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July 2014
Jesus in Love Newsletter
LGBT spirituality and the arts
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In This Issue
Rainbow Crucifix & Madonna
Rainbow Christ Prayer
Queer 1776 preacher
UpStairs Lounge fire
Pauli Murray
Help! Camera repair

glbt spirituality & arts
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Jesus in Love supports lesbian, gay, bi trans and queer  (LGBTQ) spirituality, with an emphasis on art and literature. It promotes artistic and religious freedom and teaches love for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is based on these beliefs: God loves all people, including sexual minorities. The creative process is sacred. The queer visions, especially the gay Jesus and LGBT saints, will free people to experience the divine in new ways and lead to a more just world.


Jesus in Love was founded by lesbian Christian author Kittredge Cherry as her personal gift to the world.  


Rainbows are becoming a more common way to express the LGBTQ side of Christianity. This month see how rainbows shed fresh light on the crucifix, the Madonna, and Christ.
Rainbow crucifix and Madonna unveiled 
Solidarity by Richard Stott

Madonna with Rainbow Flag by Richard Stott Rainbow clothing gives a queer quality to Jesus and his mother Mary in new paintings by gay British artist and minister Richard Stott.


The rainbow Christian images made their debut recently as part of the exhibit "Sacred Stories of the Body: Gender, Sexuality and Spirituality" in Sheffield, England. More info


(Credit: "Solidarity" (left) and "Untitled" (right) by Richard Stott

Rainbow Christ Prayer goes nationwide

Stained glass rainbow flag with cross by Andrew Craig Williams

People are adapting the Rainbow Christ Prayer for many different settings, such as a theology class in Dallas, a non-violence training in Pennsylvania, and a poetry reading in Los Angeles.   


It has been used as a blessing at Shabbat dinners, a meditation at yoga classes, and a wedding gift at a same-sex marriage. The prayer matches the colors of the rainbow flag with models of the queer Christ. More info 


(Credit: "Stained-glass Rainbow Flag with Cross" by Andrew Craig Williams)
Jemima Wilkinson: Queer preacher reborn as "Publick Universal Friend" in 1776  
Jemima Wilkinson

Jemima Wilkinson was a queer American preacher who woke from a near-death experience in 1776 believing she was neither male nor female. She changed her name to the "Publick Universal Friend," fought for gender equality and founded an important religious community.


In 1776, the same year that America issued the Declaration of Independence, Wilkinson declared her own independence from gender.  This fascinating person died almost 200 years ago on July 1, 1819. More info 

UpStairs Lounge fire recalled in new film, book and online exhibit

UpStairs Lounge art by Skylar Fein
The deadliest attack on LGBT people in U.S. history is remembered in powerful ways on its 41st anniversary: a new film, book and online exhibit.

"Upstairs Inferno," a film by Robert Camina, aims to be the most comprehensive film on America's biggest gay mass murder. The arson fire killed 32 people at the UpStairs Lounge, a gay bar in New Orleans, on June 24, 1973. More info


(Credit:"See You at the UpStairs Lounge" by Skylar Fein)  

Pauli Murray: Queer saint stood for racial and gender equality

Pauli Murray by Laurel Green
Human rights champion and queer saint Pauli Murray is a renowned civil rights pioneer, feminist, author, lawyer and the first black woman ordained as an Episcopal priest.

She was approved for inclusion in the Episcopal book of saints in 2012. July 1 is her feast day. She became aware of her queer sexuality early in life. Murray was attracted to women and her longest relationships were with women. She described herself as a man trapped in a woman's body and took hormone treatments. More info

(Credit: "Pauli Murray" by Laurel Green)

Help! $165 needed for camera repair

Kittredge Cherry with camera repair bill I need $165 to fix the camera used for Jesus in Love. Please give now.

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My camera has provided photos for the Jesus in Love blog and newsletter since 2008. Let's keep it working to bring more images of LGBT spirituality the world! The photo shows me peeking out from behind the camera repair bill. More info
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Photo from reader: Gay Passion of Christ prints add beauty to home

I close with some lines from the original Rainbow Christ Prayer that I wrote with gay theologian Patrick Cheng:

Rainbow Christ... free us from rigid categories

and grant us the grace of interwoven identities.

With the rainbow, lead us  

beyond black-and-white thinking

to experience the whole spectrum of life.

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Kittredge Cherry
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