An Episcopal church in Virginia Beach is the only one in the region and one of two in the state to join a national group calling for full inclusion of gay and lesbian people in the church.
Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church on Laskin Road recently formed a chapter of the Episcopal group Integrity. Last month, the church's vestry also approved a statement called "Believe Out Loud" that welcomes gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in its congregation.
"Words are great, but you've got to put some action to the words," said the Rev. Chris Thompson, the rector at Eastern Shore Chapel. "The time was appropriate so we're going full speed ahead."
The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion of which it is a branch have faced internal division over homosexuality.
Acceptance is not new, however, for the Episcopal Church. In 1976, its General Convention passed a resolution saying gay and lesbian people are "children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church."
The first openly gay Episcopal priest was ordained in 1977, and in 2003 the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson became the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church.
A group of Episcopalians left and formed the Anglican Church in North America after the Episcopal Church endorsed Robinson's ordination. They contended the Episcopal Church had strayed from an orthodox interpretation of the Bible. Some churches in Hampton Roads have joined Anglican groups.
Ann Turner, the communications director at Eastern Shore Chapel, said she remembered the rector meeting with two groups after Robinson's election - those who were happy and those who were upset. The group of those who were happy consisted of Turner and one other; about 15 to 20 were upset.
The Episcopal Church in March approved the election of the Rev. Mary Glasspool as assistant bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles. She will be the second openly gay bishop when she is consecrated in May.
Glasspool's election has been "a nonissue" for Eastern Shore Chapel, Turner said.
"The attitude here has changed so much," she said.
Likewise, no one in the congregation has complained about the church's movement toward publicly accepting the LGBT community, church staff members said.
There are some in the approximately 1,300-member congregation who don't agree, but they're willing to co-exist, said Kay O'Reilly, a staff member who helped push the church to form an Integrity chapter.
"From the pulpit, they have heard time and time again, part of our baptismal covenant is to respect the dignity of every human being," said Bryan Mitnaul, the church's music director, who also has pushed for the public stance.
The Integrity chapter at Eastern Shore Chapel will hold its first meeting at 7 p.m. April 19 at the church. It's open to anybody, Turner said.
Patrick Wilson, (757) 222-3893, email@example.com
We learned this evening from Mike Thomas, mgr. of the Garage in downtown Norfolk that Jennifer Warner, local entertainer is hospitalized. We would very much like to wish Jennifer the best of care and comfort.
There are expressions of love and support for Jennifer all over the internet. Send your own message to this inspiration to our GLBT community; write Jennifer Warner showing your love and support, she has always been there for you... show her you are there for her...
Four 1/2 Fred Phelps supporters (that's right... 1/2... they brought a CHILD with them and had the poor kid out there shivering) visited Norfolk and Virginia Beach to spread their message that God hates pretty much everyone but them; Gays, Jews, the Military.... M4MLIFE/GLBT Omni Media Group was there with microphone and film crew to capture the Hampton Roads' community response to Phelp's message of hate.
Wythe Holt, Retired Law Professor Discusses Activism with Teej Beck, Editor of M4MLIFE
Phelps' group, godhatesfags.com is met with compassion instead of fighting hate with hate:
For more of the story and more video, check out the Editor's Blog
I am launching an online magazine. The premise of this magazine goes beyond other publications with new and innovative features that I feel can benefit you, your business and our community. M4M LIFE is an online, interactive gay lifestyle magazine which includes news, commentary and personal interest stories. The magazine features interviews with local notables, articles contributed by local authors, a directory of local business, events and social networks. There are also sections covering health, wealth, and wisdom; each with blogs, discussion groups and 'ask the expert' forums. I am asking members of the M4M/ M4M friendly community to help create a model for this project and assist with content and resources. Once the model proves to be effective, we will expand the scope of the magazine to include all segments of the glbt/gay friendly community.
I am offering, at no cost to you, an opportunity to advertise yourself, your business or your event in this new and exciting medium. Advertising yourself and your business though the online format of blogging connects you to your public in a very candid and personal way. Reaching your audience by sharing who you are, what you do, how you came to do what you do, all your successes, challenges and goals, grows interest and builds bonds with your community in a way print or television commercials simply cannot. This kind of exposure will not only promote your business but offers inspiration, develops interest and encourages support from your community at an entirely new level. If FREE advertising appeals to you then please accept my invitation to learn more about my publication, my offer and my vision. Resources being limited I can only extend this invitation for limited time and can only proceed with this exposition if there is a considerable response from the public. There is no cost to attend and no prerequisites other than being a Hampton Roads gay/gay business owner, professional, or sole practitioner and interested in expanding your exposure in the community.
Thank you for taking the time to consider our invitation, I do hope you accept.
Teej Beck EIC/Publisher M4MLIFE/GLBT OMNI MEDIA GROUP
Interested advertisers Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and expo details. Please include in your inquiry: your name, contact info (both electronic and traditional) your company or organization's name, your position and how you heard about us.
Please reply no later than Feb 25, 2010 to receive invitation for the M4MLIFE Advertisers'
Exposition slated for Feb 28 2010.* (date subject to change) details of the event will be available
upon your RSVP to this invitation.
February 2 2010
EV (Equality Virginia)
email@example.com Please R.S.V.P by Sunday, February 1st NOON with your deposit! (Thank You!)
