Take a Moment to Open Your Heart

December 3, 2013

Today, we conclude our posts about the 2nd anniversary of Bondings 2.0, and we do so asking for your financial support for this endeavor.   We do so on “Giving Tuesday,” a sort of new “holiday,” set off as a time to allow people to make a contribution to their favorite charities or causes.

As some of you may know, the blog is a project of New Ways Ministry, a national Catholic ministry of justice and reconciliation for LGBT Catholics and the wider church community.  New Ways Ministry relies primarily on individual donations from Catholics across the nation and around the globe.  Bondings 2.0 is just one of our many projects and resources geared toward making the Catholic Church a more welcoming and just place for LGBT people.  Among our many other projects are ones dealing with marriage equality, gay-friendly parishes and schools, lesbian nuns and gay priests, connections between sexuality and spirituality, and outreach to colleges and young adults.

This blog is an integral part of our work because we believe that the Catholic Church can change if people are given information, resources, and tools to make changes in their local communities.  So, we focus here on news stories and opinion pieces which we hope will empower people to take action wherever they are.  New Ways Ministry’s main mission has always been education because we believe that education is the key to any kind of social or institutional change.  With Bondings 2.0, we try to provide information and perspectives that we think will help people formulate their own arguments, opinions, initiatives, and projects.  (Are you curious about how “New Ways Ministry” and “Bondings 2.0” got their names?  Click here for an explanation.)

We are probably more surprised than anyone at how this blog has taken off.  We get new followers every week and new readers every day.  At last count, people from over 160 nations around the globe read our content.  And our material has been picked up by major publications.  For example, Bob Shine’s October 10, 2012 post entitled “Pope Francis’ Letter-Writing Revolution Requires Our Involvement”  was picked up and reprinted by The National Catholic Reporter.    That version of the post was excerpted in one of the U.S.’s leading news magazines, The Week, where it was quoted in a story entitled “The ‘Francis effect': 5 ways the pope is resuscitating the Catholic Church.”

Bondings 2.0 is a free service, available to all.  Like public radio and television, anyone can share in this resource.   And like public radio and television, we rely on the generosity of our audience to keep the project going.  We have made a commitment to only ask twice a year for funds: once around our annual anniversary (late November) and once in June, about six months later.  We don’t want to bother our readers with requests for funds, but at the same time, we need to make these two appeals to make sure that we have the resources to keep the blog viable.

So, on this Giving Tuesday, would you consider making a donation to New Ways Ministry to support Bondings 2.o?  We appreciate any amount you would like to give.  As a suggestion, why not think of donating $5o, which is less than $1 a week of free posts you receive all year round. That’s cheaper than the cost of most daily newspapers these days!

You can donate by clicking here, and you will be brought to New Ways Ministry’s website donation page.  When you fill out the donation form online, please type “blog” in the comments section of the form so that we know that is why you are contributing.   You can also mail a check made out to “New Ways Ministry” to our offices at 4012  29th Street, Mount Rainier, MD  20712.  Or call us during business hours at 301-277-5674, and we can take your credit card donation over the phone.  However you decide to contribute, your donation is tax-deductible.

There are two other ways you can help us:  1) Take a few minutes to complete our survey of readers.  This will help us better serve you with the material we present;  2) Tell your friends about this blog.  Have you let others know about this resource?  Word of mouth tends to be our best promoter.  Consider emailing a link to one of your favorite recent blog posts to friends on your email list who are interested in Catholic LGBT issues.

Thanks so much for any way that you can help to support this electronic ministry.  We are deeply grateful for your support, and we will continue to offer prayers of gratitude for all that you do for us and all that you do for the Catholic Church’s LGBT brothers and sisters.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

 

 


MEA MAXIMA CULPA! Donation Link Updated

June 3, 2013

sorryWe are very  sorry to have learned that the earlier post we sent out today in which  we asked for donations had a defective link to the donation page.

If you would like to donate online, please click here.   You will be brought to New Ways Ministry’s donation page where you can fill in the required information.  Please write “blog” in the Comments section of this donation form.

If you want to donate via check and postal mail,  please send a check payable to New Ways Ministry to:

New Ways Ministry, 4012 29th Street, Mount Rainier, MD 20712
Please write “blog” in the memo line of the check.
If you want to read the original post in which we described the need for donations, please click here.
Sorry for any confusion!  Thanks so much for your support!
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

Help Keep Bondings 2.0 Strong!

