Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We celebrate our 4th anniversary

Today we celebrate our fourth anniversary as an online resource for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) spirituality and the arts. “We take creative risks and present controversial material that most websites won’t touch,” says Kittredge Cherry, the lesbian author and minister who founded JesusInLove.org. “We specialize in new GLBT Christian art that is too queer for religious institutions and too religious for GLBT organizations.” As a small, independent website, JesusInLove.org is able to make an impact far beyond its size. By serving the grassroots, it has built a loyal core community of people who comment, donate, contribute and subscribe. They come from many spiritual traditions, but most have moved beyond mainstream churches. “Christian rhetoric is often misused to justify hate and discrimination against GLBT people,” Cherry says. “I founded JesusInLove.org to present a positive spiritual vision for GLBT people and our allies.” It has expanded from a single website into an online network that includes this popular blog, videos, e-newsletter and image archive. The content has also grown beyond the original emphasis on gay Jesus art. This year a new series on GLBT saints is generating lots of buzz at the Jesus in Love Blog. The blog now showcases a wider range of work from diverse contributors. JesusInLove.org was launched on Nov. 17, 2005 with a news release titled “New Website Dares to Show Gay Jesus.” Since then it has reached thousands of people all over the world and co-sponsored the first National Festival of Progressive Spiritual Art. “We have won many honors -- and we also get a lot of hate mail from conservative Christians,” Cherry says. She reports that a typical comment is, “Gays are not wanted in the kingdom of Christ! They are cast into the lake of fire.” “Right-wing Christian bloggers labeled me ‘a hyper-homosexual revisionist’ and denounced my projects as ‘garbage,’ ‘insanity,’ and ‘a blatant act defamation and blasphemy,’” Cherry says. “The ongoing religious bigotry proves that JesusInLove.org is needed now as much as ever. Jesus loved everyone, including sexual outcasts.” Cherry was ordained by Metropolitan Community Churches and served as its national ecumenical officer. One of her main duties was promoting dialogue on homosexuality at the National Council of Churches (USA) and the World Council of Churches. Her books include “Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More,” “Jesus in Love: A NovelEqual Rites: Lesbian and Gay Worship, Ceremonies, and Celebrations.” The New York Times Book Review praised her “very graceful, erudite” writing style. The first JesusInLove.org news release from the original launch is available in the Jesus in Love media room, along with other major news releases from the past three years. _______ Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lenny_meriel/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, this is excellent!

Valerie said...

Happy Birthday! And may you have many, many more!

eric said...

Hey Kitt, congratulations on 4 years of service to the community and to the world. Your work is so deeply valuable and important. Please, keep it up!

Through your site, I've been tremendously blessed... all the more so now that I can call you a friend.

eric said...

Actually, Kitt, you should be thanked AND HONORED for far more than 4 years of service to the community! My comments were initially meant only in the context of this blog.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I am a little late, but, a very happy birthday. Well done Kitt - and every blessing on your ministry - it's a terrific job that you do here. Be assyred of my continuing prayers.
Br Graham

Kittredge Cherry said...

Thanks for all your kind words of congratulation! You all brightened my day -- and my week. I love reading your comments. Your support means so much.

pennyjane said...

you know, kitt...you artists are such an inigma to the rest of us. you take our emotions and shake them up like a bartender making his specialty. then you put it down in front of us.

we drink...and we don't know what our tastebuds are reacting to. is it this? is it that? what in here do we recognize? what difference does it make?

you put these things out here and we look and hear...and we don't know what it is...our emotions gets so mixed up, what is what gets lost in the mix.

have you ever cried and not had any idea of why? it's part joy, part sadness, part emptiness, part humilty and part pride.

you convolute our emotions...and somewhere in there we get a glimpse of truth. for that i thank you all.

much love and hope. pj

Kittredge Cherry said...

Thank you for a lovely compliment, PJ. I feel that you understand the purposes and power of this blog.

To continue your metaphor, I’m glad you like the “cocktails” that we mix here.

I know that art can be emotionally challenging. As an artist (and a Libra), I am dissatisfied when ideas are presented too plainly, without depth or an alternate viewpoint. It can seem oversimplified, flat or one-sided, like propaganda. Somehow the emotional mix-up rings true for me.

Yes, I have cried without knowing why.

As for why, here is an understanding that came to me as a kind of revelation from Christ when I was drowning in emotions and working on writing “Jesus in Love: A Novel.” Jesus seemed to say to me, “The answer to all of your ‘why’ questions is love.”