A Soulforce Invitation to Cleveland

An Evening with Heroes
Tuesday, May 9, 2000

Special Guests
Gandhi’s Grandson, Arun
King’s Daughter, Yolanda

Meet Civil Rights S/Heroes
R. Graetz, J. Lawson, R. Powell, G. Johnson-Powell,
Ellie Charlton & Jeanne Barnett, J.Creech, G. Dell, D. Fado

Music and Memories
From the Struggle for Justice
Marsha Stevens and Surprise Guests

"A Once-In-A-Lifetime Night"
University Center Auditorium
2121 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland State University

A Walk With Sheroes
Wednesday, May 10, 2000

6:30AM Training (if you missed May 9 Evening Training event)
7:00AM Gandhi Vigil (Be On Time)
7:30AM Press Conference
8:00AM Walk for Justice

Be Arrested for the Cause or Just Walk With Us For Justice.
Bring Truth in Love to the United Methodists and their Ecumenical Guests.

Mall B Convention Center, Lakeside Avenue

Help Relight the Flame!

Dear Friend of Justice,

Why are we taking this stand? For decades the U.M.C. (and most other Protestant and Catholic denominations) have misused the Bible to condemn sexual minorities. That debate leads to suffering and death. It must be stopped.

If GC2000 delegates vote to end the policies that discriminate and exclude, we will bless them and turn our events into times of celebration. If not, Gandhi says, "It is as much our moral obligation NOT to cooperate with evil as it is to cooperate with good."

May 10 is "Ecumenical Day" at GC2000 with church leaders from around the globe. We protest their policies, not their presence. We welcome them as brothers and sisters and we speak our truth in love:

"This Tragic Debate Must End. We Are God’s Children, Too!"

May 10 (7am) we will gather with our s/heroes on the Mall and walk together to the Convention Center in silent VIGIL. We seek an end to the spiritual violence against us and we ask for our rightful place at the table.

We are training on Tuesday, May 9, (7-9pm) at Cleveland State University or on May 10, (6:30am) at the Convention site. All who walk must sign Dr. King’s 1963 Pledge to Nonviolence.

You are invited to join our s/heroes in being arrested in this symbolic act of civil disobedience. You will pay a fine and be released. Or you may walk with us and not be arrested. Taking your stand for justice will help renew your spirit and transform our society.

Mel White
Gary Nixon
Partners in Soulforce

For twenty-eight years, U.M.C. General Conferences have ignored the pastoral, historic, scientific, psychological, and even biblical evidence that homosexuality is neither a sickness nor a sin. Every four years their anti-GLBT position hardens. That position leads to wasted lives, ruined families, divided churches. Sadly, this is where the denomination now stands:

The Book of Discipline, Social Principles
Paragraph 65 G: Human Sexuality-"…Although we do not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching, we affirm that God’s grace is available to all." (1972)

"Administrative Order" Paragraph 806: 12.
"…The council shall be responsible for ensuring that no board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality…" (1976)

"The Ordained Ministry" Paragraph 304: 3.
"…Since the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be accepted as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in the U.M.C." (1980)

"Marriage" Paragraph 65 C:
"Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches." (1984)

Recent Rulings by the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church
1. After the first Jimmy Creech trial in 1998, the Judicial Council of the UMC made conducting a same-gender Covenant Service a "chargeable offense." (#883)
2. A 1999 ruling prohibits local churches from using either the "reconciling" or "transforming" labels. (#847)

The Spirit Cannot Remain Where All God’s Children Are Not Welcome!

Help Save the Soul of the U.M.C.
Walk With Us May 10, 7-9AM

Soulforce at GC2000
People of Faith
Applying The Rules Of Nonviolence
As Taught By Gandhi And King
Seeking Justice for Sexual Minorities
And All Others Who Face Injustice!

At GC2000 in Cleveland, Ohio, Soulforce is working with Amar, the Pro-GLBT U.M.C. coalition to bring truth in love relentlessly to the United Methodist Church.

Soulforce Headquarters, May 1-12
The Comfort Inn, 1800 Euclid, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 861-0001 or (949) 233-3592

Join Our Vigils May 7-12
Walk With Our S/Heroes May 10
Sign The Pledge to Nonviolence Now!
Written by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Signed by His Marchers, 1963