Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor



SPIRITUALITY Rev. Wayne Bradley

This article shared 5276 times since Fri Oct 1, 2004
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

After my first column back in February, the first response to it came from Rev. Wayne Bradley of The First Congregational Church of Forest Glen U.C.C. Though I had not met Rev. Bradley, he seemed to understand intrinsically my charge and challenge to us as a community to throw aside our fears and reclaim our spiritual life and our faith. He agreed that our community needed this type of forum to empower us to take up our place in a life of worship and faith. But many of us feel there is no place in the church because of our sexuality, so how do we claim our place? Living openly as gay men or lesbians in our homes of worship is not something we can imagine. At best, even if we live openly with our friends within our religious home we are closeted.

And yet the more closeted we are, the more we may need a source of faith and spirit to feed and sustain us. But maybe there is a way to dip our toes into the divine water and create change. Can we find the strength to get close and then open ourselves by living through faith?

We are Three

By Rev. Wayne Bradley

It is my belief that all human beings have three parts to them: Body, Mind, and Spirit (or Soul). I further believe that if we ignore any one of these, we are not whole and complete persons. For example, if we ignore our bodies, we can have all kinds of health problems; if we ignore our minds, we don't learn; and if we ignore our spirits, we become self-centered and fearful.

All religious traditions believe that part of us lives on after physical death. Eternity is a lot longer than our lifespan, so shouldn't we take even better care of that which will continue forever?

I realize that many people in our community have been disenfranchised by various faith traditions and turned away from worship or complete participation because the religious authorities refuse to ordain us, perform wedding ceremonies for us, etc. Of course, just like all people, there are many of us who have never been interested in worship. I've had some folk say to me, 'Well, I'm spiritual but just not religious.' I don't know how that's possible. Every faith teaches that one should pray/meditate alone, but also that corporate worship is an absolute necessity. This is important for mutual support and encouragement.

Quite a few of us are active members of a congregation/religious community, but for a number of reasons we have to remain closeted there. Perhaps we would be immediately thrown out or, if not, treated as an outcast and shunned or shamed by others or even verbally harassed from the pulpit. God remains our only confidante, because we've come to realize that the Creator of the universe has also created each of us. I just love the statement that some use against those of us in a committed relationship who want to get formally married: 'God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!'

Over the years, I've come to the conclusion that the best way to influence someone is not in a group setting, but one-on-one. If we as LBGT people really want to make a difference, we must insist on the respect and inclusion in various faiths. Yes, there is a place and time for group protests, such as the Rainbow Sash demonstration at Holy Name Cathedral. However, what would happen if we quietly (at least at first) 'infiltrated' a church/synagogue/temple, etc. and slowly got to know people, possibly even officially joining the congregation, and then eventually coming out to them or even just wearing a small rainbow pin? I know this would be very difficult in very conservative and homophobic settings, but it would also be an 'in-your-face' way to confront them.

To paraphrase a contemporary Proverb: 'Don't let someone's dog-ma run over your kar-ma!' A few months ago a pug puppy came into my life. 'Chang' follows me everywhere and wants to be as close to me as possible. Right now, even as I write these words, he is lying on my feet. I'm not sure if it's a coincidence that in English dog is God spelled backwards. Like Chang, God wants to be as close to us as possible.

Peace & Joy, Wayne

The Rev. Wayne Bradley is a co-pastor of The First Congregational Church of Forest Glen U.C.C. He is currently a student at Chicago Theological Seminary in Hyde Park. Wayne has been on a number of talk shows, discussing various topics and was also interviewed by National Public Radio. He and his spouse, Rick Peterson, recently celebrated their 20th Anniversary



This article shared 5276 times since Fri Oct 1, 2004
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Chef Sheldrick Holmes embraces spirituality, authenticity at The Grail Cafe 2021-11-08
- Officially, The Grail Cafe is a restaurant in the South Loop. But for owner and chef Sheldrick Holmes, one of the few openly gay Black restaurant owners in the area, the cafe is both home and ...

