What does the Bible have to say about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people? Patuxent Friends recently participated in a discussion series entitled Opening the Bible for All People—A study of Texts of Inclusion, led by our current sojourner, Shawn MacDonald. This Bible study began with a focus on how we read the Bible and explored several ways of interpreting the Bible. We then took up the six texts in the Bible which are most often used against GLBT people. Then we looked at the texts, much more than six, which are affirmative of GLBT people, or their predecessors in the Ancient world.
Patuxent Friends recently held a Memorial Meeting for Josiah Ashton Kesler. Ash was a kind and loving man, remembered by friends and counseling clients as having “touched their souls”. He lived and worked in Southern Maryland for many years before his recent retirement and move to Richmond, Virginia to be close to family. Ash was an avid runner, who could often be seen jogging along the roadside with his beloved dog, Tar. He loved those places where land meets water and sky and often spent time walking along the Eastern Shore or the Outer Banks. He enjoyed working in the yard and garden and tending grapes. He greeted Friends and visitors to our little Quaker Meeting House with a hug, making a warm and friendly first impression that many of us carry in our hearts. In Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business, Ash was often the Friend who would ask for a moment of silence during difficult deliberations, reminding us that our connection with the Spirit and our love for each other was more important than anything else. Ash and his former wife, Diane, were members of Patuxent Friends Monthly Meeting for over 15 years. New Year’s Eve at their home was always a time of quiet joy, rich with spiritual connection. Ash helped many people find their way. He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered. His life spoke well.
Beginning Second Month and extending through Third Month, Friends have supported the new Safe Nights of Calvert County, a community initiative dedicated to providing temporary shelter to homeless people during the cold winter months. This is a volunteer-driven, faith-based program in which the shelters rotate between churches. Friends provided meals and other support in cooperation with other churches in our county.