NOVEMBER VOLUME' II

1971 NUMBER 10 .

DONATION

FIFTY

CENTS

IN N ITY
A PUBLICATION OF THE UNIVERSAL FELLOWSHIP OF METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCHES INC.
CO-EDITORS PAT RARDIN CONNIE VAmHN
TREASURER

REV. LOUIS LOYNES CIRCULATION RUSTY CARLSON FEATURE WRITERS C. SHAWN FARRELL PAT RARDIN
COVER:

FOUNDER

For eaah morning

~ith its Zight

~RAPHTr DESIGNER
QUINN STAFF MARTY SENECA KEN WIHANA MILTON BREEDWVE PRINTED BY MCC-LA BOARD OF ELDERS OF UNIVERSAL FELWWSHIP OF METROPOLITAN ca1MUNITY CHURCHES REVEREND TROY D. PERRY REVEREND JOHN H. HOSE REVEREND RICHARD A. PLOEN REVEREND LOUIS WYNES CHAIRMAN BOARD OF PUBLICATIONS UNIVERSAL FELWWSHIP OON HLGHES

Father, ~e thank Thee For re8t and 8heZter of the night

Father, ~e thank Thee For he al t.h and food,· for l.ov e and friends For everything Father, Thy good~ess 8€nds

in heaven, ~e thank ~ee. RaZph WaZdo Emerson

PSALM

Z33:

Z

BEHOLD, ho~ good and ho~ pZeasant it is for brsthrs" to d~sZZ togsther IN UNITY!

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IN UNI'TYMAIAZIIE OFFICES 1871. EDITOR I.

I'

I'IILlS"EO

MONntLY

BY ntE MAILINI

UIIIVERUL ADDRESSS

'rt;U"'"II'"
2201
'OUTH UNION WITHOUT

P!ETROl'OLITAN AVENUE, IS Los

COMMUNITY ANIELES,

CHURCHES. CA.

EIITORIAL COl'YRI'"T 1'0

los·AIIIELES, RUERVED. No

CALIFOR.IA.

90007.

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IN WHOLE OR PART OR ARTICLES

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I'ROHIBITED.

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LETTERS

IN UNI'TY.

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WI.LL BE CONSIDERED

PUBLICATION.

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•......... ----~ditorial Views------ ....
This is your magazine. If you do not find it interesting it is because you nor no one else fram your area has turned in any articles.' Weneed articles and only, you can help. You do not have to be a pr0fessional writer (none of us are), but of course we will certainly accept articles fram professional writers and lecturers. What is your church doing? What is our camnuniy doing in your part of the count try? What is your State doing about unfair laws or are they doing nothing? And of course articles of a religious nature and sermons are always needed and welcome. This month we have started a new column that is cal.Ledt'OneMan's Opinion." And girls, this is not meant' to be' a column for men, in fact the first article is by a female. All and any of you that' have ideas ,on contemporary issues about the church, our carrnuni , your State ty laws or even the Federal elections. Our only restrictions are that these articles must' be of a positive nature. We, et torn g downenough by others, ' we do not need or want to tear dOwn each other. - .

ONE MAN'S.

1\

upIDlon

by Pat Rardin

WHAT HAVE E W TOBETHANKFUL FOR? What do we whoare descriminated against and harressed have to be thankful for? Weshould be thankful that we have the opportunity to change it. That is if we simply stop sitting around canplaining and get out there and do a little work. As an example, here in Los Angeles there is a man, a man who has spent many years getting ready for a career in poli tics. How? Well in high school he was the student body president, he graduated fram California State College at Los Angeles, has received his master's degree in public administration fram the University of Southern California, was key campaign aide for the late Senator Robert Kennedy, has been Administrative Assistant to the California AssemblyMajority Leader, and spearheaded the successful State Senatorial campaign for Senator David Roberti. He's had the schooling and about as muchtraining as he can get without actually holding office himself and he also has the brains to go with it. Oneway to get to,run for office is to "create" a vacancy.' Senator Roberti was the~sernbl>man fram his district, until he becamea Senator. So nC?W have a man who is qualified. we Next we may ask what can he do for us? He can vote favorably and ~troduc~ bills far

our benefit. He has already stated that he will vote for the BrownconcentiOg adults bill. He also has said that there should be a law on the books stating that there must be a corroborating witness who is not connected with the police in any way on all vice arrest. He stated also that there should not be descrimination against gays in the way of jobs. or in the way of legally getting married. He has publically (and with the news media present) stated that he wants the gay carrnuni ty support • He has thus laid his whole political future on the line for us. What can we do for him? Vote, of course. But equally important, check out and talk to all future candidates for State Office. This one man can't do it alone. He needs our support, not only to get himself elected, but' to get others elected whowill· support him and thus support us. He is the beginning and we should be thankful for his brave stand, but we must also realize that he is just the beginning. . Yes thank God there are some pr0gressive, liberal politicians, but also remember that God helps those who help themselves. I have used a State Assemblyman'asan example, but the same thing holds true whether we are talking about State, City or Federal elections. It is just that sane of them will take a little mare work to get them elected. Wemight also thank God that we live in a country where we can have sanething to say about who our elected officials are and about what laws should be on the books.
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[VIEWPOINT
by C. 5hawnFarrell More and more it is becorting apparent that manypeople who are membersof the hemophile carrnunity are "dropouts". For sane strange unknownreason it is no longer necessary to be a part of the human race--the species of "HonoSapiens", if we are gay. Is it ar:y wonder that manv of our friends find life unbearable -- for surely the statement "Noman is an island" can be applied here. Whenone's total identification lies merely within the scope of homosexuality, is this not an island -- for what is a ghetto? A ghetto is a small island of humanity existing in an isolated area amidst the total of hurnaniy • Too often WE t build the ghetto that we sav others force us into, by our unwillin~ess to accept ourselves as a total humanbeing, of which our sexuality is but a part - NOT 'mE WHOLE OFOUR BEING. Too often is the cry raised, "Accept me as I am --" Fine! A truly marvelous idea -- unless you are saying "Accept me BECAUSE hcmosexual;" I'm If this is the case then what of the rest of the world? Do we accept our neigbor because he's a decent chap and pleasant to be around -or reject him because he cannot dwell with in that magic circle of "being gay"? Perhaps the problem lies within each of us in our relationship with ourselves. We-- as individuals weigh all of mankind by our a-m standards.

!e are the yardstick by which all are measured. Our emotions are the very scales upon which we base the emotions of those we cane in contact with each day of our lives. So -- if I do not accept myself as a total human being with a valid reason for existing how can I possibly accept anyone else as a total humanbeing? If we, as hanosexuals, rely on our sexualitv for self-identification, then most assuredly we will judge all men by their sexuality. Is that what we want to do? Do we became as the rest of society has been for generations stating flatly that our sexuality sets us apart, makes us unique in same way? What ridiculous philosphy could lead us to believe that only hanosexuals truly appreciate the real beauty in life? Whatwarped sense of reasoning would allow us to think that no

-Return ..

C. ShawnFarrell heterosexual could paint or write or be sensitive to the beauty of a Mozart sonata? Se~uality has never been the degree by whl.chone measures art or beauty -or sensitivity. Surely the problens that have conf'rorrted other minori ty groups in their fight for equality must have taught us sanething. Whenany man, unfairly usedjbegins to assert himself to. the point of stating that he is better than other men, he has becomeone with those who used him. He has taken the sword of his oppressor and used it blindly and will in time defeat his a-m purpose. He will becane no better than his oppressor; an arrogant animal without love for self or for any other of God's creatures. It would almost seem at this point that I find myself :i1 the position of commonly knoen as the "Devil' s Advocate" within . the RonanCatholic Church where I had my earlies~ religious experiences. Perhaps this is good, for I, too, find it necessary at t:imes to have my motives questioned - that I might better search my own soul. . As this season of Thanksgiving rises before us let us be truly thankful -- NOT for our harosexuality, but for the love of PJmighty God, to whan our sexuality is but a SMALL part of our total being. let us say "Thank God, I am", and put our sexuality back into its proper perspective. Let us get off of the "soapbox of sex" and climb aboard the "bandwJgon of Christ".

If-

·I~=:::++++++·········~··I .. o Life-t
Howcan we possibly envision Heaven as a four-poster bed, with St. Peter as "Keeper of the Linen? Let us instead be thankful to Himwoo made ALLmankind in His :image, that there arepeople in the world who believe that all are His children -- regardless of creed or color or religion or sexual preference. Christ said, "Cane unto me ALLye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." In that passage do you see one ~ dealing with sexuality -- gay or straight? He said, ItALL!" If you believe what He said then truly you have much to be thankful for each and every day. Let's pass that love -- that gift of peace and joy on to every single humanbeing in this world. Let's rejoin the human race!

.. !

The song began when Ted and Lee Were strumming softZy. sUJeetZy• . • Their harpe of Love, The chords I heard : And was enmeshed compZeteZy.

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Without those v~c~ous pains of birth • And the struggling years to rear. My famiZy grows; just read the list + And symphonies you'Z 1, hear!

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f

i.· With strings. the vioUns i Pickedmutedtheand Lark;refrain. 'e Troy and Ron up sUJeet There's Hal, there
SpeZZbound. I heard again

• That meZody of God's great Love Then Tony joined the throng. + And Randy. Dean and Jerry came And I was swept alonq,

i

i

i : i Struck music'fiZZed the air. Z around up the notes and Sweet
al.

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The voZumne rose until, I feZt My heart would burst. and soon Ian. Jim. and Scott and Mike. With instruments in tune

c!llldrllplllitan
. 2201 S. UNION AVE PHONE,

QIllmmunit\! aI4urr4
LOS ANGELES. 213·748·0123 CALIF. 90007

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Forgive my pride. but have you heard Its equal, anyUJhere? and Lou then firm and strong harmony. p Zays and Love is born eternally.
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• First soft • In perfect My fami Zy f That lives

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Rev. Troy D. Perry, Pastor Rev. John H. Hose, Asst. Pastor Rev. Richard A. 'Ploen, Minister of Christian Education Rev. Lee Spangenberg, Minister of Vis itation

++++++++++ .•+++.••• +••.••• ,..••••. ~.+ •••••• +.+ ••

June Norr1s

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4 !to

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~drllplllitan

o.::l1mmunit\! QI4urr~

SA N F RAN CIS C 0
Services: Gold Mine Drive & DiamondHeights Blvd. Mailing: Community Center 1760 Market Street San Francisco
Rev. Howard Wells, Pastor Rev .. Alice Naurnoff, Asst. Pastor Sunday: 1:00 P. M. 5

Sunday:

9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, & 7:00 PM Wednesday: 8:00 PM

BOOK REVIEW
by Pat Rardin
GOD'S WARRIOR
As Dr. Frank Slaughter states in his author's notes, "'The Roadto Bithynia' was the story of Luke and was based almost completely upon traditional material. Everything pertaining to Paul in that novel was also f:romthose same traditional materials. However, in writing a biographical novel, as this book is, every effort has been made to follow, as closely as Biblical scholarship and research allow the actual facts of the life of Paul. Imd' using the traditional material as little as possible." Dr. Slaughter's book starts out when Paul is in his late teens. Paul has at ~his time, been educated as highly a~ the local .synagogue in Tarsus can and is oorking. in his father's tent making shop. He de:1des he wants to learn something of ph11osophy and so enters the Greek Universi ty in Tarsus. He studies there for almost a year, but finally leaves whenhe thinks that the "Greek thought" is undermining his faith in God. The only place where he could get a higher and better education, in the Jewish tradition, is in Jerusalem. So Paul heads for Jerusalem. . In Jerusalem he pickis one of the more liberal teachers and spends most of his time with the more liberal Jews of the ~iaspora ".His father suddenly becomesvery 111 and his brother-in-law says it happened because of his sins (asscciating with the liberal teachers and Jews). He returns to Tarsus and takes complete charge of his father's tent making business. He also because he believes he is the cause of hi~ father's illness, dedicates his life to God. After his father recovers and persuades him that it is nonsense about him causing his father's illness, he returns to Jerusalem. He becomesa "teacher" in the synagogue of the Libertines (freed slaves) ~ his eloquent sennons bring him to. the norace c;f the chief Priest,Caiaphas. Ca1ap~s has him put into the highest and most ampor-tarrt school, scribe school of the Sanhedrin, and uses him as a personal spy.
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Because he wants to become a man of the law (lawyer), he goes to the trial of Stephen. There he is a .li ttle puzzled because no one actually proves that Stephen has broken the law, but he obeys Caiaphas and goes along to the stoning in order- to watch the robes of the too witnesses. Paul's persecution of those very earl~ Christians was very sincerely meant. To hJJIl,as a teacher and a student of the law, they were enticing people aw:tyfran the other synagogues (including the one he taug~t in) and gaining membersby circumverrtang the law. He had sane doubts . after seeing Stephen die so proudly,' but believed so heartily that they were disobeying the law that he just keeps shoving those doubts out of his mind, Those doubts'are shortly shownagain whenJesus states to him "It is hard. for you to kick against the goad." Paul's bl~ding was ~o give him time to really think, .to medi.ta te and pray. To bring everythmg he knew about the Christians out into the open part of his mind and examine it, to see which was more Impor-tarrt ;' Jesus or the Law. After leaving Damascus, Paul gets a very bad attack of his re-occurin,g fever

~.etropolitnn

<!1ommunitlJ <!1lyurrly
PHOENIX

Mailing: Phoenix,

P. O. Box 2357 Arizona 85002

Services: 1426 East Maricopa Freeway Phoenix, Arizona 85032 Rev. Robert J. Cunningham. Sunday: 1:00 PM Pastor

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BOOK REVIEW •••• •••

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~probably malaria) and is left in Petra by the caravan leader. There he meets Mary Magdalaneand, fran her,learns muchof the life of Jesus. After spending several 100nths there t he goes back to Damascus. Fran Damascushe goes to Jerusalem to speak to Peter and James. Then back to Tarsus t where he works in the tent making shop to support himself and his,now, widowedmotner, Several years later, after the death of his mother, he starts out as a traveling missionary, spreading the Word of Christ. After so manytimes of being rejected by the Jews, he finally ends up going only to the Gentiles. And in going only to the Gentiles, he insists that he must preach to them in a way they will understand. This means that he no longer teaches about the Law or the Prophets. He gradually changes his Messageuntil in the end he substitutes two simple precepts for the Law: "first, to love God, and, second to love our neighbor as ourselves." This "new" teaching starts a rift in his friendship .with Barnabas. Barnabas and Paul end up by splitting up, each going their ownway and teaching in their own way. At this time Paul blames Peter for trcubles within the churches he started, but years later he finds out that Peter had nothing to do with it. In Corinth the Jews have Paul arrested a.rxi brought before the RananGovernor, Gallic. This, however-,backfires and, by Ronanlaw, Christianity becanes just another Jewish sect. This was a definite victory because the RonanLawdecreed that there could not be any new leligions formed or started. And so on through the years and countries, Paul goes , Always'teaching the Wordto the Gentiles. Finally when the Mother Church in Jerusalem is almost starving, Paul gathers moneyfran all the churches he started and goes to Jerusalem. To show the more orthodox Jews that he is still,yery mucha Jew, he starts going through a cleansing cere1OOny.During this he is seized and trameq .. on a blasphemy charge. RgnIn soldiers res- ,< cue him fran the 1OOb.Because he was born a Ranan citizen, he appeals to Rane and so after spending several years in manyprisons (where he writes most of his letter to his various churches) he is finally,by the Ranans, beheaded. He is beheaded on the charge of treason recause he states, "I proclaim my loyalty to Caesar and to Rare in earthly matters, but in things concerning the Spirit and God, my allegiance is to Christ."

ORDAINED AS MINISTER - Sadie,. LabradorretrieV!ft belonging to the Charles Thurber famU~ of Terre 1Jn~ Calif., north of San Franclscc; has been ordam~d as a. ~ ister of the faith for Hilltop Bouse Chw:ch ill S/iUl Rafa~ Her name and $15 were submitted by .~ Better Busill~ Bureau of San Francisco through a D~WSp8p$l' advertis.r ment and by return mail, Sadie received her own "Ce~· ficate of Ordination." Needless to say, ¥chbishop BeD ,. Gay, director of the church, ill a bit eabarrassed.

~tirllplllitan

(flnmmuniiu
DENVER

(fl4urr4

Mailing: Box 11303 Denver, Colorado 80211

.
..,
,"

Services: 1400 LaFayette Denver, Colorado

Street

Rev.

Ron Carnes, Pastor Sunday: 7:30 PM

A MEDITATION FOR
am aM to stard up for my brothers am sisters, that we-may learn to accept what we are aM work 'toward the goal of having society accept Us, that we may be treated as equals.

"unto thee 0 GOd# do we give thanks# unto thee do ~ give Thanks# for thy Name is neaP# thy fJOnt:btous IJOl'ds deo tar e, " Psalm '/6:1 "Thanks be unto God fozt his unspeakable gift." 2 COP. 9:15
It is the time of the year when our special seasons of holidays are near', The first one to approach us is the 'I'h.:iflksgiving Holiday. This is a day set aside for us to give Thanks to Almighty God for all of His wonderful blessings. It bothers me sanewhat to think that we have to have a special day to remember to Thank God for all His Blessings both Spiri tua1 aM Earthly. It should be an act that we perform every day fran the first minute we open cur eyes to the time we go to sleep. I have taken the letters :fron the word THANKSGIV:m; am have p..tt down in writing the so many ways that I am thankful to Almighty God for his many won:lrous deeds. I w:xlld like to share this little meditation with a11 my fellow brothers am sisters. T. STANDS THANKS. I thank God for FOR giving me am my spouse what blessings He has bestCMed upon us both in a spiritual way am a telllponll way. I thank him for life, for helping me fW my way to M C C and far our foorrler, Rev. Troy D. Perry. I thank Him that He has given me the power to see. hear and learn to be a good Christian and share this knailedge an:! love of God with my brothers an:1 sisters, woo have not foorxl the path to God. I thank Him for giving me my spouse, the grea:test person, whan I will cherish till death. H. STANDS HOMOSDruAL. FOR I that He has given me the grace what I am and not to be afraid
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A. STANDS AI.MIGHI'Y. FOR The One who will never leave met One who wi11 always watch over me aM to Whan I can go in time of need, when all others seem to have forgotten. I must thank God that He wi11 always be with me no matter how many disown me. N. STANDS NATIONS. That our prayers FOR are that all Nations will gather together as we Americans am the Irxiians did on the first Thanksgiving in Peace aM In Unity. K. STANDS KINLNESS.That I may learn FOR always to say kind words about my fellow men or not say anything at a11. In this I must petition the Almighty to help me ard that I am poor in at times. S. STANDS SALVATION.Thatmay strive FOR I in my daily life, to start each day with Praise and Thanksgiving and to achieve the goal that Almighty God has placed me 00 this earth for, the goal of Heaven. G. STANDS GIVING.That I may not cnl.y FOR give in earthly matters but assist in giving spiritual assistance to my brothers aM sisters in need. I. STANDS IN. FOR In Unity with our fellCM brethren. Psalm 133:1 "Behold hofI1

good and how pleasant it is to dJAJe togethezt in unity." ZZ

fo.r bztethztlln

V. STANDS VOWS.I thank God for perFaR mitting me to take my Holy Uni~n VCMSto my spouse and that each day I remember to Thank Him for my spouse and never lose confidence inHim and to always keep my vows sacred and holy. I. STANDS IMPORTANCE. hat we may FOR T always realize that our brethren arec,more important than material possessions and

thank God to realize of what I

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that throughout life's joys and sorrows the Love of OUI'brethren counts above all other worldly considerations. In everything we must give thanks. N. STANDS NEED. I must. never stop FOPneeding God, the Church, nor my spouse.For as a plant needs water to grow so too my life, which is like a plant, needs God, the Church and my spouse to grow till the Almighty calls me to my eternal reward ~ At that tbne my need then will have reached its final growth. G. STANDS FORGRATITUDE.Weshould show our gratitude to God, to our founder , Rev. Troy D. Perry, to OUI'individual pastors, deacons, and church officers that spend their time and their lives in spreading .the word of God within OUI'conmmi.ty , of the Universal Fellowship of M. C. C. is apprecderted and that . wherev~ we may be of assistance to them, that we too in Gratitude to Almighty God should be willing to give of oUI'selves What is asked, to help spread the word of God. and sisters this is my meditation to share with you. I pray that on this day that each one of us will remember to share OUI'blessings with OUI' brothers and sisters. That each one of us will bear In mind that each day of OUI' lives should be a day of Thanksgiving, not that we have to have one day a year and be reminded to give thanks to Almighty God. Peace and Love Bob Murphy
My brothers

A CHILD'S PRAYER
Oh God I hope you make of .me , The many things I'd like to be, And may you place within me good, The things I only wish you could, Keep me strong from day to day. Makeme see th~gs in thy way, so dear,

Bless my hane and friends

Bring peace and love to each one here, And take care of my mamny and dad, They're the best a feller ever had,

Grant me peace and love to bestow, Help me in thy strength to grow,

For you Ja10w my every need,
My every thought and every deed,

~drllpolitan

(fiommunitt!
MISSION

aIlyurrly

Grant me hope and love and peace, And bring about the war to cease, I thank you Lord for hearing me,

Fresno

Mis s ion of

And listening
Los Angeles Church

to my every plea,

You knowwhat is best I'm sure, For you can help the world endure, So won't you listen
Pastor

1362 "N" Street Fresno, Deacon California Interim

once again?

