standup comic turned pastor stubbornly, sometimes hilariously, resists the God she feels called to serve. But God keeps showing up in the least likely of people—a church-loving agnostic, a drag queen, a felonious Bishop and a gun-toting member of the NRA.

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