Drinking responsibly includes much more than not driving drunk. Substantially higher numbers of LGBT people use alcohol and other substances and about 30% develop problems with alcohol. Additionally, alcohol affects decision-making and lowers inhibition, which can lead to other health risks such as increased sexual risk. If you or anyone you know has a problem with alcohol, seek out LGBT-affirming resources and supportive services in your community to help you overcome it.

For more information on LGBTQ health issues visit Rainbow Access Initiative and choose from the menu options on the left side. Of particular interest might be the section on obtaining the services of culturally-competent health providers – it explains why special attention is needed for  LGBTQ healthcare in the first place.

For more information on spititual health for LGBTQ visit CWAC’s website or click on the “email us” button and contact me. CWAC’s anti-heterosexist, anti-racist stand for spiritual justice might just provide the safe place you’re looking for.

THOUGHTS FROM THE PARTICULAR ….

 We live and work in the reality of everyday struggle and celebration. Life on our street is in touch with people wondering how we will pay our bills, especially the utilities. We wonder if we can get employment before we fall too far behind in debt. Jobs are hard to find; even harder is keeping the car repaired. The on street parking is an altogether different challenge with every-other-day restrictions dedicated to the 9:00 o’clock hour. A lot of the time we spend our physical energy on transportation. Our homes belong to landlords many of whom are slow or even unresponsive to our requests, quite like the police when we call about an altercation. And the density of families and neighbors living close together brings relationship issues through the walls with easy flow to the street.

It might be easiest just to ignore the neighbors for pseudo privacy, a way to focus attention on my own issues. I may dress up and leave my street – get miles away – leaving the problems of the day behind for a moment, possibly to go worship. But more easily I can shut my door, turn up my noise and drown out the disappointments, fears of failure; my hopes exhausted just like my body by too much exercise in reaching for opportunities just beyond my grasp. (more…)

Vitamins & minerals can impact many health issues. 

Especially with busy, active lifestyles, it can become easy to miss meals or lack balance in your diet. Stress, abundant for many people who are LGBTQ, saps the body of essential nutrients.

Pregnant women especially should take folic acid and iron as an important part of prenatal care.  Many lesbian & bisexual women today are deciding to become pregnant and start families.  If you are one of them, consider this tip for your health and the health of your baby.

Find and consult a LGBT-friendly pharmacist, nutritionist or other medical professional about your particular needs.

For more information on LGBTQ health issues visit Rainbow Access Initiative and choose from the menu options on the left side.

For more information on spititual health for LGBTQ visit CWAC’s website or click on the “email us” button and contact me

Regular doctors visits or the use of health screening clinics enable all of us to keep an eye on some significant markers of general health.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S, and checking your cholesterol and blood pressure is an important part of your healthcare. Many cancers, e.g. colorectal, prostate and others, can be screened for by health care professionals. Get your levels of these and other important indicators checked regularly by an LGBT-friendly healthcare provider. 

Learn to understand what these levels are and how to manage them through diet, exercise and, if necessary, medication(s).

For more information on LGBTQ health issues visit Rainbow Access Initiative and choose from the menu options on the left side. Of particular interest might be the section on obtaining the services of culturally-competent health providers – it explains why special attention is needed for  LGBTQ healthcare in the first place.

For more information on spititual health for LGBTQ visit CWAC’s website or click on the “email us” button and contact me. CWAC’s anti-heterosexist, anti-racist stand for spiritual justice might just provide the safe place you’re looking for.

This year we celebrated Christmas at the Damien Center on December 19. The gathering reminded us of the Magnificat.

God has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts …

We gathered as the Damien Center comfortable in our intent to share.

God has brought down the powerful from their thrones

For weeks and even until the very night before, people brought from what they had.

and lifted up the lowly

There were tables set with room enough for all to sit face to face.

filled the hungry with good things

The food served was creatively prepared to satisfy and nourish.

and sent the rich away empty

Every guest, even those unexpected, left with gifts.

in fulfillment of God’s promise.

21 Years of Light and Hope

Jenna, representing CWAC, is proud to have been one of the organizers of this year’s World AIDS Day observation in Schenectady. It has been a few years since the last commemoration was held in Schenectady, so this year’s event is particularly meaningful.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, HIV/AIDS has claimed over 25 million lives. Millions struggle daily to live well with the disease – some in our own community! People living with HIV/AIDS are your friends, neighbors, family members, and coworkers. HIV/AIDS affects us all!

Join us at City Hall as we walk to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS in our community. Over complimentary hot chocolate, listen to personal stories of people infected and/or affected by HIV/AIDS, share your own story at our “open mic”, and speak with Schenectady’s AIDS service providers.

Beginning at 5:00pm on Tuesday, December 1st 2009, we will gather at City Hall and march to Proctor’s Theater, where the event will continue.

On Sunday, Sept 20, Rev Jenna Zirbel tabled for The Trevor Project and participated in the annual walk to benefit American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Almost a thousand people gathered and walked in memory of friends/family who were victims of suicide. Over $76,000 was raised for research and education.

