Nov 14 2008

Help! I Need Evangelists!

Published by at 6:49 am under Publicity

“Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians” was released by Jossey-Bass back in September. Since then, I’ve been busy promoting the book – sending out press releases, talking with media, doing book signings and traveling to churches teaching workshops and preaching.

Despite all this travel, talking, and teaching – word about the book is spreading slowly. Too slowly!

I’m not bragging when I say this is an important book for our community. Instead, I have been humbled time and again when people who have read the book have called it things like “profound” and “amazing.” Our community has been so battered by attacks from the religious right – and especially during the recent battles over same-sex marriage in places like California. There, the Mormon Church bankrolled nearly half of the funds raised to pass Proposition 8, stripping gay and lesbian people of the right to marry. Our community desperately needs a book like “Bulletproof Faith” right now as religious institutions target us.

So many of our LGBT brothers and sisters turn their backs on God because they believe the pernicious lie that God hates us and wants us to “change” to become acceptable to God. “Bulletproof Faith” gives LGBT people another alternative – a way to keep their faith and use the attacks against our community to strengthen their faith and bring them closer to God.

If you believe it is important to help LGBT people keep their faith in the face of vicious attacks from both church and society – then I am asking you to help me promote “Bulletproof Faith.” I need some evangelists who will take up this book as their “cause.” I need evangelists who fully believe that no LGBT person should feel that God hates them. I need evangelists who fully believe that LGBT people are of sacred worth to God and need to hear about God’s unconditional love for them. I need evangelists who feel their hearts break whenever their fellow brothers and sisters walk away from God.

Will you be an evangelist for “Bulletproof Faith”? If so, here are some things you can do:

– Post a blurb or press release on any email lists you are on (both the blurb and press release are included at the bottom of this email)

– Send the blurb or press release to friends who may be interested in the book

– If you’ve read the book, review it on Amazon.com (that’s especially helpful if you liked the book!) Go here to review it: http://tinyurl.com/6n2h7s

– Join the “Bulletproof Faith” fan page on Facebook and invite others to do so. Here’s the link: http://tinyurl.com/5lc96u

– Join the mailing list at http://www.bulletproofbook.com and invite others to do so (just enter your email in the box on the front page of the Web site)

– Form a book club in your church or other social group to study Bulletproof Faith. (A free 25 page study guide is available at http://bulletproofbook.com/study-guide/)

– Talk to your pastor or board about hosting me for a workshop. Two churches – MCC Knoxville in Tennessee and Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas – have already done this with great success!

– If you have a blog, write a blog post about the book

– Invite me to guest blog on your blog (Reconciling Ministries Network has already done this! Thanks!)

– Interview me for a post on your blog

– If you have any connections with the media – newspapers, TV, radio, Internet media, freelance writers/reporter, etc. – please put me in contact with them.

– If you work in the media in any capacity, please let me know. I always need more contacts.

– If you haven’t already done so – buy the book! Buy several for your friends and family for Christmas! Here’s a link to buy the book: http://tinyurl.com/6kpcnt

Here is a blurb you can use to promote the book:

“Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians” by Candace Chellew-Hodge is a thoughtful, practical guide shows readers a way through the minefield of condemnation and persecution faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians and helps foster a faith that is bulletproof – impervious to attacks, yet loving and savvy in its approach. “Bulletproof Faith” is filled with useful insights and proven spiritual practices that deflect attacks and enhance and strengthen faith by turning attacks into opportunities for spiritual growth.

About the Author: Candace Chellew-Hodge is a United Church of Christ minister and founder of the online magazine Whosoever for GLBT Christians at whosoever.org. She is an award-winning former television and radio journalist as a news writer, reporter, and editor with CNN. For a free study guide and more resources for this book visit www.bulletproofbook.com.

Here is a longer press release:

New Book Promises “Bulletproof Faith” for Gays and Lesbians Facing Religious Attacks

A refrain heard relentlessly by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of faith is: “God hates fags!” Whether it’s hurled as a direct insult or stated more subtly in a “Love the sinner, hate the sin” theology, the message to GLBT ears is the same: “God hates you and so do we!”

“Gay and lesbian people are constantly under attack,” said Candace Chellew-Hodge, the author of Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians. “We’re unable to marry the person we love, and many support writing that discrimination into the U.S. Constitution. Churches continue to argue about our lives and many insist we must become something called, ‘ex-gay.’ We’re tired of constantly being a target.”

This trend against LGBT people isn’t abating. Religious groups from around the nation used their considerable wealth to target the LGBT community by writing marriage discrimination into the state constitutions of California, Arizona and Florida in the last election. This sent the message that it’s “gays vs. God” and that gay and lesbian people are disdained by God.

Even Archbishop Desmond Tutu noted in his endorsement of the book that, “Gay and lesbian Christians are constantly demoralized and told they are not children of God. Bulletproof Faith reassures gays and lesbians that God loves them just as they were created and teaches them how to stand strong, with compassion and gentleness, against those who condemn them.”

Bulletproof Faith, published by Jossey-Bass, helps readers reclaim the spiritual self that criticism from society and religion has led them to give up. Instead of arguing over biblical texts, Bulletproof Faith helps LGBT people live authentically into their faith despite criticism. Using examples from such diverse sources as Xena: Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bulletproof Faith empowers readers to withstand even the most aggressive assaults without fear, doubt, or anger by providing:

– Solid, proven tactics that can be used successfully when faced with an attack

– Practical tools to discover one’s “authentic self”: the bulletproof part of each of us

– Guidance on how to turn attacks into opportunities for spiritual growth

Bulletproof Faith doesn’t argue; instead Chellew-Hodge’s approach – born out of 12 years of being on the frontlines in the controversies surrounding gay and Christian identity – teaches readers to draw on their own inner strength and to return abuse with the spiritual Aikido of gentleness, compassion, reverence – and strength.

About the Author: Candace Chellew-Hodge is the associate pastor at Garden of Grace United Church of Christ in Columbia, SC and founder of the online magazine for GLBT Christians called Whosoever at http://www.whosoever.org, which reaches nearly 1 million people a year. She is an award-winning former journalist with 25 years of experience including six years as a news writer, reporter and editor with CNN. She is a graduate of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta.

For more information and a free 25-page study guide for Bulletproof Faith, visit http://www.bulletproofbook.com

Contact:
Erin Lane Beam
Publicist, Religion and General Interest
Jossey-Bass/Wiley
989 Market St., 6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
(p) 415-782-3213
(f) 415-433-4151
(e) ebeam@wiley.com
Candace Chellew-Hodge
candace@bulletproofbook.com
ISBN: 978-0-470-27928-1

Thanks, in advance, for all your help!

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