Hello there -- Theo, CR's administrative assistant, here! Affirmation is a United Methodist activist caucus group which defines itself as "United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Concerns" as revealed at their web site at Affirmation. They gave themselves a pat on the back for efforts put forth at the 2004 General Conference of the United Methodist Church held in Pittsburgh PA last spring. Notice the statement about 30 bishops standing in their places to show support during the "demonstration" -- that is, the legal proceedings of the GC were interrupted, which is an illegal action -- but it wasn't challenged in any way -- why did our zealous "evangelicals" not protest this action? Anyway, for a view from the sodomite/lesbian perspective, see details below.......
Affirmation can be very proud of its presence at GC 2004.
Following is an article excerpted from the Affirmation Newsletter, Spring 2004, online in PDF format at www.umaffirm.org
We Looked Good in Pittsburgh
Affirmation can be very proud of its presence at GC 2004. We can also be very proud of the great work done by MFSA, RMN and SoulForce as those organizations also conducted powerful and wonderful witnesses. In fact, our witnesses were rewarded by tremendous participation.
MFSA's low cost lunches attracted over 500 people some days. The demonstration on the GC floor was magnificent in terms of numbers of people who entered the convention center and the hundreds that joined our march, and the 30 bishops who stood in place to show their support of our stand.
Affirmation's Judy WestLee and Gary Shephard helped write, edit and produce eight four-page purple newsletters (typically 1,500 copies each) under the masthead "Drops of Water", subtitled "As Time Goes By The Rock Will Wear Away". Our writers included Diane Delap, Peggy Gaylord, Ken Rowe, Michael Bledsoe, Jeanne Knepper.
We had many people distributing newsletters early every morning including John Calhoun, Diane Delap, Richard Bates, Joe Santoyo, Mary Knightwright, Will Green, Tiffany Steinwert and many others too numerous to list. And we are particularly thankful to the Bakersfield, CA, Red Lion Hotel and its owner, Sam Wilson, for its support of our newsletter.
John Calhoun and Rusty Norment were involved in planning and wrapping up the financial issues (fundraising and cash management at GC 2004). Kathryn Mitchem, John and Gary conducted the Membership Meeting and Annual Corporate Meeting. At that meeting, David Meredith (OH), Vivian Waltz (PA) and Margo Tenold (CA) joined the Affirmation Council.
Peggy Gaylord and Ken Rowe, our Spokespersons maintained connection with the coalition partners, represented us in meetings with people who resist our stand. They represented us in the media while they have been networking and articulating the vision of Affirmation to the church. Peggy and Ken carried the large Affirmation banner during the demonstration "crossing the bar" of the General Conference on Thursday, May 6. Peggy also arranged for the "Love Makes A Family" photo exhibit and also got it underwritten by one of our greatest supporters. Ken created the "Hot Water Topics" that spoke to current issues on our movement.
Diane DeLap facilitated the lunchtime Video discussions on trans and bi subjects and we were proud of her work, introducing the trans issues at GC this year. Diane also is a computer whiz and did a lot of desktop publishing during GC. She also arranged for the reproduction of the "Valentine Books" which were sold at GC.
Kathryn staffed the Meethere.com conference center space from 6:30 a.m. to 12 noon weekdays. She dealt with every question and issue that came up in an energetic and competent way that endeared us all to her. She was supported by Mary Knightwright, Linda Lacy and others.
Janet WestLee managed the Hospitality/Resource Room at our very large gymnasium where we conducted about 60 events over 10 days. She kept track of every sale. She also helped out solving problems in the gym, helping to get meals prepared and cleaned up, maintaining displays, maintaining information on upcoming events.
Many Affirmation volunteers were been plugged into the Common Witness volunteer pool and were involved in many activities at GC 2004.
Jim Palmquist discovered the Smithfield Church facility and the Holiday Inn Express that the coalition used. Jim served as one of two liaisons with Smithfield Church administration and coordinated many logistics. Jim hung the "Love Makes a Family" Exhibit.
As an all-volunteer organization, Affirmation couldn't exist or be a presence at GC without help from people like you. Thanks to all who make it possible to witness to an inclusive church. We are here. It's not debatable.
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