June 3, 2013

We hope that you find Bondings 2.0 a useful resource for you.  Our desire is to put out quality material of news and opinion on Catholic LGBT issues to help inform readers of what is going on, good and bad and in-between, in regard to these issues.  Our hope is that this information will help readers develop intellectually and spiritually, and that this resource may support them in their ministry, their activism, and their relationships.

donationsTwice a year, we come to our readers in a single post (this is one of them) to ask for financial support for this blog.  The last time we did so was six months ago on our one year anniversary.

We like to think of the blog in the same way that we consider public radio or public television.  The resource is free for the public to consume, but we rely on the generosity of some of our “consumers” to keep the material free and available to all.  Would you be able to be one of those generous people this time around?  You can donate by clicking the “Contribute” tab at the top of the blog page  or simply click here.  Please write “blog” in the comments section of the donation page, so we know where you want your gift applied.

If you prefer to donate by check, you can mail the gift to:

New Ways Ministry
4012 29th Street
Mount Rainier, Maryland 20712
Please write the check to “New Ways Ministry” and write “blog” in the memo line.

The world of Catholic LGBT issues is moving so fast.  When we began this blog a year and a half ago, we made a commitment to try to post something once a day.    In fact recently, we often find that we have to post twice or three times a day, just to keep up with the volume of news and perspectives that we find occurring. We have been faithful to that daily commitment for over 18 months now, and we hope we can keep it going in the future.

We try to give you the gist of each story so that you don’t have to read a whole article yourself if you don’t have time, but we also provide you with the link to the complete text if you do want more information.   We also try to give you multiple sources for each topic, when available, so that you can see things from a variety of perspectives, and get the best of each news organization’s reporting.  And we also offer our perspective on new developments and opinions.

A blog is social media, however, so in addition to giving our perspective, we and our readers benefit from learning your perspective, too, when you post your responses and reactions in the “Comments” section of each post.  I’m always amazed at how much I learn from the intelligent and compassionate responses of our readers.

donations thanksA donation of $50 is less than one dollar per week of news and information that you receive here.  If you donate $50, we will send you a complimentary copy of New Ways Ministry’s Homosexuality: A Positive Catholic Approach as a thank-you gift.  You can donate by clicking here or by mailing a check to the address provided above.  Please write “blog” in the comments box of the electronic donation page or in the memo line of the check.

So, please help keep Bondings 2.0 strong in the future.  A small donation on your part goes along way to helping New Ways Ministry help thousands of LGBT people, families, ministers, advocates, and scholars aware of the many new developments in the area of Catholic LGBT news.

Thanks so much for your generous support!

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


Fortunate Families: The New Blog on the Block

April 30, 2013

fortunate_families2Bondings 2.0 welcomes a new friend to the blogosphere: the Fortunate Families Blog! This new internet resource is a new online community for the Fortunate Families (FF) network, which brings together Catholic parents of LGBT people for mutual support and advocacy for equality.

The two editors are FF board members Deb Word and Tony Garascia.  In their first post, they describe the blog’s mission and scope:

“We hope to use this blog to keep you up to date with what’s going on at Fortunate Families and to give Catholic Parents of lgbtq kids a place to interact. Share this space with your family and friends and PLEASE comment.  We want this page to be interactive, and we hope to have a new post each week!”

The blog has gotten off to a great start.  For example, one post lists the signs of hope that Catholic parents are seeing in the area of LGBT issues.  Here’s a few from their list:

  • Young people, young people, young people.  The fact that so many young adults are open and affirming of the LGBT community.
  • Change happens over time, this is hopeful.  We hold the tension of being urgent and patient at the same time.  Requires a deeper spirituality to do that.
  •  Many more Catholic parishes are now hosting groups for LGBT ministry.
  • New, younger parents of LGBT children are getting involved.
  • More people of other faiths are getting involved in LGBT issues and equality.
  • Even though many of us have been singing the same song of openness and affirmation for a long time there seems to be a lot more people singing with us.

Another post offers a profile of Joan Abele, who is one of FF’s Listening Parents Network, a group of Catholic parents who have been trained to be listeners and accompaniers of parents who may just be learning they have an LGBT child or who may be experiencing a special challenge with their faith or family.

This blog looks like it will be a great addition to the already flourishing online conversations taking place for those interested in different aspects of the Catholic LGBT world.  Check out Bondings 2.0’s blogroll, in the column to the right of this post, for a variety of Catholic websites and blogs on LGBT and other church reform issues.   To learn more about Fortunate Families as an organization, you can visit their website.

Remember, too, that blogs–whether the Fortunate Families one, Bondings 2.0, or any other one–are social media.  As such, they are not just providers of information, but opportunities for discussion.  So, you are encouraged when visiting any blog site, including this one, to make your opinions and reactions known by posting in the “Comments” section provided for each post.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Fortunate Families blog!

