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UNITED METHODIST CHURCH ON TRIAL - Press Release

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  • Lmrutt@xxx.xxx
    UNITED METHODIST CHURCH GOES ON TRIAL November 17 - 18, 1999 in Grand Island Nebraska MEDIA ALERT Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt November 14, 1999
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 14, 1999
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      UNITED METHODIST CHURCH GOES ON TRIAL
      November 17 - 18, 1999 in Grand Island Nebraska

      MEDIA ALERT Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
      November 14, 1999 Media Coordinator for Rev. Creech
      For Immediate Release Office: 717-627-7180
      After 7pm cst 11/16 - cell: (949) 233-3592

      Clergy will continue to be called by God to defy this unjust law

      When Rev. Jimmy Creech stands in front of a jury of his peers on November 17,
      he will be facing the United Methodist Church for the second time in two
      years over the issue of equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender
      (GLBT) people in the life of the church and the ability of clergy to provide
      care and support for their entire congregation.

      Although the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church say that
      sexuality is a gift from God and all people are of worthy of God's grace, the
      Social Principles also forbid United Methodist clergy from performing
      "homosexual unions".

      The Order and Discipline of the Church is in conflict with the gospel of
      Jesus Christ

      In response to the charges against him, Rev. Creech replied, " The
      celebration of love and commitment between two people is a profound and
      particular embodiment of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If I am found guilty by
      a trial court, then The Order and Discipline of The United Methodist Church
      is in conflict with this gospel. It is arrogance on the part of the church
      to elevate some people's relationship with God, while denigrating that of
      others, on the basis of innate sexuality."

      Bigotry requires accountability

      This arrogance places the United Methodist Church in a position of defending
      its bigotry that causes spiritual violence against GLBT individuals and the
      clergy who will continue to be called to conduct these ceremonies. Rev.
      Creech will not have counsel, nor will he call witnesses. To do so would
      validate the unjust law for which The United Methodist Church must be held
      accountable. Hundreds of United Methodist clergy around the country will
      continue to hold the church accountable, and are pledging to celebrate holy
      unions, despite of the outcome of this trial. Several retired clergy in New
      England have just released a statement to this effect, joining with hundreds
      of others who have signed "In All Things Charity".

      We will not be silent

      Although The United Methodist Church is convening this trial in a remote part
      of Nebraska, defenders of equality and justice are coming to Grand Island
      from all over the United States to be witnesses to the love of God, the
      sanctity of the covenant between two people, and the fact that this issue is
      not going to go away. People from within the denomination, as well as 100
      members of Soulforce, an organization that bases its principles on relentless
      non-violent direct action as taught by Jesus, Gandhi and King, will be in
      Grand Island conducting non-violent civil disobedience to draw attention to
      the spiritual violence of The United Methodist Church against GLBT
      individuals, both inside and outside the denomination. In addition, prayer
      vigils will be taking place in San Francisco, Chapel Hill NC, Washington DC,
      Sacramento CA, Oklahoma City, Madison WI, Bloomington IN, Saratoga CA,
      Chicago, and New York City.

      Reporters invited as witnesses

      The night before the trial, Rev Creech will be renewing the ceremony he
      performed for Larry Ellis and Jim Raymer. Larry and Jim, members of the
      United Church of Christ, will exchange vows once again as a witness to the
      world of their love and commitment to each other and to God. Reporters are
      invited to witness this historic interfaith event to document that the love
      two people have for one another is a sacred gift from God and deserves to be
      sanctified and blessed by the church, rather than the basis of it's arrogance
      and bigotry. This ceremony will take place at the Holiday Inn Midtown in
      Grand Island Nebraska at 7pm on November 16, followed by a press conference
      at the same location. The trial will begin on Wednesday morning at Trinity
      United Methodist Church.
      Additional information and complete press kits are available at
      http://www.soulforce.org
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