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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

John McNeill reading from new book, "Sex as God Intended" in Berkeley, March 7

John J McNeill will be reading from his new book this Saturday in Berkeley...

[Note: For the long version on "why do I care?", read below. For the shorter version, skip to the details towards the bottom.]

Growing up faithfully Catholic (and part of a big, "happy", loving-yet-conservative and opinionated Catholic family), it took me until I was 27 to come out to myself, let alone come out to close friends and family. One of the most important and challenging parts of my life journey since then has been to figure out how to be the whole me I want to--and was created to be: gay and Catholic and all my other beautiful and messy parts. At times, figuring out how to keep both my faith and my homosexuality has also been one of the most painful.

I'm one of those people that turns to information to ease difficult turning points. I'm talking libraries and bookstores (and our friend, the internets). One of the first books I found that was helpful to this particular journey was, "The Church and the Homosexual" written by a Catholic Priest (a Jesuit, if it matters to you) and (in its original edition) granted an imprimi potest by his leadership in the Catholic Church. At the time that was important to me because this author was someone more like me--someone trying to figure out how to not give up on either of two important parts of his world, yet powerfully challenging both. It's not all a fairy tale ending, as McNeill later was forced to decide between his book/his beliefs and his priesthood. He took the scary, unkown road and continued his ministry to queer catholics and others and has since released other books, including "Freedom, Glorious Freedom" and "Taking a Chance on God". I still find his first book the most powerful, but gained useful insights from all three in the series.

This same author has written a new book, and he is reading from that book this next Saturday in Berkeley:
John McNeill's new book
"Sex As God Intended"

6:00 pm Saturday, 7 March 2009
Pacific School of Religion's Bade Museum
1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley, CA

The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) and New Spirit Community Church of Berkeley join together to celebrate the publication of John McNeill's new book, Sex As God Intended. You are invited to join John McNeill and guest speakers Bill Glenn, Christina Hutchins, and Jim Mitulski at 6:00pm on Saturday, 7 March 2009 in PSR's Bade Museum for a reading from the book followed by a panel discussion on McNeill's understanding of sex for LGBT Christians. Admission is free.
For more than 35 years, John McNeill, an ordained Jesuit priest and psychotherapist, has been devoting his life to spreading the good news of God's love for LGBT Christians. McNeill presents a simple and straightforward answer to the question: What did God invent sex for? The answer, derived from an incisive investigation of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, is that God intended sex as a source of pleasure, joy and love.
Sex As God Intended represents a concise summary of the wisdom culled over a lifetime. McNeill's ideas have enriched the faith of thousands, including fellow teachers, religious scholars, ministers and lay folk. This volume includes a Festchrif to John McNeill, celebrating his life and work in a series of essays by students, friends and activists, honoring him for his lasting contribution and spelling out how he touched their lives and work.
The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS)
Pacific School of Religion
1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709-1323
(510) 849-8206
http://www.clgs. org/

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