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


Bondings 2.0 and New Ways Ministry In the News

January 13, 2013

newsBondings 2.0  and New Ways Ministry have been in the news three times this past week.

1. Praise from “Across the Pond”

QueeringTheChurch.com, the premier Catholic LGBT blog in the United Kingdom, noted Bondings 2.0’s 500th post milestone with a post of their own commending us for our own blog work.  Editor Terence Weldon offered this evaluation:

“I began following Frank’s blog [Bondings 2.0] soon after [it launched]. Although its focus is heavily on the American church, I still found much of interest and value.”

Coming from Mr. Weldon, one of the pioneers of Catholic LGBT blogging, this praise makes us blush a bit!

He continues by noting the joint effort between New Ways Ministry and London area Catholic LGBT folks in the summer of 2012, when I conducted a “Next Steps” workshop in the UK.  Weldon adds that he continues to discern his next steps with regard to Catholic LGBT ministry:

“I have been contemplating going from a narrow focus on blogging, to a greater emphasis on direct face – to – face work, promoting the Next Steps workshops, and perhaps adopting and adapting some of the other New Ways methods.”

We are very honored that our model of ministry may be replicated somewhat by our friends in the UK.

2.  Bob “Shines” on Another Blog

Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry’s Young Adult and Social Media Coordinator, and a regular contributor to Bondings 2.0, had an essay appear on Catholics United’s young adult blog, OurDailyThread.com.

Shine’s post, entitled “Correcting the Bishops’ Course in 2013,” is a summary of U.S. Catholic bishops’ political involvement in 2012, while it also offers a new course for the coming year:

“The bishops can continue to have their identity be defined by the partisanship, ecclesial legalism, and aberrant traditionalism or they can prepare the way of God anew.”

Among the many topics that Shine covers is the bishops’ campaigns to prevent marriage equality from becoming law in several states.  He notes that the widening gap between the bishops and the Catholic laity and the American electorate on questions of sexual justice hamper the bishops’ ability to speak out on other issues of the day:

“Taken together, the bishops’ deep political investments that failed are deeper losses for their credibility and relevancy in American society. Without swift, major, and lasting course corrections, the bishops will not even be a part of conversations around political matters of great importance. “

Congratulations and thanks to Bob Shine for offering this insightful post on the future of the bishops’  political profile.

3. New Ways Ministry on HuffPostLive

New Ways Ministry’s Co-founder Sister Jeannine Gramick and Executive Director Francis DeBernardo were guests on a segment of HuffPostLive this past week.  The topic of of this online talk show was the ordination of women in the Catholic Church.  Both Sister Gramick and DeBernardo spoke in favor of ordaining women.

You can watch the segment by clicking here.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

 

 

 

 


Help Us Determine the Worst and Best of 2012!

December 26, 2012

best worstOn the last two days of the year, Bondings 2.0 will review the news of the past year in the Catholic LGBT world by posting “The Worst of 2012″ and “The Best of 2012.”

Please help us prepare for these posts by taking a moment to take the two one-question surveys below.  You can choose up to FIVE responses to each question.  One of those responses can be “Other” where you can write-in your own selection.  Please respond by the end of the day, Saturday, December 29th,12 midnight, Eastern Standard Time.

If you would like to refresh your memory of what happened this past year, just use the tools in the right hand column of this blog to find stories that have been reported on here.  You can search by clicking on a category, by using a search term, or by reviewing posts by month.

Thanks for your help with this project!  We look forward to reading your responses!

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


What Were the Best and Worst Catholic LGBT News Items of 2012?

December 19, 2012

best worstAs the year draws to a close, it’s natural to look back and reflect on all that has passed in the previous 12 months.  Publications will soon be starting to include year-end surveys of the “best” and “worst” of 2012 in their respective fields, so Bondings 2.0 wants to do the same for the Catholic LGBT world.  So we ask our readers:  what were the best and worst Catholic LGBT news items of 2012?

It’s going to be a challenge to select the most important ones to highlight. It’s been a packed year with numerous major news stories concerning the relationship of Catholicism and LGBT activities.

Below are two poll questions, followed by 15 possible answers, plus the choice “Other” for you to write in your own suggestions. We ask that you pick your top FIVE answers to each question.

If you would like to refresh your memory of what happened this past year, just use the tools in the right hand column of this blog to find stories that have been reported on here.  You can search by clicking on a category, by using a search term, or by reviewing posts by month.

Please take a moment to complete these two poll questions.  We will publish the results, along with our own choices during the last week of the year.  Thank you for participating!

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


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