DFW, Texas Billboards Launched!
We are already getting feedback, positive and not-so-positive, about the newly posted billboards in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex in Texas! Emails are coming in supporting this amazing message. Bloggers are providing us comments for consideration in opposition to our message.
UPDATE: We’ve Gone GLOBAL!
Take a look at this news release from PinkNews in the United Kingdom! Click Here.
UPDATE: We’ve GONE NATIONAL!
The Dallas billboards are making such news that we’ve gone national! Please visit MSNBC to offer your positive voices to the many not-so-positive perspectives. Click Here. And don’t forget to add your voice below!
Dallas Morning News story - click here !
CBS Channel 11 story - click here ! WATCH here !
Participate in a Poll on KRLD.com - click here !
Updates on Lone Star Texas News - click here !
EDGE New York Covers the Billboards - click here !
UFMCC Releases the Billboard Launch to the Global Church - click here !
Dallas Coalition Update - January 2009!
What an historic time we live in! WOW! Look at the diverse group of people coming together to celebrate. AWESOME! Does every one agree? No! Does every one even understand where the other is coming from? No! Yet some very important doors to dialogue have opened.
It is a New Year with a new President in a new era in American politics and it offers new opportunities for us to get our message out! We cannot become complacent because our work is not finished. It is even more important for us to ask "Would Jesus Discriminate?" and engage people in this question. I believe that at this time more people are open to honestly explore this question.
February is Black History Month. This year it will highlight both the achievements and the shortfalls of the civil rights movement more than ever before. We have much to appreciate and learn from the leaders for racial equality. We must continue to ask ourselves the question "Would Jesus Discriminate?" and continue our personal and community work to end racism. At the same time, we raise our voices with spiritual power to say no one is free until we all are free. Indeed the Dream lives on.
As we begin Phase Two of our WJD Campaign in the DFW Metroplex, we are counting on you to be involved and help. Please read the information below and that will come in the weeks that follow. Tell your friends about our fundraising events. Help us sell tickets. As you raise funds, know that you are helping raise billboards that will raise awareness. Volunteer to work at our fundraisers. Wear your T-Shirt. There are many opportunities for you to be involved.
On behalf of the WJD-DFW Coalition, thank you for your support in 2008! Let’s continue the momentum this campaign began and join the momentum of hope and possibility that is sweeping the country this week. Let us commit to the dialogue for a better tomorrow for all of God’s children!
Rev. Colleen Darraugh,
Chair, WJD-DFW Coalition
Wedding & Travel EXPO in May
Pride Events in September & October
More Mall Outings
Provacative Media events
and many more opportunities for dialogue being planned for PHASE TWO in 2009!
VISIT OUR WEBSITE
Visit our website for news and information. Share this site with your friends who may have questions about the scriptures or want to learn more about MCC and our beliefs.
Do you have questions about the campaign? Contact Pastor Colleen or any of the 5 area MCC church representatives to the WJD-DFW Campaign. Know your church rep! Volunteer to recruit people in your own church to get involved.
Agape - Kris & Deb
Harvest - Kimberly & Sherri
Greater Dallas - Colleen & Deb
Promise - Jon & Leonard
Trinity - Curtis & Dale
Joy MCC’s Would Jesus Discriminate? Campaign is Getting Attention!
The authors of some recent email sent to Joy MCC’s Rev. John Middleton may not have understood that we’d see it this way; we are crystal clear that the message and efforts of Joy MCC’s Would Jesus Discriminate? campaign are definitely being noticed!
Joy MCC’s entry in Central Florida’s “Come Out With Pride” parade and celebration held on Sunday, 12 October centered on the question and message of the 21st century question – Would Jesus Discriminate? along with the theme for this year’s pride event was Hooray for Hollywood and our entry was reminiscent of My Best Friend’s Wedding. Each of our three floats bore a Would Jesus Discriminate? banner, and depicted scenes from the movie with an LGBT flair. In addition, 100 or so participants in Joy’s contingent wore WJD? t-shirts — not to mention the many more worn by many Joysters along the parade route. The local media has indicated that there were 45,000 people in attendance at this year’s event who have now come into contact question of this generation! At this point, we can say that this campaign has seen the participation of many people in our congregation and surrounding community from our aging population to our children and youth. The question; “Would Jesus Discriminate?” has been the focus in sermons, social settings and community gatherings and press conferences. It has even graced the walls of our sanctuary in the days leading up to the parade and general elections. See pictures from the parade here.
