A Picture Review
Saturday Evening Planning Session, 6:00pm, May 30, 2008, Luckie Food Lounge
375 Luckie St., Atlanta, GA
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Steve and Jose participate in
The American Family Outing,
New Birth Missionary Baptist Church
in Lithonia, Georgia (near Atlanta),
May 30th and June 1st, 2008.
The event's highlight:
Bishop Eddi Long
speaking to The American
Family Outing in the
Hospitality Suite of the New
Birth Missionary Baptist
Church following the
morning service.
Introducing The
American Family Outing
to New Birth Missionary
Baptist Church staff
members
:  Just prior to
Bishop Eddie Long's
arrival and address to the
group, each member of
The American Family
Outing introduced
her/himself to the church
staff members.
Bill Carpenter (above photo) introduced the
mission and values of The American
Family Outing.  Each member of the AFO
group spoke briefly in turn:
  • Sylvia Rhue
  • Rev. Troy Sanders
  • Steve Parelli and Jose Ortiz (a gay
    couple from New York City)
  • Rev. Dr. Kathi E. Martin and D.
    Dionne Bates, Ph. D (a lesbian
    couple in the Atlanta area)
A happy reunion:
At the end of our
post-service
meeting, as we
were closing and
about to leave,
Rev. Troy Sander's
godmother, a
member of New
Birth Missionary
Baptist Church,
stood to her feet
and asked to speak
before the group.  
In her remarks she
stated that she
wanted to publicly
ask forgiveness for
having lost connection with Troy following his
publicly coming out as a gay man.  She
commented that her lack of communication
with him was solely based on the fact that
she did not know what to say or how to say it.
She wishes now that she knew then how to
approach him because her love for him had
never changed.
June 1st, Sunday Morning Breakfast with New Birth Missionary Baptist Church staff members
Casual Conversations over
Breakfast
:  In their church's
Hospitality Suite, New Birth
Missionary Baptist Church
hosted a tasty breakfast for The
American Family Outing.  Staff
members of the church joined
us at the breakfast tables and
visited with us.  Following the
breakfast we were directed to
seats in the sanctuary where we
were able to join in the morning
worship and hear a powerful
message delivered by Bishop
Eddie Long.
The American Family Outing,
New Birth Missionary Baptist Church
in Lithonia, Georgia (near Atlanta),
Sunday, June 1, 2008.
This is an
Other Sheep website
---Steve and Jose                  
                 participate in
----
Above Photo:  The seven American Family Outing participants, left to right, Bill Carpenter, Soulforce Director of National
Actions,
Rev. Dr. Kathi E. Martin and partner D. Dionne Bates, Ph. D., Rev. Troy Sanders, Sylvia Rhue, Director of Religious
Affairs, National Black Justice Coalition,
Steve Parelli, Executive Director of Other Sheep, and partner, Jose Ortiz, New York
City public school guidance counselor and Other Sheep co-Coordinator for Africa.
       Bill

                                                                         
Troy
                                                                                                      Sylvia
                                Kati and Dionne                                                                   Steve and Jose
Upper Right Photo: The five AFO members who
participated in the Sunday Morning Breakfast with New Birth
Missionary Baptist Church staff members,
left to right:  Jose
Ortiz and Steve Parelli, Bill Carpenter (back), Sylvia Rhue
(front), and Rev. Troy Sanders.  
(Rev. Kathi Martin and her
partner D. Dionne Bates were not able to participate in the morning
breakfast.  Rev. Martin had a prior preaching engagement in the Atlanta
area.  They participated in the 1pm meeting with Bishop Long and the
church staff (scroll up), arriving directly from her preaching
engagement.)
Left to right:  Jose and Steve, Bill (back), Sylvia (front) and Troy
The AFO members arrive
Sunday morning, around 9:30 am
Breakfast Talk between AFO members and New Birth Baptist Missionary Church staff
Photo at right (left to right):  Jose Ortiz with
his partner Steve Parelli visiting with an Elder
of the church (far right).
Photo below:  Sylvia Rhue, AFO member (at
right), visiting with William J. Turner of New
Birth Missionary Baptist Church
Above photo:  Bill Carpenter,
AFO member (at left) with New
Birth Missionary Baptist Church
staff.
Photo at right:  Rev. Roy Troy
Sanders reconnects with his
godmother, member of New Birth,
during the informal breakfast
conversation time.
[Below right two photos were taken during the
breakfast conversation time. Scroll down for
breakfast photos.]
Jose and Steve                                                      Church Elder
Bill  Carpenter
                                 
