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Protests at Green Street UMC

posted Apr 9, 2013, 2:37 PM by Interfaith WS

Interfaith Winston-Salem has been asked to share this message from the Rev. Kelly Carpenter, pastor of Green Street UMC in Winston-Salem with our interfaith friends. 

To the Members and Friends of Green Street Church:

As you may already be aware, we have had protesters at our church for the past two weeks in response to our congregation's public statement about marriage, first on Easter (3) and then this past week (5). While the video of the child spewing messages of hate was disturbing, this past Sunday protesters began shouting more than bad theology. They used racist/sexist/crude homophobic language targeted not only at adults but also at children. This has been very upsetting.

To our Friends: I want to thank everyone who has reached out to support GSUMC. We are so lucky to have friends from other faith communities, Christian and non-Christian, and supporters who are not affiliated with any faith tradition. Many people are planning to be present on Sunday morning and give their support and assistance as our members arrive for worship. Again, thank you so much. Please note this request: We would like anyone planning on coming this Sunday to join us at 9:00 am in the Sanctuary for instructions about your participation in any loving action taking place outside. We want to make sure that any gestures of support are done in a spirit that respects the values of our congregation. (Please note: we have as relaxed a dress code as you will find for a church, but most try to leave their partisan T-shirts in the car). If you can not come at 9:00, we thank you for your support but request that you please stay home.

Members: If you are feeling the desire to confront the protesters outside, as I know many of you are, and if you are walking around the house thinking of all the great things you should have said to them last week--I expect you to come to the Sanctuary at 9:00 am for some instructions also! Your feelings are completely understandable, but this is a time to be disciplined about our commitment to live in love. I want our community supporters to hear me remind us of who we are and what we are about. If you are not struggling with this, and you just want to come to worship, then we will see you at 11 am. Once you are in the door, we expect nothing other than our regular loving hour of music, prayer and preaching. I believe you will start feeling the love of Green Street long before you reach the door.

By the way, our attendance last Sunday was 241--a record for a non-Easter Sunday. God is Good--All the Time!