WJD? Receives Headlines in Lagos!
Homosexuals Begin Convention In Lagos Today
By Yinka Sokunbi Assistant Editor
Hundreds of homosexuals from across West Africa and Europe are expected to gather in Lagos today for a two-day celebration commemorating the second anniversary of the House of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church.
Besides, the homosexuals have floated a university, where prospective students are expected to undergo some “industrial attachment.”
Reverend Roland Macaulay, a trained lawyer and theologian on September 2, 2006, founded House of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church.
It is an offshoot of the Universal Fellowship of the Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC), which was established in the 1960s for homosexuals around the world.
Read the full posting here.
Florida Coalition Launches First Billboard
The multi-church campaign continues in Florida!
The Florida Coalition of churches (including MCC Tampa – Tampa, FL; King of Peace MCC – St. Petersburg, FL; Suncoast Cathedral MCC – Venice, FL) launched their first billboard this week (10 September 2008). The billboard will remain up for four weeks.
Congratulations, Florida Churches!
MCC’s Multi-Church Campaign Update - June 2008
Multi-Church Campaign Update
June 8, 2008
Joy MCC Orlando conducted a WJD T-shirt campaign during Orlando Gay Days as a kick off to the WJD campaign that will run through the summer and the elections.
In Tampa there was a training workshop and had seven churches on west side of Florida and two from east side (First Coast and Boynton Beach). All day. Phyllis gave out DVDs to everyone. Since the training, seven of the churches banded together for gay pride, rented a float and Steve (a church member) created banners representing each church—seventy people participated in the parade—on our side of the state at First Coast, we have an events committee and fund raising committee–$3000 so far—we have more meetings coming up in early August and we are looking at feasibility of renting.
Rev. Phyllis (Hunt) did a workshop for 40 people last weekend and has written an article for Watermark.
Introduced the new project from New Life MCC of Hampton Road VA - Rev. Reg Richburg.
DFW Coalition—five churches—June 7 did a one-day intensive training, campaign, issues, the facts—looked at hate crimes stats—facilitated by five different people, one from each church, 37 people attended from all five churches—did two half-day trainings—one is coming up this Saturday on how to respond to prejudice remarks—if they encounter these, how to handle—multiple role playing—how to initiate dialogue—36 people through that training—t-shirts and bumper stickers black shirts with pink splash—selling tickets for fund raiser and LGBT wedding expo—decided not to do billboards in Fort Worth, so we have negotiated bus sides—light rail system in Dallas—concentrate billboard around entrances and exits of state fair—Conference call prayer meeting.
Eastern Europe (Diane Fisher) - Currently in Romania, got incredible media coverage all over Eastern Europe—getting things translated—in particular the talking points—have been asked to do a workshop at the ILGA conference in Europe on Would Jesus Discriminate? Last weekend of October.
June 28—Mark Eggleston Houston—65 people marched in Pride—300 coffee mugs—selling them—bumper stickers—billboards in October—150,000 people attended the Parade—it was the first time that our church was “out” in public wearing the shirts—lots of people were pointing—lots of people talking to our group—right after the parade I went to a restaurant and a little family group said, “That’s such a great shirt—so cool” Mark went to a leather bar later and the leather shop customers were talking to him about it.
Rev. Mark Byrd of MCC DC – Washington, DC and Rev. Kharma Amos MCC of Northern Virginia Fairfax VA - (Capital Area Campaign) We have just completed DC Black Pride. During the gathering all of the local churches we had black t-shirts with white lettering created and they went over very well. (We had individuals who wanted to purchase them.)
