Monday, November 22, 2010

A chance to "let your light so shine ..."

by Susan Russell, LGBT Program Group Chair

Of course I pay attention to what "the other side" is writing. Not as much as I used to when Claiming the Blessing was my full-time job or when I was President of Integrity ... but I still pay attention. Get "Google Alerts." Read some of the blogs. Open up emails when folks forward me stuff. Like this one that came in today ... and article entitled "Lesbianism linked to upbringing."

The article goes on to declare; "A recently released study shows a link between childhood family structure and the rate of female homosexuality -- undermining the claim that sexual orientation is genetic or biological."

You can read the whole piece here ... although for my money you don't have to go any further than the next sentence:
Family Research Council (FRC) looked into the family lives and worship rates of 7,643 women between the ages of 14 and 44 ...
Unbiased, scientific study at its best yeah, shure, you betcha. Think I'm overstating just a tad? Check this out ... it's the follow up poll on the website that "broke" the "Lesbianism" story. One News ("a division of the American Family News Network.") How's this for objective fact gathering? Poll:

What factor below do you believe plays the greatest role in same-sex attraction among girls and women?
  • Indoctrination of feminist values through public education

  • Cultural promotion of sexual deviancy

  • Movement away from biblical plan for marriage and family
Yep. Really. Couldn't make it up. If I wanted to.

So check it out. Here. And then ... if you have a minute and feel like it ... contact these clowns and tell them what you think about their "poll.

Yes, Yes I know -- it won't really make any difference. When you think you have Sole Possession of the Absolute Truth you don't really care what the facts are. But Jesus told us in Matthew 5:16 to "let your light so shine" so let's shine some light and speak some truth to the powers that think they can run roughshod over our families and our relationships and who dare to keep pushing this crap out into the culture.

Ready. Set. Go. Do it. Now. (Thank You!!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Celebrating Bishop Christopher Senyonjo

Members of the Diocesan Program Group on LGBT Ministry gathered at St. James "in the City" Church on Wilshire Boulevard on Monday night for a reception honoring the work and witness of retired Ugandan Bishop Christopher Senyonjo. Pictured above are [from left to right] Karl Hoaglund, Jim White, Joanne O'Donnell, Neil Tadken, Bishop Christopher, Susan Russell & Randy Kimmler.

The evening included a slide show provided by Albert Ogle and an opportunity to hear from Bishop Christopher about the plans for his new "St. Paul's Centre for Reconciliation & Equality" which includes ministry to and with LGBT Ugandans along with other marginalized and vulnerable communities.

Bishop Christopher is in the United States for a month long education tour which will include visits to San Diego and San Francisco as well as New Orleans, New York and Washington DC.

Stay tuned for more information on Bishop Christopher's ministry and how you can help support his prophetic witness.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 15th Reception to Honor Ugandan Bishop

The Diocesan Program Group on LGBT Ministry, St. James in the City, and Integrity USA are honored to welcome Bishop Christopher Senyonjo to Los Angeles, with a reception in support of his work, on Monday night, November 15, from 7:00 to 8:30, at St. James in the City (3903 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, 90010).

Bishop Senyonjo retired as the Anglican bishop of Uganda in 1998 and almost immediately began a pastoral ministry to gay and lesbian people in his country. He had no idea how costly that decision would be. The political, legal and cultural climate in Uganda turned dramatically more hostile to gay and lesbian people at about the same time. The bishop was forced to flee his country for a period because of death threats for his work. He has had his pension cut off and has been shunned by most of his former colleagues in the Anglican Church in Uganda.

Efforts are under way in Uganda to pass the "kill the gays" bill, which proposes that:

• Gays and lesbians convicted of having gay sex would be sentenced, at minimum, to life in prison
• People who test positive for HIV may be executed
• Homosexuals who engage in homosexual sex more than once may also receive the death penalty
• The bill forbids the "promotion of homosexuality," which in effect bans organizations working in HIV and AIDS prevention and gay rights
• Anyone who knows of homosexual activity taking place but does not report it would risk up to three years in prison

Bishop Senyonjo has spoken out powerfully against this bill, stating that it is against the U.N.'s Declaration on Human Rights, and against the sacred bonds of the Ugandan extended family system. He calls the bill inhumane and was recently a part of a delegation to the speaker of the house to reject the bill.

Oddly (and sadly) much of the testimony used to back this bill and the funding for these efforts has come from American Christians, particularly in the "ex-gay" movement. We now have the chance to do some funding of our own. We hope at this reception to raise funds to help Bishop Senyonjo continue his courageous work.

For more information or to RSVP contact LGBT Program Group member Karl Hoaglund.