Refreshments will be provided courtesy of M4MLIFE to and from the event.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
6:00 Depart VB/ORF
9:45 Lobby Your Legislators
12:45 Afternoon Speaker and Workshops
2:30 Lobby Your Legislators
4:15 EV Advocates Annual Meeting
5:30 Legislative Reception
7:00 Depart Richmond
9:00 Expected Return to VB/ORF
The Library of Virginia
Deposits must be received by January 31st and can be made by Money Order, Personal Check, Credit Card (through paypal) or cash. To render deposit of m.o., check or cash please contact 757.235.4217 or 757.537.4020. To make deposit using your credit card please firstname.lastname@example.org to receive easy instruction and invoice.
Locals' favorite Tom Goss will be joined by the talented Matt Alber on Wed, Feb 3 8:00pm at the Rainbow Cactus in Virginia Beach.
TOM GOSS BREATHES, SPEAKS AND ACHES LIKE NEVER BEFORE ON -- BACK TO LOVE
Washington DC Based Singer/Songwriter Builds on Success of 2008’s Rise
Washington DC—Every singer/songwriter uses life experiences to help shape their own musical style and direction. For Washington DC based Tom Goss, that method has been taken to another level on his latest album, Back To Love (April 7, 2009). Produced by Mike Ofca, Back To Love is a collection of edgy alt/pop songs that are literally about love—not always romantic love, but the many faces of love. He has built on the success of his first national tour with acclaimed singer/songwriter Eric Himan in 2008, as well as the production and release of his first video, which was featured nationally and eventually rose to #2 on MTV LOGO’s The Click List.
“I wanted to create something that was instantly accessible,” says Goss. “Something that would touch a wide audience, and something that was fast and clean but also carried a concrete message.” And he teamed up with Ofca, because, as he says, “I love what he can do. He took the songs and added depth and edge -- layers of guitars, monster drums, and a real respect for each individual song at its core.”
As for those songs, the months Goss spent on the road with Himan in 2008 fueled his songwriting into something more personal and profound, influenced by some of his favorite artists, including Ben Folds, David Gray, Dave Matthews, Sufjan Stevens, Paolo Nutini and The Beatles. In addition, the songs are a way that Goss has opened up about his own romantic love. As a gay man, he wanted to deliver a message about societal and religious perceptions of what love means to a gay person, as well as his family’s love and failed love, including the divorce of his parents. Goss also learned a lot from his recently deceased grandfather, whom he says loved his grandmother “more than I have ever seen anyone love.” He adds that “Back To Love breathes speaks, and aches like nothing I have ever done before.”
Goss, who grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, moved to DC in 2004 to enter Catholic seminary in hopes of becoming a priest. After that didn’t go as planned, Goss later found himself through his charity work and through his partner, and began to make music a full-time ambition. His debut, album, Naked Without, was released in 2006 and was followed by Rise in January 2008.
Goss plans to hit the road in support of Back To Love, delivering the message of his new album to a wide range of listeners. “I want people to listen to Back To Love and leave with a sense of hope and love greater than before,” says Goss. “I want to start conversations about love and loss, anger and forgiveness, hope and fear, but most importantly integration, of self and of each other. And at the same time, I want to deliver the best batch of songs that I possibly could.”
MATT ALBER blends extraordinary, emotional nuance with impeccable vocal range and style.. Following a tenure with the San Francisco-based classical ensemble, Chanticleer, winning two Grammy® Awards, Matt turned his attention to contemporary projects. In 2004 Alber released a self-produced album of experimental songs called Nonchalant with co-producer/writer Jeff Crerie at Utmosis in San Francisco. The duo became fast friends capturing the sounds of neighboring wind-chimes and borrowing banjo players from the park to create their neo art-songs on Macintosh computers. Within months Alber was signed by Tommy Boy as the first artist to their new imprint, Silver Label, and immediately began work refining his independent release into the full-length, Hide Nothing. The album is resplendent with glitchy-orchestral romance (End of the World, Fieldtrip Buddy) and delves deep into the mystic (Rivers & Tides, Beotia) including an intimate re-telling of Imogen Heap's Hide & Seek. Alber'sunfailing voice threads these songs together with a constant airy nuance close to the ears (and heart.) Many fans have come to know Matt through the achingly romantic 1960’s themed video of “End of the World".
Check back here in February to see his live interview!
Call me BORICUA A hilarious one man show written and performed by Ricardo Melendez, Call me BORICUA tells the journey of a native Puerto Rican into the Continental USA. His experiences will make you laugh, scream and wonder! Call Me, BORICUA! A Fun evening where nothing is sacred, no one is safe, and everyone laughs! Produced by the Workshop Theatre Group, all performances are at the Benjack theatre inside the TRDANCE studio, 325 Granby Street, Norfolk, Virginia.
January 29-February 7, 2010
Friday-Saturday 8:00pm, Sunday 2:30pm
General Admission: $15.00, Students: $10.
Information and Reservations:
The Workshop Theatre Group is a company of theatre professionals committed to the theatrical creative process. They embrace the celebration of the human experience as the focus of their productions. They value Diversity, Honor of Purpose and Fiscal Responsibility in order to create a constructive environment of growth that will benefit the theater artists as well as the Community we serve.
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