We will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting co sponsored by HRC and moderated by Harry Knox. This event will feature Dr. Randall Bailey and Dr, Susan Newman and Rev. Dr. Cindi Love and they will gather to discuss the book; Would Jesus Discriminate? The 21st Century Question (Amazon.com) We are hoping that C-Span Book TV may pick up this event. During the upcoming pride events we are hoping to have one of the largest contingents on foot with the banners (our goal 200 participants) in the parade. The date of the Pride Event is Saturday, June 14th and the Town Hall meeting will be held on June 11th of June. This is the 1st time since the founding of the HRC Faith and Religious Council that involves the explicit use of the name of Jesus. HRC is a co-sponsor of the town hall event and HRC for the 1st time made a public statement about things occurring outside of the US.
Rev. Kharma Amos added that MCC is one of the community partners and will be featured on the main stage of the event and we will have some time at the Latin American pride and have had the logo translated into Spanish. Melanie will work Joe Rattan to get the Spanish translation of the logo up on the site.
Sharon Miller, Clergy Candidate from MCC New Haven – New Haven, CT will be meeting with the board to discuss the campaign and determine the next stages. They will be looking at doing stickers at their local pride.
Rev. Lori Rivera of SunCoast Cathedral MCC Venice, FL is working with the Fl campaign and getting ready for a training session at MCC Tampa and at SunCoast Cathedral has board approval to take the next steps.
Rev. Phyllis Hunt of MCC Tampa in Tampa, FL – Six churches responded that they will be attending the training session this weekend to total about 40 people and they are planning for 60. Learning how to do a generic training around how to take on the campaign and raise the funds to do what we are called to do is the central focus of the training session on May 31, 2008 in Tampa, FL.
Rev. Dr. Cindi Love – The WJD? Book has been selected to be featured as one of the largest gathering of book purchasers- this weekend in Los Angeles, CA.
Rev. Robyn Provis of All God’s Children MCC has moved back to Minneapolis and will determine the next steps towards re-engaging the campaign on a local level. Recently they received a letter from a gay atheist and lives near the one of the WJD? billboards who was certain that the billboard was from a conservative organization and expressed his pride that an gay faith organization would take on this cause. Rev. Robyn indicated that she is still interested in offering a class on media advocacy on TAP for those who are interested.
Rev. Jon Haack of Promise MCC in Dallas, TX & Rev. Colleen Darraugh of MCC of Greater Dallas continue to meet twice a month with the other metro area MCC’s with a wedding expo, concert and fundraiser on the calendar. They have also acquired a new web address (whywouldwe.org page is now active). They have met with the designers to create some local north TX flavor and the ability to link out to other partnered organizations. They will be hosting training on June 7th at Promise MCC based on the WD? Curriculum. Dear God is a song that was written by two women and dedicated to the campaign.
Rev. Dr. Cindi Love – has been working to gain permission from Jesus MCC to use the WouldJesusDiscriminate.com page as a landing site. Their board has approved this action and there will be a public announcement from the board (we hope to include a linkable connection to the local churches involved in the campaign). Once there is a public announcement of this action, Kathy will design and create a thank you that will go to the board of Jesus MCC and include the ability for the members of this group to click on a point that will send a thanks to those board members.
Rev. Wendy Woodruff and Magi C (first time attendee) – Magi is the first female and ally to run the GLBT center in Milwaukee and has a commitment to social justice and civil liberties fro the LGBT community. She has developed a great relationship with Rev. Wendy and the local MCC in Milwaukee and together they are working to find churches and other local organizations in the fall (September). In the area, they have Electronic billboards and for every 30 seconds sold there is a possibility to add nonprofit information. This is a national company and if there is a way that we can encourage that use, they will alert the group with the necessary information.
Rev. Angie Thinnes of MCC Illiana Lake Station, IN – We are doing a small campaign to go along with the pride w/parade (northwest IN) – We will be wearing t-shirts (June 7th) and carrying banners and passing out stickers and bumper stickers during the pride parade. They will also have a presence of the Windy City Gay Rodeo in August.
Mark Eggleston of Resurrection MCC in Houston, TX - working on Imagine Capital campaign which will be launching in Oct. Working on the pride parade (June 28th) working on T-shirts and silicone bracelets, passing out stickers. The books are selling in the bookstore with a great response. Rev. Cindi Love will preach on October 19, 2008 to launch the campaign.
