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National and International Intro
You know far too much about me already, I fear. I seem to get identified
not only with what I write but with what I port. Since I flood you with
email almost hourly, I'm amazed that anyone reads anything "From: Louie
Crew" anymore. Thanks for your patience with the stress of this wondrous
I look forward to serving with you on Committee #9. At the last two
conventions, I served on 'Social and Urban,' in 97 as secretary. From
94-97, I served as secretary of the Standing Commission on Human Affairs,
and Social & Urban was the committee most connected to that Commission's
mission. Since 1997 I have been serving as secretary of the Standing
Commission on Anglican & International Peace with Justice Concerns, and I
asked to change to "National & International" as a better fit with our
Commission's mission. I am looking forward to your reactions to our BLUE
BOOK report. Other #9 members Bob Sessums, Mary Ann Weiss, Greg Westigard
and I urge you to support our resolutions.
I also serve as the President of our Standing Committee and chair of our
deputation. My parish is Grace in Newark, an anglo-catholic parish in a
decidedly low-church diocese. Upjohn designed our building in 1848.
William Augustus Ward composed "America the Beautiful" while he was our
organist and choirmaster, and if you visit us, as I hope you will, you
will understand why. My spouse, Ernest Clay, is on the vestry and serves
as the recording treasurer. He is a flight attendant (trade slang: "sky
muffin") with Continental Airlines. He's also a prize-winning cook and my
closest friend. Come visit us!
For the last 11 years, I have been an English professor at Rutgers, the
State University of New Jersey, on the Newark campus, described by
Newsweek as 'the most diverse campus in the USA.' Over sixty percent of
our students go home to speak another language at night. We have at least
15 students from each of over 85 countries. Newsweek also ranks the
Newark campus, with about 9,000 students, as one of the top 100
undergraduate units in the country; it is highly competitive. We have
48,000 students on three campuses, but we are one university. I recently
served two terms as chair of Rutgers University Senate, with about 185
senators representing the administration, faculty, students and alumni.
As chair, I was also a member of the Rutgers Board of Governors.
I will retire from Rutgers next year, when I will turn 65; and I am
looking forward to my teaching assignments for the final year: the Bible
As Literature sequence (Hebrew Scriptures in the fall; Christian in the
spring), a section of freshmen honors English, and a section of regular
freshmen composition. I teach paperless classes; my students publish all
their work on the web. I invite you to visit and to read their material,
much of it quite moving, especially in their journals --
http://newark.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/courses.html Go to the class rosters for
any one of the classes and click on any student's name to visit her work.
I am a writer. About half of my 1,341 publications are poems.
I am also known at Li Min Hua, and have published 272 items under that
identity, many of them from the point of view of an old Chinese woman. I
had to register the name legally when I taught in Asia so that I could
deposit checks in payment for my work. It's nice not to have to be Louie
Crew all the time! (;o')
I was born in segregated Alabama in 1936, and am still closely identified
by my Alabama culture. One swig of bourbon brings even the accent back.
I have been much blessed in an interracial marriage for the last 26 years.
I lived in Native American communities for three summers (Taos, NM 1961;
Cherokee, NC, 68, 69 -- I was a lead actor in "Unto These Hills there).
I taught in England in 65-66 and again in 70-71; in Beijing in 83-84 and
in Hong Kong 84-87. One of my favorite achievements was a surprise: The
Hong Kong Computer Society (those who run the computers in the world's 3rd
largest banking center and at what was then the world's 2nd most congested
airport) honored me for writing "The Best Article of the Year" in 1986--my
account of how I used a mailmerge program to teach myself Cantonese. My
more complex version, Cantones.exe, is still used in some schools in
Canada and Hong Kong.
I was confirmed as an Episcopalian at St. Peters in Rome [Georgia!] on
October 29, 1961 -- 40 years ago next year. What a blessing this Church
has been to me! Oh how we have struggled in love with one another. In
1974 I founded Integrity, a ministry of the Episcopal Church to the
lesbian and gay community and of the gay and lesbian community to the
Episcopal Church. Because of my involvement in that ministry, parishes in
two different dioceses seriously considered my excommunication, and yet
both were later reconciled and repented their unwelcome, all of us the
richer in our understanding that it is God's table and God who issues the
I would never have chosen to face the difficulties of being gay; who
would? But I thank God daily for the challenges and the rich rewards.
Recently I found a 1954 picture of a red-headed 18-year-old in a white
suit and clutching a huge KJV bible, bound for Baylor to train as a
Baptist preacher. Had I not encountered myself as gay, I might have
stayed locked in that system. I might never have been opened to all the
other wondrous diversity which I have been bless to experience in God's
With little hair left, and none of it still red, I'm still clutching a
bible, albeit more recent version, and I am still striving to be faithful
to my call to ministry and my Bapto-Anglican belief in the priesthood of
each individual believer.
Joy to absolutely everybody!
There are 72 days left until General Convention.