Wednesday, May 23, 2007

HRC | Religion & Faith News

May 22, 2007

Diversity Pride Celebrations

The Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice and Healing along with the faith programs of GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Black Justice Coalition and the Institute for Welcoming Resources are pleased to issue a united call to congregations and clergy to conduct a worship service celebrating sexual and gender diversity as part of their community’s June pride month celebration.

On June 4, 2007, the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice and Healing will publish a new Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Sexual and Gender Diversity. This open letter calls on faith communities to affirm sexual and gender diversity as a blessed part of life and for “full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in our faith traditions and communities.”

Clergy and congregations who are planning pride worship services are encouraged to inform the Religious Institute of the service’s date, time and location and whether media would be welcome to attend by May 31. These clergy will be provided with an advance copy of the Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Sexual and Gender Diversity, which can be used in sermon preparation or as a responsive reading.

Clergy are also invited to submit sermons preached on the theme of “Celebrating Sexual and Gender Diversity” during pride month. There will be a $400 first-place Pride Sermon Award. The top sermons will also be posted on the websites of the sponsoring national organizations.

For more information, e-mail the Religious Institute.

Out In Scripture Enters Its Second Year

This April, the Human Rights Campaign’s preaching resource and devotional tool, Out In Scripture celebrated its successful first anniversary. During the past year, this online resource expanded the conversation across the country about the lives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; Scripture; and the life of faith. Out In Scripture offers theologically grounded commentaries that deepen conversations between preachers, congregations, seekers, families, friends, scholars, seminary students and people of faith. The Human Rights Campaign is delighted with the overwhelming response to this distinctive resource offered by the HRC Religion and Faith Program.

We are also excited to announce the coming year’s impressive theologically and culturally diverse editorial advisory board of scholars. The board consists both of those who helped create Out In Scripture during the past year and a fresh new gathering of scholars. Together they will offer spiritually moving and inspiring commentaries for the coming year. To learn more about Out In Scripture, the new editorial advisory board and our other writers, visit Out In Scripture at

Here’s a quick snapshot of the new editorial advisory board for 2007-2008:

Dr. Charles W. Allen, Grace Unlimited: Indianapolis Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry and Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis;

Dr. Deborah A. Appler, Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pa.;

Dr. Randall Bailey, Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta;

Dr. Angela Bauer-Levesque, Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass.;

Dr.Valerie Bridgeman-Davis, Memphis Theological Seminary;

Dr. Michael Joseph Brown, the Candler School of Theology and the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University in Atlanta;

Dr. Greg Carey, Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pa.;

Dr. Warren Carter, Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo.;

Dr. Miguel de la Torre, Iliff School of Theology in Denver;

Dr. Marvin Ellison, Bangor Theological Seminary in Bangor, Maine;

Dr. Holly Hearon, Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis;

Dr. Ron Hopson, Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C.;

Dr. Norm Kansfield, Drew University in Madison, N.J.;

Dr. Tat-siong Benny Liew, Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif.;

Dr. Sandra H. Polaski, biblical scholar in Nashville, Tenn.;

Dr. Christine M. Smith, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, Minn.;

Dr. Ken Stone, Chicago Theological Seminary;

Dr. Linda E. Thomas, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago;

Dr. Mona West, Church of Trinity Metropolitan Community Church in Sarasota, Fla.;

Dr. Judith Hoch Wray, biblical and preaching scholar in New York City.

Dr. Sidney D. Fowler of Washington, D.C., continues as editorial director for Out In Scripture.

Summer Reading

Jacqueline Taylor’s memoir, Waiting for the Call: From Preacher’s Daughter to Lesbian Mom, tells the story of her childhood brought up in a strict evangelical Christian family in the foothills of the Appalachians to her adult life raising children with her lesbian partner in Chicago

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