Rev. Robin Gorsline – Looking forward to Cindi’s visit for the 34th anniversary celebration. Hoping to build the presence in time for pride in September in Richmond will be able to connect to the 40th anniversary momentum.
Kathy Beasley MCC Staff and Joy MCC in Orlando, FL – Orlando is host to one of the largest Gays Days events in the country and will be featuring Would Jesus Discriminate at the Expo on June 5-7.
Eastern Europe Update - June 2008
Would Jesus Discriminate in Eastern Europe
by Rev. Elder Diane Fisher
Initially we had planned to launch the Would Jesus Discriminate Campaign in Chisinau, Moldova during the gay pride demonstration and in Bucharest during the Gay Pride March. In Chisinau, the banners were taken by the extremists who held us captive on the bus and ripped to shreds. It was like wild dogs falling on a bone. The campaign has been put on hold as the situation in Moldova has become increasingly hostile.
Bucharest’s launch was a rousing success with the WJD banner being the most photographed scene during the march. We were in every newspaper and on every TV station. It has been picked up by the European press. Florin and I have done a number of press interviews and we have been asked to do a workshop at the ILGA Europe conference in October which will be held in Vienna and followed by the ILGA world conference.
We are working on a web site and having put a media talking points paper together for those who are activists in the LGBT communities in Eastern Europe. It seems to have caught the attention of the mainstream press and LGBT movement in mainland Europe at least. Now we just need to translate Cindi’s book.
Pennsylvania Coalition Update - May 2008
Rev. Jeffrey Jordan of MCC Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA has been working with a group who thus far has held one fundraiser and preparing for another, purchased a website (www.wouldgoddiscriminate.com)
This website names was chosen due to the very diverse population and this is an opportunity to keep the name open enough to appeal to people from diverse faith backgrounds to be eligible to receive funding from the local area (Commission on Human Rights).
The churches invited to participate in this effort are: MCC Lehigh Valley - Allentown, PA, Imago Dei MCC - Glen Mills, PA, MCC Of The Spirit - Harrisburg, PA , Vision of Hope MCC - Mountville, PA, MCC Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA and MCC Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA.
The initial conference call is currently scheduled for June 10th and Rev. Eva O’Diam will be working with the area churches on becoming part of the coalition and to create a statewide effort.
Rev. Karla Fleshman of Imago Dei MCC - Glen Mills, PA, was a presenter at the Equality Forum 2008 in Philadelphia, PA May 4th, 2008
The Equality Forum held its national gathering and the WJD? was one of the workshops with about 40 people in attendance from a cross age spectrum with a good deal of interest. Rev Karla spoke of a group of LGBT individuals who were passing out “Gay by God” stickers and participating in a
T-shirt campaign in response to the protestors that gathered near the church. There was video footage captured of the event and some of the interactions.
This video shows Imago Dei Metropolitan Community Church’s outreach ministry at Equality Forum 2008. In the midst of the protestors, they stood calm; and like a beacon asking “Would Jesus Discriminate?” Saying “We are Gay, by God!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETccNR-k_K4
WJD? - Live from Moldova
Live from Moldova
the Rev. Elder Diane Fisher
During the preparation for the launch of WJD? in Eastern Europe, the banners were destroyed so they did not get to kick off the campaign. They were able to launch the campaign during gay pride and the banner was carried by marchers at the head of the parade. This banner was the most photographed element in the parade.
Since then, it has been on the news, featured in newspapers and various press agencies have picked it up.
Rev. Elder Diane was asked to do WJD? workshop for LGBT groups in Europe.
(She has created a talking point sheets for the activists that are not typically connected to religious issues and will be launching a website and having the information translated into Romanian).
There has been incredible coverage related to Would Jesus Discriminate? in Eastern Europe thus far!
MCC’s Multi-Church Campaign Update - April 2008
MCC’s Multi-Church April 2008 Campaign Updates
Since our last call, we have launched the publication of the book and are getting a great response! Amazon has picked it up from hardcover and soft cover. The interviews have picked up around the country regarding the Campaign. Interviews with the Kansas City Star, click to read the blog: http://billtammeus.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/04/index.html
I would like to extend thanks to Deb McAllister (McAllister publications) is donating her services and we are seeing churches join us at a pace of about 1 per week.
