February 1, 2008
Dear Friend of Other Sheep,
Steve's base contract is for $520.00 per month.
In September of 2005, the Board of Directors of Other Sheep contracted with Steve Parelli as an independent
contractor to provide executive director services to Other Sheep. As an independent contractor he has the
opportunity to define what he will do, when he will do it and how much he will do. Since Other sheep had so
little funds the contract was for $520 per month and it has been difficult to pay that, yet as we have all seen
Steve has provided a great deal of benefits for us. We could never be able to hire a person to do this much
as an employee. Only the fact that his services are entirely discretionary by him and he is so committed to the
Christian work of Other Sheep is it possible for this relationship to exist or continue.
A matching grant for 2007.
For the year 2007, Steve on behalf of Other Sheep applied for and received a matching grant of $6,240 which
doubled his contract income for 2007. Therefore, his 2007 contract was for $12,480.
We have an immediate financial need going into 2008. We only need 26 donors.
Other Sheep would like to continue paying Steve the base independent contractor amount with which he
began. That is, we would like to give Steve $6,240 per year in addition to whatever grants or monies he may
raise for us for this purpose. Because our general fund is depleted, we are seeking 26 people to pledge
$20.00 a month to the base monthly contract amount for Steve Parelli for the year 2008. With only 26 donors
giving $20 a month, we can maintain Steve's base annual contract of $6,240 and secure the matching grant
of $6,240 to increase the contract to $12,480.
Your $20 per month will go far.
Steve spends his full time for Other Sheep despite the fact he has no obligation to do that and is not even an
employee of Other Sheep. This is really a story of the mustard seed and the accomplishment of the Holy
Spirit in persons’ lives. In the past two years he and his partner have spoken in six countries outside of the
USA (in addition to Mexico 2005); he has networked at conferences from Switzerland to the West Coast USA;
he introduces Other Sheep to churches and interested groups in the Northeast USA; he maintains the
websites of Other Sheep, puts together the quarterly newsletter; he's written articles for us and has been
published. And he raises money to help defer the costs of special projects. You're $20 a month will keep all
this going, and more. What an excellent investment in the lives of LGBTs.
Thank you for your thoughtful support. Please let me know the amount of your pledge for this so that we might
continue the contract.
Print out or copy by hand and mail to Other Sheep, 16768 Old Jamestown Rd, Florissant MO 63034-1409
Maintaining the Base: Yes, I would like to pledge the following amount toward Steve's base
annual contract of $6,240 and become "One of the 26."
- $20.00 per month beginning _______ (date)
- $240 for the year 2008: I would like to pay my pledge in full now _______
- Another amount: I would like to give ______
Name________________________ Email __________________________
I grew up in an extreme
environment of violence and
hatred: the American Deep
South in the 50s and early 60s,
in Savannah, GA, where learning
not to question was an important
part of learning. I was lucky,
though: because I grew up
Southern, Jewish, impoverished
(and incredibly queer), I was
able, at an early age, to question
much of what was going on. In
fact, I soon realized there were
two “realities” then: the “reality”
of the way the world was, and the
"reality" of the way people
wanted the world to be.
This second reality is an “in our
own image” world: in Savannah,
it was white, straight, and mostly
Christian. Most kids are brought
up in “our own image,” but it’s
becoming harder with so many
different images now. I came of
age in a constant environment of
hate, hate language, and a
seething furor over preserving
that “our own image”
I now see a similar process going
on in many places in the world,
especially in black Africa: a
strange, mirror-image of
Savannah where white people
were taught to fear and hate
blacks, and homosexuals were
occasionally thrown into the mix
as unseen bogeymen. Presently,
we experience a condition of
extreme hate actions and words
directed against a target of
|“I have other sheep that are not of this
fold. I must bring them in also.”
|African Hate Words and
What They Really Mean
by Perry Brass
Author of How to survive your own gay
Guest Opinion Column
Our trip to Argentina started out as
a pipe dream.
