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Monthly Archive for April, 2009

The Scandal at Heartsong

It has been less than 12 hours since I left the Alabama Heartsong Retreat 2009, but I feel like I have to write about a scandal that happened at this year’s retreat.  It happened on the second night of the retreat, but one needs to know the setting first. Fifty or so people gathered at this […]

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Janet’s Tender Grace

As I go down my final checklist to attend the 16th Heartsong Retreat, I am thinking about Janet. Janet went to Heartsong last year.  I remember her love of singing, her quick sense of humor, her self-awareness, and her love of dancing.  She was a 50 something year old African American woman who made friends […]

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Alan and Manny

This post fits in both series:  “One Christian Minister’s Response to Homosexuality,” and “The Alabama Heartsong Retreat.” Friendships change us. Alan Woellhart is one of those friends in my life. I met Alan in 1993 when I was interviewing for my job at The 1917 (HIV/AIDS) Clinic at UAB.  He was on the Chaplain search […]

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The Gift of Presence

Bob Hill, a friend and former colleague of mine at the clinic for many years wrote about his experience on one of our Support Teams for The Balm of Gilead Center at Cooper Green Hospital in Birmingham. I wanted to share it with you. Our Support Team had a “ministry of presence” where we joined […]

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This is the ninth in a series on “One Christian Minister’s Response to Homosexuality.” (updated April 2013) I have been wanting to say this publicly for most of my adult life, but I have been afraid to admit this to myself, to my loved ones and to my friends.  I was afraid what my family […]

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Part VIII — Gay Marriage

This is the eighth in a series on “One Christian Minister’s Response to Homosexuality.” When I started dating my wife, Mary Sullivan, on January 29, 2003, I was swept off my feet.   I told the world about it. I remember calling my “surrogate mother” from my college years, Ina Durham, from the airport as I […]

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Heartsong Stories — Harry

As our annual Heartsong Retreat is coming up in a couple of weeks,  I am thinking about Harry Wingfield. Soon after I began at the clinic in ’94, Harry came to my office and said enthusiastically, “I want you to know about a spiritual retreat I went to in Louisiana for persons living with HIV. […]

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Heartsong Stories — Andy

I am thinking about the Alabama Heartsong Retreat  in a few weeks and remembering people who have attended in the past, like “Andy.” Andy was a handsome Italian man in his 20’s in 1998.  He was a loving father, a devoted son, a caring brother, and a committed life partner.  I remember his health had […]

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Heartsong Retreat

The Alabama Heartsong Retreat is the most meaningful event that I have ever been involved in on an annual basis.  This will be my 15th year in a row to participate.  In fact, I can’t think of anything I’ve attended for 15 years in a row. Heartsong is an annual spiritual retreat for persons living […]

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This is the seventh in a series on “One Christian Minister’s Response to Homosexuality.” I was talking with my Mary last night about how discouraged I was about this series on homosexuality on my blog. When she asked why I said, “I don’t know, I think my friends who are straight are probably annoyed with […]

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