April 9, 2008 - We have launched the press releases and free copy of the book to our pastors and if you have a chance please go onto Amazon.com and complete a book review. There is also a posting of the interview with HRC on the home page that talks about the campaign. Our beginning goal was to have at least 40 churches involved in the campaign and we have surpassed the goal and are now working on 100.
We have received an offer to translate the book into other relevant languages. You may also print and distribute the .PDF files of the poster, postcards and bookmarks for your congregants and they may give the MCC offer of a reduced price to friends and family.
You can listen to a recent interview of Rev. Dr. Love regarding MCC and the campaign and book at www.mccchurch.org/wjdinterview.
Houston, TX (Resurrection MCC - Houston, TX – Rev. Dwayne Johnson and Mark Eggleston)
There is a pre publicity link on the website and from fundraising efforts, we have designated a significant portion of to help with us with the campaign the site address is www.ResurrectionMCC.org. The link to the website will remain on the front page of our main site. Our schedule is tied right now to the Focused on the Family outing project (at Lakewood Church–Joel Osteen) and the timeline will depend on this effort. Mark is the primary contact at the Resurrection. ** Outsmart Houston will be doing an interview related to the book.
(MCC Tampa – Tampa, FL –Rev. Phyllis Hunt, King of Peace MCC – St. Petersburg, FL – Rev. Candace Shultis, Suncoast Cathedral MCC – Venice, FL – Rev. Lori Rivera)We have scheduled a WJD? Training Day for May 31st (10am – 4pm) at MCC Tampa.
The group has created a listing of resources that they would like to make available on DVD, currently looking into the use of billboards and associated timeframes. Also working with a statistician to be sure to place billboards in areas where they will get the most exposure.
It is our hope that we can get as many of the Florida churches as possible to attend and will begin by setting up a weekly conference call with the Florida churches who want to participate in the effort. We are asking everyone to pray for this campaign. Our schedule begins with using the Lenten studies in June and August, as a preaching series and using in as a part of Pride Tide. We hope to use billboards for 1 month – Oct 5 – Nov 5. We also plant to start putting together a town hall team to begin meeting at various sites around FL. We realize that not all churches can do town hall meetings, so we want to create and opportunity to do a film series of different documentaries to address the discrimination issue. We want to send CD/DVD with every piece of material that a church would need to support the UFMCC Green standard and offering resources for selection.
(MCC Greater Dallas – Dallas, TX – Rev. Colleen Darraugh and Promise MCC- Dallas, TX – Rev. Jon Haack)
Website: We chose to have our own landing page, which would more clearly feature the links to the local churches plus have a link through to www.wouldjesusdiscriminate.com. This site would also give us the option to add other pages later (in later phases) linking scripture and other forms of discrimination. Our web address is www.whywouldwe.org. We chose this name as it asks another question thus driving home the “would Jesus discriminate?” question. We have had Joe Rattan work up the logos for us with this web address. The page should have an “under construction” marker on it now. We will let you know when it is fully up.
Billboards: We have received pricing on billboards and have learned the difference between the larger, more long term billboards that use vinyl and the smaller, more frequently changed, billboards that use paper and the vast difference in cost! We have decided to go with the smaller billboards that use paper. We are avoiding the “junior” billboards that tend to be on side streets.
1) We have decided not to do yard signs and are not doing door hangers as the DFW Metroplex is just too large. We are doing T-Shirts, bumper stickers and business cards. We are also pricing what it costs to advertise on the back of buses and at bus stops.
2) We have talked to people to help us video some “on the street” type segments to use on MySpace and YouTube.
3) We have three fundraisers planned: A Concert with Suzanne Westenhoffer (Aug. 23), a GLBT Wedding Expo (Aug. 31), and the sale of T-Shirts. We are also exploring “The No-Tie, No-Dinner, Dinner” which is basically a solicitation for donations.
4) We are making contact with campus groups to find partners to host a “town hall” type meeting on campus. We may show “For the Bible Tells Me So” followed by a dialogue or simply have the town hall meeting format. This is still in discussion. We would do at least 3 of these (Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton) and may do up to 5 including some Community Colleges in the mix.
