Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Speakers Series presents "Adam's Gift"

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speakers Series presents a discussion with Jimmy Creech. The event, entitled “Adam's Gift: A Memoir of a Pastor's Calling to Defy The Church's Persecution of Lesbians and Gays”, is part of Queertober LGBTQ Awareness Month at UIS.

WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011 at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Public Affairs Center (PAC), Conference Rooms C/D, on the lower level

DETAILS: Jimmy Creech, a United Methodist pastor in North Carolina, was visited one morning in 1984 by Adam, a longtime parishioner whom he liked and respected. Adam said that he was gay, and that he was leaving The United Methodist Church, which had just pronounced that “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” could not be ordained. He would not be part of a community that excluded him. Creech found himself instinctively supporting Adam, telling him that he was sure that God loved and accepted him as he was. Adam’s Gift is Creech’s inspiring first-person account of how that conversation transformed his life and ministry.

Adam’s visit prompted Creech to re-evaluate his belief that homosexuality was a sin, and to research the scriptural basis for the church’s position. He determined that the church was mistaken, that scriptural translations and interpretations had been botched and dangerously distorted. As a Christian, Creech came to believe that discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people was morally wrong. This understanding compelled him to perform same-gender commitment ceremonies, which conflicted with church directives. Creech was tried twice by The United Methodist Church, and, after the second trial, his ordination credentials were revoked. Adam’s Gift is a moving story and an important chapter in the unfinished struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil and human rights.

The event includes a question/answer session discussion, opening remarks from Chancellor Susan Koch, book signing and catered reception. Students must attend the presentation and discussion to receive credit for this event.

This event is co-sponsored by the UIS LGBTQA Resource Office, UIS Office of Undergraduate Education, Student Government Association, and Diversity Center. For a list of other Speakers Series events, visit http://illinois.edu/goto/speakerseries. For a list of other Queertober events, visit www.uis.edu/lgbtq.

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