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Interfaith Leaders Take on Historic Collaboration During Global Week of Prayer

Contact Information: 

Robyn Murphy, Soulforce Communications
Cell: 314-712-7431
Nori Rost, Just Spirit/UFMCC
Cell: 719-963-0242
Debbie Weill, Executive Director, DignityUSA
Cell: 202-725-5894

October 31, 2005:   For the first time in each of their histories, Soulforce Inc., DignityUSA, and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC) are co-sponsoring a Global Week of Prayer, November 6-12, calling all members and allies to prayer as an effort to restore religious equality.

The Global Week of Prayer is in response to recent Vatican policies of continued scapegoating of gays rather than dealing directly with the pedophile scandal and the abdication of responsibility within the Church.  According to a Sept. 19th Catholic World News Brief “The text, which was approved by Pope Benedict at the end of August, says that homosexual men should not be admitted to seminaries even if they are celibate, because their condition suggests a serious personality disorder which detracts from their ability to serve as ministers.”

For DignityUSA, the organization dedicated to equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender  Catholics, this represents a critical moment in the church’s history. “We call on all DignityUSA members and all who support our mission to join us in prayer this week.  In answering God’s call, LGBT men and women have served our Church well for many centuries.  We ask the Spirit to open our Church today to all of God’s children, to all who are embraced by Christ’s love.  We bring our hands together in prayer that our Church will follow Christ’s example to love one another.  DignityUSA is delighted and proud to pray side by side with Soulforce and MCC,” said Debbie Weill, executive director of DignityUSA.

By focusing efforts via a Global Week of Prayer, the groups will bring attention to what is being called a new “Inquisition,” by the Vatican. “By calling people to prayer, we are calling people to action. We are calling people to join their words and intentions in a mighty chorus of justice,” explained Rev. Elder Nori Rost, the MCC liaison for this event. “We believe that by doing so we can ultimately drown out the clamor of homophobia and bigotry that has too long been the song the Vatican sings.” Prayer vigils are planned in Denver, Detroit, St. Louis, Venice Florida with other locations joining in throughout the world.

According to UFMCC’s new moderator, Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, “Each organization has as part of their mission, being called to raise our voices in sacred defiance against religious, political or systematic exclusion.  Social justice and religious equality are at our core. Through sponsoring events like the Global Week of Prayer, we make real our call to lift up new generations of remarkable, far-reaching spiritual activists.”

Soulforce is proud to be joined by these two prestigious organizations, both of whom have worked so diligently towards ending religious violence against GLBT people.  “As activists, we too often use prayer as a last resort rather than our first strategy in the face of such bigotry.  This is a very exciting moment for us in Soulforce to have MCC and Dignity join us in calling their membership to prayer.  We’re very hopeful that this will be the beginning of an ongoing collaboration between these three important  organizations,” says Kara Speltz, Soulforce Catholic Team Chair. 

To learn more about the event and how you can participate, go to either organizations websites at: www.soulforce.orgwww.dignityusa.org, or www.mccchurch.org .

Gracious Creator God:

Send your Spirit to guide us in all we do as we dedicate our lives and our work to you, especially during this National Week of Prayer & Vigils. Send that same Spirit to open the hearts and minds of those who would deny your children their rights, their love and even their lives.  Deepen our convictions, while at the same time helping us to let go of any arrogance that we have all the answers.  Help us to step beyond the boundaries of our own fears, without judging those who still struggle with those boundaries.  Fill us with the understanding that no two paths will be the same and let us celebrate that each person has their own distinct relationship with You.

Enable us to be a reflection of your love in the world. Let it transform us, and all who we come in contact with.  Lead us as we continue to struggle to become “the change we seek” and to commit our own lives to a simpler, more focused life, enveloped in, and empowered by, your love.  We pray this in your many names.

AMEN

www.soulforce.org

www.dignityusa.org

www.mccchurch.org