Enthusiastic Crowd Responds to Heartland Proclamation
June 16, 2011
On Wednesday, June 15, a crowd of several hundred Omaha residents, and others coming from Crete to Des Moines, gathered at the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge for the public presentation and signing of the Heartland Proclamation. 194 Christian clergy have now signed onto this proclamation which declares that “homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin” and calls for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons.
Omaha resident Sam Fischer responded to the proclamation, “For me to be here, experiencing the Heartland Proclamation is amazing.”
Fischer, who was born and raised in Omaha, said that he “grew up in a Christian faith that was not supportive of me or of other members of the LGBT community. “It makes me truly happy that the verdict is in, the silence has ended, and the intolerance, discrimination and suffering are over,” he said.
The Heartland Proclamation was presented by Heartland Clergy for Inclusion, a group of Christian clergy in Omaha who have invited clergy from other Heartland states to join them in breaking their silence which has created “the impression that there is only one Christian perspective” concerning homosexuality.
Recognizing the unique potential of the event to unite clergy and congregations throughout the Heartlands, the Rev. Dr. David Ruhe drove from Des Moines, IA, where he serves as Senior Minister of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, to offer a response. “On behalf of clergy and congregations in Iowa and throughout the Heartland I am eager to affirm the Heartland Proclamation,” he said.
He continued, “We have not spoken in the public arena as regularly and forcefully as faith in a God of love and justice requires of us.”
Speaking of the clergy signers, Fischer concluded, “Thank you, for shining the light of truth and welcoming us with compassion into your family.”
Written by Scott Jones
Welcome to the Heartland Clergy for Inclusion’s presentation of The Heartland Proclamation. Join us in an ongoing conversation about God’s unconditional love for all people and about advocation of justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.