View Full Version : Camp Out the movie
03-06-2008, 08:52 AM
I am about to jump off the deep end here in small town MN. A group of my congregation members, our local Human Rights Commission and a local psychologist are sponsoring a showing of Camp Out. this film is a yet unreleased documentary put together by Showtime highlighting the work that THE NAMING PROJECT does in Minnesota to assist glbt young people as they learn accept themselves as the beloved children of God that they are and learn how to deal with a world that does not always see them the same way. The camp runs for a week each summer on Bay Lake in the Central Lakes region of the state. (between Brainerd and lake Mille Lacs, for those of you who know something about MN) Bay Lake and Brainerd are not far (maybe 40 miles) from my town of Onamia and so it seemed like a way to begin the conversation.
Rev. Jay Wiesner of Bethany Lutheran in Mpls, along with two other leaders run this week long experience. Rev. Wiesner will be with us on the day we show the film to facilitate discussion and to answer questions.
So as we begin to promote this to our community, I am asking for your prayers. There are a number of glbt young people in this community (as there are all over) but there has never been a serious attempt to address the issue.
To be very honest, although I feel compelled to speak out in my own circle of family and friends, this will be a test of my public resolve as a pastor. I would be lying if I said aI wasn't worried at all about the potential repercussions. But the opportunity is here, and I guess my feelings run along the lines of 'if not me, who? If not now, when?'
Just wanted to share and ask for your support.
03-06-2008, 09:57 AM
Actually, the church is the site for the event, and all that remains is for the council to officially give its okay at next weeks meeting. I have been assured that this will happen. For a small, rural town, Onamia has quite a liberal enlightened population. Our human Rights Com. has taken on glbt rights as its focus this year, and this is our first event, so to speak.
That doesn't mean I expect completely smooth sailing, I am realistic. But the folks who are working with me on this feel the same way I do, and I think we can have some good discussion here. It is our hope that our small congregation can become a place where our glbt sisters and brothers in Christ will feel welcome and their gifts appreciated and used for the sake of the world. (and yes, I am the proud mom of a gay son.
03-06-2008, 10:49 AM
Oh thank you and bless you for doing this!!
I believe I understand your nervousness about the public nature of this event, this being the first public stand where you make a bit of sound about your views, and the anxiety over possible reactions around your community.
After a lifetime trying to find a way to get involved and make a difference, I recently had my first opportunity to take a public stand as the organizer for Phoenix AZ's 7 Straight Nights event about 6 months ago. I don't know if the SF folks knew it, but I was actually quite scared. I imagined all sorts of scenarios from the mundane (nasty looks or being called names by passers by) to the dramatic (vandalism of car or home.) I'm in a position where I have the power of choice to avoid putting myself out there, or to take a little risk if I choose: I just think of all my friends who have no choice, but must deal with these possibilities every day. That thought made the decision easy (okay, easiER.)
Nothing bad happened. Many wonderful things did, however. I made several new friends. A number of dedicated, caring people got to express their caring and love for their LGBT neighbors, and we had a wonderful event with much positive publicity.
I cannot begin to tell you how much that project meant to me, and I believe that the project you are embarking on is deeply meaningful not only to you, but to many in your community. You may never find out how deeply meaningful your stand may be to some members of your community who may not feel able or willing to express it to you. But there is, undoubtedly, someone out there for whom your event may make a tremendous difference. You will be so glad you signed up for this.
03-06-2008, 11:53 AM
I will be hoping and praying that this event which is very worthwhile, will be successful for you. Actually, even if you only help to influence one mind and heart, you have been successful. Do not be discouraged by any anticipated opposition or discomfort of others; NOW is the time and YOU are the person to do it. Seize your opportunity for greatness!!!!! :love:
Thank you for your hard work. :love:
04-09-2008, 08:29 AM
Well, Jay came up and spoke with my confirmation class and the class from another local church. There was wonderful conversation, the kids got to see an articulate gay pastor helping them unpack some of the more common clobber passages used to bash the glbt community. they all expressed appreciation for his coming to see them when I spoke to them last Sunday morning. Pastor Wiesner will be back up in Onamia this Sunday (4/13) to show the film Camp out and lead community discussion. There was a great article in the local paper informing the community about the movie. I am waiting to see if there is any reaction to last week's article in this week's paper. So far I have heard nothing but positive feedback, but I know there are folks who disagree with what the Human Rights Commission in our area is doing by sponsoring this movie.
please keep us in your prayers this week, for open minds and hearts in Onamia Mn and for hearts to burn with the longing for justice and inclusion.
04-10-2008, 02:29 PM
I am so glad that the meeting with the confirmation classes went well, and seemed to be a learning experience for all. I will keep you and your community, and the changes you are hoping to happen, in my thoughts and prayers.....:love::pray:
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