Christmas 2002

on this page...

Jerry Cleator is new
exec dir

J.C. Michael Allen is
new board member

News from
Tom Hanks in Buenos

John Doner
LLEGO conference

Jerry Cleater speaks
on panel at Madrid

book to be published
in Spanish

Other Sheep projects
in Latin America

    Other Sheep News
                                        Christmas 2002

                             -- From the Other Sheep Team --
                                CHRISTMAS GREETINGS!  

We wish you the joy of the knowledge of the "redemption of the world through our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ, the means of grace and hope of glory..." and pray that we may act to reflect the love
of God for ALL our brothers and sisters


    The board of directors of Other Sheep has appointed the Rev. Jerry Cleator, O.P., as its new
    executive director. Jerry is a Dominican Catholic priest, ordained in 1965. He has master´s
    degrees in philosophy, theology and communication theory. He has taught homiletics at
    Aquinas Institute of Theology, was co-founder of The Dominican Evangelical Preaching
    Team, was provincial superior in the Dominican Order, has been pastor of St. Pius Parish
    Community in Chicago and worked in Bolivia in the formation program of the Dominican
    students there. He has been working with Other Sheep in Mexico City since 1996.  

    "I got involved in ministry to the gay community while I was in Bolivia," Jerry writes. "It was
    common there to see graffiti on the walls saying, ‘Death to homosexuals’ and a man could be
    arrested on a morals charge simply because he looked effeminate as he walked down the
    street. I didn't’t see the Church doing anything to confront this situation, so I decided I had
    better get involved."  

    One of Jerry’s first objectives will be to make Other Sheep better known. "We have done
    some wonderful things to open the doors of the Christian churches to the homosexual
    community, and to let men and women of different sexual expressions know that they are
    loved by God. But we have only scratched the surface. I am hoping that as we make
    ourselves better known others will want to join us in this holy adventure." Jerry will also be
    working hard at raising the funds which will allow us to continue growing.  

    Jerry will continue in Mexico City expanding the ministry there. For the moment Other Sheep
    does not have the money to support a full-time executive director. That is one of the lacks
    which he and the board of directors hope to rectify. Mark Pickering, our executive director for
    the past two years, has moved to a new job in Florida and is unable to continue with Other
    Sheep for the time being.


    Dean Allen served as rector of St. Marks in the Bowery, Dean of Berkeley Divinity School at
    Yale and Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis. Dean Allen has a long record of service
    in justice ministries - Vietnam, women's issues, aids, glbts. Now, he and his wife, the Rev.
    Priscilla Allen, are deeply involved in the Oasis project in the Diocese of Missouri (Episcopal)
    establishing open and affirming congregations.


    1. Before leaving Buenos Aires (I’ll be in Mexico City from Dec. 10th to Jan. 2nd) I was able to
    finish the first (Spanish) draft of my new book, The Subversive Hebrew Bible, a follow-up to
    my 2000 Pilgrim Press work, The Subversive Gospel. Each focuses, book by book on the
    poor, women and sexual minorities (more than 30 of them). Much editing work remains, plus
    the translation into English.
    2. The translation into Spanish of a pro-gay lecture by Rowan Williams, the new Archbishop
    of Canterbury, was completed and put on our web site.
    3. We are translating Robert Goss’s new book, Queering Christ: Beyond Jesus Acted Up, due
    out this month in English from Pilgrim Press.
    4. I have been giving three Bible courses each week, the best attended being the one in the
    MCC, where one woman in the course, an ex-nun with many years of theological study,
    hopes to become MCC clergy.
    5. I am in the process of purchasing an additional apartment in the building where I am, since
    we need more space for the documentation-resource center and hospitality for those who
    use it. A Lutheran seminarian came for a week this year and was able to research then
    publish a brief book in Portuguese.
    6. In January we hope to establish a foundation in Buenos Aires which will facilitate our
    growth and ministry, perhaps including a focus on working with older LGBTT’s as well as
    other projects, book translation and publications.
    7. The MCC where I give a Bible course and where we help financially with rent has been
    growing in its new space, with attendance multiplying, now up to around 30 the Sunday I left.
    About half who attend are women, a new development in what was previously an almost all
    male congregation.
    8. We are planning the 2nd conference for Christian LGBTT groups in the Southern Cone
    during Holy Week of 2003 in Montevideo, Uruguay (the first was this year in Buenos Aires). A
    lot of interest is developing but many will need scholarships to cover transportation, since
    economies have collapsed in Argentina and Uruguay, and Paraguay has always been very
        --Tom Hanks

    "Would you like one of our brochures?", I asked the nicely-dressed lady as she passed the
    Otras Ovejas (Other Sheep) information table. "Is this something religious?", she asked. "I’m
    not interested in religion, all the churches have done so much against us." "Yes," I replied,
    "but our message is that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality." "Oh!", and a 180-
    degree attitudinal change became apparent. Then I explained Other Sheep’s project to send
    the video "De Colores" to 60 lgbtt documentation centers in Latin America, and she wrote a
    check! Later she gave a keynote address to the conference, and I discovered that she is
    Cuban-American, a lesbian and a national vice president of a major women’s organization.
    Her reaction is so typical of many lgbtt – if you’re Christian, you’re against homosexuals.

    The setting was the 9th Encuentro (Encounter) and 3rd International Congress of LLEGÓ
    (National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Organization), which was held in
    Miami from October 10-14, 2002. We felt it was important for Other Sheep to be visible at the
    LLEGÓ meeting. LLEGÓ has become involved with AIDS organizations in several Latin
    American countries, especially Guatemala and Honduras, including several of the
    documentation centers we work with. Also, many of the people involved in Hispanic lgbtt
    organizations in the United States are first-generation immigrants from Latin America and are
    potential supporters of Other Sheep’s work in those countries.  

