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UM Bishop Honored By Creating Homosexual Religion And Judging Christian Morality

PRESS RELEASE–For Immediate Release
FROM:  The Rev. Frank Wulf, Wesley Foundation Serving UCLA, (310) 208-6869, and Scott Dannison, California-Pacific Reconciling Ministries, (310) 838-9777


An all-day inter-religious seminar entitled Homosexuality: Religion on Trial in the 21st Century will feature presentations by the Rev. Greg Dell and honor the pioneering work of Bishop and Mrs. Melvin Wheatley. The seminar, which is being co-sponsored by the Methodist Federation for Social Action, the newly organized California-Pacific Reconciling Ministries, and the LGBT Interfaith Clergy Association of Greater LA will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 29, 2000. The $30 cost for the seminar will include a continental breakfast and lunch. Proceeds above expenses will be used to defray the cost of sending witnesses for progressive causes to the 2000 General Conference of the United Methodist Church.

The Rev. Greg Dell, suspended from his pastoral duties for performing a same-sex union for two gay members of his Chicago congregation, will be the keynote speaker for the event. The day will open with a multi-faith worship service giving thanks for those courageous persons of faith who have pioneered the struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) inclusion in faith communities. A panel discussion on current religious attitudes toward the acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons will follow. Lunch will feature testimonials from individuals who have given leadership in the ongoing struggle.

An afternoon series of workshops will be offered on the following topics: holy unions and same-sex marriage; non-violent resistance; ministry with LGBT persons; the development of LGBT friendly liturgies; psychological issues; 'coming out' to families, friends and co-workers; being an LGBT person of color; and others. Each seminar will be offered twice. The seminar will close with a plenary address assessing where we go from here in the struggle for LGBT inclusion in our communities of faith.

The Rev. Greg Dell has been a United Methodist pastor for 29 years. He is currently the director of In All Things Charity, a national movement of persons speaking out in opposition to the United Methodist denomination's declaration that the "practice of homosexuality" is "incompatible with Christian teaching."

That evening, the 2000 Lazarus Awards Banquet Courage to Commit will be held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, honoring the Reverend Don Fado, pastor of St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Sacramento, and Ms. Jeanne Barnett and Ms. Ellie Charlton, for whom the Rev. Fado and 150 other ministers and lay persons performed a Holy Union service on January 16, 1999. The banquet, which will cost $50, will begin with a 'no-host' social hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and entertainment at 7 p.m.

For reservations or more information about the seminar, contact Phil Shigekuni (phone: 818/893-1581; e-mail:, or Theresa Basile (phone: 310/559-4551; e-mail:, co-chairs for the event. To make reservations for the banquet, contact the Lazarus Project by phone at 909/624-2401 or by e-mail at The deadline for making reservations for the Lazarus Awards Banquet is January 15.

The Methodist Federation for Social Action is an activist organization working for justice causes in the church and society. For more information about the Methodist Federation for Social Action, contact the Rev. Richard Bentley (at 909/628-1107 or California-Pacific Reconciling Ministries, the result of a merger between Affirmation/Los Angeles and Reconciling United Methodists of Southern California and the Pacific, affirms the vision of an inclusive church and community where all people can live together in dignity, joy and peace. For more information about Reconciling Ministries, contact the Rev. Frank Wulf (at 310/391-5723 or or Scott Dannison (at 310/838-9777 or The Lazarus Project is a ministry of the Presbyterian Church, USA, working for reconciliation between the church and LGBT persons.  For more information about the Lazarus Project, contact Donn Crail (at 909/624-2401 or

Roger S. Dannison, California-Pacific Reconciling Ministries, Co-Director
11260 Overland Avenue, Suite 23H
Culver City, CA 90230-5544

Voice  310 838-9777   FAX  310 838-9271 <>


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