But first, let me fill you in on the
beginnings. Over 15 years ago,
when I was about 15 and Peg was
in her 60s, Doug, Peg’s husband
was still with us in body. On a hot
summer day I met Peg and Doug
for the first time while participating
in the St. Louis AIDS March. I was
there with my church youth group
and Peg and Doug were there to
walk in honor of their son. One
thing led to another and the next
thing I knew I had become friends
with this old couple.
With time, they taught me how to
be an activist. They taught me that
being gay and Christian was
absolutely a possibility. They
taught me how to have patience
and work hard and make change.
Now I do all of that in my daily work
life with LGBT people in the
Presbyterian Church (USA) as an
“out,” ordained Minister of the
Word and Sacrament. (Check out
Several years later when I realized
I was a lesbian, Peg was one of the
first church-ladies I came out to. I
knew I had to tell
Above Photo: Peg Atkins (left), board
member since 1992; Mieke Vandersall,
member of the USA/Canada advisory
board to Other Sheep.
her, although terrified. And she
told me that gay and lesbian
people were some of the best she
had ever met. She loved me and
made me one of her dearest
friends. Since these early days,
Peg has aged a bit in body, but
not in spirit. She continues to work
tirelessly as an AIDS activist and
LGBT civil rights advocate in and
outside her congregation where
she and Doug both served as
Deacons and Elders.
|love me and are thinking of me; and this has given me a sense
of identity, that there are other gay Christians like myself.
So I was motivated to initiate contact with some of the gay
Christians I knew here to form a home cell group with the
purpose of keeping in constant touch with one another in order
to encourage one another in various matters. For one, we wish
to know how to behave, that is how to handle ourselves and to
express ourselves among straight people without causing any
Secondly, we pray for one another that God may give us
wisdom and grace to stand because, as I mentioned, it isn't
easy to be gay in Uganda, especially in our churches. To
express ourselves freely in society in general, and within
religious settings especially, can result in much hardship and
Taking the message to Rwanda: The fear and
misunderstanding I saw
Recently I visited Rwanda, a neighboring country to the west.
I've been there before, and like before, I had the
opportunity to meet with some of my gay friends there. I
realized on this trip that they are like us in Uganda. They lack
freedom to express themselves. The fact is, they fear even
themselves because of the great insecurity they feel.
Most of them are not practicing Christians. They left their
churches after realizing they were gay. I spoke with some of
them and told them that being gay doesn't mean that you are
not a Christian or that you've backslidden. I told them about
my present life as a gay man still worshiping in the church;
that God continues to use me, presently in the music ministry
of my church. They were dumfounded.
I told them about a certain ministry called Other Sheep,
telling them how it has helped many religious gays in
Africa to have a sense of identity. I was so glad to see how
some of them were encouraged to hear what I had to say.
They told me to be very secretive; they feared that they
could be literally hung because so many in their country take
homosexuality to be an abomination.
They need guidance and encouragement. They need to see
that they are also human beings. I spoke with them using the
knowledge I had gained from Steve and Jose when they were
with me in Uganda. I've since begged Other Sheep to make a
tour of Rwanda, to stand with our gay family there, that
together – Rwanda and Uganda – that we might know each
other as fellow gay Christians.
My prayer for the gay Christians of Uganda and Rwanda
Yes, now I have a sense of identity. I pray our gay Christian
cell group will grow and help our fellow gay Christians both in
Uganda and Rwanda.
Thank you Steve and Jose and the Other Sheep ministry for
helping us. We are really grateful to have you in our lives. We
promise to stand with you in prayer that God might help you in
everything you do.
From Shepherd (pen name)
Uganda, January 2008
Alice D. Kitchen, M.D.
Because of failing health, Alice
came off the Other Sheep
board in 2007. Other Sheep
is grateful to her for her years
of service as an Other Sheep
board member. PHOTO:
Spring 2006 Board Meeting,
St. Louis MO____________
Continued from page 1
Visiting Tom Hanks in Buenos Aires
We have kept in touch. One day when I was visiting St.