Ray Cook,

And give me peace and love, Amen.

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What is Love ... ? ====
"For God 80 'Loved the worZd that He gave His onZy begotten Son. that whosoever bel.ieveth' in Him ehal-l. not perish. but have everlasting life."
As a child mymother often said to me, "Bob, hCM muchdo you love me?" I would reply with the innocence of a child t I'Mern, I love you more than the whole world," or I would say, "I could fill bushels ard bushels of my love for you." Yes, these were simple answers of a child but sincere and at the time, this is what love meant to me. Yes mybrothers and sisters, Love is such a small worU, yet the meaning is so beautiful. So many songs have been written about this word, so manyplays and movies have been based on Love, but for each of us we must search and firrl the true meaning that fits us. 12t us put aside the sexual meaning of love and go into the deeper meaning of the word. To me love tCMardSan individual is giving of oneself to this individual. Dedicating oneself in making this indi vidual happy for the rest of our lives together. Love is that when this person is sick arrl we are at their side to help th~ lDve is happiness in the hone, even when problems creep up. Wemust always bear in mind that Love and Prayer go hand in hand. Love plays an important role in accepting each other' s faults. Whenall is well arrl going smoothly, the love we have for each other canes easy. But when little upsets enter our lives, then the real test of true love enters the picture. As indi viduals, we must remember that each of us have his good points and bad points. When two of us are joined together, either in marriage, which is the highest esteem of love, or we are just living together as lovers, we must realize and accept the faults that each of us have, be they little or large. Wemust help each other to correct then and we must never' let our lives together fall apart because of them. If we always have God in the center of our home and our lives, together we will never fail. Nomatter what happens, the Lord will be with us. As we feed our bodies daily, we should each Sunday feed our souls together. The partaking of Canmunion not only strengthens our souls but seems to make our inner feelings so much more happy and helps us thn:>ugh the problems that arise during the week.
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As a gay person, our love must be strong. Wemust show patience towards the one we love. Wemust let him or her share in all we do and by doing this the love that is there will grow and grow. Like a plant it needs water and plant food to grow. So too our love needs food, the food that can only ccme fran Our Divine Lord, In closing I say to you my brothers and sisters of M. C. C., 1!s Love may be just a four letter word, . but if we follow in the footsteps of Our Lord and have and practice Love as He did, we will never fail. Yes, as Our Divine Lord said, He will be with us till the end of time. No, Our Lord will never let us down, we are the ones who let Him00wn. To all of you who are in love my prayers and hopes are with you. Also, be sincere and honest with your lover and your love will grow and grow and it will last for all the .years to cane. The one with the right attitude will not go, but will grow and grCMas the years pass on. Love and Prayers Robert M Murphy ~

G\Y~ U$

YOUR NEWS

Report from Miami
Pastor PauZ Brad WiZson

M.C.C. Dear

Miami

Bill, Your recent letter sounded to me that you may be a little down in the dumps. Did you think that when you become a Christian that every day was going to be spent on the mountain tops?,We1', to use a phrase from my hill William background, it just taint so~ All of us have problems, all of us falter and fail; yes, we even have doubts. But that is not the end of the world. The New Testament p r o c l aims - the Love of God that under-qirds us and if we trust in that love He will brina us out of the va11evs back to the mountain to~ Bill, just hold fast, trust God and let him lead you. Till next time, may the Lord Bless you real good. Your Brad Pastor,

Next to the gospel 01 love the gospel 01 hope is per;haps the most blessed story in lile. It makes us opt imists lor tomorrow, and we look lor bright skies, good .health, congenial work, true [riend» and a happy '[uuu«. =-Anon.,

F·utu re · ,g h Br

STONE AGE TRIBESMAN - An uncf(Jthed primitive .tribesman watches a missionary plane pr.eparlJi~ to take off at Wame1ia-1D the West-'Irfan' territory of New Guh:tea; rbe advent Of '8ir&-sl(:.lo the tegion IiI' PUlIIibag, t?the Stone Age people Into modern' times In a giant leap. The Indonesian _ government. is try. , ing, s~e think with harmful effects, to' get the tribesmen to 'wear clothes and learn the Indonesian language.

~etrnpnIitan

Cfillmmunitt! aIqurdy
MIAMI "GIVE AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU"
The story is told of a beggar who sat in front of the temple each day, begging for alms, One day his king rode by. He alighted from his horse and went to the beggar, But instead of giving him a gift, he asked for one for himself. The beggar was disappointed, but he gave his king a kernel of grain. When he looked into his bowl, after the king rode off, he discovered that where the small kernel of grain had been, there was now a gold

Mailing: Miami,

P. O. Box 5077 Florida 33101

Services: 7050 N. W. 4th Ave. Miami, Florida Rev. Brad Wilson, Pastor Sunday: 11:30 AM & 7: 30 PM

coin.
Then he cried, "Oh, if only I had given my king all that I had!"

11

Good News 'Today-MCC HAWAII Much has happened since we became a chartered church, back on May30. In early June, we took part in the second annual Crater Celebration, a sort of cross between a fair and a rock festival, held each year in DiamondHead Crater. We jqined various ccmmmity groups (as well as many individuals with things to sell or messages to give) in having a booth. Ours was built out of bambooand tie-dyed sheets, and was very colorful. Wedistributed a flier and free water, which was very popular as the day \oIOI'en. o There was 00 hostile reaction whatsoever, perhaps due to the youth and liberal-mindedness of the crc:M:l. In July, we had several innovative services, including. one featuring songs by a local .notable, and another based on poetry by MalcolmBoyd and music by Simon and Garfunkel. These were v.ery successful. Wealso started a JIDI"l1ing service at the Waikiki Minstry' s coffeehouse, but this fOlll'rlereddue to lack of a guitarist. 00r youth progrem, however, has been' quite successful. Several teenagers take part in it. They have taken over our coffee bourafter church, making it profitable for the first time since the church was founded, and have had a hike, a weiner roast, and other activities. At present the teens are working on a project to raise moneyto pay for an electric typewriter for the church,

~.etr(lp(llitan

(flllmmunitu
HONOLULU

Cllqurdy

Services:

2500 Pali Highway Honolulu, Hawaii

Mailing: 2449 Ala Wai Blvd., # 5 Honolulu, Havaii

Rev.

Ron Hanson, Pa s to r Sunday: 7:30 PM

Although the morning services at the Waikiki Ministry have been cancelled, the church is in charge of the coffeehouse every Morrlayevening, .and manyof our pe0ple in the Waikiki area make a point of dropping in. Others whocane are usually open-mindedand interested. Rev. Hanson is available for counselling at the coffeehouse on those evenings. Every second Surrlay we have a potluck dinner, which has proved quite popular, and also take in membersand friends if anyone wished to join at that time. Rap sessions are held every third Wednesday. The Iast; one featured a talk by a Catholic psychiatrist, Sister Maria, who discussed the problem of loneliness and.relationships between people (Both love relationships and friendships). She is a person of great understanding am canpassion, and the talk was most rewarding. This month a doctor will talk about·, venereal disease am transsexuals. An enchilada dinner was held as a fundraising project in August; as sanetimes happens, it: produced more "fun" than "funds," though not entirely unsuccessful in the latter goal. M ab0rtive pledge campaign went over with a dull thud; we will try again in January, when hopefully the economic situation in Hawaii will have improved. (Weare :really f~ling_ the dock strdke , ) Our f~ia1 situation is not too bad, however; every time we seem about to go broke, sanethinghappens, and so far we have never gone into the red. The Unitarians, whose church we rent, have been most generous in allowing us to do yard work, when there is sane to be done, and get a rebate on the rent. Rev. Hansonwrote an article recently that appeared in Honolulu, a local magazine widely distributed in the carrnunity. He also appeared on a local television show, and on the radio. Wehave had' many responses to this, in terms of letters, people caning to church, etc. Rev. Hanson will also be speaking at high schools this fall as he did last year. Wehave worked closely with the local Suicide and crisis Center •. arid rope to work with other cannunity groups in the' future. This has been a long letter, am I haven't even mentioned the worrlerful visit fran JimSandrnire of East Bay early in September, the Halloween party 'we're ,p.lanrring., or manyother things that have happened.' Godhas been good to us ,am we hope to continue doing His work in Hawaii. Love to all, Christine Jones, Treasurer

12

STUDYING CHRISTIANITY AND THE FELLOWSHIP
.• The study of any .'subject is to learn .aboirt it. .By'-Leer-n.ing about it, we understand it. By understanding it, our own foundation is,' "strengthened. And the stronger our ownfoundation, the more ability we have to help others. Andthis posi ti ve quality can be an asset to anyone, but it is most important to a minister, whoshould have as his main objective to help others. This Fe~lowship can help others and will help others the most by changing the negative value system that has been a part of this and other societies for so long. Its negative because the hetrosexual . rejection of the homosexual has warped, ruined and destroyed many homosexual lives for hundreds of years. The waste of productivity, of people has been irranence and is a crying shame. There are so many voices crying frxm allover the world, "Dear God, help!" I knowbecause I d.id sAnd so did a lot of my friends in their ~n way. The Fellowship, with its divinely enlightened understanding of the homosexuals relationship to God, can do a lot to create a more positive value system in society. A system in which the hanosexual can FEEL is an accepted canponent. This he will makehim more valuable to his country and his country to the warLd, and his world to God. BobDe Santis

november 22, 1963 rain steadily echos despair and now i wonder how we intend to protect them all (they're arriving in droves!) when we can't protect even our own those damned muffled drums

God! we could begin the sure process of world annihilation if just one more oswald ... just one more ... regardless of what they said (before) i loved him happy birthday happy birthday happy birthday little john-john caroline .

QIhrist Q1~aprl
~ndr(1po1ihllt ClIommltltitlJ <lIqurrq
MESA

COSTA

and you jfk are a special kind of martyr for whom i pray there will be no purgatory

Mailing: 2232 Pacific Avenue Costa Mesa, California 92626

--Kim Stabinski

Services: 1,259 Victoria Costa Mesa, California

Street

92627

"You shall not pass this way again, .. so do any good you can do .. .' Don't put it off 'till tomorrow-or the Chance may be lost for you!"

----------.~--------

Rev.

Rodger Sunday:

Ha r r i s on , Pastor 7:00 PM
13

To the one I love...
Oh mydear, love starts in li.ttle ways. I feel that our love was first conceived whenwe first shared ourthoughts in church one day whenwe were in need. I feel it did not begin with a word, but with the understanding of howwe felt. Yes the first time we met was in a bar, but the Sundaywe went together for the first time to M. C. C., a different type of love was seeded. No, it was not the love of the flesh, but a love to make you happy for life. Yes, my dear love canes slowly and it grows just like the conception of a child or the planting of a tree. It grows slowly with pain and patience, but yet it matures and bloans in time. Yes, the pain and trials and tribulations that develop be cane pains of joy for you to feel; yoo pray and hope that the other individual will feel the sameas time goes on. When there is love you need not feel alone, for you kn<:Min time of lonesaneness you have the one you love to stand by your side. He is there . to listen to you and to stick by you no matter what problems mayarise. It is a love that is there till death, both in the good times and in the bad times. Yes, Tan, love is a happy feeling that stays inside of you. It is a love that is sincere, not frxm the outside all the time, but deep downin myheart. It is not the love of the flesh, but a sincere love of the one and only for life. Yes, this is the love I wish to share with you frxm nowuntil death. To give all I have to makeyou happy and achieve the goals you desire. Yes, I knowthat in the future there will be hard times in achieving what you want in life, but remember I will be by your side to help you achieve this goal. Youare the one I love for life, and I hope and pray that sane day we will beunited together, that it will last till the dear Lord above calls one of us to our eternal happiness. Yes to have true love and true happiness we must first have a true love for God. As He enters our daily lives our love will be blessed and grow in time and in holiness. Wemust remember Without God we are nothing. vJith Cod we are everything. With him at our side our trials will be small for He will never let us down. BobMurphy
14

Bob & Tam Murphy
Pray f'on Peace for prayer, Ring through the air And calm the rush of people .. A whispered word Is Heaven-heard, Uplifted like a steeple ... o let them know A prayer can sow The seed of peaceful living. And in this hour Man's 'greatest power Goes forth in Christly giving. chime for prayer Ring everywhere, In every town and nation, That LOVE may start In every heart WORLD PEACE FOR

o chime

6RAFt:ITI

o

ALL CREATION!
-CONSTANCE WALKER

~dropoHtan

aIommunitu
D.C.
S. E.

ClIqurdy

WASHI NGTON

705

7th Street,

Washington

D. C. 20003

Rev.

Paul Breton, Pastor Sunday: 2:00 PM

I-----~·A Candid Look--I
Whereis your main focus directed? I asked myself that same question and I ask you to think on it and answer yourself honestly. It would seem that,as I observe, one half of the world is trying to brain. wash the other half intobelieving that sex is the JOOst mportant, the prime mover i in everY'Tife, and if it isn t t , well you .. are really square. Lookat the movies, plays, advertising, books, newspapers and conversations going on around you anywhere and you will see what I mean. Try to buy a toothbrush without hearing an ad drunrned into your brain about which toothbrush will surely give you the sexiest set of choppers this whole earth ever clapped an eye on. Strange, isn't it, when the world seems overwhelmedby such tremendous problems that we are not certain whether we will be able to breathe in ten years without gas masks, that we are encouraged to be sexy at all costs, more than any other thing. Did you ever \oX>nder it was necwhy essary to be so sexy? Well friends, I did. I figured it was a good topic of thought, seeing as no amount of toothpaste is going to makeme any more kissable than I was in the first place t though I might smell better. In any case, I was considering what it meant to us as gay cannunity, this focus on sex. What it has done is sidetrack purposes and values that count for more to be sure. The gay communityitself has stressed the sex angle, as do many new organizations that have cropped up. They have not earned a lot of respect over it by the looks of things. The men sneer at the w0men libers, who look down their noses at plenty themselves. The men start a liber'ation front of their. ownand I becane curious as to whether either one knowswhat they want to be liberated frxm, Then there is Gay Lib which is feared by the krrow Straight Front because they worry about what these people want liberty to 00. They feel an uneasy threat because of a false :iJnage of sexuality presented to them on every hand by non-participants in gay life whoknONinglyexpound the evils of gayness to all without a shred of insight into the real value of a humanbeing or group of humanbeings who they easily dismiss without a qualm to the bone yard, soul and all. Yourarely hear discussed the accanplishments, the art, the beauty, the help and work which .has been given to this world behind the scenes by these self-same rejects. Why? Could it be that the focus too long has been on the wrong subject? How manyvery valuable and 'worthwhile pe0ple have been overlooked and made to take the hindmost position by the pressures of fear and have been led to believe they are less than humanbecause of their sexual preference? Whether that person is overt or not, the threat is there. It blackmails us into being less than we can be. It causes us to focus and defend what needs no defence, that we are here and kicking. Soon this old globe will feel the earthquake of a gay awakening. I would like to think its purpose is more than sexual. I believe that a Christ centered gay life in the city of Denver can change the focus to worthwhile things like love, peace, canpassion , understanding and our real worth as human beings, not just a laughable handful of dizzy queens and dykes who like to be exhibited to a "superior" straight world. Wetoo are a part of this warLd and not the minority in n~bers that sane suppose, although our JIIl.l1ori ty lies in the organization and power of a million voices raised as one, for we have not arrived there yet, but it's grONing. I would like to see the gay people rise with the strength and all the accx:mplishments on hand that Camnuni implies. ty Our strength lies in prayer, hard work and organization in dedication to a better image that is superior in qua1i~, far reaching in accanplishment, and.an lJIlage with a worthy purpo~e which surpass:s sexuality as a focal poarrt, To better thJ.S world, to give it strength, to work.for peace with all our hearts -- these thll1gs are truly worth focusing upon for all mankind. It's the Jesus thing to do. by Jane Vasbinder Reprinted fran The CATALY~

I

R:eportfrom Denver
Friends; Greetings fram the Queen City of the Plains! It hardly seems possible, but by the time this reaches you Todd and I will have been in Denver six months. Yes, just six months ago - after we were positive the Lord was leading us - we arrived in Denver as the first "missionaries" sent out by the Fellcwship. Howwell we remember the many sendoffs we received fram our many friends. Howwell we rememberthe anxiety which enconpassed us both.· PI~ vivid· is ,?ur recollectioI) of the tremendous fee~mg of responsibility which-~·hgd. Aresponsibili ty toward GOd, to .. ursel ve~,· to the o Fellooship, to .the local gtOup of believers and to Our cc:mmmi as a whole. ty Our anxde'ty has been lessened but our feelings of responsibility have increa~ed; fqr we knCM that we have only·. nOw begun to scratch the surface of the facadewhich surrounds SO many in our cam\Ul1i • ty . But, as He premised, our ·lDrdwas and continues to be - faithful to us. We have seen our "baby", MCC-Denver, dvance a frxm just a handful of faithful beJ,ievers in a mission group, to a fully chartered congregation within the Fellowship with fifty vary active membersand an average Sunday attendance of eighty. With the Lord's help, we have seen our church newspaper THECATflLYST, grow frem a handful of copies printed monthly, to a ful1-blCMn sixteen page publication which now covers the RockyMountain area twice monthly. And, it is canpletel y selfsupporting • Most important 1y , however, we have seen the Spirit of the Living God move within and into the lives of many, many people within our carmunity • God is truly no respecter of persons - and how fortunate for us. He has spoken, and many have heard His voice. Manyof the same people who laughed at us and our mission just six short months ago, have nowgiven witness to a personal encounter with the humble Carpenter f'rxm Nazareth. Wehave seen our local· congregation became more fully integreated into the ~ versal Fel1CMship and therefore involved more broadly in our total mission, by being active participants in the Second
16

J"'." ::~r.;

/

lBehold, I stand at the door and kno$.·
General Conference of NCC. Also, by benefi:tirig frem·· the ministry of .Pastor' Bob Grace (OaKland, Oa:U.fOrIrla MCC),and PastOr Paul Breton (W~~6n, D.C. MCC) .We have enjoyed the fellowShip of Jack Baker and Warren Blumenfeld of the Natiopal Student Assccdatiion"5 Gay Desk. Welook f~ ward witheag~ss to the Rev. Alice Naumcff 'arid our Spiritual Renewal Conference, November12, 1~, and 14~ 1971. ' . ' . Wehave experienced. the joy of having pastor-s of insti tutiQi1alchurches contact us and ask "Whatcan we do to help. MCC?" Wefondly recall fellOWship with Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopalian, Baptist ,Unitarian and Universalist ministers. And, we greatly appreciate the help which they have given us. Oh, so much to remember. The college campus appearances. The religious seminars in which we have participated. The newspaper interviews. The wonderful privilege of being a representative of the King of Kings. Weremember, yes -- but we also look forward. Weknowthe Lord has so muchmore in store for us in Denver. Our own building is within easy grasp. Our personal services activity is expanding - but our primary responsibility remains the same: to proclaim the unsearchable riches of the gospel of Christ. Pastor Darst, Todd and I have recarmitted ourselves to . the mission and the ~ndous privilege which is ours within . .tne 'Kingdonof God and Metropolitan Canmunity Church, Weshall overcone l In Christian Love,

(Rev~) Ron Carnes Pastor

I

20m .
<

the· J'~~,Y1lnit----by: William R. Johnson, B.A., MOt Viv.

