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Bishop Says UM Sponsored Pro-homosexuality Seminars "OK" And Do Not Promote Homosexuality Doctrines


From: Cathy Bihler cathyb114@attbi.com
Sent: Friday, February 14, 2003 1:18 AM
To: ucmpage@ucmpage.org
Subject: RE: Website for FCL

Hi, John:

We received a reply to our letter to Bishop Galvan.

Would you like to put up our letter to the Bishop and the response on your news? Or do you want to wait for me to report back what we find when we attend the conference on Sunday?

In Christ,

Cathy

Here's the official response to our letter of February 10:
 

February 12, 2003

Dear Cathy,

Bishop Galvan and members of the cabinet received your letter dated February 10. Bishop Galvan wants to thank you for voicing your concern. Since he is attending meetings out of the area, he asked me to make the inquiry you requested and to respond to your concerns.

I have spoken with the organizer of the event in question, Larry Fox. He assures me that the purpose of the event is not the teaching of doctrine. The event is intended to be a gathering of people who see the church as an inclusive body in the sense described in paragraph 138 of the Book of Discipline and who want to be together for Bible study, worship and fellowship.

Based upon this conversation, I understand this event to be faithful to the teaching in the Book of Discipline (para. 161.G):

Homosexual persons no less than heterosexual persons are individuals of sacred worth. All persons need the ministry and guidance of the church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self. Although we do not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching, we affirm that God's grace is available to all. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn their lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.

In invite you to pray with me that through this event, participants will benefit from "the ministry and guidance of the church in their struggles for human fulfillment," and experience "reconciliation with God, with others, and with self."

In Service to Christ,

Elaine J. W. Stanovsky
Director, Council on Ministries and Assistant to the Bishop

CC: Bishop Elias Galvan

Cabinet
Rev. Ann E. Berney
Larry Fox

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