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National Christian Org (American Family Association) Tries To Spread Alarm About UM Supported Homoerotic Festival At UM Conference Center


From: American Family Association [mailto:afapetition@afa.net]
Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2005 2:15 AM
To: John Warrener
Subject: Share This With A Methodist Friend

 
AFA Online - America's Largest Pro-Family Online Action Site!
Please forward this e-mail message to your family and friends! Donald E. Wildmon, Chairman, American Family Association

Share This With A Methodist Friend

Dear John,

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 UM publications.

Visit the new AFA Superstore today! 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 explanation.

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 conference askings.

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.

Sincerely,

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 sexual ethics.

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 unions.

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 facility.



Additional information links:

http://www.themountaineer.com/archives/2005/07/15/topstories_gayconferencedrawscr.html
www.ird-renew.org
www.rmnetwork.org

 

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