Friday, May 9, 2008

I'm pleased to report that our congregation just voted by a landslide to join the roster of "Open and Affirming" ("ONA") congregations within the UCC. Here is the declaration we adopted:

We, the congregation of First Congregational United Church of Christ, Fort Worth, declare ourselves to be Open and Affirming. We strive to be a congregation that includes all persons, embracing differences of sexual orientation, gender and its expression, marital status, age, mental and physical health and ability, racial and cultural identity or background, educational level and socioeconomic status. We welcome all to share in the life, leadership, ministry, fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities, joys and blessings of our mutual life in Christ.

Bishop Robinson interviewed by Matt Lauer on Today Show

Monday, April 28, 2008

Soulforce Vigil during United Methodist General Convention, Fort Worth Convention Center, 26 April 2008

Methodist Youth Group Drumming Circle
Pastor Carol of Celebration Church, Fort Worth, & Friend

Two Friends and Fellow Congregants

Vigilants near entrance to Convention Center


A Fellow Vigilant at our Station

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My friend Barbi makes an interesting point over at her blog: Briefly put, she alludes to the challenge Progressive Christians may face in engaging in dialogue with progressives, and particularly GLBT folks, who reject belief in God. Here's the response I left on her blog:

I've known and know a lot of decent folks who proclaim that they don't believe in God--as a group, I find they're often more loving and decent than many of the folks who make noise about believing in God.I've found it useful to ask folks when they tell me they don't believe in God, what exactly they mean by that. I often find that I don't believe in the god they reject, either. That can be an interesting place from which to begin dialogue.Such folks are rarely thorough-going nihilists. At least implicitly and practically, they base many of their choices on unexamined assumptions that there is a kind of implicit moral order within and beyond the creation, by which actions and decisions can and must be judged. When pushed, they are often willing to affirm that that implicit order cannot be something sub-human, but must in fact represent something that transcends our indivdual states and forms at any particular moment. And, that is partly what--or perhaps better, whom--I'm referring to when I speak of God.On that basis, I often find I share much common ground with professed atheists; often more than I share with a great many self-described Christians or other theists.In fact, the atheism of some of my GLBT and other friends often seems to me a moral advance over the theism they once embraced, and which many professed Christians still embrace.The challenge for progressive people of faith is, first, to articulate a vision of God clearly distinct from the authoritarian tyrant and/or naively anthropomorphic image quite reasonably rejected by both atheists and progressive theists. Secondly, to make a case for how such a vision can be in continuity with the religious traditions to which we belong. And thirdly, to point out why progressive participation within such tradition is better than trying to operate completely outside it (not an easy task).

Monday, January 14, 2008

On the up side . . .

'Gays Too Precious To Risk In Combat,' Says General

Almost too spot-on to be funny!

Christian Charity Raising Money To Feed Non-Gay Famine Victims

Dr. Louie Crew, Founder of Integrity, to speak in Fort Worth

Some people are threatening to split from The Episcopal Church because of its full inclusion of gay and lesbian Episcopalians in the life and ministry of the church. But many Episcopalians agree with the move toward full inclusion of all the Baptized, or want to learn more about it.

One of the most articulate voices on this subject is Dr. Louie Crew, founder of Integrity. Integrity is a nonprofit organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [LGBT] Episcopalians and straight friends. Since its founding by Dr. Crew in rural Georgia in 1974, Integrity has been the leading grassroots voice for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in The Episcopal Church and equal access to its rites.

On Saturday, March 1, 2008, Integrity Fort Worth will host Dr. Crew, whose topic will be “Exceedingly Glad in Times Like These,” at Celebration Community Church, 908 Pennsylvania Avenue, Fort Worth, TX. Dr. Crew will speak at 3:30 PM after the Holy Eucharist at 2:00 PM, led by the Rt. Rev. Sam Hulsey, retired bishop of Northwest Texas. Registration will begin at 1:30 p.m. There will be a reception in the parish hall following Dr. Crew’s address.

A native of Anniston, Alabama, Crew holds earned degrees from Baylor University (BA, 1958), Auburn (MA, 1959) and the University of Alabama (PhD, 1971) and honorary doctorates from three Episcopal seminaries: EDS (Cambridge, 1999), General (NYC, 2003), and EDS Pacific (Berkeley, 2004). He has held fellowships at UCal Berkeley, the University of Texas (Austin), and the University of Chicago. He is the author of more than 1620 publications.

An emeritus professor of English at Rutgers University, Crew taught there from 1989 to 2001 and served two terms as Chair of its Senate and a member of its Board of Governors. At other times during his 44-year career, he was a prep school master and a professor of black higher education in the rural south. He also taught for five years in rural Wisconsin and four years in Beijing and Hong Kong.
Dr. Crew’s contributions to the Church have been many. A five time deputy to General Convention from the Diocese of Newark, he chaired Newark’s deputation in 2006. He has served two terms on the Standing Committee of his Diocese, twice as its President, and is now clerk of the vestry at Grace Church, Newark. He is also the secretary of Province Two of the Episcopal Church as well as a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Nominations. He recently finished his term on the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, the body that governs the church between General Conventions.
Louie Crew and Ernest Clay entered a life partnership in February 1974.


This event is free if attendees pre-register online at