    Other Sheep has joined LLEGÓ as an organizational member, and I attended the conference
    as our representative. We had an information table with our materials in Spanish and a large
    map of the Americas indicating the location of the different lgbtt Christian ministries in Latin
    America. We also had a full-page ad in the program booklet (at the ¼-page price!).  

    The attendance at the conference was less than expected, about 350 compared to the 700-
    1,000 they told me in advance would be attending. But there were about 30 from Latin
    America, resulting in some very good contacts. However, contacts with Latino organizations in
    the U. S. were disappointing, and we need to devise a strategy to reach them. The next
    LLEGÓ conference will be in Seattle in October 2004, and we hope to have a workshop on
    homosexuality and Christian faith at that conference. -- John Doner


    On September 19 – 22 I represented Other Sheep at the "We Are Church" conference in
    Madrid, Spain. This is a grass roots movement for renewal within the Roman Catholic Church.
    With the theme, "Another Church Is Possible" over 500 participants came from all over
    Europe, the United States and every country in Latin America  

    I was invited to speak on a panel regarding homosexuality and Christianity. I spoke about my
    ministry and the reactions were encouraging. One ex-seminarian stood up crying and asked
    for forgiveness for the way he had mocked gay seminarians when he had been among them.
    A television producer decided to dedicate an hour’s program to the topic of gay Christians. A
    priest from Latin America asked me for help in starting a ministry in his country. A young
    Chilean theologian was part of the panel and asked for dialogue with us in developing a gay

    The organizers of this workshop were pleased enough with my presentation that they have
    invited me to speak at their convention next year in Valencia, Spain. Whether I go or not will
    depend on whether I can raise the money for travel expenses.  

    I also had an unexpected thrill. At one of the general sessions a woman from Mexico whom I
    had never met got up and praised the work of Other Sheep. She gave it as a sign of hope
    that the doors of the Christian churches were opening. She especially praised it for its
    ecumenical dimension. So we are sometimes having an impact where we don’t even know
    -- Jerry Cleator


    The "best-seller" among lesbians and gays, "What the Bible Really Says About
    Homosexuality" by Daniel Helminiak, is about to be published in Spanish by Egales, a gay
    publisher in Barcelona, Spain.  The book, now with more than 65,000 copies in English, was
    translated to Spanish by Patricio Camacho, a gay man from Bogotá, Colombia now living in
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  John Doner, Other Sheep's coordinator for Latin America in Mexico City,
    worked closely with Patricio and the author to produce as good a translation as possible.  
    Plans are for the book to be published in January 2003, and it should be available in the
    United States and Latin America in February. John hopes to work with the publisher to
    achieve the widest-possible distribution in Latin America.  For information about obtaining the
    book, please contact John at


    We have organized a meeting of Christian leaders working with the lgbtt community in Mexico
    and Central America for December 27 – 29, 2003. One of the problems which ministers
    encounter is that they are isolated and without resources. Some cities have only one or two
    people working in the field (while most cities have none!). We are bringing together between
    30 and 40 of these leaders, and potential leaders, to dialogue, to get some help resolving
    their practical problems and to form a network of mutual support. There will be
    representatives here from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Texas
    and Mexico. This is the first time anyone has sponsored such a meeting, and we are quite
    excited about it. We would appreciate your prayers.  

    As part of its continuing support of the documentation centers in Latin America, Other Sheep
    is sending them copies of the video "De Colores". This is a bi-lingual 28 minute documentary
    which, through moving personal stories, teaches how Latino families in the United States are
    replacing the deep roots of homophobia with the even deeper roots of love and tolerance.
    The video was produced by Peter Barbosa (EyeBite Productions), who is an active member
    of the United Church of Christ and part of the planning team for WOW 2003. We are
    purchasing 60 copies at the discount price of $15.00. If anyone would like to donate toward
    this project, we would be grateful.  

    We have published our third Spanish language pamphlet in our series concerning
    Christianity and homosexuality. This one, Amiga Lesbiana (To My Lesbian Friend), was
    written by Alvaro Olvera and is a letter which he indeed wrote to a lesbian friend of his who
    was thrown out of her church because of her orientation. It talks to her of God’s love for her.
    The other pamphlets available are Salir del Closet (Coming Out of the Closet) and ¿Existe
    Homosexualidad en la Biblia? (Does Homosexuality Exist in the Bible?). All three pamphlets
    are available for $1.50 each.    


    Please note the change of our address:  
    FLORISSANT, MO 63034-1409
    TEL: (314) 355-2060 (also serves Herzog & Kanter LLP)
    FAX: (314) 653-0657


    We are growing and, although we still are all volunteers, there are many expenses, and the
    need to plan for growth will require some permanent paid staff. We need funds to continue
    and funds to get a base that will permit growth. PLEASE FORWARD YOUR CONTRIBUTION
    to our new office address: 16768 Old Jamestown Rd., Florissant, MO 63034-1409
This website was reconstructed in June of 2007
Visits made to this web page since June 2007
"I have other sheep that are not of this
fold.  I must bring them in also."  
John 10:16
Other Sheep News
Christmas 2002

-- From the Other Sheep Team --

We wish you the joy of the knowledge of the "redemption of the world through our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ, the means of grace and hope of glory..." and pray that we may act to reflect the love of
God for ALL our brothers and sisters
"I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.  I must bring them also."  
John 10:16 NRSV
Other Sheep Websites