5) We participated in the SoulForce presence at the United Methodist General Conference. We attended the SoulForce Training given by Rev. Jimmy Creech at 7am! We participated in the action.
We have another training scheduled for Saturday, June 7th utilizing components from the Training Manual on the MCC website under WJD. We are calling it: “Would Jesus Discriminate? The Campaign, The Issues, The Facts”.
We have talked with a GLAAD representative about media training but have not scheduled that as yet. Our goal with this piece is to also train media liaisons and spokespersons for each church to serve beyond WJD.
We have established a master calendar for August-November on which we are coordinating events between our 5 churches. Each church is tracking phone calls (general inquiries, directions, etc.), web hits, and visitors to church so we can establish a baseline and measure the impact of WJD to the local church.
We have registered to participate in the Dallas Pride Parade under the name “Would Jesus Discriminate?” We will also participate in the Fort Worth Parade and in the Fort Work Pride Picnic which will happen on National Coming Out Day.
We were turned down for funding with the Black Tie Dinner.
We have scheduled a monthly prayer conference call to pray for the Campaign! Our first prayer call is Sunday, May 4th at 5pm.
MCC New York – New York, NY (Bradley Curry) We are having special ad developed for the bulletin and making modifications to include on the web, we will have the link in the e-blasts that we send. Jay Bakker has a group of youth who will do the sticker campaign.
Week of the October 4th and Oct 12-14 of (Sage convention/AARP) planning to have a presence in NY at the event. We have a deep presence and doing a ML hosted event connected to the senior housing project.
All God’s Children MCC – Minneapolis, MN (Rev. Paul Eknes-Tucker)
We completed the Lenten study that was very well received by those in attendance.
New Haven (Sharon Miller, MCC New Haven - New Haven, CT)
New pastor installed and staying on the calls and remaining involved.
Detroit (MCC Detroit – Rev. Mark Bidwell)
Fundraisers – selling the bumper sticker to raise money for a banner at pride fest. This is helping us raise the money to do this over and over again.
There are grant funds available and the proceeds from the initial sales of the book go into the grant fund.
Capitol Region Coalition (Rev. Mark Byrd – MCC DC – Washington, DC)
In the Capitol Region, we have made significant progress towards joint participation in the Would Jesus Discriminate? campaign. There are eight churches in the beltway area surrounding Washington DC that have come together to make a big splash at Capitol Pride in June (i.e., Washington, DC; Boyd, MD; Chesapeake, MD; College Park, MD; Hagerstown, MD; Laurel, MD; Fairfax, VA; and Fredericksburg, VA). For the first time, we are registering to participate under the big umbrella of Metropolitan Community Churches rather than as individual churches. We are official “Community Partners” with Capital Pride, which means MCC’s logo will be on the main stage and all promotional materials. We are hoping to mobilize the largest ever foot contingent in the parade, all of whom will be wearing WJD T-Shirts. We have designed a map that shows all 8 churches with a link to individual websites, and we’ll be promoting MCC and WJD at the festival where we will have two adjacent tents to increase the size of our witness. In addition to promoting the campaign, this is an historic show of cooperation between MCC congregations in this region.
Rev. Karla Fleshman (Imago Dei MCC – Glen Mills, PA)
May 3, 2008 Attending The Equality Forum – Saturday is the WJD? campaign workshop is being presented and has given me an opportunity to get more involved in the program. We have modified the t-shirt design and added the local church web address and logo on the back. Working to network with local affirming congregations and received an invitation to join with 3 Pennsylvania churches. Forward an email from the Penn Coalition to invite to be a part of the efforts and begin dialogue around support that we can provide.
Jay Bakker—NYC Sticker campaign launches. 10,000 pink stickers are being placed around the city by young people and t-shirts and stickers are being distributed at Revolution church.
Rev. Wendy Woodruff (MCC Milwaukee – Milwaukee, WI)
We are at the very beginning stages and the church is very excited about the program. At pride fest we are planning a sticker campaign. We are also working w/GLBT center and churches to pull something together in October in response to the Defense of Marriage act and we want to do something just before the elections.