Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shelby Knox Redux


Shelby Knox Redux
July 23, 7:00 PM
649 S County Center Rd
Disciples of Christ-Visalia

As states across the country debate whether to allow gays and lesbians to marry, Disciples of Christ-Visalia is asking how faith plays a role in fostering greater inclusiveness of LGBT individuals. On Thursday July 23 at 7:00 PM at 649 S County Center Rd Rm #13, community members will come together for a screening of a new documentary that directly addresses this issue. Hosted by Disciples of Christ-Visalia and the New Community Ministry (an LGBT ministry), this free event is one of a handful of screenings taking place in cities across California between now and August.

Shelby Knox Redux, by Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt, profiles a teenager who, despite a conservative Southern Baptist upbringing, advocates for comprehensive sex education and gay rights in her school and community. After leaving for college, she returns to her native Lubbock five years later to check in with her friends, community, and formerly ambivalent parents. Building from the 2005 film The Education of Shelby Knox, Shelby Knox Redux takes viewers on a journey of personal awareness, faith, family, and transformation.  
See preview at

“The Christian faith is based on the principles of loving and serving one another, without bias or judgment,” says Shelby Knox, subject of the film, “this film brings a unique opportunity for congregations and communities to begin an ongoing dialogue about how to enact these tenets in a modern era.”

Disciples of Christ-Visalia screening, and will be followed by a Panel Discussion featuring. The Discussion will focus on Faith, Acceptance and building bridges.  A Resource Guide will also be provided to attendees interested in learning more about Christian perspectives on inclusion of lesbian/gay/bisexual transgendered Christians. After the passage of Prop 8 and the intense debates on the subject of marriage, how does the church remain faithful concerning issues of sexual orientation?  Does faith create a climate of violence toward’s marginalized people?

As political battles over same sex marriage rage throughout the nation, many Christian congregations have been forced to think about sexuality in the context of their faith. Rev. Niel Climer says, “The question for us is not about being right or wrong on the subject, but the gospel call of being in relationship with other people.  Even those folks we disagree with or may even be a threat to our values.  The goal of this event is not change one’s opinion’s, but a hope to change one’s posture.  We seek to be a bridge builders in our community.”  This screening is part of the Welcoming Conversations Project, a California statewide initiative led by Active Voice, a San Francisco-based media strategy organization, The project seeks to spark faith-based dialogue and reflection about sexuality and inclusion in churches and communities across the state, and foster better teen-parent relationships around these issues.. 

For information about:
·         The Visalia event or to RSVP, please contact Niel Climer of Disciples of Christ-Visalia at or 627-6362, or visit
·         The state-wide Shelby Knox Redux Welcoming Conversations Project, contact Shaady Salehi at or 415-287-0474
The original documentary The Education of Shelby Knox visit

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I told him, "I hope that god dies."

A few months ago, I was sitting in Brewbaker's talking to a guy.  He was a travelling business type that frequents my favorite place to drink a beer.

We started talking. I asked what he does for a living and why he is town. He shared that with me. He asked , "What do you do?"

"I am a pastor."

Really, "No shit.  I have never drunk a beer with pastor."

I shrugged, "Now you are."

He then went off telling me his hangups with the church.  Priests who are pedophiles.  I nodded yes.  He then talked about this god who was judgmental, vindictive, and who punished him severly in his life.  He had been through some excruciating parts of his life.  "I don't believe in God anymore."

I said, "I don't believe in that god either.  I hope that god you described dies, because he sucks.  The God I know is with me even in my shit.  He does not pile more on me, because that would mean that he is in deeper with me. He is seeking a way out.   The God I talk about is a God who wants the best for me and there is nothing in this world that can seperate me from God, even my own mistakes."

He said, "I think I could believe in that God."

"I hope you can.  He believes and loves you."

He got uncomfortable and looked at ESPN.  A few moments later said, "I have never heard that before.  If you were in my hometown.  I could see myself at a church."

If you are searching for a community where this is the God who is not judging you, because of your sexual oreintation.  We want to meet you.

If you have this BS thought that God is vindictive. We want to share our stories of God's grace and compassion.

You are created by God and that includes sexual orientation.  As we all know, God don't make junk.

Fearless Joy,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What is it?

Have you been beat up by the church and the Christians.
Do you still love Jesus, but you are skeptical, angry, or even resentful of the church.

We know that experience.
We are people who have been dechurched and badly churched.
Some of us are gay. Some of us are straight.
We believe God takes us as we are not as we should be.

If you are looking for something different in your life, then we invite you to join our journey.

"God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it."

If you have any questions call or text-559-308-4668 or e-mail