by Rev. Dr. Cindi Love
Ray Boltz, singer and songwriter, and official spokesperson on tour for Soulforce in 2010-2011 now has his new album “True” posted on the Out Music Awards web site. You can hear the new album at the OMA site and the song in which he mentions Mel’s book “Stranger at the Gate” at http://outmusic.com/artistaudio2.html?audid=530. I hope you will help us promote his tour and sponsorship of Soulforce by going to the site and listening to this song and others and then tell your friends! You can order Ray’s music online now from iTunes as well.
Another way to help us is to listen to his music and leave a comment here about what you heard and felt about the issues of today that he addresses.
Ray and Azariah Southworth will be performing at the upcoming 2010 Soulforce Symposium Rally in Philadelphia and in Town Hall Meetings & Celebration Concerts at selected Equality Ride stops in 2011-2012.
by Mel White
Dear Friends & Allies of Soulforce,
Our co-founder Mel White has an important message to share you. You can download it by clicking here
. The letter is in a PDF format. Adobe Acrobat Reader
is a free program to open PDF files and you can download it for free
if you don’t already have it. If you have problems opening the file, email email@example.com and we’ll help you out.
We invite you to leave your responses to this letter in the comments below.
by Jason Conner
I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive about my recent assignment to attend the 2010 Affirmation conference in San Francisco. Affirmation is a group that caters to LGBTQ folks who have or have had a connection with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or the Mormon Church. The Mormon Church is one of the fastest growing religions in the country, and has been for some time. Additionally, they are an outspoken critic of LGBTQ identities and are openly against extending equal rights and protections under the law to LGBTQ individuals. There are nearly 13 million members of the Mormon Church, and just under half reside here in the United States. Most recently the church has come under fire for being a major financial contributor to the passing of Proposition 8, which repealed the right for same sex couples to marry under California state law.
I was most nervous about attending this conference because of my own history with the Mormon Church. I was raised Mormon. I served a two year mission for the church from December 2005- December 2007. The Mormon mission is a rite of passage in the church and a commandment for all healthy young men between the ages of 19 and 26. I served my mission in Orlando Florida where I was required to learn and teach in the Spanish language.
The mission is hard. For two years you work 16 hour days with no vacation time or even a full day off each week. I believe I was a good missionary. I worked hard, I was obedient, and I led others in the mission to do the same. I held the highest leadership position a missionary can hold in the mission field, that of Assistant to the President.
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by Rev. Dr. Cindi Love
Dear Friends and Allies,
I am aware that some of you have not yet reconfirmed that you are willing to receive our e-mails now that we have transitioned to a new system. We are required to ask you to “opt in” on the new system due to the privacy act and, as a courtesy to you, to ensure that you want to continue to receive our posts.
You can be assured that we will not inundate you with e-mails. Our web site is being updated to ensure that you can go to it every 24 hours and get the most recent information and, therefore, e-mails will be used for specific calls to action, events and the highest priority information.
So, if you are willing, please make sure you clicked the confirmation link. If you don’t remember getting the confirmation email, or are unsure if you confirmed, please re-subscribe on our website (no risk of getting duplicate emails from us!).
Dr. Cindi Love
P.S. If you are a monthly donor to Soulforce, we have also transitioned to a PayPal system for donations on our web site. This system as well as our new credit card processing system require you to provide the security code on your credit card when you make your donations. If you started your donations several years ago, this was not a requirement. So, we would really appreciate it if you would call Gary in Lynchburg ((434) 384-7696) and give him your code so we can continue processing your donations. We are experiencing some very significant cash flow challenges during this last quarter of the year and every dollar will help. If you wish to sign-up as a monthly donor, you can do so here. Thank you!
by Rev. Dr. Cindi Love
Our co-founders Mel White and Gary Nixon received a heartfelt email of thanks which we want to share with you.
Dear Rev. Mel White and Gary Nixon :
Thank you so very much for paving the way for GLBTQ Americans, showing that they are real people who deserve respect and should be allowed to be in the churches. We need more love to allow for more hope.
You have shown how to dream, hope and also to set the wheels in action
and get it DONE !! You both have done a fabulous job and out of all the gay organizations. I really feel that you have been able to quietly make a big difference in the heartland as well as the coasts. Your background shows to the Christian right that gays aren’t the creepy perverts that they want to make them out to be !!! You are outstanding!!!!!
I’ll never meet you but know that I read your books and shared it with numerous friends. We admire you and hope that you continue to grow the SOULFORCE message.
by Guest Author
Sometimes there are nights where I wake drenched in sweat, heart pounding, horrified by the dreams that had seconds before been playing out in my mind. These are the nights where I relive my days in high school. These are the nights where I relive the shame, and the embarrassment, I felt over not speaking out—over not standing up for another when they most desperately needed it.
Too many times to count I witnessed those who were brave enough to have come out in high school, or those who simply didn’t seem to fit the mold of their heteronormative gender expectations, be mocked, bullied, and outcast. Oh how badly I wanted to speak up! And oh the shame I felt for staying silent out of cowardice and fear of my big gay secret being found out. I stayed silent. I didn’t stand up to the bullies.
I am silent no longer.
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