Alert #1 to Soulforce Participants at the United Methodist General Conference 2004

Alert 1: March 29, 2004 – Introduction and hotel information

Dear Soulforce Volunteers:

We are so glad that you have decided to join us in Pittsburgh!!!! The trial in Bothell is over and now all of our attention is focused on the General Conference. (For photos and stories of Soulforce’s time in Bothell, for Karen Damman’s trial be sure to check out https://soulforceactionarchives.org/article/23.)

Marylee Fithian and Steve Webster are our two co-chairs for our Methodist Denomination Team as well as this direct action. The Denominational team has been meeting regularly to plan for the events in Pittsburgh for some time now. The Direct Action Team has now joined those conference calls to plan the specifics of our direct action in Pittsburgh, and we’re excited about the plans. You will hear more specific information in future alerts, as plans are further developed.

For those of you needing housing in Pittsburgh, Carolyn Glass is coordinating that. She can be reached at: carolynjglass@hotmail.com

For those who will be staying in hotels, our main hotel will be: the Ramada Plaza Suites & Conference Centers at
One Bigelow Square (downtown), Pittsburgh, PA 15219
The rooms are $109.95/nite for 1-4 people (no breakfast) Deadline for making reservations: April 4, 2004 Reservations: 1 800 225 5858 Group: "Soulforce, Inc." www.plazasuites.com. If you need help in finding roommates, contact Kara@Soulforce.org.

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism urged his followers to:

Do all the good you can,
by all the means you can,
in all the ways you can,
in all the places you can,
at all the times you can,
to all the people you can,
as long as ever you can.

As Soulforce gathers in Pittsburgh to be with the once-every-four-years United Methodist General Conference, we remind United Methodists and ourselves of the spirit of John Wesley. We come to Pittsburgh celebrating the good which United Methodists did this past week in the Seattle area where a church jury courageously refused to strip the Rev. Karen Dammann of her ordination because she sought to be open and honest about her committed relationship with her partner (now spouse!) and the son they are raising together. We come to Pittsburgh aware that others are angered at this verdict, and will seek to respond by extending and elaborating church laws and teachings that do spiritual violence to God’s LGBT children.

We come to Pittsburgh to actively resist this spiritual violence, meeting this evil with good.

We will review our Soulforce teachings attuning ourselves to the truth force at the center of the universe. We will reject the violence of heart, of tongue and of fist. We will engage in constructive dialogue with allies and adversaries. We will share gifts with those United Methodists doing good for folks in need in Pittsburgh. We will take action, as necessary, to end the spiritual violence the United Methodist Church does to LGBT persons. We will speak the truth in love relentlessly. We will do all the good we can. . . . as long as ever we can.

Steve Webster

Co-Chair, Soulforce United Methodist Denominational Team

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