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Drops of Water, May 6, 2004 (PDF and Plain Text)

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    Affirmation s Drops of Water, Issue 7, May 6, 2004 is available in PDF and plain text format at http://www.umaffirm.org/gc2004/ ... Drops of Water Published
    Message 1 of 1 , May 6, 2004
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      Affirmation's Drops of Water, Issue 7, May 6, 2004 is available in
      PDF and plain text format at http://www.umaffirm.org/gc2004/

      The plain text version is also pasted below:


      Drops of Water

      Published Daily During GC 2004 by Affirmation: United Methodists for
      Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns

      May 6, 2004 GC 2004 Issue 7


      It's Time To Stand Up
      By Ken Rowe, Affirmation Co-Spokesperson

      This morning history will be made. The General Conference as a body
      had a chance to make history earlier this week to truly be a church
      of Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors. That chance was lost.
      But this morning after worship you are invited to join our friends
      and allies as members of Affirmation, RMN and MFSA are joined by
      SoulForce to circle the bar of the General Conference. It will be a
      chance to allow the delegates who don't know our faces and our
      stories, to look us in the eye; to hear our voices; and to witness to
      the Holy Spirit in our lives.

      We invite you to Stand Up with us. If you feel so called, we also
      invite you to Stand Up and join the Everflowing Stream of Witnesses
      who will be encircling the conference floor for 15 minutes. At the
      end of that time, you are also invited to make a statement by coming
      out of the conference session and joining in a Soulforce Rally. The
      rally will be 20-30 minutes in a designated area just outside the
      West Entrance of the Convention Center (the side away from the river).

      Delegates, Bishops, Staff and Visitors are encouraged to join in the
      Everflowing Stream of Justice and Love. It is your decision to
      return to your chairs or bleachers at the end of the 15 minutes or
      join Soulforce outside for the brief rally. If at any time you need
      to return to your seat, please feel free to do so, or find a place to
      Stand Up in solidarity.

      This demonstration is not a time for civil arrests or violating church
      rules. It is a time to Stand Up and deliver the clear message that we
      will not stand still for violations of baptismal vows and we will
      continue to create a Justice-Loving church.

      Murder, Suicide Stories Requested

      The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issue is still a
      physical life and death issue for many of our brothers and sisters,
      not just an issue of what the church is going to do with us or allow
      us to do. Yes, it impacts us if we can't have holy unions or be
      ordained, or can't agree to disagree-but if we're not alive, these
      issues are irrelevant.

      We are looking for names of LGBT United Methodists (people who were
      somehow connected to the UMC however loosely-family, attendance,
      friends, partners, etc.) who were murdered or who committed suicide.
      Even if the name can't be published, we'd like to know of the
      tragedy. One suggestion is to create a web page of remembrance. Our
      intent was to focus on this message in our presence at General
      Conference 2004, but because of the stigma involved, we have not been
      able to assemble even anecdotal evidence.

      Please send names and/or stories to Peggy Gaylord, co-spokeperson of
      Affirmation at aMiracleToday@... or P.O. Box 2988,
      Binghamton, NY 13902-2988.


      Is It Time For A Schism?
      By Peggy Gaylord, Affirmation Co-Spokesperson

      I and others of our coalition had an interesting opportunity to meet
      with some of the leadership of the Good News, Confessing Movement and

      I think it's ironic that none of us from our coalition leadership
      mentioned schism as an alternative. I expressed that Affirmation
      remains committed to full inclusion of all, where all means all. In
      my growing up years, I found that the Methodist Church allowed for a
      diversity of opinions. I graduated from high school in 1971, so no
      restrictive language related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
      had yet been written into The Book of Discipline (General Conference
      started in 1972).

      In 1972 when I could vote for the first time, there were three
      Methodist-identified Presidential candidates-George McGovern, George
      Wallace, and Shirley Chisolm, reflecting some significant diversity.
      I grew up believing that we could co-exist with differences such as
      these because we had a common core belief in Jesus Christ and the
      necessity of acting on our call to live out the gospel. As I have
      expressed often throughout this General Conference, I see nothing
      exclusionary about Christ's example.

      Even if we were to agree that homosexuality is a sin as purported by a
      number of delegates speaking on the floor-with which Affirmation
      clearly doesn't agree-I remember Tony Campolo asking, why are we
      targeting this particular sin? There are only a handful of
      references in the Bible, including the Old Testament, that might be
      interpreted as being specific about homosexuality; there are over 500
      references to greed. Why aren't we taking greed more seriously?

