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Suspended Pastor Spearheads Financial Campaign to Promote Homosexuality From Broadway UMC Office


IN ALL THINGS CHARITY
A National Ministry of Broadway United Methodist Church
3344 North Broadway
Chicago, IL 60657
773-348-2679  FAX 773-348-2521

May 1, 1999

Dear Friends,

We need your help. You are receiving this letter because you are currently part of "In All Things Charity" or because you provided support to me through Broadway United Methodist Church's Justice Fund as I faced a Church trial for conducting a Holy Union ceremony for two men in our congregation. As you probably know, a jury made up of Northern Illinois United Methodist clergy found me guilty and imposed a penalty that, in short, will result in my suspension as a pastor beginning July 5.

In response to this decision, Broadway Church recently voted to hire me as the Executive Director of In All Things Charity. This national movement, formed in 1996 and housed at Broadway Church, opposes the discriminatory policies of the United Methodist Church toward gay and lesbian individuals. My new role starts on July 5, when I will oversee the growth of In All Things Charity as a movement of conscience and protest. My time will be devoted to organizing around changing our denomination's negative stances around sexual orientation. Those efforts will be focused toward the May 2000 quadrennial meeting of our United Methodist denomination (known as the "General Conference"). Our hope is to bring to bear on the General Conference the energy and commitment of people like you who believe in justice and inclusion for all people.

I intend to speak throughout the country, where I am invited, in the coming year. I also want to offer my time and help as needed to other like-minded groups doing work for General Conference. Affirmation, the Methodist Federation for Social Action and the Reconciling Congregation Program - the national groups already working effectively on this agenda - have indicated their interest in responding to that offer. How much I will be able to do will depend largely on your response to this appeal.

With current funds that remain in the Justice Fund and those already collected by In All Things Charity, we must raise an additional $40,000 to support our work through May 2000, when General Conference meets.

Will you consider one or more of these responses?

1. Send a contribution to: "In All Things Charity - Broadway United Methodist Church." Send $25, $50, $100, or whatever you can. If a church or group to which you belong would be interested in providing support through a donation or fundraising event, please encourage them to consider doing so.

2. Duplicate and circulate the enclosed In All Things Charity statements to United Methodist laity and clergy who have not signed but would not consider doing so.

3. Consider whether I can be of help to you. I intend to use this year of enforced absence from pastoral ministry - not in punishment - but as a gift to invest in the United Methodist Church.

Our denomination faces a watershed in May 2000. Issues around sexual orientation certainly will not be resolved. But the character of our Church as a community that pronounces that differences are to be respected and charity is to be extended, rather than expulsion of the minority, has never been more explicitly challenged than it is now. Please help with this effort, as you are able.

Grace and peace,

Rev. Gregory Dell

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