Introduction by Rev. Pel'l'Y: want to I introduce as a speaker far our worship services a young man toho not long ago lJaS mentioned in NelJ8lJeek magazine for something that had happened to him. Bill Johnson is a young man taho has studied for the ministry of the United Church of Christ. BilL attended Pacific School of Religion and lJas the first homosexual to ever graduate from a school of theology as an admi:titied. hanoeesua l, During his time in school he came to a realization that he lJasgay and that he was a Christian; that it didn't change anything at all about his Christianity. He lJent to the school and let them know that he lJaSgay and that he lJas proud , that he taaen+t: afraid anymore'NOlJ he is asking for ordination from the United Church of Christ. We are waiting to see iahat: in happen. Without any further w ado I want to introduce our speakerl Bill Johnson. Let's give him a great big M.C.C. lJelcome.
I want to thank Troy for the invitation to speak this morning. So muchhas been happening in my life that its been quite ·a long time since I've stood in the pulpit and had the opportunity to speak to a congregation of Christian people. I'd like to ask you to stand with me as I read sane ~rds of scripture. The words of Jesus as recorded by the Gospel writer John: "Godloved the ~rld so much that He gave his only Son that everyone whohas faith in Himmaynot die, but have

~drUplllitan

(fiommunitu
MISSION Fresno Mission of

QI4urr4

Los Angeles

Church

1362 "N" Street Fresno, Deacon California Interim Pastor

Ray Cook,

eternal life. It was not to judge the wor-Ld that God sent His Son into the ~rld, but that through Him the world might be saved. The manwhoputs his faith in Him does not cane under judgement, but the unbeliever has already been judged in that he has not given his allegiance to God's only Son. Here lies the test. The light has cane into the world, but men prefer darkness to light because their deeds were evil. Badmenall hate the light and avoid it for fear their practices shall be shown up. The honest man canes to the light so that it may be clearly seen that God is in all that he does." Oneof the real regrets that I have in my life is that I have never read the book "Throughthe Looking Glass" by lewis CaI"ru11.I've been wanting to read it ever since several years ago I cameacross a quotation from that book which has meant a great deal to me. The quotation is part of the conversation between Alice and the Queen. I want to share it with· you this morning. "I can't believe that, "said Alice. "Youcan't," said the Queen in a pitying tone. "Try again, draw a long breath and shut your eyes." Alice laughed. "It's no use trying," she said, "one can't believe impossible things. "I dare S?y you haven't had much practice, " said the Queen. "vJhenI was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Whysanetimes I've believed in as manyas six impossible things before breadfast." WhenI was in high school an9 COllege I used to dream of a day when· '1 . could ~~ openly be who I am in every dimension of mypersonhood, including my sexual self. I must confess to you that in those days I felt it would be an impossible thing for me to take the risks involved affinming myself and seeking to live a life of honesty and openness. But here I am today to tell you that impossible things do happen. Wecan believe impossible things. And let me tell you briefly howthe impossible happened to me. I decIded to studv for the Christian rninistry when I was Ii years old. At that realtively young age I had scmehow cane to understand that the true meaning. of life is related to the giving of oneself to other humanbeings and I thought that for
17

Life is measured

by inches,

By steps taken one at a time, Not by the height of the peak we seek, But each little rise we climb. The span of our life is measured Minute by minute not years;

We live in a very small world of our own In a vast universe of spheres. by inches,

Yes, life is measured

But inches can add up to far; A light- year is only inches away We can inch our way up to a star!

Helen Lowrie Marshall

STRANGE DOINGS in staid St. Peter's Square, but no surprise to Pope Paul VI who observed the performance of Samoan dancers from the window of his Vattea. apartment, upper right. The visiting trou})e, in traditional costume, also attellcltll mass and was persODaUf received by the POlltitf •.

the

Pu~it----"~con-tin-ued-ownego, you will never experience the presence of the Holy Spirit. Youmight think that it is there, but sensing ~d experiencing are two different things. To experience the living, dynamicactivity of the Holy Spirit in your life, you must be in a relationship with another humanbeing. You must be in a relationship of mutual honesty, trust and caring. Does it seem to you like an impossible thing to develop, such relationships? Does it seem like ~ impossible thing to be able to exper-Ience in your very ownlife the ultimate, eter-:'" nal reality of God's Spritual presence? Remember Alice. During the past few years I have ¢are t<:> understand that there is no meaning:{n Li.fe apart fran risk. Andany lumen being whohas. attempted to relate ori more than a superficial level to another humanbeing knows that risk taken is a part of lifa. It is hard to take the risks involved ~ being honest with one another. It is hard to assert our right to be whowe are in relationship· with one another. YouknCM most people find it impossible to take significant riSKS because they are still struggling with the necessity of being who they are in relationship to their own selves. Andthis is the first step as only whenwe understand our ownselves and are able to relate significantly to another

me the ordained Christian mirii.sry vx:>uld t be a canfortable way of serving. I had a ~ot of growing up to do. Throughthe experaences of mycollege and seminary years, I learned that there is no such thing as a canfortable ministry. Those whoare cornfortable in the service of men are in all probabili ty not serving GOO very well. I grew to realize that the quality of a pert •• •• . son S rnlnlStry lS dlrectly related to the quality of humanrelationships shared bv the minister and those persons he seeks to change. If we are going to be ministers ~ we are all called to the ministry by Vlrtue of our discipleship to Christ our Lord, And it is absolutely necessary that we be real as Christ himself was ~ to those he sought to minister unto. . I becameabsolutely. and unequivocalIv convinced that the Spiri tud.l reali tv of Godrevealed to us in and through the- personhood of Jesus of Nazareth. I knowthat there is a spiritual reali tv in life that is. hcl.y , ~ ha,:e exper-Ienced this Holy SPlrlt vx:>rkmg my life. The Holy Spirit an does its most effective work whenever two or more persons are relcting to one another with honesty, trust and genuine caring. That ~s simply to say that if you want to experlence the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life you must get involved with other people. In the security of your roam or within the cell of vour ~B -

e· e· e

From Pulpit-the

z

human being. The struggle to embrace our selves is the most difficult struggle of life and it is difficult for all persons. It is not an easy thing for any of us to stand naked before the mir-ror-of our own selves and embrace the person that we are, complete with our short earnings and abilities, our hopes and our fears. It is not an easy thing and it mi~ht even seen to you an impossible thing. I struggled for many years with the fact of my own identity. There was no small amount of pain and many times I ran avJayfrxm the encounter I was having with myself. I was told more than once that I could not be gay and be a minister. I spent much time and money on psychotherapy, attempting to change, kn(.Ming all the while that I did not really want to change. Frxm the age of seventeen, I pursued my course to the Christian ministry through college and two years of seminary and then during the summer of 1970, a little over a year ago, I leaned forward and embraced the image in the mirror of my own self. I was able to do that because of two realities of my life. I had came to realize that I had allewed many people, through the years, to fully knew me as I am, in every dimension of my personhood. And everyone of those people ··hadrernained in relationship with me. It became apparent that my inability to accept their acceptance of me grew out of the fact that I was still unable to accept my own self. The fact of the matter was that I had to embrace myself before I was able to embrace th~ and accept the embrace they offered tc i":le. The second reality of my life was this: I had confidence that even while I was having difficulty loving myse.lf God's , love for me was constant. It remained for me only to let go of my self concern and my very presumptuous self sufficiency and say yes to the pilgramage of faith. Let me tell you, you can believe with all your heart the words that Jesus said, "God loves this world so much that He gave His only Son, that everyone who has faith in Him may not die, but have eternal life." Many people spend their entire lives oorrying about life after d!ath and never really experience life after birth. But I'm going to tell you that I've been alive now for almost a year. Last November 11th, a meeting of the student bodies and facul-

"J think it's about time these g1lys got a three-day pass, Sergeant!"

~.etropoIitan

aIommunit~
MISSION

aIlyurrly

New Orleans, Mailing:

Mission

of San Diego

P. O. Box 50081 La. 70150

New Orleans, Services:

604 Ibervi11e Street La. 70130 Missionary

New Orleans, Rev.

David E. Solomon,

~.etropolitan

(!lommunit~
MISSION

aIqurrly

Milwaukee Mission Chicago Church Prince Services: of Peach

of

Parish Ave.

2024 West Highland Wisconsin 1114North

Milwaukee, Mailing:

53233 21st Street 53233

Milwaukee, Rev. Paul

Wisconsin

W. Sydman,

Pastor
19

r

Dr. Lamb

Suicide thougl1ts not unique
By LIl..-rence Lamb-, M.D. Dewr Dr. ,Lamb ~. 'Please help me. iI don't understand what's. wro~. I ~ed ~~kiIII mysel1fItnday wiith.an ov~dose of

piRs, ,bUt I.~ldn'.t. I don't understand wty I was put o,n earth.~vetyone was:wt:' her tor· some reason, but I don t b8.ve one. I'm Ifl, .still shy. I disHke .people: ~d, at the presen¢,'I'm:very ashamed ~mysel!f fo~ galru.~g back ~ po,unds ~One month. I eat until I getphysrcally Sick. I don t knoW' why,but it's drivililg me crazy. '1hate myseJlfbecause of it lbaite ,to' liate m:yseU,but When I lost 4!ha.t20 pounds ~was never iSO'proud.of;myselfi.n my entire lilfe.Th~ was pnde to live on. Now1llhere's no !Pride ud I want to dies so badly. 11he' ,main ~son thai/: I can't go It:h~ with my sw.,cide ~tt~ts';rs ~ I dOn't want to ~.anyone (especially my mmily) . I've triej to e~in my problems to. my mother buot she }ust laiughs and says ~t [ dQri'tfuwe any problems. I hate,~. and I don't want to live,. but I'm scared. to die. lPt~belp me. I'm so miserable. ~ .you for bemg th~, Jt~a .person 'someone .to talk to. near'R'aader - I hope you 8II'efeeling betltet now.·:rhe best _g I qlaild 1IhInkof to help you was to. have ~ New. York SulCdde 'Prevention center Wormed of your problem and

bope ~,COUld anrange for someone near your bometOget in IImJdh ~th:yoo. Many y~Wlg people do have emotionalPfOb~HealtJJ authorities 'atcolileges and universities willl~~ qut..I~~.j a difficult ~rl1e,estabti$ing life values and' gOals.You'~ not unique in having dtmculty. Almost everyone has bad temporary tbouglits·ofsulCfde~. It it Is anything more than a ~mporary' .th()light .Iuch a ~~~n should talk over the problem.,~ hiS 4Oetor. ,~~ .~ wUL be necessary to see a phySchiatrist- .to,::4Iscuss ~ I problems, to resolve the inner conflicts that !lave led t6 so muCh unllappiness. , . For people who are fortunate. en()Ugh ,to .1iVe,.tn,aIocaIlW where a suicide prevention center isactsive,' he~ ~ ·ue gotten JD periods ·of severe stress by calling_ center. If ~ haVe one, it .wln be listed in your te~ 'dfnctory. ~ centers have saved ~ lot of livesand',·hdped,·iDjtny' P!oPle tliroughsome rough spots. , OVereating to the ~ your describe is often part oNhe picture of emotional.di$t~. No one shouldlgnoreanotherpersoti's "cry for,heJp'J<".e.t be talks a})Qut,his death wish,or suICide. It is tlm.·tcWlatM and totty to get help.

... From th'e Pulpit
ties of the nine theological seminaries in Ber~y was called to discuss the issue of HanosexualitV in .the church. It had been only five months since I had been able to say yes to my own self and recarmi t myself to letting God direct the course of my life. And as I sat listening to the debate that evening, it became increasingly clear to me that the time had come for me to take the risk of making myself totally vulnerable to human rejection. I stood there among four hundred people and made a statement of faith and affinnation. I had cane to the light and I had done what seemed to me an impossible thing. Since last November an unsuccessful attempt was made to expel me fran the seminary. My request for orddnat ion in the United Church of Christ remains pending in the Northern California Conference of the United Church. I have found an overwelming support for my ordination request among the people of my local church, the Corrrnuni United Church of San Carlos, ty California. I have also experienced opposition. I endured a 4 to 3 negative vote by the Northern California Conference Church and mirri.s'try caruni tee , which has the t function of recommending or failing to
20

recorranend andidates for- ordination. With c the support of my local church we have appealed the request,. in spite of this negative vote of expedience. My request is currently under the jurisdiction of the GOlden Gate Association of Northern Californi~,which has the final author-i'ty to ordain. The Association includes' San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin .. ,Cou.itties • Last June a task force was established within the Association to develop an educational program concerning orddnat.ion and hanosexuali ty • The program has been developed and is currently being implemented. It is our hope that through this educational experience clergy ,and lay people of our ahurches in the Golden Gat~ Association will grow to the point of being able to win me .an affirmative vote, that my request for oroination be granted. The final vote on the matter should cane
FUNNY BUSINESS By R*r

Botl.

. ,"

• •.

From the Pu/pif--

::

in late winter or early spring of next year. If the vote is negative, I assure you I will appeal and res~t my request. In the meantime I shall continue to participate in the developement of same new ministries in Southern california. Last March I accepted a call by the Southern california Conference of the United Church of Christ and I have been in that position since July. The call came to me from a commission of this Conference which is made up of lay and ordained church people. I really want to say lay and ordained'Christians who call me with-the full knowledge that I am gay and it is to their credit that they considered the fact of my sexual orientation an asset rather than a liability. Perhaps they have grasped the meaning of the words that were written by Thomas Murphy, words which mean a lot to me. "Into this World, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no roam for Him at all, Christ comes uninvited. But because He cannot be at hane in it, because He is out of place in itand yet He must be in it, His place is with those for whan there is no roam. His place is with those who do not belong, who are rejected by power because they are regarded as weak. Those who are discredited, who are denied the status of person, who are tortured, banbed and exterminated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in this world. He is mysteriously present in all those for whan there seems to be nothing, but the world at its worst. It is in these that he hides himself, for whan there is no roon;" Do not think me courageous, L'm simply doing what I must do and it is by the grace of God alone that I have the strength from day to day to walk on this pathway of faith. We do not find faith until we know what it is to take a risk. Faith is moving toward God and man without fully .understanding either. To spend a lifetime trying to intelectually understand God and man is foolishness. We must pull off our masks, stop our game playing, drop . our defences and pretenses and becane vunerable. \oJe all need one another, for the joining of life is meant to be shared. There is much darkness an sane of our lives, but constant in that darkness ", is the light to which God calls us. The light of the truth .aboutwho we are"'m re-

lationship with God and our fellow man.The light of God is like a candle that puts warmth and light in the darkness of the roan. The dark roans of our lives need to be illuminated" and we can give light and warmth to one anotner-,even ,as we give of the eternal light which God gives to us. I know that to live in the light is at once a terrible and joyful thing,for it evolves taking the risk of being who we really are. I've taken a risk that I knew I had to take. I do not know the outcome of this venture of faith, but I do know that today I live with the"joy that is unconquerable. .A. joy that cannot be ccrnpared with anything I have ever known in my life. And I am confident that in faith, impossible things can be believed and through it all I have learned one important lesson. I have learned that in life the imoortant thing is not what happens to a man,in life the important thing is what; a man does with what happens to him.

Poling

In de·fense
an

By Rev. David Poling Some people in. ijjhjs country have always considered the Christian Qhuroh 10 be, American franchise, operated mmt somewhere in the midwest, willh particular interest to Protestant rieeds.TIlis narrow view has not prevailed among the world Christian bodies and the' ecumenical age bas continued to unfold withchallertge and belt-ement. The bi~est onganization 00 'W\hichmost lW()IIid Christian' bodies belong Is, naturallly, the World Co\mcll Of Churohes with .headquatWrS m Geneva, Switzerl1lil.d. SpeCial attentlonhas been given lately todle 1'hiTd World and the aspirations of underdeveloped peoples in dteir struggle for .di'gnity aDd jUstke. Racism is the enemy and the World Counoil. fias poured several hundreds of thousands of dollars into assistance 00 suffering minorities. The World Ceuncllhas given special priority to the 'Victims of racial conflict in Mozamlbique and to some ,19 otlher Af.rican groups ~eekiIligjustice and assertion of human Ilights. Sha1f' criticism has been leveled at the Council !by an article in the "Reader's Digest"whi~ asks in he8dline phrases, "Must Our Churches Finance Revolution?" . At first 1Ihe iDigest rpiece seems damning and absolute. The, individua[ who depends on Uror his total awareness of ecumenical affairs is ~ing to feel either angt'ly or terrified, The main point is tlbis: The. Wodd Council, (which is partWli supported by a grant ~,·Queen Juliana of' the Netiler:lands, not known as.a fiery 5Ouhister) gave funds for relief,medicalcare and housing of victirrts ofStrifedn Mrica. Some of this .went to :revolutionaries who !have escaped from the oppression dong ago governing theaMairsof South Africa and Portuguese Africa. Other beneficiaries are .the revOlutionilries' wives and children and O11phans of such internal conflicts. The :Council is being raked for its concern for men and womeristl'Uglgling for justice and. humanity.

