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Illinois United Methodist Church Invites All To Worship Homosexuality

OAK PARK, IL 60302
For more information contact:
Pauline Geary
Co-Chairperson Reconciling Congregation Program
e-mail: stanollie@prodigy.net

The Reverend Kathy Reeves, Pastor of Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church, 405 S. Euclid Ave., Oak Park, announces that the congregation will be celebrating the gifts of Lesbian Bisexual Gay and Transgendered members and friends of Euclid during the regular worship service on Sunday, March 19, 2000 at 10:30am.

The celebration will continue with an open house from 1-3pm, where the Shower of Stoles will be displayed. The Shower of Stoles Project is a traveling display of stoles representing the many LBGT individuals who have been denied ordination by various denominations, including the Methodist and Presbyterian churches.

Euclid's congregation will be dedicating two stoles during this service. One will represent Euclid's Minister of Outreach, Tracy Smith, M.Div. Ms Smith was denied ordination in 1983 by the UMC on the grounds that the ordination of openly lesbian and gay persons violated official church policy. The other stole is a signature stole signed by members and friends of Euclid representing Euclid's support and affirmation of the gifts of all LBGT individuals.

The United Methodist denomination finds itself in the midst of turmoil over the issue of homosexuality. The issue of whether or not same sex couples will be allowed to have holy unions in the church will be addressed in May at the denomination's General Conference. The Euclid congregation voted in 1988 to become a Reconciling Congregation and continues its open, welcoming and affirming stance to all, including LBGT people.

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