Monday, October 10, 2011

Christian Wheaton College 'Gay Alumni' Homecoming

A recently formed homosexualist club of alumni of the Illinois college often referred to as "the Harvard for Evangelicals" showed up in force on homecoming weekend encouraging students to proudly declare their homosexuality.

“If you identify as GLBT and Christian, you do not have to choose,” said Ruth Wardschenk, an ’89 alumna who brought her daughter and partner to the event and sat on the panel. “You can have a partner or a spouse, you can have a family, you can have a church community.”

For background, read Homosexual Alumni Want Wheaton College to Change

UPDATE 7/1/13: Wheaton College Steers Back onto The Straight and Narrow Path

-- From "Wheaton College alumni: You can be gay and Christian" by Michelle Manchir, Chicago Tribune TribLocal 10/10/11

Hundreds of gay and lesbian Wheaton College alumni, students, staff, and supporters gathered at [St. Mark’s Episcopal] Glen Ellyn church on Friday night to kick off Homecoming weekend.

The gathering could be the first of many for the group, formed in early April to support current Wheaton students struggling with questions about their sexual orientation and as a networking resource for alums.

Kendall Park, a current Wheaton College student, said she attended the discussion because she has many gay friends and equality issues are “near and dear to my heart.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Wheaton's (Unofficial) Homecoming for Gay Evangelicals" by Elizabeth Dias, Time Magazine 10/7/11

. . . José Vilanova graduated from Wheaton College in 1989 . . .

Like most Evangelical colleges, Wheaton maintains that homosexuality is not God's design for humanity. That's why Vilanova felt like he couldn't come out at the suburban-Chicago college.

Fast-forward 22 years and Vilanova is not only returning to campus — he's organizing a group outing. Literally. On Oct. 7, he and his partner of four years will meet up with 50 or so lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) alumni, along with their spouses, partners and children, for Wheaton's annual homecoming weekend. And during the group's inaugural gathering, its members won't be looking to blend in with the crowd. At the football game against Elmhurst College on Oct. 8, Wheaton's LGBT alums and their supporters will be wearing matching T-shirts emblazoned with the group's name, OneWheaton, and a rainbow.

OneWheaton's highly visible presence on campus puts the college in a difficult position. On the one hand, Wheaton students can still get kicked out for being openly and unrepentantly gay — administrators declined to tell TIME how many students had been asked to leave because of their sexual orientation — and reparative counseling is a common option before dismissal.

[Wheaton College President Philip] Ryken says he will not attend either of these OneWheaton events, he does plan to mingle with its members at the football game. Some student groups have already reached out to OneWheaton members.

. . . A handful of current faculty members and administrators have privately expressed a more affirming view of homosexuality, but declined to be named in this article since their beliefs would put their jobs on the line.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gay and Lesbian Graduates to Make a Statement During Wheaton College's Alumni Event?" by Herbert Pinnock, Christian Post Contributor 10/7/11

The challenge for the Illinois Christian college is to be able to embrace all members of its alumni community while at the same time hold firm to its historical teachings on sexual morality.

In an email addressed to his Chicago campus community, Wheaton President Phillp Ryken said:

“Members of any family have areas of agreement and disagreement. This is true of Wheaton College’s relationship to OneWheaton, a group comprised of alumni but not affiliated with the College. As I have shared in an earlier campus communication, the College agrees with OneWheaton’s stated desire to ‘affirm the full humanity and dignity of every human being, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.’”

Ryken Continued:

“We also remain committed to the Bible’s teaching on sexual morality, which has anchored the church throughout its history and is described in our Community Covenant.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Homosexuality NOT Fixed, Change Possible (a study by Wheaton College Provost Stanton Jones)