.gian~

21

An Ordination Paper.....--~----·,----Written to fulfi1.Z requirements for ordination in the United ChUI'ch Christ of by wiZliam Reagan Johnson. B. A., M. ot»,
Before his death in July, 1968, my Father was a safety engineer at the Cameron Iron Works in Houston. My Mother is a hone-maker and professional seamstress. We were a family of five. I have two brothers: Cluck -, three years my senior, and Wayne, my fraternal twin. Wewere all membersof the First Evangelical Church of Houston,a conservative, status-quo conscious congregation that was related to the United Church of Christ. I grew up in the church and believed, with certain naivete, the fundamentals of the Christian faith I was taught in church school and confirmation. When I was a senior in high school., I served as President of our- local Youth Fellowship, Vice-President of the Youth Cabinet of the South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ, and President . of the Christian Youth Council of Houston, the Youth Division of the Association of Churches of Greater Houston. It was my involvement with the inter-denaninational, inter-racial Christian Youth Council that caused me to begin the growth frxm naivete td urxierstarrling concerning the Gospel and Mission of the church in contemporary life. My open association withB1ack youth in Houston was frowned upon in my hane church. My advocacy of civil rights for minorities and of integrc;,.tion in church and school was not warmly received. During the stmner before my senior year of high school, I attended the National Youth Forum of the United Church of Christ in Atlanta. The theme of the FoI'Um, ''The Rights of Man", caused us to explore the basic human rights denied to Black Americans because of racial discrimination. My experience in Atlanta, which is summaI"ized in a 1963 issue of YOlTI'H magazine, gave me an understanding of the challenge that faces the contemporary church as well as a theological basis for my commitmentto the civil rights struggle. The words of I John became real to me: "If a man says 'I Loue acti vi ties of the church which has been charged with the responsibility of proclaiming and personifying that Gospel. When I returned to H:>uston fran Atlanta, my relatives and. friends knew that I had experienced sanething at the National Youth FoI'Umthat had changed my life. Disdain at my involvement with Black youth through the Christian Youth Council was but an expression of a deeper anger that my relatives at First Evangelical Church expressed to me ••• anger that I would so openly challenge their belief in segregation and discrimination against Black persons. I n:memberedthe words of Rev. AndrewYoung, a uee minister whowas, at that time, an aide to Martin Luther King, Jr., who had told us in Atlanta: "Scmetimes it is hardest to love those who are closest to you". I was convinced that my position and involvement were consistent with the Gospel of the Christ and the ongoing mission of the church. I used JlDneyI earned by delivering newspapers to support the work of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancementof Colored People, and the Houston Council, I realized that I found joy and purpose in sharing in the mission .of the church. At the age of 17, I determined to study for the Christian ministry in the hope that in sane small way I might

~.etropoIitZln

([llmmuttitt!

ClIqurcq

TAMPA
Mailing: 3417 San Luis St. Tampa, Florida 33609 Services: 2904 Concordia Tampa, Florida

Godand hates his brother.

he is a l.ia»,"
Rev. Lee J. Carlton, Pastor

In Atlanta, at the age of 17, I realized for the first time that an overwhelm:i.ng inconsistency often exists between the Gospel of the Christ and the attitudes and
22

Ordination paper ...
be used to enable the church t or- at least scme small part of it, to be more true to its Gospel and to its mission. I determined to go to Elmhurst College, a UCC related school in Elmhurst, Illinois. I went on bo~ed money and small grants for three years and on full scholarship my senior year. Myfamily did not contribute financially to my college education because my Father was slowly dying of a terminal mental illness that had, drained the family t s financial resources. Mylife at Elmhurst College resul ted in a profound carmitment to interpersonal relationships founded upon honesty, trust and responsibility. Mycanmitment to the ongoing struggle for justice and peace was significantly deepened. Through personal struggles and my involv:ment in the struggles of others, I grew III maturity and faith. I becameconvinced of the Presence of the Holy Spirit in the realities of contemporary life. I sought to understand the demarrl of the Gospel upon contemporary issues, especially issues related to .human dignity t freedan from oppression amdpeace. MV mind busied itself with theological questions while the relationships I shared caused me to search for answers that had meaning and relevance to my day to day experience of life. I became increasingly convinced of the validity and viability of a Christian life-style in contemporary society. .My gnMing coomitment to life, to humandJ.gni ty t to non-violence t and to peace t found one avenue of expression in ~ht 1967

@

4ftdr op 01 itan <lIommunitp
OAKLAND
440 Santa Clara Avenue Oakland, California 94610

Rev.

James

E.

Sa nd m i r e , Pastor 7:30 PM

Sunday:

when I became a memberof the Fellowship of Reconciliation. My skills in leadership were developed at Elmhurst College through, my involvement in student goverrment and the service fraternity of which I was a member. In my Junior year of college, I was elected to membershipin Onicron Delta Kappa, National Leadership Honorary. During the sunmer of 1967, I found myself once again in discord with the members of First Evangelical Church of Houston. 'The 1967 General Synod of the United Church of Christ had adopted a pronourcererrt affirming the individual right of selective conscientious objection. On the basis of my study of the VietnamWar and the Principles of the Christian faith, I supported the pronouncementof the General Synod. At a congregational meeting called to discuss the issue, one college student and one seminarian,both membersof the congregation, stood with me while over 350 members of the congregation stood in opposition to the pronouncement. In September-1967 the congregation voted to withdraw fram the United Church of Christ and officially did so in September, 1.968. I was torn between my devotion to my family and my cannitment to the Gospel. After muchthought and prayer, I did what I had to do. I transfered my local church membership to the First Congregational Church of Houston. My personal act of conscience, the transferral of my church membership, is resented to this day by membersof my family. "Sanetimes it is hardest to love those who are closest to you", 'Thew::>rds of AndyYoung rang true. Yet, I found strength and peace in feeling in the depths of my being that I had rot violated the integrity of the Gospel which has been entrusted to me as a Christian. In April,197l'· having decided to request ordination in the Northern California Conference of the United Church, I transferred my local church membership to
. 2:3

Ordination paper ...
#1dropolihul QIommuttitt! QIqurdy
SACRAMENTO Harmony Congregation

902 "J" Street Sacramento, Rev. Joseph Sunday: California 95814 Pastor

H. Gilbert, 5:00 PM

MISSION San Jose Mission of

San Franciso 5852 Meridan

Church Avenue

San Jose,

California

95118

MISSION

Tuscon

Mission Church

of

Phoenix Contact

M. C. C. Phoenix Arizona

Tuscon,

Deacon
24

A. Mros,

Missionary

the Corrrnuni United Church of Christ in ty San Carlos, California, a congregation which I have cane to know, love and respect. Having served for one year as Youth Minister and, later, for five months as Interim Associate Minister of the Oammuni ty Church, I have developed a strong and lasting relationship with the people of San Carlos. They are the people who kn<::M me most fully, personally, as' well as professionally. . By the fact that I have, in free will, responded to the Gospel of the Christ, it can be said that I have been called to the ministry. Every person whodares to call himself Christian is called to continue the ministry begun by the Christ. Through my experiences in high school and college, I carre to realize that Christian women and men everywhere are bound together bY the commonprivilege and responsibility to minister to humanneed. furing the past three years, lxMever, while I have been a student at Pacific School of Religion, I have becane incresingly convinced that Godhas called me to the ordained ministry of the church. I have explored the depth of my canmi ment t to the ministry. I have given mySelf to full pastoral responsibilities in four parishes, served as a chaplain intern in a general hospital, and spent a summeras an industrial chaplain in an electronics corporation in Chicago. I have provided leadership in public celebration, preached and taught the Gospel and worked with many groups and individuals whowere seeking to deepen their commitment to the mission of the church. I have received specialized training in. group dynamics and process, anti-racism and conflict management. I have offered pastoral care and COUI'¥:!iling wherever it was needed or sought, have served the Sacrament of Holy C'AJm1union on several occasions, and celebrated the Rite of Confirmation. I believe the ccmni ment t with which I accepted and perfor.medthese responsibilities reflects my conviction that I have been called of GOO. The call of God is intangible reali ~ It is felt and knownin my life as a swelling tide that floods every dimension of my life with a ccmpel.Lingdesire to serve humanneed, to reach out to those who are alienated and proclaim, in word and deed, the GoodNews of what Godhas done and is doing out of His love for humanbeings. I

'Ordi'nation

paper ...

A CODE FOR LIVING
Think big. Talk small. Love much. LaugheasiIy. Work happily. Play fair. Give cheerfully. Receive gratefully. Thank God. And be kind. - Douglas MacLean, in Science of Mmd

am no longer the high school senior who several years ago decided to study for the Christian ministry. I have cane to the terrifying, joyous realization that I am canpelled by the pa.7er of the Holy Spirit at ~rk in my life to witness to the living Gospel of the Christ. During the summer of 1970 I was tonnented in mind and spirit by the knowledgetha~ I pe~0r:aIly could not enter the orda1ned ID1n1Stry without disclosing to the persons responsible for the oniination the fact of my gay sexual orientation, which, as a matter of personal survival, had remained well hidden. Durdngthe sumnerof 1970, I very seriously contemplated forsaking the 0rdained ministry as a vocation. I weighed seriously every alternative, including the consequences of seeking ordination frxm the posture of canplete honesty and personal integrity. I studied the Gospels with purpose. Andthen, with renewed canmitment and faith, I decided to return to Pacific School of Religion to finish my course of study for the Master of Divini ty degree and seek oniination in the United Church of Christ. I knowthat I have been called to the ordained Christian ministry. The realization of that fact terrified me at first, caused me to quake in my boots at the realization of what i t ~uld' require of me, but today I knowin the very depths of mybeing tha~ it is God's ' wi~ that brings me to trus manent and His grace alone that will sustain me as I seek, through woni and deed, to witness to the Gospel and share in the effort of the church to be true to its mission. Myexperience of life has been such that theological questions have occupied mymind for many years. I am evolving theologically. I believe there is an eternal spiritual reality in the created order- that is properly called God. I believe God the Spirit created the natural order through an evolutionary process that established ecological inter-relatedness. I believe Godthe Spirit, out of encanpassing love for creation, granted to us the responsiliili ty of free will. . The free will which is. inate in humanlife, is the freedan of the individual to detennine his attitudinal response to his existential situation, whether it be a response to God's interaction with his life, or a response to his fellow humanbeings. insofar as we have free will.

we are vulnerable to sin -- subordination of the will of God and alienation of ourselves from Godand from our fellow man. Free will and sinfulness are natural canpanions. I believe the man Jesus was the Christ of God, the Incarnation of God's love and the personification of God's will. Jesus the Christ was of One spirit with God and knewthe joy of perfect carmunion with God. Because of his oneness with God, Jesus the Christ was invulnerable to sin, yet he was not devoid of free will. His free will was manifested in absolute obedience to the will of God, which he personified in his life. The ministry of Jesus the Christ, the ministry which the church seeks to continue, was a prophetic ministry. Affirming the past and the present, Jesus the Christ lifted humanvision to a canpelling under= standing of what carvand ought to be. He introduced newhope into the lnman expel'Ience , His Gospel, the GoodNewshe procla:imed, was a proclamation of hope - hope founded upon the fact of God's love for us and the assurance of God S grace to us. He t confronted persons with their potential as humanbeings, proclaiming all the while, by word and deed, the constant love and grace of Godwhich, freely offered to us, empower-s to realize us our full potential as human beings. He engendered a consciousness of the relevance of God's will to the religious and social. issues of his time. He denouncediljustice wherever it existed. He demonstrated the power of love, not only in his life, but also by the manner of his death. The ministry of Jesus the Christ, the ministry which the church seeks to continue, was an affinning ministry. Jesus invested himself in himan need,enabling per-sons to move from fragmentation to integration in their personal lives. His was a ministry to persons longing for wholeness
1

25

Ordination paper ... ·
and health. He recognized the inter-relatedness of the spiritual, physical, E!!'IDtional and psychological dimensions of the hunan experience. He souzrrt to enable integrity in individual 11ves - integrity not only in the sence of congruence between words and deeds, but also in the sense of intergrating all dimensions of one's inclividual personhood into a meaningful whole. By enabling persons to grow toward a living, integrated consciousness of their owntrue identy, Jesus the Christ waS affirming their individual worth as unique persons. He knewthat an integrated consciousness of one's own.deni ty necesi sarily includes a consciousness of one's own sinfulness and constant need for redemption. He offered his love, acceptance and forgiveness to ALL men, regardless of their condition and status in society. He proclaimed the GoodNews of the redeeming grace which Godoffers to all men. The ministry of Jesus the Christ, the ministry which the church seeks to continue, was a rec:reating ministry. Jesus enables persons to have a persortal experience of the divine-hunan relationship. We have all been called to open ourselves to the ddvine-hemenrelationship, and through the ministry of the Christ, we have been given insight into the nature of that relationship. It is a relationship of FAITH, madepossible by God's grace given to us in love and our response to that grace and love, in faith and obedience to God's will. The divine-htmlan relationship is a recreatiI},g experience that can be knownby each of us. Jesus the Christ enabled persons to experience the recreating relationship not because He VJ8.S, himself. God; but because His oneness with God was such that he could make the affinnation, "He whohas seen me has seen the Father." He enabled persons to eXperience the grace and love of God, to knowthat they were enbraced with forgiveness, to know that they stood in redemptive relationship with God. Weall have a profound ne~d for recreation since, because of our free will, we are vulnerable to aimlessness, alienation and sin. The recreating experience of the divine-human relationship brings newmeaning into humanlife: purposefulness, ocmnunionwith God and man, and a consciousness of personal redemption. The prophetic, affinning and recreating ministry of Jesus the Christ, the min2S

istry which the church seeks .to continue, was the most profoundly known in the manner of his death. The crucificion of the Christ was a demonstration of His absolute obedience to God's will.. He gave himself to crucifixion, an act of profound sacrifice which undeniably demonstrated the demandof the divine;..humanrelationship. Only through canprehending the meaning of the resurrection of the crucified Christ do we begin to understand the eternal, victorious power of God's love for us. Whenthe power of God's love is understood; even in _part, the individual Ii ves with a mnfound· joy that remains unperverted by the crucifying experiences of life.Through the crucifixion and resurrection of the Christ, we are called to invest ourselves in the divine-human relationship. -Apart fran that relationship, joy is partial. In the crucifixion and resurrection of the Christ, God absolutely and inexorably bound himself to us ,liberating us fran the fear of death and pranising to all who

~.etropolitmt

([llmmltniitl
DALLAS

(flptrrq

Mailing: Dallas,

P. O. Box 1344 Texas, 75221

Services: 4015 Normandy Dallas, Texas

Rev.

Richard Vincent, Sunday: 7:30 PM

Pastor

Ordination
("THE 2) hepherd

paper ...

tlalm

The LO~D is my shepherd: I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he. leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23

THOT: Be as careful of the books yop read, as of the company you keep - both will influence your character! -Paxton Hood

2ffiletr op 01 Hun

([1.1 m

numitp

Ollyurr ly

CHICAGO
Good Shepard Parish Mailing: P. O. Box 9134 Chicago, Illinois 60690 Services: Chicago, Rev. 3342 No. Broadway Illinois 60657

Arthur Green, Pastor Sunday: 7:00 PM

are faithful to His will the transfonnation of mortal life into imnortali ty • In the light of this truth, the Christian f s life, our lives, if they be faithful to the will of God as revealed by Jesus the Christ, can only be dances of resounding joy. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God that was in the Christ, still in the world, knownin the midst of humaninteraction. vJheretwo or more persons are involved in recreative interactive V-X)rk. 'TheHoly Spirit anpowersus to be obedient to God's will, which it is continually makingknown to us. It, empowers the church to re true to the Gospel of the Christ and to its mission of ministry. The Holy Spirit enables us to experience the divine-humanrelationship to which Godcontinually calls us. It is through the activity of the Holy Spirit that we enter into fellowship with God and with the eternal spirit of the Christ in the celebration of the sacraments of Holy Cammunion Holy Bapti~ and The administration of the sacraments is therefore a responsibility that should be assumed only by those whocomprehend the import of what they are doing. They should be administered with abounding joy and thanksgiving for they are celebrations of what Godhas done for us. The mission of the church lies in continuing the ministry to the humancondition begun by Jesus the Christ ••• the prophetic, affirming, recreating ministry. The ministry of the church, like the ministry of the Christ, is primarily personal, although, in our time, it must also be inter-personal, social and political. The mission of the church, in our time, must include ministry to all persons, especially those whoexperience isolation and alienation in our technological society, whether they be within or outside the church institutional. The church, if it would be true to its mission, has a special responsibility to open itself to all persons who, because of the church's doctrine, arrogance or self-concern, have fel t rejected by the church and, consequently, by the Christ whose BodV the church professes to be. The church must be socially and politically the unfailing voice crying out and working for justice, humandignity and peace. The GoodNewsof God's grace and love which the Christ proclaimed to us, must be
27

preached by word and deed. 1m ordained minister of the church must not only be capable of educated, inspired verbal preaching, but must also enable, through his interaction t a Ii ving experience of the Gospel of the Christ. ,God's grace and love are reflected in the ministry to human suffering and need, whenever it exists in whatever form. Wherever love is given . without expectation of reciPOCi , ty the nature of God's love is experienced. The Gospel of Jesus the Christ is a living Gospel that must be procla:imednot only by what one says t but, IJX)l'emportantly, by i what one does. The mission of the church in our inpersonal, fragmented society t i.ncl.udes ministry to hemorrhaging persons. 'Thepersonal struggles of life render manyof us incapable of coping with or relating to larger concerns. v.le are a people ' hemorrhage to death -- hiding ourselves fram one another, bleeding silently inside, hungerdng for carmunion with God and with our fellow man, yet fearful of the risks involved in honest trust relationships. The church alone has the Gospel that has the power to bring health to suffering lives. The mission of the church, most pr:imarily, is to individual persons, enabling them to experience the di vine-hunan relationship through which personal integration and health are knoen, As a candidate for ordination to the ministry of the United Church of Christ, I feel canpelled to share with you the primary carmitments to which I give myself. I share these facts about my life with you with as much honesty and integrity as possible. For I knowthat to be ordained to the Christian ministry is a profound privilege and reSPonsibility. The primary, JOOst ntense carmitment i of my life is to God. I consciously strive to be obedient to His will as it has been revealed in the Gospel of the Christ and continues to be revealed through the activity of the Holy Spirit. I have sought and continue to seek to live a life that is consistent with God's revealed will. My camtitment to God canes before any other commitment of my life and it is the impetus for the other carrnitments to which I give myself. I am not ashamed of the Gospel••• it is joy, it is life to me. The second camrl.1Jnent of my life is to the church. I believe in the gathered, ~B

sharing, caring , faithful covenant canmunity we knowas the church. I ~ that ministry must be understood as a corporate as well as a personal resPOOsibili ty • The church has been called into being by God to be the physical presence of the continuing ministry of the Christ. 1 It is therefore, so long as it is true to its Gospel and mission, a sacred institution. Mythird basic canmitment is to hunan life. I amcampelled by the ~ledge of what God has done for us to proclaim the Gospel of the Christ, to celebrate the sacraments and to minister to humansuffering wherever it exists, in whatever' form, at whatever cost to mypersonal canfort or security. By seeking ordination, I have publicly carmitted myself to a life of ministering to my fellow man. I have carrnitted the warmth of my hand, the attentiveness of my ear I J:he canpassion of myheart and the practical help of my abilities and experiences, to persons who are suffering in body, mind or spirit. I have ocmnited .my life to ministry - joyt fully, without reservatdon , without regret Mycamli1Jnents to God, the church and to hunan life, have led me to make specific carmitments to certain social and political struggles that seek to alleviate humansuffering. I have beoane intellectually and emotionally deeply carmitted to these concerns because I have had to personally relate to the suffering that these struggles seek to alleviate. I am canmi ted to the struggle for t peace. I oppose militarism and war in all their forms. I recognize the essential unity of mankind and affirm the power of love and truth for resolving human conflict. I am deeply carmitted to non-violence and deplore the violence of weapons, poverty, ignorance, discrimination and dehtunanization.

