The Common Good
September-October 2001

Turning the Tables on Hate

by Rose Marie Berger, Susannah Hunter | September-October 2001

St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church turned the tables on hate-monger Fred Phelps in May when Phelps brought 10 of his followers to protest the ordination of Anita Hill, a lesbian pastor.

St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church turned the tables on hate-monger Fred Phelps in May when Phelps brought 10 of his followers to protest the ordination of Anita Hill, a lesbian pastor. The church invited members and supporters to make a per-minute financial pledge for as long as Phelps' traveling gay-bashing crusade was present outside the church. In response to Phelps' 45 minute stay, $6,000 was donated to support St. Paul-Reformation's gay and lesbian ministry.

"The strategy was successful beyond our expectations," said Hill. "It is a sign of God's grace that when Phelps intended to come and shame our congregation as special sinners, the result was $6,000 raised in pledge support. What a powerful thing, that such shaming intentions can bring such a grace-filled response." St. Paul-Reformation will be sending a letter to Phelps informing him of the results of fund raising and on how they intend to use the money.

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