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Reflections in the Silver Cup

WRITING FOR CHANGE

Periodically I ask myself why I write. The act itself can be immensely pleasurable, and other times it’s just work—plain, hard work. In today’s publishing world, there’s a lot about writing for others that’s downright discouraging. Selfishly, though, I write to stay sane. When I don’t write, I sink into depression. I used to tell myself that I write in the hope that my work will touch the hearts of others. That is true, but it falls short of what really prompts me to deny most everything else in my life until I’ve sat with pad and pen or keyboard and screen for a good part of the day. In fact, if my writing touches someone, my fondest hope is Read More 
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FAITH COMMUNITIES AND LGBTQ PEOPLE


This post was first published in my hometown newspaper, The Gallup Independent, on October 17, 2015 in the weekly "Religious Perspectives" column. I have been contributing to this column for several years. This is the most personal column I ever submitted.

I grew up in the Navajo Nation and in Gallup in the 1950s and 1960s. I was the child of Christian missionaries. When I was twelve I started teaching Sunday school in the church in Tohlakai. When I was sixteen I taught religious instruction in the BIA school at Ft. Wingate, and I brought gospel messages in the Gallup Detention Center on Sunday afternoons. I longed to receive God’s call to serve him.

Something else happened when I was sixteen. Two women who loved each other were driven away from the mission compound where they served. I realized that I would  Read More 
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ANSWERS TO THE SILVER CUP CONTEST

The Finding of the Silver Cup by Joseph's Brothers, fresco, St. Sophia Church, Macedonia, c. 1350

I started writing The Silver Cup in February, 2012, but it had a different working title then. I was calling it Longing for Home, which was pretty fitting, if somewhat cliché. I had felt that longing ever since I left my faith community behind. It was probably one reason that Thomas Wolfe’s writing meant so much to me—phrases like, “Oh lost and by the wind grieved” and “You can’t go home again.” I hoped I might be able to prove him wrong.

When I’d completed several chapters, I was out walking one day and listening to a rock station on Pandora. America’s song, “Lonely People” came on. As the group sang, I knew I had to change the title of my book. The story of my spiritual journey was so much about persistence, about not giving up until I could once again become part of a faith community, about no longer being one of the lonely people.

There were many reasons I chose to publish the book as a serial on my website. One was Read More 
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