Join us at the Southern Baptist Convention, Orlando, Florida on June 13-14, 2000

A Soulforce Alert, May 23, 2000

Friends of Soulforce,

Is there any chance you could join us in Orlando, Florida, Tuesday evening, June 13, and most of the day Wednesday, June 14? Here’s why.

The Southern Baptist Convention is holding its national meeting June 13-14 in Orlando. With 15.8 million members in 40,000 churches, the Southern Baptists have become the primary Protestant source of misinformation about God’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered children. This year the Baptists have promised to re-affirm their anti-GLBT policies and to create new guidelines that will deny women the right to serve as clergy in their churches.

As you know, we planned to use this first summer of the new millennium to take direct action against the anti-GLBT policies of three mainline denominations (United Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians). But in the last few days, we’ve been asking ourselves, "How can we confront these more ‘liberal’ denominations and ignore the tragic policies of the nation’s largest anti-GLBT denomination?"

So, we are letting you make the final decision. You have 48 hours to decide. If fifty friends of Soulforce agree to join us Tuesday evening, June 13, (to be trained) in Orlando, Florida, and Wednesday, June 14, (to face arrest in a nonviolent act of civil disobedience at the Southern Baptist Convention) our committee will fly to Orlando next week and make arrangements with the Police Department and other city and convention officials. If fifty do NOT sign up by Friday, May 26, we will forfeit this opportunity to stand for truth in love relentlessly before the Southern Baptist Convention.

Remember, this is a misdemeanor offense that will require a small fine and a little inconvenience but in the process of taking your stand make a big difference.

You are also welcome to come and be trained and not be arrested!

If you cannot come, could you call us to volunteer 25,000 mile awards to get the rest of us to Orlando?

Or, would you even send a check (or donate on line) to help us pay the expenses of this extra event? We’re going to give you a complete report on Cleveland asap. Thanks for your help!!

Yesterday, I spent three hours with the police in Long Beach preparing for our nonviolent civil disobedience at the Presbyterian General Assembly, June 24-25. This will be an incredible experience as well.

If you are in the Southern California area, sign up for Long Beach.

Or if you know someone in either Florida (June 13-14) or Southern California (June 24-25) please forward this message. We need to know in the next two days if we can proceed with our civil disobedience in Orlando.

The lives of our 191 Soulforcees arrested in Cleveland were changed forever by putting their bodies on the line for justice. Be arrested for the cause. It will renew your spirit and help transform our society.

Love to you all,

Mel

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