Share This With A Methodist Friend
I ask a personal
favor of you. If you are not a member of the United Methodist
Church, would you please forward this to your United Methodist
friends. It is very likely that the event will not be publicized in
If you are a member of the United Methodist Church, please read the
article below carefully. Print it out and share it with other United
Methodists. See what seven UM bishops are planning and supporting at
your Lake Junaluska Conference Center in North Carolina.
For United Methodists who want to do something about this, speak
with your minister about it. Then speak with your District
Superintendent and your Bishop. Ask your District Superintendent to
come to your church and explain the reason Lake Junaluska is hosting
this event and why your church should provide funds to support Lake
Junaluska. Ask your Bishop to come to your church and give an
Every local UM church is asked to financially support Lake Junaluska.
The most effective way to make your voice heard is to withhold the
fund listed as Jurisdictional Administrative Fund found in your
As long as local churches continue to send money to Lake Junaluska,
Lake Junaluska will be more than happy to continue hosting such an
event as Hearts on Fire.
Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association
Retired United Methodist minister
P.S. Please forward this to all your United Methodist friends.
Lake Junaluska to Host Pro-Homosexuality Rally
By Mark Tooley
Some United Methodists are distressed that the official conference
center of the United Methodist Church's relatively conservative
Southeast Jurisdiction will be hosting a four-day pro-homosexuality
rally in September.
Called "Hearts on Fire," the convocation is organized by Reconciling
Congregations, the main pro-homosexuality lobby group attempting to
overturn the United Methodist Church's teachings on marriage and
According to the Reconciling website's description of "Hearts on
Fire," it will convene "United Methodists of all sexual orientations
and gender identities that are called in faith to celebrate, ignite
and empower the inclusive church of Jesus Christ!"
Reconciling hopes to attract 400 United Methodists to the
convocation, located in western North Carolina. Participants will
include 7 bishops: Susan Morrison, Melvin Talbert, Joseph Sprague,
Sally Dyck, John Schol, Minerva Carcano and Bishop Richard Wilke.
Other speakers will include openly lesbian United Methodist minister
Beth Stroud, same-sex union convenor Karen Oliveto, and Erin
Swenson, a male Presbyterian minister who had a sex-change operation
and now professes to be female.
Reconciling has declared that "Hearts on Fire" will include a
"rainbow community of faithful lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
and heterosexual disciples committed to justice!"
Joetta Rinehart, a spokesperson for the Lake Junaluska Retreat
Center, said the center occasional rents to secular organizations
but has refused the center to groups deemed to be at odds with the
United Methodist "mission."
According to Lake Junaluska guidelines, "Groups using our facilities
should have a mission compatible with Lake Junaluska Assembly and
The United Methodist Church, its Discipline and Social Principles."
In response to a request for comment, Rinehart said, "We believe we
are within the Disciplinary guidelines as referenced in Para.161g,
162h and s and 806.9 and 304.3. We believe our vision and mission
encourage us to join the total church in opening our hearts, our
minds, and our doors."
The Book of Discipline references cited by Rinehart affirm God's
love for homosexuals but call homosexual practice "incompatible with
Christian teaching." Human rights for homosexuals are supported, but
the church denies ordination to practicing homosexuals, refuses
funding for pro-homosexuality advocacy, and will not allow same-sex
Reconciling Ministries, the host of "Hearts of Fire," decidedly
believes homosexual practice is compatible with Christian teaching
and supports the ordination of active homosexuals and church
"weddings" for same-sex couples.
According to the church's Social Principles, "sexual relations are
only clearly affirmed in the marriage bond," a stance with which
Reconciling is decidedly in disagreement.
Beyond advocacy of homosexuality, "Hearts on Fire" will "explore the
development of transgender and gender queer spirituality," among
other exotic forms of sexual expression, according to its brochure.
The musical entertainment for "Hearts on Fire" will be Jason Warner
and deMarco DeCiccio, two male Christian singers who fell in love
with each other and formed the group "Jason and deMarco."
Rinehart pointed out that Lake Junaluska is renting the facility to
Reconciling, not subsidizing "Hearts on Fire." She said The General
Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) had been consulted, and
GCFA agreed that the disciplinary prohibition against funding of
pro-homosexuality advocacy is not being violated.
But Rinehart did not explain how Lake Junaluska's policy of renting
only to groups whose mission is compatible with the United Methodist
Discipline could be reconciled with renting to "Hearts on Fire."
According to Rinehart, "Our working policy of renting space to
groups whose mission is compatible with ours is interpreted more as
organizations or groups that are not in opposition to our mission of
making disciples for Jesus Christ."
"Providing hospitality to one of United Methodism's affiliated
caucuses neither indicates approval or disapproval," Rinehart said.
"Our hope is that persons who use Lake Junaluska Conference and
Retreat Center leave as more committed followers of Jesus Christ."
Lake Junaluska's executive director is Jimmy Carr, who made the
decision to rent the facility to "Hearts on Fire," despite its theme
of opposing United Methodist teachings on marriage and sexual
ethics. The Southeast Jurisdiction's Connectional Table, chaired by
Bishop Charlene Kammerer of Virginia, governs the Lake Junaluska
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