 New Birth  Church Staff
William, Church Staff                Sylvia
Troy                         Troy's Godmother
                      New Birth member
Above photo, clockwise starting at far left:  Jose Ortiz
and partner Steve Parelli, Rev. Troy Sanders, Sylvia Rhue,
Bill Carpenter, and Rev. Kathi Martin and partner D.
Dionne Bates.
Above Photo:  Downtown Atlanta where
Steve and Jose disembarked from the
METRA for the Saturday evening AFO diner
meeting.  
Photos at right: Steve and Jose
took the METRA in from beautiful Dunwoody
where their hotel accommodations were.

So where did we stay?  AFO participants
covered the cost of their housing.  Jose found
a great deal on the Internet at the Hilton
Suites in Dunwoody.
Steve and the
METRA
Jose and the METRA
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Photo at right:  Networking

Becky McDainiel
, center in photo, and pictured  with
Jose Ortiz (left) and Steve Parelli (right)
, is a member of a
straight alliance group on her Christian college
campus (Berry College) that seeks to create
awareness among college students concerning
LGBT issues.  When Becky learned through the
Internet about The American Family Outing coming
to Atlanta, she emailed Steve and Jose after
reading about their involvement with AFO and the
Other Sheep website.  Steve invited Becky to meet
them at their hotel in Dunwoody.  She eagerly
agreed.  It was a greet time getting to know each
other and sharing ideas.
Photo at left:  Bill Carpenter, Soulforce Director of
National Actions, at the Saturday evening diner
planning session.  
AFO members speak with a local reporter following their meeting with Bishop Long.
At left:  
Two fine young
men.
 At a young
age, both believed
God had placed his
hand upon them for
ministry within their
respective
denominations.  
Now they are
brought together in
a common action
that neither had
imagined:  Telling
the church it's OK
to be gay and
Christian.  
Returning home.
Photo at right: Jose and Steve
haven't eaten since 10:00am.  
They run from the church to catch
their flight home.  Jose munches
on a snack while riding the Avis
bus from the car rental to the
airport. They have just enough
time in the airport to grab a
subway as a take out. Their flight
from Atlanta takes them to a
connecting flight in Memphis, TN
(
below photos), then on to New
York City.  Travel isn't always
glamorous.   Jose gets to bed
after midnight.  The next day he's
out the door to work.
 
Memphis, TN, and
the meandering
Mississippi River.
Above photo:  Kathi and Dionne
(foreground) listen along with staff
members of New Birth Missionary
Baptist Church.

Photo at left:  Rev. Dr. Kathi Martin takes
her turn to introduce herself to the
church staff of New Birth Missionary
Baptist Church.
Center photo at right:  Bishop Eddie Long
(right in photo) recognizes Rev. Troy Sanders
(left) as someone he has either met before
or has heard of.
Bishop Long
Bishop Long
Bishop Long
Bishop Long
This is an Other Sheep website
Counter
This web page was created June 2, 2008 and published on June 2, 2008.
Visits made to this web page since May, 2008.
Above and at right:  At the entrance of New Birth
Missionary Baptist Church, a Southern Voice
reporter asks AFO members about their meeting
with Bishop Eddie Long.  The Southern Voice is
an LGBT paper.  D. Dionne Bates, above and at
right is giving her impressions of the meeting to
the reporter. June 1, 2008.
.
Steve's take on
the Bishop's
remarks to The
AFO participants,
Sunday, June 1,
2008.
 CLICK
HERE
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A PowerPoint and Written
Notes on
The Bible and
Homosexuality