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October 2011
Jesus in Love Newsletter
LGBT spirituality and the arts
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In This Issue
Sergius & Bacchus
Rumi: Sufi poet
LGBT teen suicide
Francis of Assisi

glbt spirituality & arts
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Jesus in Love serves gay, lesbian, bi and trans (glbt) people who have spiritual interests, and our allies. We promote queer spirituality and the arts, with an emphasis on books and images. We believe that God loves all people, including sexual minorities. We believe that the creative process is sacred. We hope that the new visions, especially the gay Jesus and queer saints, will free people to experience the divine in new ways and lead to a more just world.

New art is featured this month, including images of ancient gay saints Sergius and Bacchus and modern gay teen Tyler Clementi. Sufi mystic poet Rumi reminds us that "there is no reality but God."

Sergius & Bacchus: Gay saints in new art       


Sts. Sergius and Bacchus by Plamen Petrov One of the newest images of 2nd-century gay saints Sergius and Bacchus is a stained glass window donated this year to an Illinois church by its LGBT parishioners.

Sergius and Bacchus were Roman soldiers, Christian martyrs and gay men who loved each other.  


Their story is posted today for their feast day (Oct. 7) -- along with more Sergius and Bacchus art, including the work of British photographer Anthony Gayton and iconographers Nancy Jackson and Robert Lentz.  More info

(Credit: "Sts. Sergius and Bacchus" by Plamen Petrov)  

Rumi: Sufi poet inspired by same-sex love
Whirling Dervishes by Diaz
Rumi is a 13th-century Persian poet and Sufi mystic whose love for another man inspired some of the world's best poems and led to the creation of a new religious order, the whirling dervishes. 


The homoeroticism of Rumi is hidden in plain sight.  It is well known that his poems were inspired by his love for another man, but the queer possibilities are rarely discussed. More info 


(Credit: Whirling Dervishes by Diaz, Wikimedia Commons)

Tyler Clementi: Gay martyr driven to suicide

Tyler Clementi, Jump by Louisa Bertman Tyler Clementi brought international attention to bullying-related suicide of LGBT youth when he jumped to his death on Sept. 22 last year. 


Anti-LGBT politicians created the hostile environment that led to his death.  Artist Louisa Bertman makes visible the hateful voices in his head.  


Wear purple on Oct. 20 to show support for young LGBT victims of bullying on Spirit Day. More info  


(Credit: "Tyler Clementi, Jump!" by Louisa Bertman)

Hildegard: Mystic who loved women

Hildegard of Bingen and Richardis by Lewis Williams
Hildegard of Bingen was a brilliant medieval German mystic, poet, artist, composer, healer and scientist who wrote with passion about the Virgin Mary. 

Some say she was a lesbian because of her strong attachment to women, especially her personal assistant Richardis von Stade. A new icon and a a new German film highlight the love between these two women of faith. More info

(Credit: "St. Hildegard of Bingen and Her Assistant Richardis" by Lewis Williams,
St. Francis: Loving across boundaries

St. Francis and the Sultan by Robert Lentz
St Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata by Kevin Raye Larson St. Francis of Assisi was a universal person whose extravagant love crossed many boundaries. Artists explore his loving connections to men, including an Islamic sultan and a gay Jesus. More info

St. Francis is also the patron saint of animals. Check out our animal blessing and get your pet portraits.

(Left: "St. Francis and the Sultan" by Robert Lentz. Right: "St Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata" by Kevin Raye Larson)
Click for more highlights from the Jesus in Love Blog this month:

 Happy birthday, MCC and Desmond Tutu! 

Many people liked my Rumi post because it builds interfaith understanding. A Polish blog plans to translate it. I close with a quote from Rumi: "You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?"
Kittredge Cherry 
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