LGBT Families to Host Families from Lakewood Church

Jay Bakker Attempts to Deliver Personal Invitation to Osteen

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SOULFORCE MEDIA ADVISORY: May 7, 2008
For Immediate Release

Contact: Paige Schilt, 
Media Director
Cell: 512-659-1771
paige@soulforce.org
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(Houston, TX) At a press conference today, Jay Bakker, star of the documentary series One Punk Under God, issued an open invitation to families from Lakewood Church — the largest church in the U.S. — to share a picnic with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) families in Houston’s Levy Park on Saturday, May 10, 2008.

Bakker’s invitation is part of a nationwide fellowship effort called The American Family Outing. The project, which aims to create dialogue between LGBT families and families at six American mega-churches, began reaching out to Rev. Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church with a letter in December 2007. The initial invitation was followed by a personal letter to Osteen from Jay Bakker in January 2008, as well as phone calls from Bakker and noted evangelical speaker Peggy Campolo. Project organizers sent two more letters to Lakewood staff in March and April 2008.

At present, Osteen and Lakewood Church have not yet agreed to sit down with the families for a meal and conversation. After today’s press conference, Bakker attempted to deliver his invitation in-person, but Lakewood staff told him that no one was available to accept the letter.

However, several prominent mega-churches, including The Potter’s House in Dallas, Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois, and Hope Christian Church in Maryland, have agreed to meet lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families through The American Family Outing.

Bakker’s direct invitation to the families at Lakewood Church was delivered at the site of Saturday’s picnic, Levy Park, which is less than a mile from Lakewood.

What: American Family Outing Picnic in Levy Park, featuring Jay Bakker and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families from Houston and beyond.

When: Saturday, May 10, 2008 from 11am-2pm
Where: Levy Park, 3801 Eastside St., Houston, TX, 77098. (Just off of Richmond, between Buffalo Speedway and Kirby).

Who: All families or individuals who attend Lakewood Church are welcome.
Jay Bakker is the son of Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Bakker Messner, and the co-founder of Revolution Church. His non-traditional approach to ministry achieved national attention in the Sundance Channel documentary One Punk Under God, which documented his journey to become an LGBT-affirming Christian. Jay is dedicating the Mother’s Day visit to Lakewood to the memory of his mother.

The American Family Outing is a collaboration between Soulforce, COLAGE, National Black Justice Coalition, and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches.

Soulforce is a national civil rights and social justice organization. Our vision is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.

The Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC) is an international fellowship of Christian churches with a special ministry to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The National Black Justice Coalition(NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black same-gender-loving, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. The Coalition works with our communities and our allies for social justice, equality, and an end to racism and homophobia.

COLAGE is a national movement of children, youth and adults with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer parents. We build community and work toward social justice through youth empowerment, leadership development, education, and advocacy.

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