Louis, Peg introduced me to Tom Hanks of Buenos
Aires, founder of Other Sheep, an ecumenical
Christian organization that works for the full inclusion
of LGBTs within their respective denominations
worldwide. Together we attended a church service
and then went to lunch. I mentioned wanting to visit
Buenos Aires someday, and Peg, an Other Sheep
board member, said she had always wanted to see
Tom in his “own setting” having worked with him in
Other Sheep since its inception in 1992.
A few years later, this past July, we both landed in the
"big apple" of Argentina. We stayed with Tom and
were spoiled by his incredible hospitality. He has his
own apartment, plus two others in the same building in
downtown Buenos Aires and shares them in the spirit
of Other Sheep with individuals and emerging LGBT
groups. His apartments have become practically an
LGBT "church camp." Many who are recovering from
“coming out” stay at his "camp" until they get on their
feet. Tom understands the trauma of “coming out” and
the ways in which it can disrupt the lives of many
faithful Christians. We were impressed by the life-
saving work he is doing, not only in his scholarship and
writing, but in opening his home to those who have
been subjected to homophobia in their church and
home settings. Thanks be to God for Tom’s healing,
Tom gives sanctuary to people, as he works tirelessly
on his research, writing and correspondence with an
enthusiasm I could only dream of possessing. His
apartments have become a huge library with walls
almost falling in from the weight of books. He must
have every book ever written about religion and queer
folks. So, if you ever need to go to "church camp" at
Tom’s Other Sheep apartments, there is no excuse to
leave without being at least a little more educated then
when you came in!
Tom is the ultimate networker. We met so many
straight and gay Christians whose lives are touched by
him. He speaks at LGBT events and organizations,
teaches Bible classes, and responds to readers of his
published works and writings at www.othersheep.org.
Everywhere we went we met his contacts: in the
Methodist and Anglican churches, at LGBT group
meetings, in the seminary, in coffee shops, restaurants
and on the streets of Buenos Aires. We couldn’t
possibly remember all of their names but were so
happy and privileged to meet them all.
The ministry of Other Sheep is alive and well in
Buenos Aires. It is a vibrant and critically necessary
ministry where the censorship and the homophobia of
|Continued from page 1
What African Hate Words Really Mean
or Western homosexuality being seen as something
alien to and infecting the purity of black Africa. This is
being done often under a Christian guise, which
makes me question its real meaning.
First, I have no doubts that East African homophobia
plays into an “our own image” mindset, and that
“image” is free from AIDS and righteously
monogamous. Monogamy was a goal of Christian
missionary work, though much of African tribalism
bridled against it. Monogamy is still not considered
manly for many African men: women are to be
contested for, and the more you have, the more
manly you are. In the old days, Christian missionaries
could attack African male promiscuity with fire and
brimstone; they can’t anymore. All they can do is
scream at homosexuality and its “promiscuous” sex-
outside-of-marriage sinfulness, while trying to ignore
male heterosexual promiscuity. There is also the
specter of Islam, a very aggressively proselytizing
religion, knocking loudly at the door. Islam for
centuries was hush-hush about homosexuality: in
fact, it was often considered a private alternative to
strictly enforced heterosexuality. But, again, today
with too many images around, Islam has become loud
and harsh about a situation it used to tiptoe over.
Therefore, the question in black Africa is who is going
to hate “queers” the most, Islam or Christianity, and
of course guess who will suffer the most from this
A third specter comes up: AIDS, and the
embarrassing fact that AIDS started out in Africa as a
heterosexual disease, that came into the human
population through eating "bush meat," or the flesh of
primates. This fact has been scientifically proven, but
that does not soften the shame and embarrassment
caused by AIDS, and how that shame will (hopefully)
be obliterated if it is cast onto the bodies of gay men
All of this is a recipe for a living hell for many LGBT
people in many areas of Africa, but the worst part is
not being able to speak about it, being too “politically
correct” (or “polite” as we used to say in the South) to
see what is under the hate language, and exposing it.
