Faithful UM Ex-Gay Group Get Unexpected Support For Response To UM Homofest
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2005
CONTACT: Rev. Karen Booth
Office phone: 302-945-9650 (until Monday evening 8/29)
Cell: 302-841-7869 (after Tuesday morning 8/30)
Supporters Thank United Methodist Ex-Gay Group for Responding to Junaluska Controversy with Calmness and Compassion
Millsboro, DE – In response to the controversy over the “Hearts on Fire” pro-gay conference at Lake Junaluska this holiday weekend, Transforming Congregations will hold a Prayer Breakfast on September 1 on the grounds at the Lambuth Inn. “Love Beyond Words: Getting from Talk to Ministry in the Struggle Over Sexuality” will feature presentations by men and women who have found freedom from homosexuality and transgender confusion and ministry leaders who will encourage local churches to get involved.
“I’m amazed at the outpouring of support for the breakfast,” said Executive Director, Rev. Karen Booth, “especially when we had only a few weeks to prepare for and promote the event. We’re expecting a full crowd with quite a few local residents. But the General Secretary of the World Methodist Council will be joining us, as well as lay and clergy leadership from across North Carolina and several other southern states.”
Letters, emails and phone calls of encouragement have come in from coast to coast, all thanking the ministry for addressing the controversy with calmness and compassion. “I have only recently found out about Transforming Congregations,” wrote David Talbert from Trinity, North Carolina, “I am very impressed by the grace-filled response to such an inflammatory issue. I have cleared my schedule and am looking forward to making the 3 1/2 hour drive to be at the breakfast.”
Rev. Booth also noted that her team is aware of the protest planned by the Ku Klux Klan and that they will pray for the safety of all the “Hearts on Fire” attendees. But she’s also concerned that some might confuse her group with them. “The media buzz is that battle lines are being drawn between pro-gay and anti-gay forces. Our ministry doesn’t fit neatly into either of those two categories. We love LGBT people. After all, that’s who some of us used to be. But we think local churches can learn to love them too, without affirming their sexual behavior.”
In addition to Rev. Booth, speakers for the prayer breakfast include Joseph Cluse and Melissa Jo Wilson from Lexington, Kentucky, Matthew Thompson from Rockingham, North Carolina and Terrence Toon from San Jose, California. Board members Ron Dennis and Pat Beadle will lead the singing and prayer.
Since its start in California in 1988, Transforming Congregations has grown to an international, ecumenical network of 1900 individuals, churches and ministries. The national ministry educates and equips local congregations to effectively minister to those with unwanted homosexuality and gender confusion. Transforming Congregations is an approved extension ministry of the Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church and a member ministry of Exodus International, the largest evangelical network of former homosexuals in the world.
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