Ordination paper ...
I am ocmnited to the struggle for t justice and humandignity for Third World Peoples. The suffering of Black, Chicano, Indian and other Third World People can never be fully canprehended by those of us whohave been their oppressors. I recognize that my a.m racial and ethnic prejudices have contributed to the suffering of my Third World brothers and sisters. I am convinced that so long as justice and humandignity are denied to these oppressed people the humanfamily will be fragmerrtedby a cancer that is undeniably malignant. I am ccmnited to the struggle for t justice and humandignity for gay men and wanen. Freedan of sexual carmunication and expression is innate in humanfree will. In our society, social and religious condemnation, based on fear and ignorance, have farced gay persons to live lives of dishonesty and fear in which, for the most part, psychological and emotional suffers~ has been si1ent1v endured. As one who finds genuinemeaning and fulfillment in relationships with persons of my own sex,I allowed the fear of .exposure to control my life for many years. But having affinned my personhood in all of its dimmens ions , I have becane, by the grace of God, a man free fran fear. I k:ncM that I nave been called to the ordained ministry of the church. I have muchlove to give. I long to serve God, the church and my fellow humanbeings. I have a living, integrated consciousness of who I am and I have put my faith and trust in God, in all whohave been entrusted with the Gospel, and in the power of truth. I have prepared myself for the work of ordained ministry t academically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. I recognize preparation is a continuing process. I have fully invested myself in mywork••• joyfully , without regret. I have been called to do. If there be doubt about my commitmentto or qUalification for the work of oroained ministry, I ask you to look beyond these words of mine. Look to the works that through the grace of God I have been enabled to do. For it is by our fruits that we are, each one, truly J<na.m.

Views

~dropolihtn

aIummunitu
SAN DIEGO

(flqurrq

Services: Weichel Hall 906 North 47th Street San Diego, California Mailing:

P. O. Box 8205 San Diego, Calif. 92102
Pastor As st.

Rev. John H. Hose, Deacon Howard Williams,

Pastor

~':f

Sunda y: 7: 30 PM

Looking for the Way? Love God? Join Us Today!

I1llWUIU

UNIVERSAL
ULAII U • SAC•••• U1U F ••• CIICO
• FRESNO

FE LLOWSHIP
• Du,u

OF

Su

JOSE"

METROPOLITIAN COMMUNITY CHURCHES

~HoIOULI

• PIIOUll • TlCIOI • DALLal

UNITY

FELLOWSHIP

Behold I hao good tnd hOIVpleasant it is for brethren to .duel.l: together in unity! PsaLm 133:1

God is faithful, by ~hom ye ~ere called. unto the fell~ship of his Son Jesus Christ ou r Lord I cor, 1:9
STRENGTH AND GROWTH

MEANS

I~

ITY

I ""
NAME

ooN'ON

".

LOS ANGELES

CALIF

110007

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!e are the yardstick by which all are measured. Our emotions are the very scales upon which we base the emotions of those we cane in contact with each day of our lives. So -- if I do not accept myself as a total human being with a valid reason for existing how can I possibly accept anyone else as a total humanbeing? If we, as hanosexuals, rely on our sexualitv for self-identification, then most assuredly we will judge all men by their sexuality. Is that what we want to do? Do we became as the rest of society has been for generations stating flatly that our sexuality sets us apart, makes us unique in same way? What ridiculous philosphy could lead us to believe that only hanosexuals truly appreciate the real beauty in life? Whatwarped sense of reasoning would allow us to think that no

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C. ShawnFarrell heterosexual could paint or write or be sensitive to the beauty of a Mozart sonata? Se~uality has never been the degree by whl.chone measures art or beauty -or sensitivity. Surely the problens that have conf'rorrted other minori ty groups in their fight for equality must have taught us sanething. Whenany man, unfairly usedjbegins to assert himself to. the point of stating that he is better than other men, he has becomeone with those who used him. He has taken the sword of his oppressor and used it blindly and will in time defeat his a-m purpose. He will becane no better than his oppressor; an arrogant animal without love for self or for any other of God's creatures. It would almost seem at this point that I find myself :i1 the position of commonly knoen as the "Devil' s Advocate" within . the RonanCatholic Church where I had my earlies~ religious experiences. Perhaps this is good, for I, too, find it necessary at t:imes to have my motives questioned - that I might better search my own soul. . As this season of Thanksgiving rises before us let us be truly thankful -- NOT for our harosexuality, but for the love of PJmighty God, to whan our sexuality is but a SMALL part of our total being. let us say "Thank God, I am", and put our sexuality back into its proper perspective. Let us get off of the "soapbox of sex" and climb aboard the "bandwJgon of Christ".

If-

·I~=:::++++++·········~··I .. o Life-t
Howcan we possibly envision Heaven as a four-poster bed, with St. Peter as "Keeper of the Linen? Let us instead be thankful to Himwoo made ALLmankind in His :image, that there arepeople in the world who believe that all are His children -- regardless of creed or color or religion or sexual preference. Christ said, "Cane unto me ALLye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." In that passage do you see one ~ dealing with sexuality -- gay or straight? He said, ItALL!" If you believe what He said then truly you have much to be thankful for each and every day. Let's pass that love -- that gift of peace and joy on to every single humanbeing in this world. Let's rejoin the human race!

.. !

The song began when Ted and Lee Were strumming softZy. sUJeetZy• . • Their harpe of Love, The chords I heard : And was enmeshed compZeteZy.

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Without those v~c~ous pains of birth • And the struggling years to rear. My famiZy grows; just read the list + And symphonies you'Z 1, hear!

"

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i

f

i.· With strings. the vioUns i Pickedmutedtheand Lark;refrain. 'e Troy and Ron up sUJeet There's Hal, there
SpeZZbound. I heard again

• That meZody of God's great Love Then Tony joined the throng. + And Randy. Dean and Jerry came And I was swept alonq,

i

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i : i Struck music'fiZZed the air. Z around up the notes and Sweet
al.

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The voZumne rose until, I feZt My heart would burst. and soon Ian. Jim. and Scott and Mike. With instruments in tune

c!llldrllplllitan
. 2201 S. UNION AVE PHONE,

QIllmmunit\! aI4urr4
LOS ANGELES. 213·748·0123 CALIF. 90007

I
t

Forgive my pride. but have you heard Its equal, anyUJhere? and Lou then firm and strong harmony. p Zays and Love is born eternally.
.. .

• First soft • In perfect My fami Zy f That lives

'.'1:

• t
Rev. Troy D. Perry, Pastor Rev. John H. Hose, Asst. Pastor Rev. Richard A. 'Ploen, Minister of Christian Education Rev. Lee Spangenberg, Minister of Vis itation

++++++++++ .•+++.••• +••.••• ,..••••. ~.+ •••••• +.+ ••

June Norr1s

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i i

4 !to

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~drllplllitan

o.::l1mmunit\! QI4urr~

SA N F RAN CIS C 0
Services: Gold Mine Drive & DiamondHeights Blvd. Mailing: Community Center 1760 Market Street San Francisco
Rev. Howard Wells, Pastor Rev .. Alice Naurnoff, Asst. Pastor Sunday: 1:00 P. M. 5

Sunday:

9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, & 7:00 PM Wednesday: 8:00 PM

BOOK REVIEW
by Pat Rardin
GOD'S WARRIOR
As Dr. Frank Slaughter states in his author's notes, "'The Roadto Bithynia' was the story of Luke and was based almost completely upon traditional material. Everything pertaining to Paul in that novel was also f:romthose same traditional materials. However, in writing a biographical novel, as this book is, every effort has been made to follow, as closely as Biblical scholarship and research allow the actual facts of the life of Paul. Imd' using the traditional material as little as possible." Dr. Slaughter's book starts out when Paul is in his late teens. Paul has at ~his time, been educated as highly a~ the local .synagogue in Tarsus can and is oorking. in his father's tent making shop. He de:1des he wants to learn something of ph11osophy and so enters the Greek Universi ty in Tarsus. He studies there for almost a year, but finally leaves whenhe thinks that the "Greek thought" is undermining his faith in God. The only place where he could get a higher and better education, in the Jewish tradition, is in Jerusalem. So Paul heads for Jerusalem. . In Jerusalem he pickis one of the more liberal teachers and spends most of his time with the more liberal Jews of the ~iaspora ".His father suddenly becomesvery 111 and his brother-in-law says it happened because of his sins (asscciating with the liberal teachers and Jews). He returns to Tarsus and takes complete charge of his father's tent making business. He also because he believes he is the cause of hi~ father's illness, dedicates his life to God. After his father recovers and persuades him that it is nonsense about him causing his father's illness, he returns to Jerusalem. He becomesa "teacher" in the synagogue of the Libertines (freed slaves) ~ his eloquent sennons bring him to. the norace c;f the chief Priest,Caiaphas. Ca1ap~s has him put into the highest and most ampor-tarrt school, scribe school of the Sanhedrin, and uses him as a personal spy.
B

Because he wants to become a man of the law (lawyer), he goes to the trial of Stephen. There he is a .li ttle puzzled because no one actually proves that Stephen has broken the law, but he obeys Caiaphas and goes along to the stoning in order- to watch the robes of the too witnesses. Paul's persecution of those very earl~ Christians was very sincerely meant. To hJJIl,as a teacher and a student of the law, they were enticing people aw:tyfran the other synagogues (including the one he taug~t in) and gaining membersby circumverrtang the law. He had sane doubts . after seeing Stephen die so proudly,' but believed so heartily that they were disobeying the law that he just keeps shoving those doubts out of his mind, Those doubts'are shortly shownagain whenJesus states to him "It is hard. for you to kick against the goad." Paul's bl~ding was ~o give him time to really think, .to medi.ta te and pray. To bring everythmg he knew about the Christians out into the open part of his mind and examine it, to see which was more Impor-tarrt ;' Jesus or the Law. After leaving Damascus, Paul gets a very bad attack of his re-occurin,g fever

~.etropolitnn

<!1ommunitlJ <!1lyurrly
PHOENIX

Mailing: Phoenix,

P. O. Box 2357 Arizona 85002

Services: 1426 East Maricopa Freeway Phoenix, Arizona 85032 Rev. Robert J. Cunningham. Sunday: 1:00 PM Pastor

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BOOK REVIEW •••• •••

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~probably malaria) and is left in Petra by the caravan leader. There he meets Mary Magdalaneand, fran her,learns muchof the life of Jesus. After spending several 100nths there t he goes back to Damascus. Fran Damascushe goes to Jerusalem to speak to Peter and James. Then back to Tarsus t where he works in the tent making shop to support himself and his,now, widowedmotner, Several years later, after the death of his mother, he starts out as a traveling missionary, spreading the Word of Christ. After so manytimes of being rejected by the Jews, he finally ends up going only to the Gentiles. And in going only to the Gentiles, he insists that he must preach to them in a way they will understand. This means that he no longer teaches about the Law or the Prophets. He gradually changes his Messageuntil in the end he substitutes two simple precepts for the Law: "first, to love God, and, second to love our neighbor as ourselves." This "new" teaching starts a rift in his friendship .with Barnabas. Barnabas and Paul end up by splitting up, each going their ownway and teaching in their own way. At this time Paul blames Peter for trcubles within the churches he started, but years later he finds out that Peter had nothing to do with it. In Corinth the Jews have Paul arrested a.rxi brought before the RananGovernor, Gallic. This, however-,backfires and, by Ronanlaw, Christianity becanes just another Jewish sect. This was a definite victory because the RonanLawdecreed that there could not be any new leligions formed or started. And so on through the years and countries, Paul goes , Always'teaching the Wordto the Gentiles. Finally when the Mother Church in Jerusalem is almost starving, Paul gathers moneyfran all the churches he started and goes to Jerusalem. To show the more orthodox Jews that he is still,yery mucha Jew, he starts going through a cleansing cere1OOny.During this he is seized and trameq .. on a blasphemy charge. RgnIn soldiers res- ,< cue him fran the 1OOb.Because he was born a Ranan citizen, he appeals to Rane and so after spending several years in manyprisons (where he writes most of his letter to his various churches) he is finally,by the Ranans, beheaded. He is beheaded on the charge of treason recause he states, "I proclaim my loyalty to Caesar and to Rare in earthly matters, but in things concerning the Spirit and God, my allegiance is to Christ."

ORDAINED AS MINISTER - Sadie,. LabradorretrieV!ft belonging to the Charles Thurber famU~ of Terre 1Jn~ Calif., north of San Franclscc; has been ordam~d as a. ~ ister of the faith for Hilltop Bouse Chw:ch ill S/iUl Rafa~ Her name and $15 were submitted by .~ Better Busill~ Bureau of San Francisco through a D~WSp8p$l' advertis.r ment and by return mail, Sadie received her own "Ce~· ficate of Ordination." Needless to say, ¥chbishop BeD ,. Gay, director of the church, ill a bit eabarrassed.

~tirllplllitan

(flnmmuniiu
DENVER

(fl4urr4

Mailing: Box 11303 Denver, Colorado 80211

.
..,
,"

Services: 1400 LaFayette Denver, Colorado

Street

Rev.

Ron Carnes, Pastor Sunday: 7:30 PM

A MEDITATION FOR
am aM to stard up for my brothers am sisters, that we-may learn to accept what we are aM work 'toward the goal of having society accept Us, that we may be treated as equals.

"unto thee 0 GOd# do we give thanks# unto thee do ~ give Thanks# for thy Name is neaP# thy fJOnt:btous IJOl'ds deo tar e, " Psalm '/6:1 "Thanks be unto God fozt his unspeakable gift." 2 COP. 9:15
It is the time of the year when our special seasons of holidays are near', The first one to approach us is the 'I'h.:iflksgiving Holiday. This is a day set aside for us to give Thanks to Almighty God for all of His wonderful blessings. It bothers me sanewhat to think that we have to have a special day to remember to Thank God for all His Blessings both Spiri tua1 aM Earthly. It should be an act that we perform every day fran the first minute we open cur eyes to the time we go to sleep. I have taken the letters :fron the word THANKSGIV:m; am have p..tt down in writing the so many ways that I am thankful to Almighty God for his many won:lrous deeds. I w:xlld like to share this little meditation with a11 my fellow brothers am sisters. T. STANDS THANKS. I thank God for FOR giving me am my spouse what blessings He has bestCMed upon us both in a spiritual way am a telllponll way. I thank him for life, for helping me fW my way to M C C and far our foorrler, Rev. Troy D. Perry. I thank Him that He has given me the power to see. hear and learn to be a good Christian and share this knailedge an:! love of God with my brothers an:1 sisters, woo have not foorxl the path to God. I thank Him for giving me my spouse, the grea:test person, whan I will cherish till death. H. STANDS HOMOSDruAL. FOR I that He has given me the grace what I am and not to be afraid
B

A. STANDS AI.MIGHI'Y. FOR The One who will never leave met One who wi11 always watch over me aM to Whan I can go in time of need, when all others seem to have forgotten. I must thank God that He wi11 always be with me no matter how many disown me. N. STANDS NATIONS. That our prayers FOR are that all Nations will gather together as we Americans am the Irxiians did on the first Thanksgiving in Peace aM In Unity. K. STANDS KINLNESS.That I may learn FOR always to say kind words about my fellow men or not say anything at a11. In this I must petition the Almighty to help me ard that I am poor in at times. S. STANDS SALVATION.Thatmay strive FOR I in my daily life, to start each day with Praise and Thanksgiving and to achieve the goal that Almighty God has placed me 00 this earth for, the goal of Heaven. G. STANDS GIVING.That I may not cnl.y FOR give in earthly matters but assist in giving spiritual assistance to my brothers aM sisters in need. I. STANDS IN. FOR In Unity with our fellCM brethren. Psalm 133:1 "Behold hofI1

good and how pleasant it is to dJAJe togethezt in unity." ZZ

fo.r bztethztlln

V. STANDS VOWS.I thank God for perFaR mitting me to take my Holy Uni~n VCMSto my spouse and that each day I remember to Thank Him for my spouse and never lose confidence inHim and to always keep my vows sacred and holy. I. STANDS IMPORTANCE. hat we may FOR T always realize that our brethren arec,more important than material possessions and

thank God to realize of what I

I

that throughout life's joys and sorrows the Love of OUI'brethren counts above all other worldly considerations. In everything we must give thanks. N. STANDS NEED. I must. never stop FOPneeding God, the Church, nor my spouse.For as a plant needs water to grow so too my life, which is like a plant, needs God, the Church and my spouse to grow till the Almighty calls me to my eternal reward ~ At that tbne my need then will have reached its final growth. G. STANDS FORGRATITUDE.Weshould show our gratitude to God, to our founder , Rev. Troy D. Perry, to OUI'individual pastors, deacons, and church officers that spend their time and their lives in spreading .the word of God within OUI'conmmi.ty , of the Universal Fellowship of M. C. C. is apprecderted and that . wherev~ we may be of assistance to them, that we too in Gratitude to Almighty God should be willing to give of oUI'selves What is asked, to help spread the word of God. and sisters this is my meditation to share with you. I pray that on this day that each one of us will remember to share OUI'blessings with OUI' brothers and sisters. That each one of us will bear In mind that each day of OUI' lives should be a day of Thanksgiving, not that we have to have one day a year and be reminded to give thanks to Almighty God. Peace and Love Bob Murphy
My brothers

A CHILD'S PRAYER
Oh God I hope you make of .me , The many things I'd like to be, And may you place within me good, The things I only wish you could, Keep me strong from day to day. Makeme see th~gs in thy way, so dear,

Bless my hane and friends

Bring peace and love to each one here, And take care of my mamny and dad, They're the best a feller ever had,

Grant me peace and love to bestow, Help me in thy strength to grow,

For you Ja10w my every need,
My every thought and every deed,

~drllpolitan

(fiommunitt!
MISSION

aIlyurrly

Grant me hope and love and peace, And bring about the war to cease, I thank you Lord for hearing me,

Fresno

Mis s ion of

And listening
Los Angeles Church

to my every plea,

You knowwhat is best I'm sure, For you can help the world endure, So won't you listen
Pastor

1362 "N" Street Fresno, Deacon California Interim

once again?

Ray Cook,

And give me peace and love, Amen.

