LGBT Religious Archives Network News

Newsletter #65: January 29, 2009

This month's news:

  1. Bernd Wangerin Interview Posted & New Profiles
  2. CLGS Launches New Web Site
  3. MCC Builds Online Archives
  4. Save Date for LGBT-RAN Dinner<br />May 2 in Bay Area
  5. Thanks to Supporters
  6. Call for Articles

1.  Bernd Wangerin Interview Posted & New Profiles

LGBT-RAN has posted an oral history interview with the Rev. Bernd Wangerin, gay pastor in Germany. Wangerin has been a long-time leader in Homosexuelle und Kirche (HuK), the earliest and largest ecumenical LGBT Christian group in Germany.  He was also an early leader in the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups. In this interview Wangerin relates his life story beginning in World War II Germany through years of ministry and growing LGBT activism. This interview is the first of a series with leaders in the European Forum that were recorded last year and are being prepared to post on the web site.  More will be forthcoming.

Three new biographical sketches have been added to the Profiles Gallery in recent weeks:

Brent Hawkes, long-time pastor of MCC Toronto;
Michael Mendiola, scholar and ethicist at Pacific School of Religion; and
John Yoakam, openly gay seminarian in early 1970s.

New or updated profiles or suggestions of candidates for profiles or oral history interviews can be sent to Mark Bowman.

2.  CLGS Launches New Web Site

The Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) has launched a redesigned web site. The new site provides easier user access to the extensive array of resources that CLGS provides for the education and training of students and scholars, faith communities, and activists.  A program of the Pacific School of Religion, CLGS is the largest resource center focused on LGBT concerns in religion. CLGS is now the sponsor of the LGBT Religious Archives Network.

Sign up here to receive CLGS's free monthly e-newsletter that will keep you informed on the latest developments on LGBT concerns in religion. The email list is strictly private and confidential.

3.  MCC Builds Online Archives

With the celebration of its 40th anniversary in 2008 the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) has initiated a web-based archival project, In Our Own Words.  The attractive web site includes a variety of artifacts from MCC's history: oral histories in which long-time members and leaders tell their stories; pictures; and documents. MCC archivist Angel Collie notes: "This is an important time for us to go back and tell our stories that will help guide future generations of leaders in MCC." 

MCC members and friends are invited to assist in growing these archives. Persons who would like to share their story of MCC involvement should contact the project.  You can also sign up for a free e-newsletter to stay informed on the project and its needs. In addition to MCC Archivist Collie, Frank Zerilli, Melanie Martinez, Cindi Love and other staff have played important roles in formulating and implementing this project.

4.  Save Date for LGBT-RAN Dinner<br />May 2 in Bay Area

LGBT-RAN will host a dinner and program for all persons interested in LGBT religious history on Saturday evening, May 2, 2009. This event will be in Berkeley, California, coinciding with the annual meeting of the LGBT-RAN Advisory Committee.  More details about the event will be available soon. LGBT-RAN friends in northern California are encouraged to mark this date on their calendars--and to invite interested colleagues to come along to learn more about the ground-breaking work of LGBT-RAN. Other LGBT-RAN friends may want to take advantage of this opportunity to visit the Bay Area.

5.  Thanks to Supporters

A special thanks to the 15 groups and friends that made gifts to LGBT-RAN totaling $2,500 last month. While LGBT-RAN's model of organization with digital technology allows it to accomplish much at minimal expense, LGBT-RAN is still dependent upon the generous support of individuals, families and organizations in order to carry out its mission. LGBT-RAN Partners and Friends contributed $12,000 to LGBT-RAN in 2008--a heartening 10% increase over the previous year. Even in these difficult economic times, you are invited to consider how--in this coming year--you can enable LGBT-RAN to continue its unique efforts to preserve our voices and stories for future generations. 

6.  Call for Articles

Special Journal of Bisexuality issue on bisexualities and spiritualities; intersections, inquiries, stories, visions. Questions being addressed include:

  • What are the connections/correlations between bisexuality as sexual orientation and the spiritual tradition(s) one is born into and/or chooses for oneself?
  • Are certain spiritual philosophies/practices more/less likely to include bisexuals?
  • In a pastoral sense, what are the sources of pain and suffering, of comfort and hope, for bisexuals in contrast to non-bisexuals?
  • Are there distinctive religious practices and beliefs characteristic of bi people?
  • What are the experiences of bi clergy -– rabbis, ministers, ima, shamans, priestesses, priests, nuns, etc. -– in terms of training/credentialing, job searches, congregational dynamics, interactions with gay, lesbian, trans, intersex and heterosexual peoples?
  • Lastly, how do these beyond-binary modalities open up spaces/new horizons for conceptualizing creation stories, parables, wisdom texts, ways of naming the divine for everyone?

Send queries to Dr. Loraine Hutchins,  lorainehutchins@starpower.net 

The LGBT Religious Archives Network News is an occasional email newsletter for persons interested in supporting the preservation of the history of LGBT religious movements. Subscribe now.