1998 NCC News Archives

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NCC General Secretary Condemns Bomb Threat
Against UFMCC Congregation

NEW YORK, June 2, 1998 ---- The Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches (NCC), wrote a May 29 letter to the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches condemning the bombing threat to a Metropolitan Community Church congregation in Bournemouth, England.

"Our experience with the burning of Black churches in the United States has been an object lesson to us in the ways thoughts and words of hatred and bigotry are quickly transmitted into deeds of destruction," Dr. Campbell wrote. "My deepest sorrow comes from the fact that such threats and deeds are carried out in the false belief that they are motivated by Christian faith. The Gospel of our Lord without exception proclaims love of neighbor and the dignity of all persons."

The National Council of Churches (NCC) is the nation’s preeminent ecumenical organization, comprising 34 Protestant and Orthodox member communions with a combined membership of 52 million people.

The letter was sent to the Rev. Troy D. Perry, founder and moderator of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC), headquartered in West Hollywood, Calif. In a press release issued from the UFMCC, Rev. Perry said, "These threats are still another reminder of the important work we have yet to accomplish on behalf of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons. This marks the second bomb threat against UFMCC congregations in the past two months. Over the past 30 years, more than 20 of our churches have been victimized by arson or firebombing."

In April, the 3,000-member Cathedral of Hope Metropolitan Community Church in Dallas, Texas, the world’s largest predominantly gay and lesbian congregation, was the target of a bomb threat posted on the Internet. The threats are under investigation by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"We are grateful to know that investigations both in Bournemouth and in Dallas are ongoing," Dr. Campbell also wrote. "Our communities will be best served when the perpetrators are exposed and made accountable under the law."

Fundamentalist religion may have played a role in the latest bomb threat, according to the UFMCC press release. According to the Rev. Neil Thomas, senior pastor of MCC Bournemouth, a local fundamentalist church recently condemned the predominantly gay MCC church. Tensions were further heightened when three members of the fundamentalist church moved their membership to the MCC church.

UFMCC is an international Christian denomination with a predominantly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered membership numbering 42,000. UFMCC is composed of 300 congregations in 15 countries.

The full text of Dr. Campbell’s letter follows.

*  *  *  *

May 29, 1998
The Rev. Troy Perry
Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches
8704 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, California 90069

Dear Troy:

Today I have read with deep sorrow and great dismay of the bombing threat to the MCC congregation in Bournemouth, England. Our experience of recent years with the burning of Black Churches in the United States has been an object lesson to us in the ways thoughts and words of hatred and bigotry are quickly transmitted into deeds of destruction. My deepest sorrow comes from the fact that such threats and deeds are carried out in the false belief that they are motivated by Christian faith. The Gospel of our Lord without exception proclaims love of neighbor and the dignity of all persons.

On behalf of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, I greet you in the peace of Christ and want you to know that we uphold you, the MCC churches, clergy and faithful in our prayers. We are grateful to know that investigations both in Bournemouth and in Dallas are ongoing. Our communities will be best served when the perpetrators are exposed and made accountable under the law.

In these days be upheld in Christ’s sure promise to be with us always. In His name, we too make bold to assure you that we stand with and for you today and in the days ahead.

Grace and Peace,
Joan Brown Campbell
General Secretary

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