Gay News

AFC conference focuses on bisexual health 2017-11-08
- Dr. H. Sharif Williams, otherwise known as Dr. Herukhuti, (Center for Culture Sexuality and Spirituality founder, Goddard College professor of interdisciplinary studies and CUNY School of Professional Studies adjunct associate ...

Gay News

Tangible Things immerses visitors in African culture 2017-02-06
- To stop at the unassuming storefront and walk through the doors of Tangible Things is to immediately allow all the senses to become immersed in a wealth of African culture, a beautiful myriad of spirituality and ...

Gay News

Youth center supporting LGBT young adults, changing workspaces 2016-07-27
- Tucked away in the basement of the Wellington Avenue United Church is a refuge. It's not a place to find comfort in spirituality, as one may guess, but a place for LGBTQ youth to find support ...

Gay News

Queer Youth Exploring Spirituality Holds Fundraiser in Pilsen May 14 2016-05-11
From a press release - Queer Youth Exploring Spirituality (QYES) will be hosting its first fundraising event 5-7 p.m. at Lincoln United Methodist Church located at 2242 S. Damen May 14. The event will be emceed by the QYES Youth Leader ...

Gay News

Latin@ issues focus of community strategy session 2015-03-31
- Wesley United Methodist Church of Cicero's Queer Youth Exploring Spirituality (Q-YES) group hosted a community strategy session, "Latin@ LGBTQA United For Action" March 28 at Wesley United Methodist Church in Cicero. This was the third Latin@ ...

Gay News

Q-YES to host panel on Latin@ issues 2015-03-25
- Wesley United Methodist Church of Cicero's Queer Youth Exploring Spirituality (Q-YES) group will be hosting a community strategy session, "Latin@ LGBTQA United For Action," Saturday, March 28, 12-3 p.m., at ...

Gay News

LGBTQA youth retreat examines spirituality 2014-06-24
by Robert Castillo - Pre-Retreat: Organizers ironed out last-minute details On a recent Monday evening at Wesley United Methodist Church in Cicero, Alicia Vega, Cesar Robles and Katya Mazon were finalizing details for a unique event taking place, a three-day ...

Gay News

Affinity hosts Spirituality, Faith, Non-Belief in LGBTQ Communities 2013-09-19
- Affinity with the Charles Shelby Rooks Society will host a panel discussion Spirituality, Faith, Non-Belief in LGBTQ Communities on Sept. 21. The panelists will be Consuella Brown, Ann DeShawn, Brenda Lee, and Anthony Stanford, the author ...

Gay News

Meshing sexuality, spirituality in video 2013-09-10
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times - The month-long "My God Is Not A Bully" campaign was powerful and inspiring to Anna DeShawn, the founder and CEO of E3 Radio and a collaborator in the project with the Church With A Church Movement ...

Gay News

Pope Francis: Don't judge gay people 2013-07-29
HRC, Catholic LGBT Ministry respond - Pope Francis has said gay people should not be marginalized or judged, the BBC has reported. Speaking to reporters while flying back from Brazil, the pontiff asked, "If a person is gay and seeks God and ...

Gay News

Cardinal George urged to sit out 'ex-gay' conference 2013-07-24
- Cardinal Francis George is being urged to skip a conference this weekend they say will offer workshops on "reparative" gay therapy. Conference organizers say that's not the purpose of the event, but some participants have close ...

Gay News

MCC founder Rev. Troy Perry honors Chuck Renslow 2013-07-01
- The Metropolitan Community Church is holding its international General Conference this week in Chicago. At a July 1 welcoming worship service, Rev. Troy Perry, the founder of the MCC, gave Chuck Renslow the annual Founder's Award. ...

Gay News

'My God is Not a Bully!' launch May 29 2013-05-21
- It began in 2011 at a meeting in Tucson, where the national Coordinating Team of the Church Within A Church Movement looked for a way to share the message that "God is Love, not hate". A year later, a video legacy ...

Gay News

Black gay caucus talks spirituality and sexuality 2012-07-25
- The Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus discussed the intersections of Black and gay identities at a special event held at the Chicago Department of Public Health recently. Rev. Kevin Tindell facilitated "An Intimate Conversation, Spiritually Speaking: ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.