A lot of Africans will be frightened to death by
homophobic extremism, and many will literally die
from it, because it answers so many needs to cover
up so much. I think we need to take the cover off this
as soon as possible. LGBT people in Africa need to
see that they are a real part of “our own image,” and
the world needs to show this with bravery, frankness,
Perry Brass has published 14 books, many dealing with the
intersection of sexuality and spirituality. He greatly believes in
the mission of Other Sheep. He can be reached through his
Ishtar MSM in 1997. He was its
director for ten years, until Feb.
2007, when he fled Kenya for fear
of his life. Ishtar MSM - Men who
have Sex with Men - is an
organization that works for
HIV/AIDS prevention, care and
support among gay men in Kenya.
Kamau, as Director of Ishtar MSM,
was part of a Kenyan Government
task force called The National AIDS
Control Council. As a
spokesperson for HIV/AIDS
prevention, Kamau has spoken to a
committee at the United Nations in
New York City, and at meetings in
Ghana, Gambia, South Africa, India
and Cambodia. In Feb. 2007, at
the World Social Forum held in
Nairobi, Kenya, Kamau came out as
a gay man to his fellow Kenyans.
The death threats that followed
caused him to seek asylum in the
United States. Today he resides in
Texas where he awaits the outcome
of his appeal for asylum.
In March of 2007, Emmanuel, a
Charismatic Catholic, visited Jose
and Steve of Other Sheep in their
Bronx apartment to urge them to go
to Nairobi, Kenya, to minister to the
spiritual needs of LGBTs. After
working with gay men for ten years
in Kenya, Emmanuel was deeply
concerned that his fellow LGBT
Kenyans were not being ministered
to on a spiritual level. Jose and
Steve answered 'yes' to
Emmanuel's plea for assistance.
In Africa, Emmanuel is also known
as "Auntie Ivy" among gay men for
his ability to counsel others in
matters of gay relationships. In
places in Africa, it is customary for
the aunt of the household to
counsel the young men on
courtship. Hence, he has earned
the nickname "Auntie Ivy."
As of January 1 of this year,
Emmanuel began serving as Other
Sheep's co-Coordinator for Africa,
a volunteer position. Jose Ortiz
continues serving Africa as
by STEVE PARELLI, Bronx, NY.
Responding to three Other Sheep
eNews mailings sent out between
Jan. 17 and Jan. 29, one church
and several individuals gave over
$1,500 (US) to Rev. John
Makokha, United Methodist minister
of Nairobi, Kenya.
In December of 2007, Rev.
Makokha wrote Other Sheep
asking to become an Associate
Member Subsequent to his
membership, he declared his need
for immediate financial assistance.
With the help of Rev. Michael
Kimindu, Anglican priest in Nairobi
and consultant to Other Sheep
East Africa, Other Sheep worked
many hours to
exercise "due diligence" and
assess Rev. Makokha's
situation. Other Sheep's
findings, which were reported in
the three eNews that went out,
can be read on the Other Sheep
website by clicking the
"MEMBERS" navigation button.
Other Sheep learned that unless
Rev. Makokha received monies
for back rent due by Feb. 1, his
house hold goods could be
confiscated. His District
Superintendent wrote Other
Sheep that no monies at all were
being paid to Rev. Makokha
from the denomination because
of his pro-LGBT position.
Above Photo: Riruta United Methodist Church, Kenya. Rev Makokha (center
wearing a red tie) next to Anne, his wife (in a red dress).
Tom Hanks Delivers Paper at SBL
At the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), held Nov.
2007 in San Diego, as part of a panel discussion, on Nov. 17, Tom Hanks
delivered his paper "Robert Jewett (2006) and Robert Gagnon(2001) on
Romans 1:16 – 2:16." See Other Sheep website. For discussions with the
author, email Tom Hanks at firstname.lastname@example.org
Miller & Cleator publish writings on Other Sheep website
Raw Material, a scholarly study on biblical sexuality by James E. Miller, and
Who Could Have Known, by Gerard B. Cleator, O.P., the author's spiritual
journey as a Friar preacher, have been published on the Other Sheep
Steve and Jose present Other Sheep – Northeast USA
- October 7, 2007. Steve preached in the morning service of Grace
Episcopal Church, Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard,
Massachusetts, Rev. Robert Hensley, Rector. In a class prior to the
service, and again in the afternoon to a local PFLAG chapter, Steve
and Jose presented their power point presentation on their Kenya-
Uganda 2007 ministry.
