The United Methodist Church, must, I believe, acknowledge the multiplicity of challenges facing the USA and the world.  While we as United Methodists fiddle with our long history of focusing on only one concern that we claim is "incompatible with Christian teaching," our country and the world burn with issues of human survival.  [Editor's Note:  We think the prohibition against cooking a lamb in the milk from its own mother should be at the forefront of everyone "sin list."  It's in Deuteronomy three times.  Yes, we know someone that counted.]

by Jan Hensley-Olson

Rev. Greg Dell
Rev. Greg Dell

Affirmation and all organizations and individuals that fight for a more justice-filled world have lost a beloved friend.  Gregory Robert Dell, age 70, passed away in Raleigh, NC, on Sunday, October 30, 2016, from complications of Parkinson's Disease.  Greg has spent a lifetime championing the disenfranchised.

Greg was a pastor in the United Methodist Church for 40 years, serving churches in Naperville, Minooka, Evanston, Oak Park, and Chicago.  His ministry focused on issues of peace, justice, and the celebration of human diversity, including a commitment to the inclusion of LGBTQI persons in faith communities.

By Ann Craig

Life for LGBTI people in Uganda was never easy but, in 2007, American Scott Lively made it much worse. He went to Uganda and worked directly with lawmakers to help draft the Anti-Homosexuality Bill known as the “Kill the Gays” bill. International pressure kept the bill from passing until early 2014 when a slightly less heinous version was voted through.

Employers, landlords. and neighbors forced LGBTI people to flee because the law included prison for them if they did not report them. Without job or housing, some fled to Kenya and applied for asylum. Others fled from house to house within Uganda. The law was annulled in August of 2014, and some people returned to rebuild their lives despite ongoing discrimination.

By Diane DeLapRestroom Sign

“Where do you expect me to pee?”

On February 17, 2011, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick issued an executive order banning discrimination on the part of the state or its contractors against transgender employees of the state government. As a state employee at the time, I was present at the official signing ceremony the following day.

We met in Denver, Colorado, the week before the election, November 3 to 5, for the fall council meeting. Post GC 2016, we had much to discuss.

We worked hard to move Affirmation into its next chapter of advocacy. We welcomed our new treasurer, Jim Palmquist, and we thanked Jan Hensley-Olson for her years of service. We welcomed new council members Josh Culbertson, Ben Roe, Bea Fraser-Soots, and Derrick Spiva, although Bea was not physically present.

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