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Trans People of Faith, Remembering John Bartram Rehm, and More
June 26, 2014
Summary: Why the 'T' in LGBT crosses a mental and spiritual line for many people of faith. Also, savoring religion with all five senses, and remembering spiritual poet John Bartram Rehm.
Credit: Washington National Cathedral
Religion and LGBT, Emphasis on the 'T' June 26, 2014
Gay, lesbian and transgender people of faith have made enormous strides in recent weeks. This month, the Presbyterian Church voted to allow same-sex marriage, and Episcopal priest Cameron Partridge became the first openly transgender person to preach at the Washington National Cathedral. But the struggle for full acceptance continues, especially in the transgender community. For many people, especially in religious institutions, the transgender identity crosses a mental and spiritual line. 

Pictured: Rev. Cameron Partridge, preaching at the National Cathedral's iconic Canterbury Pulpit on June 22.

Kevin Eckstrom, editor-in-chief of Religion News Service
Rev. Cameron Partridge, Episcopal chaplain at Boston University
Joy Ladin, professor of English at the Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University
Credit: Demion | flickr
Savoring Faith Through the Senses June 27, 2014
The cold touch of a stone; the musky smell of incense; the taste of bread. In his new book, Brent Plate puts aside questions of belief and explores the ways we experience faith through our senses, using our fingers, our eyes and our noses. In 5 1/2 Objects, the “half” is what we use to experience these objects, what Plate calls the “incomplete human body."

Pictured: Stones, like these stacking stones, can embody a divine and sacred force. They often inspire believers to travel great distances to see them, like the Foundation Stone in Judaism, the Black Stone in Islam, and the Stone of the Anointing in Christianity.

S. Brent Plate, author of A History of Religion in 51/2 Objects: Bringing the Spiritual to Its Senses 
Credit: Da Capo Press
John Rehm: Onward Journey June 27, 2014
This week, we mourn the passing of John Bartram Rehm, lawyer, poet and husband of the public radio host, Diane Rehm. When he joined us in the studio in 2012, he described what can only be called a mystical experience some thirty years ago, when he found himself walking into a church on New York’s Fifth Avenue. He looked up to the altar, and then, he says, “it happened.” What happened was a profound spiritual epiphany, a “paroxysm of joy” that would change his life. 
John Bartram Rehm, author of Onward Journey: Seeking the Divine