·s

I

What is Love ... ? ====
"For God 80 'Loved the worZd that He gave His onZy begotten Son. that whosoever bel.ieveth' in Him ehal-l. not perish. but have everlasting life."
As a child mymother often said to me, "Bob, hCM muchdo you love me?" I would reply with the innocence of a child t I'Mern, I love you more than the whole world," or I would say, "I could fill bushels ard bushels of my love for you." Yes, these were simple answers of a child but sincere and at the time, this is what love meant to me. Yes mybrothers and sisters, Love is such a small worU, yet the meaning is so beautiful. So many songs have been written about this word, so manyplays and movies have been based on Love, but for each of us we must search and firrl the true meaning that fits us. 12t us put aside the sexual meaning of love and go into the deeper meaning of the word. To me love tCMardSan individual is giving of oneself to this individual. Dedicating oneself in making this indi vidual happy for the rest of our lives together. Love is that when this person is sick arrl we are at their side to help th~ lDve is happiness in the hone, even when problems creep up. Wemust always bear in mind that Love and Prayer go hand in hand. Love plays an important role in accepting each other' s faults. Whenall is well arrl going smoothly, the love we have for each other canes easy. But when little upsets enter our lives, then the real test of true love enters the picture. As indi viduals, we must remember that each of us have his good points and bad points. When two of us are joined together, either in marriage, which is the highest esteem of love, or we are just living together as lovers, we must realize and accept the faults that each of us have, be they little or large. Wemust help each other to correct then and we must never' let our lives together fall apart because of them. If we always have God in the center of our home and our lives, together we will never fail. Nomatter what happens, the Lord will be with us. As we feed our bodies daily, we should each Sunday feed our souls together. The partaking of Canmunion not only strengthens our souls but seems to make our inner feelings so much more happy and helps us thn:>ugh the problems that arise during the week.
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As a gay person, our love must be strong. Wemust show patience towards the one we love. Wemust let him or her share in all we do and by doing this the love that is there will grow and grow. Like a plant it needs water and plant food to grow. So too our love needs food, the food that can only ccme fran Our Divine Lord, In closing I say to you my brothers and sisters of M. C. C., 1!s Love may be just a four letter word, . but if we follow in the footsteps of Our Lord and have and practice Love as He did, we will never fail. Yes, as Our Divine Lord said, He will be with us till the end of time. No, Our Lord will never let us down, we are the ones who let Him00wn. To all of you who are in love my prayers and hopes are with you. Also, be sincere and honest with your lover and your love will grow and grow and it will last for all the .years to cane. The one with the right attitude will not go, but will grow and grCMas the years pass on. Love and Prayers Robert M Murphy ~

G\Y~ U$

YOUR NEWS

Report from Miami
Pastor PauZ Brad WiZson

M.C.C. Dear

Miami

Bill, Your recent letter sounded to me that you may be a little down in the dumps. Did you think that when you become a Christian that every day was going to be spent on the mountain tops?,We1', to use a phrase from my hill William background, it just taint so~ All of us have problems, all of us falter and fail; yes, we even have doubts. But that is not the end of the world. The New Testament p r o c l aims - the Love of God that under-qirds us and if we trust in that love He will brina us out of the va11evs back to the mountain to~ Bill, just hold fast, trust God and let him lead you. Till next time, may the Lord Bless you real good. Your Brad Pastor,

Next to the gospel 01 love the gospel 01 hope is per;haps the most blessed story in lile. It makes us opt imists lor tomorrow, and we look lor bright skies, good .health, congenial work, true [riend» and a happy '[uuu«. =-Anon.,

F·utu re · ,g h Br

STONE AGE TRIBESMAN - An uncf(Jthed primitive .tribesman watches a missionary plane pr.eparlJi~ to take off at Wame1ia-1D the West-'Irfan' territory of New Guh:tea; rbe advent Of '8ir&-sl(:.lo the tegion IiI' PUlIIibag, t?the Stone Age people Into modern' times In a giant leap. The Indonesian _ government. is try. , ing, s~e think with harmful effects, to' get the tribesmen to 'wear clothes and learn the Indonesian language.

~etrnpnIitan

Cfillmmunitt! aIqurdy
MIAMI "GIVE AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU"
The story is told of a beggar who sat in front of the temple each day, begging for alms, One day his king rode by. He alighted from his horse and went to the beggar, But instead of giving him a gift, he asked for one for himself. The beggar was disappointed, but he gave his king a kernel of grain. When he looked into his bowl, after the king rode off, he discovered that where the small kernel of grain had been, there was now a gold

Mailing: Miami,

P. O. Box 5077 Florida 33101

Services: 7050 N. W. 4th Ave. Miami, Florida Rev. Brad Wilson, Pastor Sunday: 11:30 AM & 7: 30 PM

coin.
Then he cried, "Oh, if only I had given my king all that I had!"

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Good News 'Today-MCC HAWAII Much has happened since we became a chartered church, back on May30. In early June, we took part in the second annual Crater Celebration, a sort of cross between a fair and a rock festival, held each year in DiamondHead Crater. We jqined various ccmmmity groups (as well as many individuals with things to sell or messages to give) in having a booth. Ours was built out of bambooand tie-dyed sheets, and was very colorful. Wedistributed a flier and free water, which was very popular as the day \oIOI'en. o There was 00 hostile reaction whatsoever, perhaps due to the youth and liberal-mindedness of the crc:M:l. In July, we had several innovative services, including. one featuring songs by a local .notable, and another based on poetry by MalcolmBoyd and music by Simon and Garfunkel. These were v.ery successful. Wealso started a JIDI"l1ing service at the Waikiki Minstry' s coffeehouse, but this fOlll'rlereddue to lack of a guitarist. 00r youth progrem, however, has been' quite successful. Several teenagers take part in it. They have taken over our coffee bourafter church, making it profitable for the first time since the church was founded, and have had a hike, a weiner roast, and other activities. At present the teens are working on a project to raise moneyto pay for an electric typewriter for the church,

~.etr(lp(llitan

(flllmmunitu
HONOLULU

Cllqurdy

Services:

2500 Pali Highway Honolulu, Hawaii

Mailing: 2449 Ala Wai Blvd., # 5 Honolulu, Havaii

Rev.

Ron Hanson, Pa s to r Sunday: 7:30 PM

Although the morning services at the Waikiki Ministry have been cancelled, the church is in charge of the coffeehouse every Morrlayevening, .and manyof our pe0ple in the Waikiki area make a point of dropping in. Others whocane are usually open-mindedand interested. Rev. Hanson is available for counselling at the coffeehouse on those evenings. Every second Surrlay we have a potluck dinner, which has proved quite popular, and also take in membersand friends if anyone wished to join at that time. Rap sessions are held every third Wednesday. The Iast; one featured a talk by a Catholic psychiatrist, Sister Maria, who discussed the problem of loneliness and.relationships between people (Both love relationships and friendships). She is a person of great understanding am canpassion, and the talk was most rewarding. This month a doctor will talk about·, venereal disease am transsexuals. An enchilada dinner was held as a fundraising project in August; as sanetimes happens, it: produced more "fun" than "funds," though not entirely unsuccessful in the latter goal. M ab0rtive pledge campaign went over with a dull thud; we will try again in January, when hopefully the economic situation in Hawaii will have improved. (Weare :really f~ling_ the dock strdke , ) Our f~ia1 situation is not too bad, however; every time we seem about to go broke, sanethinghappens, and so far we have never gone into the red. The Unitarians, whose church we rent, have been most generous in allowing us to do yard work, when there is sane to be done, and get a rebate on the rent. Rev. Hansonwrote an article recently that appeared in Honolulu, a local magazine widely distributed in the carrnunity. He also appeared on a local television show, and on the radio. Wehave had' many responses to this, in terms of letters, people caning to church, etc. Rev. Hanson will also be speaking at high schools this fall as he did last year. Wehave worked closely with the local Suicide and crisis Center •. arid rope to work with other cannunity groups in the' future. This has been a long letter, am I haven't even mentioned the worrlerful visit fran JimSandrnire of East Bay early in September, the Halloween party 'we're ,p.lanrring., or manyother things that have happened.' Godhas been good to us ,am we hope to continue doing His work in Hawaii. Love to all, Christine Jones, Treasurer

12

STUDYING CHRISTIANITY AND THE FELLOWSHIP
.• The study of any .'subject is to learn .aboirt it. .By'-Leer-n.ing about it, we understand it. By understanding it, our own foundation is,' "strengthened. And the stronger our ownfoundation, the more ability we have to help others. Andthis posi ti ve quality can be an asset to anyone, but it is most important to a minister, whoshould have as his main objective to help others. This Fe~lowship can help others and will help others the most by changing the negative value system that has been a part of this and other societies for so long. Its negative because the hetrosexual . rejection of the homosexual has warped, ruined and destroyed many homosexual lives for hundreds of years. The waste of productivity, of people has been irranence and is a crying shame. There are so many voices crying frxm allover the world, "Dear God, help!" I knowbecause I d.id sAnd so did a lot of my friends in their ~n way. The Fellowship, with its divinely enlightened understanding of the homosexuals relationship to God, can do a lot to create a more positive value system in society. A system in which the hanosexual can FEEL is an accepted canponent. This he will makehim more valuable to his country and his country to the warLd, and his world to God. BobDe Santis

november 22, 1963 rain steadily echos despair and now i wonder how we intend to protect them all (they're arriving in droves!) when we can't protect even our own those damned muffled drums

God! we could begin the sure process of world annihilation if just one more oswald ... just one more ... regardless of what they said (before) i loved him happy birthday happy birthday happy birthday little john-john caroline .

QIhrist Q1~aprl
~ndr(1po1ihllt ClIommltltitlJ <lIqurrq
MESA

COSTA

and you jfk are a special kind of martyr for whom i pray there will be no purgatory

Mailing: 2232 Pacific Avenue Costa Mesa, California 92626

--Kim Stabinski

Services: 1,259 Victoria Costa Mesa, California

Street

92627

"You shall not pass this way again, .. so do any good you can do .. .' Don't put it off 'till tomorrow-or the Chance may be lost for you!"

----------.~--------

Rev.

Rodger Sunday:

Ha r r i s on , Pastor 7:00 PM
13

To the one I love...
Oh mydear, love starts in li.ttle ways. I feel that our love was first conceived whenwe first shared ourthoughts in church one day whenwe were in need. I feel it did not begin with a word, but with the understanding of howwe felt. Yes the first time we met was in a bar, but the Sundaywe went together for the first time to M. C. C., a different type of love was seeded. No, it was not the love of the flesh, but a love to make you happy for life. Yes, my dear love canes slowly and it grows just like the conception of a child or the planting of a tree. It grows slowly with pain and patience, but yet it matures and bloans in time. Yes, the pain and trials and tribulations that develop be cane pains of joy for you to feel; yoo pray and hope that the other individual will feel the sameas time goes on. When there is love you need not feel alone, for you kn<:Min time of lonesaneness you have the one you love to stand by your side. He is there . to listen to you and to stick by you no matter what problems mayarise. It is a love that is there till death, both in the good times and in the bad times. Yes, Tan, love is a happy feeling that stays inside of you. It is a love that is sincere, not frxm the outside all the time, but deep downin myheart. It is not the love of the flesh, but a sincere love of the one and only for life. Yes, this is the love I wish to share with you frxm nowuntil death. To give all I have to makeyou happy and achieve the goals you desire. Yes, I knowthat in the future there will be hard times in achieving what you want in life, but remember I will be by your side to help you achieve this goal. Youare the one I love for life, and I hope and pray that sane day we will beunited together, that it will last till the dear Lord above calls one of us to our eternal happiness. Yes to have true love and true happiness we must first have a true love for God. As He enters our daily lives our love will be blessed and grow in time and in holiness. Wemust remember Without God we are nothing. vJith Cod we are everything. With him at our side our trials will be small for He will never let us down. BobMurphy
14

Bob & Tam Murphy
Pray f'on Peace for prayer, Ring through the air And calm the rush of people .. A whispered word Is Heaven-heard, Uplifted like a steeple ... o let them know A prayer can sow The seed of peaceful living. And in this hour Man's 'greatest power Goes forth in Christly giving. chime for prayer Ring everywhere, In every town and nation, That LOVE may start In every heart WORLD PEACE FOR

o chime

6RAFt:ITI

o

ALL CREATION!
-CONSTANCE WALKER

~dropoHtan

aIommunitu
D.C.
S. E.

ClIqurdy

WASHI NGTON

705

7th Street,

Washington

D. C. 20003

Rev.

Paul Breton, Pastor Sunday: 2:00 PM

I-----~·A Candid Look--I
Whereis your main focus directed? I asked myself that same question and I ask you to think on it and answer yourself honestly. It would seem that,as I observe, one half of the world is trying to brain. wash the other half intobelieving that sex is the JOOst mportant, the prime mover i in everY'Tife, and if it isn t t , well you .. are really square. Lookat the movies, plays, advertising, books, newspapers and conversations going on around you anywhere and you will see what I mean. Try to buy a toothbrush without hearing an ad drunrned into your brain about which toothbrush will surely give you the sexiest set of choppers this whole earth ever clapped an eye on. Strange, isn't it, when the world seems overwhelmedby such tremendous problems that we are not certain whether we will be able to breathe in ten years without gas masks, that we are encouraged to be sexy at all costs, more than any other thing. Did you ever \oX>nder it was necwhy essary to be so sexy? Well friends, I did. I figured it was a good topic of thought, seeing as no amount of toothpaste is going to makeme any more kissable than I was in the first place t though I might smell better. In any case, I was considering what it meant to us as gay cannunity, this focus on sex. What it has done is sidetrack purposes and values that count for more to be sure. The gay communityitself has stressed the sex angle, as do many new organizations that have cropped up. They have not earned a lot of respect over it by the looks of things. The men sneer at the w0men libers, who look down their noses at plenty themselves. The men start a liber'ation front of their. ownand I becane curious as to whether either one knowswhat they want to be liberated frxm, Then there is Gay Lib which is feared by the krrow Straight Front because they worry about what these people want liberty to 00. They feel an uneasy threat because of a false :iJnage of sexuality presented to them on every hand by non-participants in gay life whoknONinglyexpound the evils of gayness to all without a shred of insight into the real value of a humanbeing or group of humanbeings who they easily dismiss without a qualm to the bone yard, soul and all. Yourarely hear discussed the accanplishments, the art, the beauty, the help and work which .has been given to this world behind the scenes by these self-same rejects. Why? Could it be that the focus too long has been on the wrong subject? How manyvery valuable and 'worthwhile pe0ple have been overlooked and made to take the hindmost position by the pressures of fear and have been led to believe they are less than humanbecause of their sexual preference? Whether that person is overt or not, the threat is there. It blackmails us into being less than we can be. It causes us to focus and defend what needs no defence, that we are here and kicking. Soon this old globe will feel the earthquake of a gay awakening. I would like to think its purpose is more than sexual. I believe that a Christ centered gay life in the city of Denver can change the focus to worthwhile things like love, peace, canpassion , understanding and our real worth as human beings, not just a laughable handful of dizzy queens and dykes who like to be exhibited to a "superior" straight world. Wetoo are a part of this warLd and not the minority in n~bers that sane suppose, although our JIIl.l1ori ty lies in the organization and power of a million voices raised as one, for we have not arrived there yet, but it's grONing. I would like to see the gay people rise with the strength and all the accx:mplishments on hand that Camnuni implies. ty Our strength lies in prayer, hard work and organization in dedication to a better image that is superior in qua1i~, far reaching in accanplishment, and.an lJIlage with a worthy purpo~e which surpass:s sexuality as a focal poarrt, To better thJ.S world, to give it strength, to work.for peace with all our hearts -- these thll1gs are truly worth focusing upon for all mankind. It's the Jesus thing to do. by Jane Vasbinder Reprinted fran The CATALY~

I

R:eportfrom Denver
Friends; Greetings fram the Queen City of the Plains! It hardly seems possible, but by the time this reaches you Todd and I will have been in Denver six months. Yes, just six months ago - after we were positive the Lord was leading us - we arrived in Denver as the first "missionaries" sent out by the Fellcwship. Howwell we remember the many sendoffs we received fram our many friends. Howwell we rememberthe anxiety which enconpassed us both.· PI~ vivid· is ,?ur recollectioI) of the tremendous fee~mg of responsibility which-~·hgd. Aresponsibili ty toward GOd, to .. ursel ve~,· to the o Fellooship, to .the local gtOup of believers and to Our cc:mmmi as a whole. ty Our anxde'ty has been lessened but our feelings of responsibility have increa~ed; fqr we knCM that we have only·. nOw begun to scratch the surface of the facadewhich surrounds SO many in our cam\Ul1i • ty . But, as He premised, our ·lDrdwas and continues to be - faithful to us. We have seen our "baby", MCC-Denver, dvance a frxm just a handful of faithful beJ,ievers in a mission group, to a fully chartered congregation within the Fellowship with fifty vary active membersand an average Sunday attendance of eighty. With the Lord's help, we have seen our church newspaper THECATflLYST, grow frem a handful of copies printed monthly, to a ful1-blCMn sixteen page publication which now covers the RockyMountain area twice monthly. And, it is canpletel y selfsupporting • Most important 1y , however, we have seen the Spirit of the Living God move within and into the lives of many, many people within our carmunity • God is truly no respecter of persons - and how fortunate for us. He has spoken, and many have heard His voice. Manyof the same people who laughed at us and our mission just six short months ago, have nowgiven witness to a personal encounter with the humble Carpenter f'rxm Nazareth. Wehave seen our local· congregation became more fully integreated into the ~ versal Fel1CMship and therefore involved more broadly in our total mission, by being active participants in the Second
16

J"'." ::~r.;

/

lBehold, I stand at the door and kno$.·
General Conference of NCC. Also, by benefi:tirig frem·· the ministry of .Pastor' Bob Grace (OaKland, Oa:U.fOrIrla MCC),and PastOr Paul Breton (W~~6n, D.C. MCC) .We have enjoyed the fellowShip of Jack Baker and Warren Blumenfeld of the Natiopal Student Assccdatiion"5 Gay Desk. Welook f~ ward witheag~ss to the Rev. Alice Naumcff 'arid our Spiritual Renewal Conference, November12, 1~, and 14~ 1971. ' . ' . Wehave experienced. the joy of having pastor-s of insti tutiQi1alchurches contact us and ask "Whatcan we do to help. MCC?" Wefondly recall fellOWship with Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopalian, Baptist ,Unitarian and Universalist ministers. And, we greatly appreciate the help which they have given us. Oh, so much to remember. The college campus appearances. The religious seminars in which we have participated. The newspaper interviews. The wonderful privilege of being a representative of the King of Kings. Weremember, yes -- but we also look forward. Weknowthe Lord has so muchmore in store for us in Denver. Our own building is within easy grasp. Our personal services activity is expanding - but our primary responsibility remains the same: to proclaim the unsearchable riches of the gospel of Christ. Pastor Darst, Todd and I have recarmitted ourselves to . the mission and the ~ndous privilege which is ours within . .tne 'Kingdonof God and Metropolitan Canmunity Church, Weshall overcone l In Christian Love,

(Rev~) Ron Carnes Pastor

I

20m .
<

the· J'~~,Y1lnit----by: William R. Johnson, B.A., MOt Viv.

