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Soulforce OK to Conduct Vigil Outsite UM Annual Conference

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    CALLED OUT ... May 5, 2003 SOULFORCE IN OKLAHOMA TO CONDUCT VIGIL OUTSIDE UNITED METHODIST ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN OKLAHOMA CITY, MAY 26-29 Vigil to accentuate
    Message 1 of 1 , May 8, 2003
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      CALLED OUT
      -------

      May 5, 2003
      SOULFORCE IN OKLAHOMA TO CONDUCT VIGIL OUTSIDE UNITED METHODIST
      ANNUAL
      CONFERENCE IN OKLAHOMA CITY, MAY 26-29

      Vigil to accentuate oppression of gays and lesbians by United
      Methodist Church policies and practices

      Soulforce in Oklahoma Press Release

      (Oklahoma) - On Wednesday evening, May 28th at 7pm, Soulforce In
      Oklahoma will conduct a press conference at 6:30 pm and a prayer
      vigil from 5 pm - 10 pm outside St. Luke's United Methodist Church,
      225 N.W. 15th, Oklahoma City, OK. St. Luke's is the site for an
      ordination service for candidates for ministry in the United
      Methodist Church as part of the statewide Oklahoma Annual Conference
      meeting.

      While the service is being conducted, Soulforce In Oklahoma, along
      with all who would like to join, will be participating in a prayer
      vigil holding pictures and silhouettes with the stories of gay,
      lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons who have been denied
      ordination in the UM Church because of their sexual orientation.

      Although the United Methodist Book of Discipline prohibits ordination
      of "self-avowed practicing homosexuals", its social principles state
      that certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all
      persons and that the UM Church supports efforts to stop violence
      against gays and lesbians.

      Additionally, the Book of Discipline calls homosexuality
      "incompatible with Christian teaching" and will not allow ministers
      to bless same sex unions.

      "By rejecting people for ordination who are in loving committed
      relationship solely based on their sexual orientation and gender of
      their partner, the United Methodist Church is causing great anguish
      and spiritual violence," said Karen Weldin, founder and President of
      Soulforce in Oklahoma. "It is a shame that a person called to
      ministry in the United Methodist Church has to chose between being
      truthful about who God created them to be and lose their livelihood,
      or lie and serve the church.

      Soulforce in Oklahoma will be asking candidates for ordination to
      step aside until the church begins ordaining all people regardless
      of sexual orientation, and will be standing vigil outside to support
      anyone who chooses to do so.

      Those wishing to take part in the vigils must have completed a
      previous Soulforce nonviolence training. A training will be offered
      for new people in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City on Tuesday, May 27
      from 6-9pm. (OKC: Epworth United Methodist Church 1901 N. Douglas.
      TULSA: Community of Hope UCC 2545 S. Yale.)

      Additionally, Soulforce in Oklahoma and Epworth United Methodist
      Church will be co-sponsoring displays from "The Shower of Stoles
      Project" from Monday afternoon, May 26 and Tuesday May 27 -Wednesday
      May 29 from 7am - 5pm at Oklahoma City University in the Freede
      Center.

      Soulforce in Oklahoma is a licensed local group affiliate of
      Soulforce, Inc., a national interfaith movement committed to ending
      spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings
      against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people. Both
      organizations teach and apply the nonviolent principles of M.K.
      Gandhi and Martin Luther King to the liberation of sexual
      minorities.


      For more information or registration, see
      http://www.SoulforceInOklahoma.org or email Soulforce In Oklahoma at
      Info@... or call us at 918-452-2761.







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