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Today, the non-silent protest

September, 2017

The Rev. Will Green, a visitor from Massachusetts, helps lead a protest calling for greater inclusiveness in the United Methodist Church on May 2 on the floor of the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.

A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.

The Rev. Will Green, a visitor from Massachusetts, helps lead a protest calling for greater inclusiveness in the United Methodist Church on May 2 on the floor of the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla.

 

by Neill Caldwell
May 2, 2012

At the close of the Wednesday afternoon session, a large group of about 100 protesters entered inside the bar of the General Conference protesting current United Methodist Church policies limiting full LGBT participation in church life.

The differences in Wednesday’s protest and the Tuesday afternoon demonstration were: protesters entered among the delegated on the floor of the conference hall and marched to the middle altar; protesters were singing “Wade in the Water” instead of being silent; and this was a much larger group.

The group entered as Bishop Warner Brown was wrapping up the session with a prayer. While many delegates headed for the exits and their dinner break, many others stayed to watch, some holding up their cell phones and tablets recording the event.

When the group reached the center of the hall, they began a call and response litany reminiscent of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. “We are here and we will remain in this church,” demonstrators chanted, “until we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of ALL OF US!”