Soulforce Alert: Disciplined and Relentless Soulforce Vigiling and Continued Dialogue Planned for U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (UCCB)

Soulforce Witness to take place in Washington DC November 11 – 15, 2001

As Soulforce responds to the dynamic and flowing process involved in negotiations and dialogue with the Roman Catholics, our commitment to the principles of relentless non-violence is continually re-affirmed and our plans take shape and unfold.

To this end, Soulforce is continuing our negotiations with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and will further show our commitment to the process of relentless non-violence by conducting prayerful vigils during this event in Washington, DC on November 12 – 15, 2001.

Last year, by standing vigil outside the Bishops’ gathering, we gave a face and a name to the suffering of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals both inside and outside the Catholic Church.

This year, we will do the same, taking upon ourselves the suffering caused by the Catholic Church’s discriminatory and hostile teachings and policies against GLBT individuals by conducting a 4-1/2 day prayerful witness and vigiling.

But our action at the UCCB will be different from direct actions we have conducted in the past. There will be no civil disobedience. There will be no arrests. There will be no ongoing training, just relentless vigiling for 4-1/2 days.

You will be expected to provide all your own meals, stand for long hours at a time, and suffer voluntarily in the cold winds of mid-November. In return, we promise your spirit will be renewed, your soul refreshed and your friendships revitalized, as we continue the process of transforming the hearts and minds of our adversary.

You are invited to stand with us at the UCCB, if:

  1. You have previously participated in a Soulforce direct action and non-violent training; and,
  2. You are willing to dialogue with the bishop in your area either by mail or in person, or continue the dialogue started at last year’s action with your previously assigned bishop. (Please send us any letters you’ve written, or a summary of any discussions you’ve had) and,
  3. You pre-register no later than November 1, 2001 at (absolute deadline; no registrations accepted after this date); and,
  4. You can arrive in Washington D.C. by Sunday afternoon, November 11, for important spiritual preparation.

You are vitally important to this work. Thank you for your commitment to the cause and for your continued support of Soulforce and the principles of non-violence.

Rev. Mel White, Executive Director
Rev. Jimmy Creech, Board Chair
Karen Weldin, Director of Operations

PS – Thank you for considering taking part in this crucial action to transform the hearts and minds of the Roman Catholics.

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