- January 17, 2008. Steve and Jose spoke and showed their Kenya-
Uganda power point to a group at St. John's Episcopal Church, New
Rochelle, NY, Rev. Rayner "Rusty" Wilson Hesse, Jr., Rector.
- February 17, 2008. Other Sheep will host with Maranatha, the LGBT
group of The Riverside Church, a panel discussion on "Experiences of
Gay Christians in Kenya and Nigeria." Davis Mac-yalla, Emmanuel
Kamau and Jose Ortiz will speak.
Archbishop of Kenya releases
Anglican priest from his parish
duties for his pro-LGBT position
by Steve Parelli BRONX, NY. In an email dated
December 18, 2007, The Archbishop of
Kenya, The Most Rev. Benjamin M.
Nzimbi, instructed Rev. Michael Kimindu
to "not perform any leadership duty in St.
Luke's Parish" until after meeting with the
Archbishop and discussing Rev. Kimindu's
involvement with Other Sheep East Africa.
Rev. Kimindu, the priest in question, first
met Other Sheep five months ago in
Nairobi, Kenya, when Steve Parelli and
Jose Ortiz, domestic partners and
co-laborers for Other Sheep, were
conducting faith-based LGBT discussion
groups at Black Rose apartments near
Ya-Ya Center, Nairobi.
It was a few years prior to this meeting with
Other Sheep that Rev. Kimindu had
already concluded for himself that LGBTs
should have full inclusion in the church.
While a Chaplain for the Kenya Armed
Forces, Rev. Kimindu published a
pro-LGBT paper on Homosexuality and
the Armed Forces.
His growing convictions led him to be vocal
in the church and were costing him
advancement and salary cuts.
Steve and Jose, in addition to conducting
discussion groups, visited Nairobi
churches on Sundays, leaving with the
clergy a copy of the book The Children
Are Free. It was because of their visit to
the Anglican Cathedral and having left a
copy of the book with their contact
information, that Rev. Kimindu was able to
get in touch with Steve and Jose.
From the very beginning Kimindu fully
identified with Other Sheep and almost
daily ministered among the LGBT
community in Nairobi.
Rev. Kimindu presently serves as
consultant to Other Sheep East Africa,
conducts weekly house services for
LGBTs, and hosts a monthly PFLAG
In an email dated January 15, 2008, Davis
Mac-Iyalla of Changing Attitude Nigeria, a
ministry by Anglicans for the full inclusion
of LGBTs within the Anglican Communion,
charges the Archbishop of Kenya of
"attacking" Rev. Michael Kimindu for his
ministry to LGBTs in Nairobi, Kenya.
|Financial gifts may be sent to Other Sheep
16768 Old Jamestown Rd.
Florissant, MO 63034
Financial gifts may be made by
credit card through PayPal
|Materials referenced in Other Sheep News can be found at www.othersheep.org or www.othersheepexecsite.com and may be
freely copied or reprinted. Copied materials should indicate their source and be distributed free of charge.
For address removal, correction or addition, contact Steve Parelli, Executive Director, at email@example.com or by direct mail
2962 Decatur Ave. 5D, Bronx, NY 10458. Home/Business Phone: 718-360-0884
|Other Sheep News is published quarterly by Other Sheep, a nonprofit, tax exempt Christian ministry. Other Sheep is Multicultural
Ministries with Sexual Minorities, working worldwide in an ever-expanding variety of languages, cultures and LGBT concerns, to
share the good news that God loves all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons just as they are and calls them into
inclusive, gay-affirming, Christian communities.