Introduction by Rev. Pel'l'Y: want to I introduce as a speaker far our worship services a young man toho not long ago lJaS mentioned in NelJ8lJeek magazine for something that had happened to him. Bill Johnson is a young man taho has studied for the ministry of the United Church of Christ. BilL attended Pacific School of Religion and lJas the first homosexual to ever graduate from a school of theology as an admi:titied. hanoeesua l, During his time in school he came to a realization that he lJasgay and that he was a Christian; that it didn't change anything at all about his Christianity. He lJent to the school and let them know that he lJaSgay and that he lJas proud , that he taaen+t: afraid anymore'NOlJ he is asking for ordination from the United Church of Christ. We are waiting to see iahat: in happen. Without any further w ado I want to introduce our speakerl Bill Johnson. Let's give him a great big M.C.C. lJelcome.
I want to thank Troy for the invitation to speak this morning. So muchhas been happening in my life that its been quite ·a long time since I've stood in the pulpit and had the opportunity to speak to a congregation of Christian people. I'd like to ask you to stand with me as I read sane ~rds of scripture. The words of Jesus as recorded by the Gospel writer John: "Godloved the ~rld so much that He gave his only Son that everyone whohas faith in Himmaynot die, but have

~drUplllitan

(fiommunitu
MISSION Fresno Mission of

QI4urr4

Los Angeles

Church

1362 "N" Street Fresno, Deacon California Interim Pastor

Ray Cook,

eternal life. It was not to judge the wor-Ld that God sent His Son into the ~rld, but that through Him the world might be saved. The manwhoputs his faith in Him does not cane under judgement, but the unbeliever has already been judged in that he has not given his allegiance to God's only Son. Here lies the test. The light has cane into the world, but men prefer darkness to light because their deeds were evil. Badmenall hate the light and avoid it for fear their practices shall be shown up. The honest man canes to the light so that it may be clearly seen that God is in all that he does." Oneof the real regrets that I have in my life is that I have never read the book "Throughthe Looking Glass" by lewis CaI"ru11.I've been wanting to read it ever since several years ago I cameacross a quotation from that book which has meant a great deal to me. The quotation is part of the conversation between Alice and the Queen. I want to share it with· you this morning. "I can't believe that, "said Alice. "Youcan't," said the Queen in a pitying tone. "Try again, draw a long breath and shut your eyes." Alice laughed. "It's no use trying," she said, "one can't believe impossible things. "I dare S?y you haven't had much practice, " said the Queen. "vJhenI was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Whysanetimes I've believed in as manyas six impossible things before breadfast." WhenI was in high school an9 COllege I used to dream of a day when· '1 . could ~~ openly be who I am in every dimension of mypersonhood, including my sexual self. I must confess to you that in those days I felt it would be an impossible thing for me to take the risks involved affinming myself and seeking to live a life of honesty and openness. But here I am today to tell you that impossible things do happen. Wecan believe impossible things. And let me tell you briefly howthe impossible happened to me. I decIded to studv for the Christian rninistry when I was Ii years old. At that realtively young age I had scmehow cane to understand that the true meaning. of life is related to the giving of oneself to other humanbeings and I thought that for
17

Life is measured

by inches,

By steps taken one at a time, Not by the height of the peak we seek, But each little rise we climb. The span of our life is measured Minute by minute not years;

We live in a very small world of our own In a vast universe of spheres. by inches,

Yes, life is measured

But inches can add up to far; A light- year is only inches away We can inch our way up to a star!

Helen Lowrie Marshall

STRANGE DOINGS in staid St. Peter's Square, but no surprise to Pope Paul VI who observed the performance of Samoan dancers from the window of his Vattea. apartment, upper right. The visiting trou})e, in traditional costume, also attellcltll mass and was persODaUf received by the POlltitf •.

the

Pu~it----"~con-tin-ued-ownego, you will never experience the presence of the Holy Spirit. Youmight think that it is there, but sensing ~d experiencing are two different things. To experience the living, dynamicactivity of the Holy Spirit in your life, you must be in a relationship with another humanbeing. You must be in a relationship of mutual honesty, trust and caring. Does it seem to you like an impossible thing to develop, such relationships? Does it seem like ~ impossible thing to be able to exper-Ience in your very ownlife the ultimate, eter-:'" nal reality of God's Spritual presence? Remember Alice. During the past few years I have ¢are t<:> understand that there is no meaning:{n Li.fe apart fran risk. Andany lumen being whohas. attempted to relate ori more than a superficial level to another humanbeing knows that risk taken is a part of lifa. It is hard to take the risks involved ~ being honest with one another. It is hard to assert our right to be whowe are in relationship· with one another. YouknCM most people find it impossible to take significant riSKS because they are still struggling with the necessity of being who they are in relationship to their own selves. Andthis is the first step as only whenwe understand our ownselves and are able to relate significantly to another

me the ordained Christian mirii.sry vx:>uld t be a canfortable way of serving. I had a ~ot of growing up to do. Throughthe experaences of mycollege and seminary years, I learned that there is no such thing as a canfortable ministry. Those whoare cornfortable in the service of men are in all probabili ty not serving GOO very well. I grew to realize that the quality of a pert •• •• . son S rnlnlStry lS dlrectly related to the quality of humanrelationships shared bv the minister and those persons he seeks to change. If we are going to be ministers ~ we are all called to the ministry by Vlrtue of our discipleship to Christ our Lord, And it is absolutely necessary that we be real as Christ himself was ~ to those he sought to minister unto. . I becameabsolutely. and unequivocalIv convinced that the Spiri tud.l reali tv of Godrevealed to us in and through the- personhood of Jesus of Nazareth. I knowthat there is a spiritual reali tv in life that is. hcl.y , ~ ha,:e exper-Ienced this Holy SPlrlt vx:>rkmg my life. The Holy Spirit an does its most effective work whenever two or more persons are relcting to one another with honesty, trust and genuine caring. That ~s simply to say that if you want to experlence the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life you must get involved with other people. In the security of your roam or within the cell of vour ~B -

e· e· e

From Pulpit-the

z

human being. The struggle to embrace our selves is the most difficult struggle of life and it is difficult for all persons. It is not an easy thing for any of us to stand naked before the mir-ror-of our own selves and embrace the person that we are, complete with our short earnings and abilities, our hopes and our fears. It is not an easy thing and it mi~ht even seen to you an impossible thing. I struggled for many years with the fact of my own identity. There was no small amount of pain and many times I ran avJayfrxm the encounter I was having with myself. I was told more than once that I could not be gay and be a minister. I spent much time and money on psychotherapy, attempting to change, kn(.Ming all the while that I did not really want to change. Frxm the age of seventeen, I pursued my course to the Christian ministry through college and two years of seminary and then during the summer of 1970, a little over a year ago, I leaned forward and embraced the image in the mirror of my own self. I was able to do that because of two realities of my life. I had came to realize that I had allewed many people, through the years, to fully knew me as I am, in every dimension of my personhood. And everyone of those people ··hadrernained in relationship with me. It became apparent that my inability to accept their acceptance of me grew out of the fact that I was still unable to accept my own self. The fact of the matter was that I had to embrace myself before I was able to embrace th~ and accept the embrace they offered tc i":le. The second reality of my life was this: I had confidence that even while I was having difficulty loving myse.lf God's , love for me was constant. It remained for me only to let go of my self concern and my very presumptuous self sufficiency and say yes to the pilgramage of faith. Let me tell you, you can believe with all your heart the words that Jesus said, "God loves this world so much that He gave His only Son, that everyone who has faith in Him may not die, but have eternal life." Many people spend their entire lives oorrying about life after d!ath and never really experience life after birth. But I'm going to tell you that I've been alive now for almost a year. Last November 11th, a meeting of the student bodies and facul-

"J think it's about time these g1lys got a three-day pass, Sergeant!"

~.etropoIitan

aIommunit~
MISSION

aIlyurrly

New Orleans, Mailing:

Mission

of San Diego

P. O. Box 50081 La. 70150

New Orleans, Services:

604 Ibervi11e Street La. 70130 Missionary

New Orleans, Rev.

David E. Solomon,

~.etropolitan

(!lommunit~
MISSION

aIqurrly

Milwaukee Mission Chicago Church Prince Services: of Peach

of

Parish Ave.

2024 West Highland Wisconsin 1114North

Milwaukee, Mailing:

53233 21st Street 53233

Milwaukee, Rev. Paul

Wisconsin

W. Sydman,

Pastor
19

r

Dr. Lamb

Suicide thougl1ts not unique
By LIl..-rence Lamb-, M.D. Dewr Dr. ,Lamb ~. 'Please help me. iI don't understand what's. wro~. I ~ed ~~kiIII mysel1fItnday wiith.an ov~dose of

piRs, ,bUt I.~ldn'.t. I don't understand wty I was put o,n earth.~vetyone was:wt:' her tor· some reason, but I don t b8.ve one. I'm Ifl, .still shy. I disHke .people: ~d, at the presen¢,'I'm:very ashamed ~mysel!f fo~ galru.~g back ~ po,unds ~One month. I eat until I getphysrcally Sick. I don t knoW' why,but it's drivililg me crazy. '1hate myseJlfbecause of it lbaite ,to' liate m:yseU,but When I lost 4!ha.t20 pounds ~was never iSO'proud.of;myselfi.n my entire lilfe.Th~ was pnde to live on. Now1llhere's no !Pride ud I want to dies so badly. 11he' ,main ~son thai/: I can't go It:h~ with my sw.,cide ~tt~ts';rs ~ I dOn't want to ~.anyone (especially my mmily) . I've triej to e~in my problems to. my mother buot she }ust laiughs and says ~t [ dQri'tfuwe any problems. I hate,~. and I don't want to live,. but I'm scared. to die. lPt~belp me. I'm so miserable. ~ .you for bemg th~, Jt~a .person 'someone .to talk to. near'R'aader - I hope you 8II'efeeling betltet now.·:rhe best _g I qlaild 1IhInkof to help you was to. have ~ New. York SulCdde 'Prevention center Wormed of your problem and

bope ~,COUld anrange for someone near your bometOget in IImJdh ~th:yoo. Many y~Wlg people do have emotionalPfOb~HealtJJ authorities 'atcolileges and universities willl~~ qut..I~~.j a difficult ~rl1e,estabti$ing life values and' gOals.You'~ not unique in having dtmculty. Almost everyone has bad temporary tbouglits·ofsulCfde~. It it Is anything more than a ~mporary' .th()light .Iuch a ~~~n should talk over the problem.,~ hiS 4Oetor. ,~~ .~ wUL be necessary to see a phySchiatrist- .to,::4Iscuss ~ I problems, to resolve the inner conflicts that !lave led t6 so muCh unllappiness. , . For people who are fortunate. en()Ugh ,to .1iVe,.tn,aIocaIlW where a suicide prevention center isactsive,' he~ ~ ·ue gotten JD periods ·of severe stress by calling_ center. If ~ haVe one, it .wln be listed in your te~ 'dfnctory. ~ centers have saved ~ lot of livesand',·hdped,·iDjtny' P!oPle tliroughsome rough spots. , OVereating to the ~ your describe is often part oNhe picture of emotional.di$t~. No one shouldlgnoreanotherpersoti's "cry for,heJp'J<".e.t be talks a})Qut,his death wish,or suICide. It is tlm.·tcWlatM and totty to get help.

... From th'e Pulpit
ties of the nine theological seminaries in Ber~y was called to discuss the issue of HanosexualitV in .the church. It had been only five months since I had been able to say yes to my own self and recarmi t myself to letting God direct the course of my life. And as I sat listening to the debate that evening, it became increasingly clear to me that the time had come for me to take the risk of making myself totally vulnerable to human rejection. I stood there among four hundred people and made a statement of faith and affinnation. I had cane to the light and I had done what seemed to me an impossible thing. Since last November an unsuccessful attempt was made to expel me fran the seminary. My request for orddnat ion in the United Church of Christ remains pending in the Northern California Conference of the United Church. I have found an overwelming support for my ordination request among the people of my local church, the Corrrnuni United Church of San Carlos, ty California. I have also experienced opposition. I endured a 4 to 3 negative vote by the Northern California Conference Church and mirri.s'try caruni tee , which has the t function of recommending or failing to
20

recorranend andidates for- ordination. With c the support of my local church we have appealed the request,. in spite of this negative vote of expedience. My request is currently under the jurisdiction of the GOlden Gate Association of Northern Californi~,which has the final author-i'ty to ordain. The Association includes' San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin .. ,Cou.itties • Last June a task force was established within the Association to develop an educational program concerning orddnat.ion and hanosexuali ty • The program has been developed and is currently being implemented. It is our hope that through this educational experience clergy ,and lay people of our ahurches in the Golden Gat~ Association will grow to the point of being able to win me .an affirmative vote, that my request for oroination be granted. The final vote on the matter should cane
FUNNY BUSINESS By R*r

Botl.

. ,"

• •.

From the Pu/pif--

::

in late winter or early spring of next year. If the vote is negative, I assure you I will appeal and res~t my request. In the meantime I shall continue to participate in the developement of same new ministries in Southern california. Last March I accepted a call by the Southern california Conference of the United Church of Christ and I have been in that position since July. The call came to me from a commission of this Conference which is made up of lay and ordained church people. I really want to say lay and ordained'Christians who call me with-the full knowledge that I am gay and it is to their credit that they considered the fact of my sexual orientation an asset rather than a liability. Perhaps they have grasped the meaning of the words that were written by Thomas Murphy, words which mean a lot to me. "Into this World, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no roam for Him at all, Christ comes uninvited. But because He cannot be at hane in it, because He is out of place in itand yet He must be in it, His place is with those for whan there is no roam. His place is with those who do not belong, who are rejected by power because they are regarded as weak. Those who are discredited, who are denied the status of person, who are tortured, banbed and exterminated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in this world. He is mysteriously present in all those for whan there seems to be nothing, but the world at its worst. It is in these that he hides himself, for whan there is no roon;" Do not think me courageous, L'm simply doing what I must do and it is by the grace of God alone that I have the strength from day to day to walk on this pathway of faith. We do not find faith until we know what it is to take a risk. Faith is moving toward God and man without fully .understanding either. To spend a lifetime trying to intelectually understand God and man is foolishness. We must pull off our masks, stop our game playing, drop . our defences and pretenses and becane vunerable. \oJe all need one another, for the joining of life is meant to be shared. There is much darkness an sane of our lives, but constant in that darkness ", is the light to which God calls us. The light of the truth .aboutwho we are"'m re-

lationship with God and our fellow man.The light of God is like a candle that puts warmth and light in the darkness of the roan. The dark roans of our lives need to be illuminated" and we can give light and warmth to one anotner-,even ,as we give of the eternal light which God gives to us. I know that to live in the light is at once a terrible and joyful thing,for it evolves taking the risk of being who we really are. I've taken a risk that I knew I had to take. I do not know the outcome of this venture of faith, but I do know that today I live with the"joy that is unconquerable. .A. joy that cannot be ccrnpared with anything I have ever known in my life. And I am confident that in faith, impossible things can be believed and through it all I have learned one important lesson. I have learned that in life the imoortant thing is not what happens to a man,in life the important thing is what; a man does with what happens to him.

Poling

In de·fense
an

By Rev. David Poling Some people in. ijjhjs country have always considered the Christian Qhuroh 10 be, American franchise, operated mmt somewhere in the midwest, willh particular interest to Protestant rieeds.TIlis narrow view has not prevailed among the world Christian bodies and the' ecumenical age bas continued to unfold withchallertge and belt-ement. The bi~est onganization 00 'W\hichmost lW()IIid Christian' bodies belong Is, naturallly, the World Co\mcll Of Churohes with .headquatWrS m Geneva, Switzerl1lil.d. SpeCial attentlonhas been given lately todle 1'hiTd World and the aspirations of underdeveloped peoples in dteir struggle for .di'gnity aDd jUstke. Racism is the enemy and the World Counoil. fias poured several hundreds of thousands of dollars into assistance 00 suffering minorities. The World Ceuncllhas given special priority to the 'Victims of racial conflict in Mozamlbique and to some ,19 otlher Af.rican groups ~eekiIligjustice and assertion of human Ilights. Sha1f' criticism has been leveled at the Council !by an article in the "Reader's Digest"whi~ asks in he8dline phrases, "Must Our Churches Finance Revolution?" . At first 1Ihe iDigest rpiece seems damning and absolute. The, individua[ who depends on Uror his total awareness of ecumenical affairs is ~ing to feel either angt'ly or terrified, The main point is tlbis: The. Wodd Council, (which is partWli supported by a grant ~,·Queen Juliana of' the Netiler:lands, not known as.a fiery 5Ouhister) gave funds for relief,medicalcare and housing of victirrts ofStrifedn Mrica. Some of this .went to :revolutionaries who !have escaped from the oppression dong ago governing theaMairsof South Africa and Portuguese Africa. Other beneficiaries are .the revOlutionilries' wives and children and O11phans of such internal conflicts. The :Council is being raked for its concern for men and womeristl'Uglgling for justice and. humanity.

.gian~

21

An Ordination Paper.....--~----·,----Written to fulfi1.Z requirements for ordination in the United ChUI'ch Christ of by wiZliam Reagan Johnson. B. A., M. ot»,
Before his death in July, 1968, my Father was a safety engineer at the Cameron Iron Works in Houston. My Mother is a hone-maker and professional seamstress. We were a family of five. I have two brothers: Cluck -, three years my senior, and Wayne, my fraternal twin. Wewere all membersof the First Evangelical Church of Houston,a conservative, status-quo conscious congregation that was related to the United Church of Christ. I grew up in the church and believed, with certain naivete, the fundamentals of the Christian faith I was taught in church school and confirmation. When I was a senior in high school., I served as President of our- local Youth Fellowship, Vice-President of the Youth Cabinet of the South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ, and President . of the Christian Youth Council of Houston, the Youth Division of the Association of Churches of Greater Houston. It was my involvement with the inter-denaninational, inter-racial Christian Youth Council that caused me to begin the growth frxm naivete td urxierstarrling concerning the Gospel and Mission of the church in contemporary life. My open association withB1ack youth in Houston was frowned upon in my hane church. My advocacy of civil rights for minorities and of integrc;,.tion in church and school was not warmly received. During the stmner before my senior year of high school, I attended the National Youth Forum of the United Church of Christ in Atlanta. The theme of the FoI'Um, ''The Rights of Man", caused us to explore the basic human rights denied to Black Americans because of racial discrimination. My experience in Atlanta, which is summaI"ized in a 1963 issue of YOlTI'H magazine, gave me an understanding of the challenge that faces the contemporary church as well as a theological basis for my commitmentto the civil rights struggle. The words of I John became real to me: "If a man says 'I Loue acti vi ties of the church which has been charged with the responsibility of proclaiming and personifying that Gospel. When I returned to H:>uston fran Atlanta, my relatives and. friends knew that I had experienced sanething at the National Youth FoI'Umthat had changed my life. Disdain at my involvement with Black youth through the Christian Youth Council was but an expression of a deeper anger that my relatives at First Evangelical Church expressed to me ••• anger that I would so openly challenge their belief in segregation and discrimination against Black persons. I n:memberedthe words of Rev. AndrewYoung, a uee minister whowas, at that time, an aide to Martin Luther King, Jr., who had told us in Atlanta: "Scmetimes it is hardest to love those who are closest to you". I was convinced that my position and involvement were consistent with the Gospel of the Christ and the ongoing mission of the church. I used JlDneyI earned by delivering newspapers to support the work of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancementof Colored People, and the Houston Council, I realized that I found joy and purpose in sharing in the mission .of the church. At the age of 17, I determined to study for the Christian ministry in the hope that in sane small way I might

~.etropoIitZln

([llmmuttitt!