      Affirmation uses consensus to make our organizational decisions.
      Parliamentary procedure is majority rule with minority consent,
      essentially only two positions. This does not allow for working
      through to create something new whereas consensus often allows for a
      new possibility, something that none of us had thought of. How can
      we do that within the UMC? How can we enact our belief: "In God,
      all things are possible"?


      T Shirts? What T Shirts?

      For many General Conferences it's been an Affirmation tradition to
      produce a T-shirt for each General Conference. And so it was this
      time as well. We had a lovely design idea that went with the water
      theme, and we were going to use an unbleached natural cotton with a
      color rainbow. Before our design person could complete the artwork,
      she had a death in her family. When she got things settled down after
      that she found that her computer had crashed and she couldn't get the
      computer fixed and get the design done in time.

      So we didn't have a themed T-shirt this year. If you've been by our
      table in the hospitality room, however, you know we have nice looking
      short and long sleeve shirts in the natural color with the
      Affirmation logo embroidered in black and pink. The short sleeve
      shirts are $30 and the long sleeve are $35. If we don't have your
      size in stock you can fill out a shirt order form (available on the
      table) and we'll get it for you in our next order.

      You only have until noon tomorrow to buy an Affirmation shirt at GC.

      You can also order shirts from us directly after GC. Ordering
      instructions are on our web site: http://www.umaffirm.org


      Love Makes A Family. It's Gone!

      We had planned on displaying Love Makes A Family until the meet-
      here.com space closed Thursday night. That's when we needed to pack
      it up and ship it to its next display location Friday. Unfortunately
      we only had provisional use of the display space, and we had to take
      down it down Wednesday.

      Keep an eye out for other displays of Love Makes A Family.

      We know at least 60 people had signed the guest book for the display
      as of Wednesday morning. There were a lot of positive comments.

      If you'd like to arrange for the display of Love Makes A Family,
      Family Diversity Projects
      PO Box 1246
      Amherst MA 01004-1246

      Their web site is http://www.familydiv.org



      Why don't you leave!
      They shout,
      Why not go where you're welcome,
      which isn't here.
      Don't you know
      about majority rule?
      about rule of law?
      about discipline and order?

      O God, I know.

      And I know about
      scared and faithful,
      to another rule:
      do not abandon the babies.

      And so I stay,
      refusing to leave,
      so long as you have babies
      some of them are gay.

      Jeanne Knepper
      March 26, 1999


      Daily Events at GC

      Hospitality Room at Smithfield United is open 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. today
      (Thursday, May 6) and 6 a.m. -1:30 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, May 7).

      Weekday Breakfast and Legislative Briefing For Delegates (Volunteers
      and Visitors welcome) 7 - 8 a.m. today & tomorrow at Smithfield
      United Church.

      Weekday Common Witness Delicious and Affordable Lunches for delegates,
      volunteers and visitors at Smithfield Church, 620 Smithfield St.,
      between 12 noon and 1:30 p.m. today & tomorrow at Smithfield United


      Drops of Water

      Drops of Water is published each day the conference is in session
      during General Conference 2004 by Affirmation: United Methodists for
      Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns, PO Box 1021,
      Evanston IL 60204-1021. Email: UMAffirmation@.... Web:

      (c) 2004 Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
      and Transgender Concerns

      Only Affirmation's spokespersons, Peggy Gaylord and Ken Ian Rowe, may
      represent the official positions of the organizations. All articles
      in Drops of Water reflect the opinions of the individual authors and
      are not necessarily the official position of Affirmation: United

      Judy WestLee
      Gary Shephard


      Affirmation's Mission Statement

      Affirmation: United Methodist is an activist caucus of lesbian, gay,
      bisexual, and transgender people, our families, and friends,
      organized to speak for ourselves. Together we:

      -Proclaim a gospel of respect, love, and justice;
      -Relentlessly pursue policies and processes that support full
      participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in
      all areas and levels of The United Methodist Church;
      -Overcome the barriers that diminish our common humanity by excluding
      or judging people because of their race, gender, class, or physical
      -Empower people to undertake works of inclusion and justice where
      they are.

      Drops of Water, Issue 7, May 6, 2004
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