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Pro-Homosexuality Non-UMC "Soulforce" Prepares Followers For Arrest At GC2000 As Fund Raiser

A SOULFORCE EMERGENCY! A Personal Message from Mel White

A large Soulforce delegation with hundreds of our allies from across the US will be arrested at the United Methodist General Conference in Cleveland, May 10. On May 9 we will train for that arrest. Would you like to join us?!!

For more than three decades GLBT people and our allies have waited patiently for Christian leaders to take a stand for justice and truth on behalf of sexual minorities. We cannot wait patiently any longer. The suffering has gone on far too long!

We have chosen May 10 for our civil disobedience and arrest in Cleveland because the Archbishop of Canterbury and denominational leaders from across Christendom will gather that day to be honored by 1,000 United Methodist delegates. What an opportunity to take our truth to all of them at the same time and place.

Since 1972 the United Methodists have had official policies condemning homosexual practice as "incompatible with Christian teaching." Almost every other Catholic and Protestant denomination has similar anti-GLBT policies in place. Those policies lead to discrimination, suffering, and death. Guided by the principles of relentless nonviolence taught by Gandhi and King, we are determined to help end those policies.

We have asked Methodist officials to let us make our case inside the Convention Center on May 10, "Ecumenical Day." They have refused. And the Cleveland police have promised that we would be arrested if we try to enter anyway. We accept!

We will train for our nonviolent civil disobedience on Tuesday evening, 7-9 p.m., at the Cleveland State University Auditorium, 2121 Euclid. Gandhi's grandson, Arun, will be there. Dr. King's daughter, Yolanda, will join us. On that incredible night, other leaders from the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s will tell their stories of Sit-Ins, Pray-Ins, Freedom Rides, Marches, and Arrests. The next morning, on May 10, these same s/heroes will lead us in our own march to justice.

If you can only come on Wednesday morning, May 10, we will train you on Mall B in front of the Convention Center at 6:30 a.m. The rest will gather there at 7 a.m. The press conference featuring our s/heroes from other civil rights movements is at 7:30 a.m. We march at 8 a.m.

This May 10 arrest will launch a new era in the struggle for justice by people of faith on behalf of sexual minorities. We are saying to the Catholic and Protestant leaders of our faith movements, "This debate must end. We are God's children, too."

If you can't join us, will you help us underwrite this historic event? Soulforce is almost broke. This campaign will cost us just $60,000 (half the price of a 30 second TV commercial or a full page newspaper ad). Our adversaries have millions to spend in their war against us. We work on a bare-bones-budget, but suddenly, we are faced with expenses no one could predict.

Just days ago, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral decided to withdraw their long-standing invitation to provide us sanctuary. Without warning, we have no dorms, no training areas, no dining room or kitchen, no magnificent sanctuary. Now we are struggling to find funds to rent space, feed and equip our delegates.

Just days ago, the City of Cleveland decided to charge us $150-$180 each in fines instead of the $25 - $45 discussed. By upping the fine, they hope we'll go away.

Just days ago, we learned how much it would cost to provide travel and security for our special guests.

Our delegates are paying their own travel and lodging expenses. But Soulforce must do the rest. Please, will you help us?

We need four friends to consider sending or pledging $5,000 each. We need ten friends to consider sending or pledging $1,000 each. We need twenty friends to consider sending or pledging $500 each. We need one hundred friends to send $100 each. Every donation, $75, $50, $25 will help and every donation is TAX-DEDUCTIBLE!

Make A Credit Card Donation On Line http://www.soulforce.org/join.html#donation

Or you can send a check to Soulforce, PO Box 4467, Laguna Beach, CA. 92652

We also need airline mileage points donated DESPERATELY. Call me at (949) 455-099 if you can donate 25,000 mileage points or more.

If you know a foundation or an individual we might contact, call me.

Our temporary Soulforce headquarters in Cleveland, May 1-12 is the Comfort Inn. Call us there at 216-861-0001 or on the cell phone at 949-233-3592.

If you've already helped Soulforce to your limits, consider this a note of thanks and a report on what your gifts are accomplishing. But if you still have funds or know folks with funds to give, please, this is an emergency!!!

Remember, if you might join us, register on line at: REGISTER FOR MAY 9-10 www.soulforce.org/sfuapp2.html

For more information read the whole story at: TRAINING AND ARREST, MAY 9-10 http://www.soulforce.org/sfu.html

If you can help underwrite this event: MAKE A CREDIT CARD DONATION ON LINE http://www.soulforce.org/join.html#donation

Thanks, friends. Please pray for us. These are not easy days.

Please FORWARD this message to your list of friends. Maybe they, too, can help!

Mel White, Co-Chair, Soulforce, Inc.

Bless you,

Mel White melwhite@soulforce.org

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