Bradley Campbell's "A New Wave of Gay Seminarians Prepares to Take the Pulpit" from July 2008 is a national finalist in the Outstanding Newspaper Article category alongside the L.A. Times and Washington Post.
Here are the other nominees:
--"Gay Marriage Ruling Ended Long Journey Of Soul" by Alaine Griffin (The Hartford Courant)
--"Morehouse College Faces its Own Bias - Against Gays" by Richard Fausset (Los Angeles Times)
--"Owning His Gay Identity - at 15 Years Old" by Theresa Vargas (The Washington Post)
--"Special Report: In Transition" by Karen Lovett and Ashley Smith (The Telegraph [Nashua, N.H.])
The story highlights the struggles in the Lutheran church between policies on homosexuality and the meaning of "all God's children".
Here is an excerpt from the intro:
It was late November in 2004 and Lauren Wendt was on her way to a Wednesday-evening church service. As she walked up the concrete steps and entered through the white doors of the brick-faced Ascension Lutheran Church, she was ready to pray. She enjoyed her work volunteering for a church-based immigration and refugee service in Maryland, but moving to a new city had made her lonely. Although she thought about dating, she was used to being single--she'd been that way all throughout college.
The walls inside the church were soft blue, the carpet red, and the pews a brilliant shade of colonial white. Gathered inside were about 30 churchgoers in their mid-twenties. A group of skinny boys and girls at the front tuned guitars and set up drums as they prepared to play Christian rock to accompany the service.
After taking the pulpit, the pastor encouraged the parishioners to stand and introduce themselves to each other. Wendt enjoyed this part. She has a firm handshake, a pleasant grip that squeezes without hurting. Her green eyes smiled as she basked in the fellowship.
The service went along at a brisk pace--communion, songs, and sermon. As the band began to play its final song, Wendt rose to her feet. She reached her arms out from her sides, closed her eyes, and began to pray.
She went deep within herself. The music faded. And she heard a voice.
"Go to seminary," it said.
Wendt felt a calming presence descend on her body. The voice seemed to embrace her from head to toe. She was sure it was God.
Then he added: "And you're gay. Get over it."Read the rest of Campbell's piece here. View all of the category nominees here.
This year's nominees were published, released or broadcast between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008. Nearly 1,000 media projects were considered by over 75 volunteers serving on seven nominating juries. Winners will be announced at The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies in New York on March 28.