XXXXX, thank you for reminding YYYYY YYYYYYY that the Windsor report commits the Communion to listening to the very ones the Anglican Communion Institute would exclude from the conversation. Imagine how impoverished we would be if the disciples had told the story of my ancestor the Samaritan woman at the well with no specific quotations of her part of the conversation. YYYYY wrongly interprets why lesbians and gays (ex- and active) want to witness: It is not ourselves we proclaim, but Jesus as Lord and ourselves as servants for Jesus' sake. We want to testify to God's amazing grace at work in the lives of lbgt people. Jesus already knows everything we ever did. He has been much more concerned with our thirst than with our sin. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed from us our sins, known and unknown! You wrote: > At GC 00 and 03, friends of Exodus International and Living Waters were > ignored and scoffed at. The way we treated them made it very clear they > were not welcome in the discussion. If we are suppose to be listening, > why don't we want to hear the full story??? That is awful. I personally welcome the chance to hear their points of view. Nor have I ever heard Integrity, Claiming the Blessing, The Oasis, or any of our other Episcopal lesbigay groups scoff at, or encourage scoffing at, any whose views or experience differs from our own. I will gladly stand with anyone who is scoffed if my doing so may reduce that abuse. Admittedly, it is sometimes difficult to persuade lesbians and gays to invite testimony that trashes those of us in committed relationships. Some lesbigays report grave damage they have experienced as members of ex-gay groups and as clients of ex-gay therapists. Nevertheless, I have repeatedly argued for giving ex-gays our respectful attention. See, e.g., my appeal to an Integrity leader in this regard back in 1998, at http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/natter_old/msg00047.html. See my comments about Alan Medinger and Earle Fox at http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/natter_old/msg00122.html in a message titled "Listening to those of Regeneration. Was: How to Expedite the Process." At times it is hard to find ex-gays ready to witness at General Convention. While second-hand testimony spares one the stigma that all lbgts (ex- or active) face when we speak publicly, second-hand testimony on our behalf never carries the same cogency. For all gays, ex- and active alike, God has not set a time certain that it is no longer required of disciples to take up our cross and follow Jesus. Several times I have traveled out of state to attend ex-gay gatherings, and I have always found them quite moving. See, for example, my report of a meeting of Regeneration in Maryland at http://www.qrd.org/qrd/religion/anti/exgay/regeneration.txt. See my discovery of common cause with Mario Bergner+ whom I traveled to Wisconsin to hear, as I reported when invited to participate in the Second Consultation on Human Sexuality of the Province of Brazil, http://www.andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/040806.html. See my additional reflections on Ex-Gays at http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/natter_02/msg00050.html. Exodus International graciously includes in its bibliography a citation to my own collection, A Book of Revelations: Lesbian and Gay Episcopalians Tell Their Own Stories (See http://www.exodus.to/content/view/136/35/) I do not agree with ex-gays when they over-simplify any more than I expect them to agree with me when I oversimplify. I hope that you will find nothing in any of my writing that mocks or disrespects them. The rule for all lesbians and gays regarding rival claims should be "Caveat Emptor. Eternal life is at stake." When will the Diocese of Fort Worth sponsor an occasion to hear voices from both sides? What portion of your budget are you dedicating to the ex-gay movement? It is important that your support be substantive, not just window dressing to score points in a debate. Joy to absolutely everybody! Louie Newark Deputy, Founder of Integrity
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