ClIqurcq

TAMPA
Mailing: 3417 San Luis St. Tampa, Florida 33609 Services: 2904 Concordia Tampa, Florida

Godand hates his brother.

he is a l.ia»,"
Rev. Lee J. Carlton, Pastor

In Atlanta, at the age of 17, I realized for the first time that an overwhelm:i.ng inconsistency often exists between the Gospel of the Christ and the attitudes and
22

Ordination paper ...
be used to enable the church t or- at least scme small part of it, to be more true to its Gospel and to its mission. I determined to go to Elmhurst College, a UCC related school in Elmhurst, Illinois. I went on bo~ed money and small grants for three years and on full scholarship my senior year. Myfamily did not contribute financially to my college education because my Father was slowly dying of a terminal mental illness that had, drained the family t s financial resources. Mylife at Elmhurst College resul ted in a profound carmitment to interpersonal relationships founded upon honesty, trust and responsibility. Mycanmitment to the ongoing struggle for justice and peace was significantly deepened. Through personal struggles and my involv:ment in the struggles of others, I grew III maturity and faith. I becameconvinced of the Presence of the Holy Spirit in the realities of contemporary life. I sought to understand the demarrl of the Gospel upon contemporary issues, especially issues related to .human dignity t freedan from oppression amdpeace. MV mind busied itself with theological questions while the relationships I shared caused me to search for answers that had meaning and relevance to my day to day experience of life. I became increasingly convinced of the validity and viability of a Christian life-style in contemporary society. .My gnMing coomitment to life, to humandJ.gni ty t to non-violence t and to peace t found one avenue of expression in ~ht 1967

@

4ftdr op 01 itan <lIommunitp
OAKLAND
440 Santa Clara Avenue Oakland, California 94610

Rev.

James

E.

Sa nd m i r e , Pastor 7:30 PM

Sunday:

when I became a memberof the Fellowship of Reconciliation. My skills in leadership were developed at Elmhurst College through, my involvement in student goverrment and the service fraternity of which I was a member. In my Junior year of college, I was elected to membershipin Onicron Delta Kappa, National Leadership Honorary. During the sunmer of 1967, I found myself once again in discord with the members of First Evangelical Church of Houston. 'The 1967 General Synod of the United Church of Christ had adopted a pronourcererrt affirming the individual right of selective conscientious objection. On the basis of my study of the VietnamWar and the Principles of the Christian faith, I supported the pronouncementof the General Synod. At a congregational meeting called to discuss the issue, one college student and one seminarian,both membersof the congregation, stood with me while over 350 members of the congregation stood in opposition to the pronouncement. In September-1967 the congregation voted to withdraw fram the United Church of Christ and officially did so in September, 1.968. I was torn between my devotion to my family and my cannitment to the Gospel. After muchthought and prayer, I did what I had to do. I transfered my local church membership to the First Congregational Church of Houston. My personal act of conscience, the transferral of my church membership, is resented to this day by membersof my family. "Sanetimes it is hardest to love those who are closest to you", 'Thew::>rds of AndyYoung rang true. Yet, I found strength and peace in feeling in the depths of my being that I had rot violated the integrity of the Gospel which has been entrusted to me as a Christian. In April,197l'· having decided to request ordination in the Northern California Conference of the United Church, I transferred my local church membership to
. 2:3

Ordination paper ...
#1dropolihul QIommuttitt! QIqurdy
SACRAMENTO Harmony Congregation

902 "J" Street Sacramento, Rev. Joseph Sunday: California 95814 Pastor

H. Gilbert, 5:00 PM

MISSION San Jose Mission of

San Franciso 5852 Meridan

Church Avenue

San Jose,

California

95118

MISSION

Tuscon

Mission Church

of

Phoenix Contact

M. C. C. Phoenix Arizona

Tuscon,

Deacon
24

A. Mros,

Missionary

the Corrrnuni United Church of Christ in ty San Carlos, California, a congregation which I have cane to know, love and respect. Having served for one year as Youth Minister and, later, for five months as Interim Associate Minister of the Oammuni ty Church, I have developed a strong and lasting relationship with the people of San Carlos. They are the people who kn<::M me most fully, personally, as' well as professionally. . By the fact that I have, in free will, responded to the Gospel of the Christ, it can be said that I have been called to the ministry. Every person whodares to call himself Christian is called to continue the ministry begun by the Christ. Through my experiences in high school and college, I carre to realize that Christian women and men everywhere are bound together bY the commonprivilege and responsibility to minister to humanneed. furing the past three years, lxMever, while I have been a student at Pacific School of Religion, I have becane incresingly convinced that Godhas called me to the ordained ministry of the church. I have explored the depth of my canmi ment t to the ministry. I have given mySelf to full pastoral responsibilities in four parishes, served as a chaplain intern in a general hospital, and spent a summeras an industrial chaplain in an electronics corporation in Chicago. I have provided leadership in public celebration, preached and taught the Gospel and worked with many groups and individuals whowere seeking to deepen their commitment to the mission of the church. I have received specialized training in. group dynamics and process, anti-racism and conflict management. I have offered pastoral care and COUI'¥:!iling wherever it was needed or sought, have served the Sacrament of Holy C'AJm1union on several occasions, and celebrated the Rite of Confirmation. I believe the ccmni ment t with which I accepted and perfor.medthese responsibilities reflects my conviction that I have been called of GOO. The call of God is intangible reali ~ It is felt and knownin my life as a swelling tide that floods every dimension of my life with a ccmpel.Lingdesire to serve humanneed, to reach out to those who are alienated and proclaim, in word and deed, the GoodNews of what Godhas done and is doing out of His love for humanbeings. I

'Ordi'nation

paper ...

A CODE FOR LIVING
Think big. Talk small. Love much. LaugheasiIy. Work happily. Play fair. Give cheerfully. Receive gratefully. Thank God. And be kind. - Douglas MacLean, in Science of Mmd

am no longer the high school senior who several years ago decided to study for the Christian ministry. I have cane to the terrifying, joyous realization that I am canpelled by the pa.7er of the Holy Spirit at ~rk in my life to witness to the living Gospel of the Christ. During the summer of 1970 I was tonnented in mind and spirit by the knowledgetha~ I pe~0r:aIly could not enter the orda1ned ID1n1Stry without disclosing to the persons responsible for the oniination the fact of my gay sexual orientation, which, as a matter of personal survival, had remained well hidden. Durdngthe sumnerof 1970, I very seriously contemplated forsaking the 0rdained ministry as a vocation. I weighed seriously every alternative, including the consequences of seeking ordination frxm the posture of canplete honesty and personal integrity. I studied the Gospels with purpose. Andthen, with renewed canmitment and faith, I decided to return to Pacific School of Religion to finish my course of study for the Master of Divini ty degree and seek oniination in the United Church of Christ. I knowthat I have been called to the ordained Christian ministry. The realization of that fact terrified me at first, caused me to quake in my boots at the realization of what i t ~uld' require of me, but today I knowin the very depths of mybeing tha~ it is God's ' wi~ that brings me to trus manent and His grace alone that will sustain me as I seek, through woni and deed, to witness to the Gospel and share in the effort of the church to be true to its mission. Myexperience of life has been such that theological questions have occupied mymind for many years. I am evolving theologically. I believe there is an eternal spiritual reality in the created order- that is properly called God. I believe God the Spirit created the natural order through an evolutionary process that established ecological inter-relatedness. I believe Godthe Spirit, out of encanpassing love for creation, granted to us the responsiliili ty of free will. . The free will which is. inate in humanlife, is the freedan of the individual to detennine his attitudinal response to his existential situation, whether it be a response to God's interaction with his life, or a response to his fellow humanbeings. insofar as we have free will.

we are vulnerable to sin -- subordination of the will of God and alienation of ourselves from Godand from our fellow man. Free will and sinfulness are natural canpanions. I believe the man Jesus was the Christ of God, the Incarnation of God's love and the personification of God's will. Jesus the Christ was of One spirit with God and knewthe joy of perfect carmunion with God. Because of his oneness with God, Jesus the Christ was invulnerable to sin, yet he was not devoid of free will. His free will was manifested in absolute obedience to the will of God, which he personified in his life. The ministry of Jesus the Christ, the ministry which the church seeks to continue, was a prophetic ministry. Affirming the past and the present, Jesus the Christ lifted humanvision to a canpelling under= standing of what carvand ought to be. He introduced newhope into the lnman expel'Ience , His Gospel, the GoodNewshe procla:imed, was a proclamation of hope - hope founded upon the fact of God's love for us and the assurance of God S grace to us. He t confronted persons with their potential as humanbeings, proclaiming all the while, by word and deed, the constant love and grace of Godwhich, freely offered to us, empower-s to realize us our full potential as human beings. He engendered a consciousness of the relevance of God's will to the religious and social. issues of his time. He denouncediljustice wherever it existed. He demonstrated the power of love, not only in his life, but also by the manner of his death. The ministry of Jesus the Christ, the ministry which the church seeks to continue, was an affinning ministry. Jesus invested himself in himan need,enabling per-sons to move from fragmentation to integration in their personal lives. His was a ministry to persons longing for wholeness
1

25

Ordination paper ... ·
and health. He recognized the inter-relatedness of the spiritual, physical, E!!'IDtional and psychological dimensions of the hunan experience. He souzrrt to enable integrity in individual 11ves - integrity not only in the sence of congruence between words and deeds, but also in the sense of intergrating all dimensions of one's inclividual personhood into a meaningful whole. By enabling persons to grow toward a living, integrated consciousness of their owntrue identy, Jesus the Christ waS affirming their individual worth as unique persons. He knewthat an integrated consciousness of one's own.deni ty necesi sarily includes a consciousness of one's own sinfulness and constant need for redemption. He offered his love, acceptance and forgiveness to ALL men, regardless of their condition and status in society. He proclaimed the GoodNews of the redeeming grace which Godoffers to all men. The ministry of Jesus the Christ, the ministry which the church seeks to continue, was a rec:reating ministry. Jesus enables persons to have a persortal experience of the divine-hunan relationship. We have all been called to open ourselves to the ddvine-hemenrelationship, and through the ministry of the Christ, we have been given insight into the nature of that relationship. It is a relationship of FAITH, madepossible by God's grace given to us in love and our response to that grace and love, in faith and obedience to God's will. The divine-htmlan relationship is a recreatiI},g experience that can be knownby each of us. Jesus the Christ enabled persons to experience the recreating relationship not because He VJ8.S, himself. God; but because His oneness with God was such that he could make the affinnation, "He whohas seen me has seen the Father." He enabled persons to eXperience the grace and love of God, to knowthat they were enbraced with forgiveness, to know that they stood in redemptive relationship with God. Weall have a profound ne~d for recreation since, because of our free will, we are vulnerable to aimlessness, alienation and sin. The recreating experience of the divine-human relationship brings newmeaning into humanlife: purposefulness, ocmnunionwith God and man, and a consciousness of personal redemption. The prophetic, affinning and recreating ministry of Jesus the Christ, the min2S

istry which the church seeks .to continue, was the most profoundly known in the manner of his death. The crucificion of the Christ was a demonstration of His absolute obedience to God's will.. He gave himself to crucifixion, an act of profound sacrifice which undeniably demonstrated the demandof the divine;..humanrelationship. Only through canprehending the meaning of the resurrection of the crucified Christ do we begin to understand the eternal, victorious power of God's love for us. Whenthe power of God's love is understood; even in _part, the individual Ii ves with a mnfound· joy that remains unperverted by the crucifying experiences of life.Through the crucifixion and resurrection of the Christ, we are called to invest ourselves in the divine-human relationship. -Apart fran that relationship, joy is partial. In the crucifixion and resurrection of the Christ, God absolutely and inexorably bound himself to us ,liberating us fran the fear of death and pranising to all who

~.etropolitmt

([llmmltniitl
DALLAS

(flptrrq

Mailing: Dallas,

P. O. Box 1344 Texas, 75221

Services: 4015 Normandy Dallas, Texas

Rev.

Richard Vincent, Sunday: 7:30 PM

Pastor

Ordination
("THE 2) hepherd

paper ...

tlalm

The LO~D is my shepherd: I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he. leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23

THOT: Be as careful of the books yop read, as of the company you keep - both will influence your character! -Paxton Hood

2ffiletr op 01 Hun

([1.1 m

numitp

Ollyurr ly

CHICAGO
Good Shepard Parish Mailing: P. O. Box 9134 Chicago, Illinois 60690 Services: Chicago, Rev. 3342 No. Broadway Illinois 60657

Arthur Green, Pastor Sunday: 7:00 PM

are faithful to His will the transfonnation of mortal life into imnortali ty • In the light of this truth, the Christian f s life, our lives, if they be faithful to the will of God as revealed by Jesus the Christ, can only be dances of resounding joy. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God that was in the Christ, still in the world, knownin the midst of humaninteraction. vJheretwo or more persons are involved in recreative interactive V-X)rk. 'TheHoly Spirit anpowersus to be obedient to God's will, which it is continually makingknown to us. It, empowers the church to re true to the Gospel of the Christ and to its mission of ministry. The Holy Spirit enables us to experience the divine-humanrelationship to which Godcontinually calls us. It is through the activity of the Holy Spirit that we enter into fellowship with God and with the eternal spirit of the Christ in the celebration of the sacraments of Holy Cammunion Holy Bapti~ and The administration of the sacraments is therefore a responsibility that should be assumed only by those whocomprehend the import of what they are doing. They should be administered with abounding joy and thanksgiving for they are celebrations of what Godhas done for us. The mission of the church lies in continuing the ministry to the humancondition begun by Jesus the Christ ••• the prophetic, affirming, recreating ministry. The ministry of the church, like the ministry of the Christ, is primarily personal, although, in our time, it must also be inter-personal, social and political. The mission of the church, in our time, must include ministry to all persons, especially those whoexperience isolation and alienation in our technological society, whether they be within or outside the church institutional. The church, if it would be true to its mission, has a special responsibility to open itself to all persons who, because of the church's doctrine, arrogance or self-concern, have fel t rejected by the church and, consequently, by the Christ whose BodV the church professes to be. The church must be socially and politically the unfailing voice crying out and working for justice, humandignity and peace. The GoodNewsof God's grace and love which the Christ proclaimed to us, must be
27

preached by word and deed. 1m ordained minister of the church must not only be capable of educated, inspired verbal preaching, but must also enable, through his interaction t a Ii ving experience of the Gospel of the Christ. ,God's grace and love are reflected in the ministry to human suffering and need, whenever it exists in whatever form. Wherever love is given . without expectation of reciPOCi , ty the nature of God's love is experienced. The Gospel of Jesus the Christ is a living Gospel that must be procla:imednot only by what one says t but, IJX)l'emportantly, by i what one does. The mission of the church in our inpersonal, fragmented society t i.ncl.udes ministry to hemorrhaging persons. 'Thepersonal struggles of life render manyof us incapable of coping with or relating to larger concerns. v.le are a people ' hemorrhage to death -- hiding ourselves fram one another, bleeding silently inside, hungerdng for carmunion with God and with our fellow man, yet fearful of the risks involved in honest trust relationships. The church alone has the Gospel that has the power to bring health to suffering lives. The mission of the church, most pr:imarily, is to individual persons, enabling them to experience the di vine-hunan relationship through which personal integration and health are knoen, As a candidate for ordination to the ministry of the United Church of Christ, I feel canpelled to share with you the primary carmitments to which I give myself. I share these facts about my life with you with as much honesty and integrity as possible. For I knowthat to be ordained to the Christian ministry is a profound privilege and reSPonsibility. The primary, JOOst ntense carmitment i of my life is to God. I consciously strive to be obedient to His will as it has been revealed in the Gospel of the Christ and continues to be revealed through the activity of the Holy Spirit. I have sought and continue to seek to live a life that is consistent with God's revealed will. My camtitment to God canes before any other commitment of my life and it is the impetus for the other carrnitments to which I give myself. I am not ashamed of the Gospel••• it is joy, it is life to me. The second camrl.1Jnent of my life is to the church. I believe in the gathered, ~B

sharing, caring , faithful covenant canmunity we knowas the church. I ~ that ministry must be understood as a corporate as well as a personal resPOOsibili ty • The church has been called into being by God to be the physical presence of the continuing ministry of the Christ. 1 It is therefore, so long as it is true to its Gospel and mission, a sacred institution. Mythird basic canmitment is to hunan life. I amcampelled by the ~ledge of what God has done for us to proclaim the Gospel of the Christ, to celebrate the sacraments and to minister to humansuffering wherever it exists, in whatever' form, at whatever cost to mypersonal canfort or security. By seeking ordination, I have publicly carmitted myself to a life of ministering to my fellow man. I have carrnitted the warmth of my hand, the attentiveness of my ear I J:he canpassion of myheart and the practical help of my abilities and experiences, to persons who are suffering in body, mind or spirit. I have ocmnited .my life to ministry - joyt fully, without reservatdon , without regret Mycamli1Jnents to God, the church and to hunan life, have led me to make specific carmitments to certain social and political struggles that seek to alleviate humansuffering. I have beoane intellectually and emotionally deeply carmitted to these concerns because I have had to personally relate to the suffering that these struggles seek to alleviate. I am canmi ted to the struggle for t peace. I oppose militarism and war in all their forms. I recognize the essential unity of mankind and affirm the power of love and truth for resolving human conflict. I am deeply carmitted to non-violence and deplore the violence of weapons, poverty, ignorance, discrimination and dehtunanization.

Ordination paper ...
I am ocmnited to the struggle for t justice and humandignity for Third World Peoples. The suffering of Black, Chicano, Indian and other Third World People can never be fully canprehended by those of us whohave been their oppressors. I recognize that my a.m racial and ethnic prejudices have contributed to the suffering of my Third World brothers and sisters. I am convinced that so long as justice and humandignity are denied to these oppressed people the humanfamily will be fragmerrtedby a cancer that is undeniably malignant. I am ccmnited to the struggle for t justice and humandignity for gay men and wanen. Freedan of sexual carmunication and expression is innate in humanfree will. In our society, social and religious condemnation, based on fear and ignorance, have farced gay persons to live lives of dishonesty and fear in which, for the most part, psychological and emotional suffers~ has been si1ent1v endured. As one who finds genuinemeaning and fulfillment in relationships with persons of my own sex,I allowed the fear of .exposure to control my life for many years. But having affinned my personhood in all of its dimmens ions , I have becane, by the grace of God, a man free fran fear. I k:ncM that I nave been called to the ordained ministry of the church. I have muchlove to give. I long to serve God, the church and my fellow humanbeings. I have a living, integrated consciousness of who I am and I have put my faith and trust in God, in all whohave been entrusted with the Gospel, and in the power of truth. I have prepared myself for the work of ordained ministry t academically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. I recognize preparation is a continuing process. I have fully invested myself in mywork••• joyfully , without regret. I have been called to do. If there be doubt about my commitmentto or qUalification for the work of oroained ministry, I ask you to look beyond these words of mine. Look to the works that through the grace of God I have been enabled to do. For it is by our fruits that we are, each one, truly J<na.m.

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SAN DIEGO

(flqurrq

Services: Weichel Hall 906 North 47th Street San Diego, California Mailing:

P. O. Box 8205 San Diego, Calif. 92102
Pastor As st.

Rev. John H. Hose, Deacon Howard Williams,

Pastor

~':f

Sunda y: 7: 30 PM

Looking for the Way? Love God? Join Us Today!

I1llWUIU

UNIVERSAL
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~HoIOULI

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Behold I hao good tnd hOIVpleasant it is for brethren to .duel.l: together in unity! PsaLm 133:1

God is faithful, by ~hom ye ~ere called. unto the fell~ship of his Son Jesus Christ ou r Lord I cor, 1:9
STRENGTH AND GROWTH

MEANS

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