RITA Walk 2

RITA Walk 1

As part of Pride Week in the Capital District of NY, Family Diversity Day was celebrated on Saturday, June 13, with activities and information tables at the State Museum of NY. Families of all shapes, sizes, colors and couplings demonstrated what true diversity of love and family values looks like. Jenna represented the Trevor Project, a non-profit engaged in many efforts to save young people’s lives, especially LGBT youth at risk of suicide. Along with Jenna were Jenn, a co-worker with Jenna, and her husband, Andy.

Jenna also got to speak with some folks about CWAC and possible alternatives for worship. We are confident that the time is approaching for making a new start of some kind.

Many contacts were made with teachers, youth group leaders and other interested parties about holding Lifesaving workshops – an educational function of the Trevor Project that seeks to educate young people about suicide prevention, peer support and triggers that can lead to suicidal thoughts. Every time a training occurs, more people become educated enough to help prevent suicide in our greatest asset – our young people.

Statewide Marriage Call-In Day TODAY – It’s Time to Act!

Today, Monday, June 8, is the New York Statewide Marriage Call-In Day. You need to make contact because the New York  State marriage equality bill has been passed by the Assembly, and it’s now time for the State Senate to vote on the bill. 

 
You need to get on the phone today to call your NY State Senator and tell them that you want them to support and pass the marriage bill NOW.  Tomorrow, anti-marriage forces from the religious right will be lobbying in Albany against our rights. We need to make sure that your Senator hears from you so that opposition voices aren’t the only ones being heard—we’re in the final stretch and it is vital that they hear from you TODAY. 

To read talking points and to find a link to your senator’s phone number, click here.

“The community of faith and struggle, then, is the community that makes use of its critically reflected experience of struggle in the process of traditioning by which it selects from the still living and evolving past of scriptural and church tradition as a means of shaping an alternate future. Its appeal to Tradition in no way is a denial of its own process and experience but rather a faith affirmation that God is present in and through their struggle for justice and discernment of the meaning of the gospel message. Nor is it a denial of the need for careful critical thought as the community uses the theological  spiral to make connections between its  ongoing life and its continuing work of advocacy and welcome for those on the margins of church and society.”

Then, the “measure of faithfulness” is demonstrated in how the most vulnerable participate in church community over and against a non-reflective tradition.

Trevor banner

Recently, I underwent facilitator training for the Lifeguard Workshop Program of the Trevor Project, in which I was trained to give presentations and lead programs in schools. This school workshop program was developed to help young people become more aware of the myriad issues surrounding sexuality and gender identity, and to promote acceptance of LGBTQ youth nationwide.

StaticLatinGirl300x250The Trevor Project operates the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for gay and questioning youth. Staffed by trained volunteer counselors, the helpline provides support and crisis intervention services for young people.

In addition to operating the crisis and suicide prevention helpline, The Trevor Project also provides online support to young people through the organization’s website and provides lifesaving guidance and vital statistics to educators and parents.

The Trveor Project also conducts outreach programs accross the country to educate young people about suicide prevention and to help build acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in classrooms and communities around the country.

We have already seen that table talk as both action and reflection is not disconnected from scripture and tradition. Rather, round table talk is designed to talk back to tradition … In a positive sense, talking back is a constant movement around the spiral, bringing scripture and tradition into connection with context, critical analysis, and action by those at the margins of church and society. This dialogue finds its conversation partners among communities of faith and struggle, who in turn become the prism for the feminist self-understanding of what it means to be church.

Opportunities continue to present themselves, more so now since my participation in E&J Day at the capital on 4/28. It is a practice that helped me remember my worth as a minister and my ability to nurture my passion in engaging with a community in servant leadership. Andy and I represented the church as a body living in the community of love, nurturing each other.

Last year, the 1st year, we walked around the block, Andy and I, in the freezing cold wondering what the year would bring; believing God has a hand in it all; hoping that we could come to know the neighborhood and learn to be community together.

This year, we have the experience of a year lived on this block. We have shared the street with ambulances, police cars, taxis, fire trucks and kids throwing the ball to each other. (more…)

Out of a starting point connected to those who are marginalized comes the theological spiral that Beverly Harrison has called a “liberation social ethics methodology” and Katie Cannon calls “emancipatory praxis”. This style 0f theologizing in a continuing spiral of engagement and reflection begins with commitment to the task of raising up signs of God’s new household with those who are struggling for justice and full humanity. It continues by sharing experiences of commitment and struggle in a concrete context of engagement. Third, the theological spiral leads to a critical analysis of the context of the experiences, seeking to understand the social and historical factors that affect the community of struggle. Out of this commitment to action in solidarity with the marginalized, and out of sharing of experiences and social analysis, arise questions about biblical and church tradition that help us gain new insight into the meaning of the gospel as good news for the oppressed and marginalized. This new understanding of tradition flows from and leads to action, celebration and further reflection in the continuing theological spiral.

from Church in the Round