First Stone Thrower Ruled Out of Order: On June 9, the weekly synod assembly report from Lutherans Concerned North America (LCNA) includes this tidbit from the Indana-Kentucky Synod assembly:
Substantial byplay occurred when a motion was introduced to remove Kelly Fryer from the agenda of the assembly as the keynote speaker because of her "adultery." The bishop refused to acknowledge the motion due to a technicality and condemned the move. The next morning, the bishop spoke at length about how the Lutheran church is not a place for such hatred, explained enough of the background to exonerate her and apologized profusely to Kelly, who went right on to deliver her second keynote speech.
In times like this we recall (and take some comfort in) the words of Bob Dylan:
But I would not feel so all alone
Everybody must get stoned!
June Is...: ...overloaded. On June 1, President Barack Obama, noting that June, 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, proclaimed June to be LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2009. The proclamation featured this call to action:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.
It might be instructive to compare President Obama's proclamation with GAY AND LESBIAN PRIDE MONTH, 2000 issued on June 2, 2000 by President Clinton. President Clinton's statement also acknowledged Stonewall, but was timid in its activism and apparently unaware of gender identity:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2000 as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that celebrate our diversity and recognize the gay and lesbian Americans whose many and varied contributions have enriched our national life.
Also on June 1, President Obama also declared June to be National Great Outdoors Month, so perhaps we should all just come on out.
On June 11, the 7th anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp and the beginning of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture's (NRCAT) public witness in front of the White House, we received a note from Jennifer Butler of the Faith in Public Life team advising us that June is also Torture Awareness Month.
The ELCA is participating in NRCAT's Ten Days of Prayer: Countdown to End Torture from June 11 to June 20. To the best of our knowledge, The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) is not.
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Pr. Sophie is all a-Twitter. Again.
Pr. Sophie's Tweets:
Hot Dish Hotline: "We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." What have you seen or heard that other people really need to know about? Use the Hot Dish Hotline to submit your item online.
Half-Price Confessions: Concordia Publishing House (CPH) has announced that, in commemoration of the 479th anniversary of the presentation of the Augsburg Confession and the 429th anniversary of the publication of the entire Book of Concord, all the various CPH editions of the Lutheran Confessions will be available for half price during the month of June.
The top-of-the-line, bound-in-genuine-leather edition can be yours for only $49.99; the CD-ROM version is a mere $14.99; and for only $7.50 you, too, can pack Pr. Sophie's favorite: the 1036-page, pocket-sized edition. (Pr. Sophie advises that you exercise caution when transporting your pocket edition and suggests that you ignore anyone who makes comments like "Is that the Book of Concord in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?")
And in West Bend: The latest installment in the on-going saga of the West Bend Community Memorial Library unfolded on Tuesday, June 2. According to a report in the West Bend Daily News, the West Bend Library Board heard comments from some approximately 60 speakers and then voted unanimously not to remove, relocate, label or otherwise restrict access to books in the library's young adult section.The vote was a rejection of a proposal from West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries (WBCSL) which since February has waged a campaign to move books with sexually-explicit passages from the young adult section to the adult section and to label those books as containing sexual material.
WBCSL leader Ginny Maziarka accused the library board of following the master plans of the American Library Association and the American Civil Liberties Union. The West Bend Daily News quotes Ms. Maziarka:
We vehemently reject their standards and their principles. This is a propaganda battle to maintain access to inappropriate material.
Securing Houses of Worship: We were surprised to learn that the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) has a Houses of Worship Security Working Group as part of its Critical Infrastructure Working Group (CIWG).
We were not surprised however, to learn that ASIS will offer a Securing Houses of Worship, a one-day professional development course now scheduled for September 20 at the Anaheim Marriott in Anaheim California. The course description reads in part:
This program brings together security professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds related to houses of worship security. It focuses on the planning, design, and implementation of security operations and advanced technologies for cross-denominational places of worship. Additionally, it provides the latest information on identifying threats, vulnerabilities, and risks inherent to protecting houses of worship and all congregations. Specific topics include security management, crime prevention, and emergency planning.
September 20 is a Sunday this year, so attendees may have to miss church that day.
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