Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bishops Speak Out on Marriage Equality

Yesterday the Diocese of Los Angeles hosted the California Faith for Equality press conference announcing the filing of an amicus brief supporting the return of marriage equality to California.

Today the Episcopal News Service filed a great feature piece on the event ... and California Faith for Equality posted video of the press conference in its entirety up on YouTube.

Here's "Part One" ...

... you can find Parts Two & Three on the California Faith for Equality website!

And do consider taking a minute to click here and email our bishops and thank them for their strong, prophetic and supportive stand for liberty and justice for all!

October 20 was Spirit Day: Showing Solidarity Against Anti-Gay Bullying

"Purple is the color of choice on Facebook today, as millions of users show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens."

From the local NBC4 news last night: coverage of the California Faith for Equality press conference held at the Cathedral Center in this segment on "Spirit Day" and ending anti-LGBT bullying.

View more news videos at:

Friday, October 15, 2010

"It Gets Better"

Two Episcopal contributions to the "It Gets Better" campaign offering messages of hope to conquer homophobia and reach out to at risk youth. For others, visit the "Episcopalians 'Believe Out Loud'" site created by Integrity USA.

Monday, October 11, 2010

"It Gets Better" ...

... a message from LGBT Program Group chair, Susan Russell

It's called the "It Gets Better" project and it's a YouTube based campaign in support of youth facing homophobic bullying, harassment and thoughts of suicide. Saturday I got this email:
Faith voices – clergy in particular – are strongly encouraged to get involved in this campaign to illustrate the love that is available to the LGBTQ teens from the affirming religious community.
And so on Sunday I recorded this message -- which is still finding its way to YouTube: (stay tuned for "film at eleven!")


I’m the Reverend Susan Russell, a priest and pastor from Pasadena, California and I’m here to tell you that “It gets better.“

There are lots of voices out there right now bringing that same message and if you are a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning teen I hope you are hearing them and I hope you know that no matter how alone you might feel, you are NOT alone and there is a community that wants to support you in the tough times and celebrate with you in the good times.

And as a priest and pastor I want you to know that anybody who tells you that God condemns you is wrong.

And if anybody says to you “But the Bible says …” I want you to remember this: God gave us the Bible as a tool for us to live our lives -- not as a weapon to beat up other people – and history is full of people who were wrong about what the Bible says … using it to support slavery, to oppress women and to condemn Galileo for discovering that the earth revolved around the sun instead other way around.

And it turns out that the same people who were wrong about what the Bible said about slavery, about women’s equality and about astronomy are wrong about what the Bible says about homosexuality.

Jesus said love your neighbor – not love you neighbor unless your neighbor is gay.

Homosexuality doesn’t grieve the heart of God – homophobia does. Bullying does. Violence against any beloved child of God does.

And you are a beloved child of God. Created in God’s image exactly as God intended you to be.

God who doesn’t just want your life to get better – God wants your life to get fabulous! And I didn't always know that.

Growing up trying to figure out who I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to do wasn't easy and I didn't always get it right. But it got better. And now I'm married to a wonderful woman who is the love of my life, I am a priest and pastor in an amazing church and my life didn't just get better -- it got fabulous. And so can yours.

If you need help believing that, reach out. To the Trevor Project. To a Believe Out Loud church. To my church -- All Saints Church in Pasadena. And remember that God loves you beyond your wildest imaginings and wants you to be exactly who God created you to be.

Believe that promise. Know that God loves you and we are here for you – and grow up to be the best “you” you can be. It DOES get better! God bless!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Litany for children at risk from bullying

With thanks to Maria Evans for sharing this litany for children at
risk and with prayers for all victims of bullying, harassment and oppression.
A Litany for children at risk from bullying --by Maria L. Evans

O God of justice and mercy, we pray that no more daughters and sons in this world die as the result of bullying simply because of who they are; be it race, religion, sexual orientation, or social awkwardness. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

That our schools become places of nurturing and hope rather than shame and derision. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

That our teachers instill values of charity and acceptance in all children so there is no need for one child to feel superior over another. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

That parents can put aside what they were sometimes taught, in order to promote tolerance and diversity at home. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

That our communities support children who feel “different from the others” and show them lives that are theirs to claim, lives they cannot begin to imagine to see at home. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

That all children can grow up feeling self-empowered and truly loved simply as themselves, and not suffer beatings and psychological abuse at home or school. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

O Lord, you understand this above all others, for your only Son hung among thieves on a rough wooden cross on a barren hill, just as Matthew Shepard hung from a rail fence on a lonely road. Be our light in the darkness, Lord; protect our children and fill them with the love of your Holy Spirit; hold them in your Son’s loving arms in their most fearful hours, and be with them always.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Spread the Word. Stop the Hate.

There will be a vigil Tuesday, Oct 5 in West Hollywood Park at 7 pm to support the LGBTQ Teen community in the face of this rash of teen suicides.

The rally will be meeting on the Robertson Blvd. side of the Park (Near the Abbey). You are invited to bring a candle and a friend to show collective commitment to end bullying, bias and hate and to mourn the deaths.

[With thanks to Rabbi Denise Eger for the post "Still in Shock" on her blog and in hope that we can stand together to stop the hate.]