CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE
Two items: One from the the Southern Baptist Convention and how they and
Roman Catholics work together when it comes to anti-gay and anti-choice
activities; the other an invitation from Soulforce and Dignity/USA in
relation to their journey to Rome.
From the Southern Baptist Convention:
December 20, 2000
Dobson praises Catholic church for efforts to protect family
By Eric Gorski
ROME (BP)--It was a striking image to one observer: evangelical Protestant
powerhouses James Dobson and Chuck Colson visiting the headquarters of the
Catholic church, the very institution Protestants rebelled against centuries
Though Catholics and Protestants disagree frequently on theological matters,
dialogue between the faith groups has been going on for years. On several
social issues such as opposition to abortion and homosexuality many
evangelicals and Catholics find common ground.<SNIP>
Dobson, who spoke mostly about issues facing boys, the topic of an upcoming
book, was not available for comment Friday, said Paul Hetrick, a Focus on
the Family spokesman. <MORE>
From Soulforce and Dignity/USA:
A CALL TO SOLIDARITY - ROME AT HOME
An Invitation from Soulforce and Dignity/USA
As you probably know, Soulforce and Dignity/USA are going to Rome, January 5
& 6 to take our demands to the Vatican to STOP SPIRITUAL VIOLENCE.
We need your prayers and support. We believe that having simultaneous prayer
vigils throughout the country will draw much needed attention to the
Vatican's continuing attacks against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender
(GLBT) people, especially GLBT Catholics. Whether it is just two or three of
you in a dozen cities, or larger gatherings, the simultaneous actions will
help to focus attention on our action to bring to the Vatican the truth
about God's gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children.
Available on the web site at http://www.soulforce.org/romevigil.html
are the requests that we presented to the National Conference of Catholic
Bishops and will be presenting to the Vatican, called "Why We Vigil."
There are several things to keep in mind as you start to organize such a
gathering, whether you are a member of the Catholic Church or not.
1) We are witnesses to the importance and depth of faith in the lives of
GLBT people, despite centuries of oppression and discrimination. We love our
churches and we long to claim our rightful place in them, openly and
proudly, celebrating who God created us to be.
2) We do all things in the spirit of nonviolence. We come in love, seeking
reconciliation in justice and truth. We are calling chancery officials and
other church leaders, to the dialogue that has been avoided for too long. We
need them to understand the reality of our lives and loves, so that,
together, we can bring about fullness of justice in the churches. We are
willing to listen to them, person to person, to hear the truth that they
bring, as well. This is the time to get past rhetoric and talk heart to
heart and soul to soul.
3) Individuals participating in the "Rome At Home" vigils should be
familiar with the principles of non-violence, as outlined on the Soulforce
web page at http://www.soulforce.org
Please be sure they can participate in that spirit.
We are listing below three links to websites: Dignity/USA, Metropolitan
Community Church and a listing of gayfriendly Catholic Churches throughout
the country. Please check out these websites, and make the connections in
your local area, immediately.
Dignity/USA - Local Chapters:
UFMCC GLOBAL DIRECTORY: UFMCC LOCAL:
Gay friendly Catholic Churches:
Contact any other people of faith you know who would be interested in
taking part; don't forget to include PFLAG members. Begin spreading the
word. Use this opportunity to build a community of faith to respond to
future situations that will need quick organizing. If you live in a city
that has a chancery, call the chancery in your area as soon as possible. You
can probably find them listed under the "Diocese of ______(whatever city you
are in). Check at this link to see if your city is a diocese:
National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference:
Ask for an appointment for the evening of January 5, if it is available, to
emphasize solidarity with those who are going to be in Rome, and explain
that is why you would like to meet on that date. However, any good faith
effort to provide a meeting within a reasonable time frame should be
respected. If they refuse to meet with you, do not be deterred. Make plans
for your group to go to the chancery offices and "tape" the demands to the
doors of the office. If you do not live in a city that has a chancery
office, find another suitable site to hold your prayer vigil.
Contact your local gay and straight media now to let them know about your
plans. Be sure to tell them that this will be happening in conjunction with
the actions at the Vatican and throughout many cities in the U.S.
Below is a suggested prayer service for you to consider. On Friday, January
5 (the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany, and the official end of the "Year
of Jubilee") go to your local chancery office, hopefully meeting with some
representative, but if, as we said earlier, their doors are shut, then tape
the demands and the apologetics to the door in the presence of the media. If
there is no chancery office then simply hold your prayer vigil.
Within two weeks, follow up with this action by calling together those who
have been a part of this organizing project and debrief and see if there is
an interest in keeping the group active.
Please be sure to let us know what you are doing. Send your information to
no later than December 31st. If you do not have your
information together by that date, send it to Karen Weldin at
Last of all, don't forget to pray for those of us who will be in Rome and
for all of us who carry this important message to the Church. If you have
any questions, please contact me at Kara4Peace@...
In the spirit of love and non-violence,
Kara Speltz, Catholic Co-chair
Soulforce Advisory Committee for NCCB/Vatican Actions
Mary Louise Cervone, President
SUGGESTION FOR PRAYER VIGIL IN SUPPORT OF SOULFORCE/DIGNITY ACTION IN ROME:
SONG: O Healing River
READING: Ezek 36: 24-28
I will take you away from among the nations gather you from all the foreign
lands, and bring you back to your own land.
I will sprinkle clean water upon youto cleanse you from all your
impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from
your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts.
I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to
observe my decrees.
You shall live in the land I gave your fathers and mothers, you shall be my
people and I will be your God.
SONG: Amazing Grace
READING: M.L. King, Jr. Letter from Birmingham City Jail
But the judgment of God is upon the Church as never before. If the Church of
today does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early Church, it will
lose its authentic ring, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed
as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. I am
meeting young people every day whose disappointment with the Church has
risen to outright disgust.
Maybe again, I have been too optimistic. Is organized religion too
inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world?
Maybe I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual Church, the Church within
the Church, as true ecclesia and the hope for the world. But again, I am
thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion
have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as
active partners in the struggle for freedom.
Brief chance to share our responses to the readings
Lighting of Candles and Presentation of "Why We Vigil" to the Chancery.
SONG: We Shall Overcome
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