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Mel White Joins UM Pro-homosexuality Organizers to Make Rebel Pastor's Trial Into National Spectacle


From: lcs Mixmaster Remailer <mix@anon.lcs.mit.edu>
To: ucmpage@ucmpage.org <ucmpage@ucmpage.org>
Date: Tuesday, November 02, 1999 8:20 AM
Subject: Messages from Jimmy and Me

Good Morning John.  Here's some more fodder for your destruction of the United Methodist Church.  Enjoy!  Part 1 of 3

From: "Laura Montgomery Rutt" <lmrutt@lancnews.infi.net>

Dear United Methodists, and Allies,

Many of you have been asking what is going to be happening at the Creech Trial. I am sorry it has taken so long, but here is the scoop:

Contained in this long email is

1) A message to United Methodists about the trial
2) The first joint press release
3) An open letter to Bishop Grove.

Please feel free to email me with any questions or concerns. I am not available except late at night until 11/4/99 Laura Montgomery Rutt, lmrutt@lancnews.infi.net

------------------------------

Message from Rev. Jimmy Creech and Laura Montgomery Rutt (Media Coordinator).

Mel White and fifty Soulforce volunteers trained in nonviolence (many of them United Methodists) are coming to Grand Island to join with us in supporting Jimmy Creech during his trial, November 16-18.

After taking Mel's 17 Step Journey into Soulforce  (www.soulforce.org) and volunteering to be one of the 200 members of the Soulforce team, Jimmy Creech joined Mel in his historic meeting with Jerry  Falwell in Lynchburg, Virginia.

"After experiencing the power of nonviolence at work in Lynchburg," Jimmy explains, "I am even more excited about seeing the methods of Gandhi and King practiced again in Grand Island. I encourage my sisters and brothers who are United Methodists to seriously consider joining the Soulforce efforts there."

Mel is inviting United Methodists to join in nonviolence training that begins in Grand Island on Tuesday, November 16 at 3pm. If you are interested, contact Mel by email at <<JCOnTrialAgain@aol.com>>.

Here's a skeleton outline of the Soulforce plan:

Tuesday Night, Nov. 16 A Prayer Vigil:

We are already planning a Prayer Vigil, Tuesday night, Nov. 16, on behalf of Justice for Jimmy Creech. Mel is organizing people of faith across the country to join us in that vigil. He suggests that we use this occasion (and every other chance we have) to pray that the trial will NOT take place. It is a leap of faith to be sure, but Mel is appealing to Bishop Grove and the other trial participants to seriously consider withholding their individual support from this tragic trial.

"God does amazing things when we take risks," Mel exlained. "I believe that the trial is an act of spiritual violence against all God's GLBT children and that the Spirit of God could convince the Bishop and the jurors to refuse to participate in that violence, even at the last minute."

Mel is writing the Bishop and all other trial participants hoping they will ask themselves these questions:

1. What is God saying to me about participating in this trial? Am I 100% sure that I should do this? How will history remember the trial of Jimmy Creech? Will I be proud to have been a part of it?

2. Can I participate in this trial when literally hundreds of thousands of GLBT people, their friends and famlies are praying that it does not happen?  They sincerely believe that it is an "act of spiritual violence"
not just against Jimmy Creech but against all God's GLBT children. Could they be right? Could I be participating in an act of spiritual violence against them?

3. 100 GLBT people of faith and their allies (maybe more) will stand in silent prayer, arm in arm, around Trinity United Methodist in Grand Island where the trial is scheduled to take place. How will I feel about crossing through their line of prayerful protest? If they believe so strongly that this trial is an act of violence that they will risk arrest in a silent, prayerful protest, should I reconsider my own decision to walk through their line?

Mel is in Grand Island this week talking to the Mayor, the Chief of Police, the local clergy, and the pastor of Trinity United Methodist. He is preparing for a prayerful protest that might involve arrest. "We'll go to jail gladly," he says, "if this quiet act of personal sacrifice will help Bishop Grove and the jurors to understand how strongly we feel about the spiritual violence they are causing our community."

I've included Mel's first Open Letter to Bishop Grove and our first joint press release to the nation. These two documents will help you understand what the Soulforce team plans to do in Grand Island and why they are planning to do it.

Tuesday night, Nov. 16, Jimmy will be conducting a Holy Union in Grand Island and a celebration of recommitment for those couples (lesbian, gay, and heterosexual) who want to renew their vows. He is inviting clergy to join in solidarity. Clergy, committed couple, or just a celebrant...you are invited to attend.

1. If you want to join us in Grand Island, please let me know as soon as possible at lmrutt@lancnews.infi.net. You will have to provide transportation, housing, and expenses.  As mentioned before, the only flight into Grand Island is on UNITED from Denver. It's about 3 hours from Omaha, 2 hours from Lincoln.The rest is in your hands. Once we have your email address, we'll get to you with details
as they develop.

IF YOU ARE ALSO INTERESTED IN TAKING PART IN THE SOULFORCE ACTION, SEND
EMAIL TO MEL AT JConTrialagain@aol.com

You are invited to participate on any (or all) of the levels described below:

a. As a Soulforce *Official Delegate you must arrive by 3PM, Tuesday Nov.16, for training in nonviolence. You must sign the ten Soulforce vows. You do NOT have to volunteer for arrest. Most delegates are ready for arrest. Others will act in support capacity.

b. As a Soulforce *Observer you are invited to the Tuesday evening Holy Union and Renewal of Vows Celebrations conducted by Jimmy Creech and if it is convened you are   invited to attend the trial (if you are able to get in). We have no control over that.

c. As a couple who wants to renew your vows to each other on Tuesday night. (Gay, lesbian, or heterosexual couples are all welcome to participate).

d. As a clergy person who wants to stand up with Jimmy at the historic Celebration on Tuesday night.

For more information contact:

Laura Montgomery Rutt at lmrutt@lancnews.infi.net, 717-627-7180

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