How Do I Know God Made Me Gay?

How Do I Know God Made Me Gay?

June 22, 2014,

 

My mothimages017R4VMJer kept a scrapbook for each one of her children. Perhaps because I am the oldest, mine is the fullest. Lovingly glued to each page is a host of memories. First year birthday cards, are next to an envelope with locks of my hair from a first haircut, congratulatory telegrams from relatives in England when I was born, are pasted next to some of the first “art” that I created.

One of the more telling pieces in the scrapbook is an “essay” that I wrote in third grade. The assignment was to write about “what do you want be when you grow up?” At the age of eight, I wrote that I wanted to be a priest. (more…)

Continue ReadingHow Do I Know God Made Me Gay?

Love During a Revolution

Love During a Revolution

March 26, 2014

www.rtl.lu
www.rtl.lu

Ukraine has the world’s attention. The largest country within the borders of Europe, with a population of some 44 million, recently went through a significant revolution. The protesters forced a change of government following a particularly volatile protest staged by civilians against a pro-Russian government. The world’s leading powers are still trading threats and punitive actions over the forceful Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Certainly this battle for Ukraine is not over as it has become the center in a struggle between the power and values of West vs. East. A new Cold War era might be upon us. (more…)

Continue ReadingLove During a Revolution

Acceptance Comes Before Revelation

Acceptance Comes Before Revelation

February 9, 2014

What would it take for the Orthodox Church to officially recognize that God created some people with same-sex attractions?

What would it take for the Orthodox Church to officially recognize that gay people fall in love and desire to live in loving, sanctified relationships?

What would it take for the Orthodox Church to officially recognize that gay people in life-long relationships sincerely believe that God led them to be with their particular spouse?

What would it take for the Orthodox Church to officially accept same-sex relationships and celebrate the commitments made by the couple with the mystery of crowning, in the midst of a church community? (more…)

Continue ReadingAcceptance Comes Before Revelation

Is Silence the Enemy?

Is Silence the Enemy

January 12, 2014

facebook_covers_Martin-Luther-KingMartin Luther King Jr., the great African-American civil rights leader, delivered a sermon in 1957 in Montgomery, Alabama where he spoke the following words: “in the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” These words ring true for many people, not the least for members of the LGBTQ community. While we have unfortunately come to expect hatred and vile speech from members of the extreme political right, religious fundamentalists and the ignorant[1], we are particularly confused and hurt when our friends and allies in the straight world are silent, and do not defend our civil rights in the face of injustice and bigotry. (more…)

Continue ReadingIs Silence the Enemy?

Who Could Love Me?

Who could love me?

December 15, 2013

 

tessagroves.wordpress.com
tessagroves.wordpress.com

Who could love me? What a very sad question. Who could love me? Of all the challenges and difficulties that we face in this world, we should all have someone to love and someone who loves us. But the question, who could love me, is one that lesbians and gay men face in a particular way and under specific circumstances. Growing up, the teenage boy or girl begins to realize that they have different experiences from those around them. For adolescent boys this can be particularly traumatizing when the words “fag” and “gay” are used frequently to cut someone down, to ridicule and ultimately to dehumanize. Causing even more damage are the adults in the life of the young person, who hear the insults and do nothing to stop them, or refuse to educate those who use such dehumanizing and painful language. (more…)

Continue ReadingWho Could Love Me?

Patriarch Bartholomew is Not Infallible

Patriarch Bartholomew is Not Infallible

November 17, 2013

Bishops make mistakes. They are human, of course they make mistakes. Because they have so much influence, and even control over people’s spiritual lives, when they make mistakes, the results can be quite damaging. Permanent infallibility of the teachings of bishops is a concept which thankfully, has not invaded Orthodox theology. Infallibility, or the impossibility to be wrong on a theological issue, is a teaching that has been adopted by some Christian churches.  (more…)

Continue ReadingPatriarch Bartholomew is Not Infallible

Death of a Matushka

Death of a Matushka

November 3, 2013

A matushka[1] died.  While on vacation I went to Divine Liturgy at a local Russian Orthodox Church.  On this particular sunny Sunday morning, the small church was full of people. It had a mixture of recent immigrants from Russia and Ukraine, those that had been in the US for many years, a nice smattering of young adults and children and, as I later learned, even a few converts to the Orthodox Church.  During the sermon the priest spoke of his wife – his matushka, the parish matushka, – who had recently died and was buried within the last week.  Also serving the Liturgy was the dean of priests of the area. The dean had come to help the pastor with the celebration of the divine services, knowing that it might be difficult for the pastor emotionally, as well as physically, considering that he had buried his wife only a few days earlier. (more…)

Continue ReadingDeath of a Matushka

Oikonomia

Oikonomia

October 13, 2013Good Samaritan

Oikonomia or “Economy” is an Orthodox concept that is probably applied more often than many Orthodox bishops would like to admit. Essentially it is a way of “managing the household” of the Church. While the Orthodox Church recognizes the authority of Sacred Scripture and Holy Tradition as the main sources for what we believe, there are many instances in which situations arise or problems need to be solved, that are not answered at all, or addressed insufficiently in the Bible or the Tradition of the Church.  When such situations arise, oikonomia or economy is applied.  It is a merciful decision applied for the sake of the salvation of the faithful.  Why can’t oikonomia be applied to gay people in the Church?  Why can’t oikonomia be used to bless the union of two men or two women in the Orthodox Church? For example, if oikonomia is continuously and liberally applied to allow an Orthodox Christian to be married to a Protestant in the Orthodox Church[1], especially in countries where Orthodox Christians are in the minority, then why not use the same principle and permit an ecclesiastical blessing for the union of two men or two women who desire to be a “helpmate” to one another[2]? (more…)

Continue ReadingOikonomia

Were there queens in Byzantium?

Palaiologos-Dynasty-Eagle_svgWere there queens in Byzantium?

September 22, 2013

Were there queens in Byzantium?  What an odd question, I thought when I read it.  Of course there were gay people in the Byzantine Empire – we were and are everywhere, no? The Byzantine Empire, the Greek speaking Eastern Roman Empire, has long been associated with the Orthodox Church.  Its capital, Constantinople, has been the ecumenical throne of the “first among equals’ patriarch since the fourth century. The Byzantine realm, which lasted 1,000 years, produced great luminaries for the Church such as St. John Chrysostom and St. Gregory Nazianzus. But were there any queens in Byzantium? (more…)

Continue ReadingWere there queens in Byzantium?