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TBC Staff

'Rainbow-Colored' Communion Bread Surfaces at Methodist Gathering

By Jim Brown

June 15, 2004

(AgapePress) - Evangelical students are outraged over displays of homosexual activism at the United Methodist Student Movement 's leadership conference.

Hundreds of Methodist college students and campus ministers gathered at UnitedMethodistChurch-affiliatedHendrixCollege in Conway, Arkansas, in late May for "Student Forum 2004." The attendees took part in Bible studies, worship services, and community outreach, and also debated various resolutions. However, students like Ross Stark of Mississippi were disturbed by the large number of pro-homosexual measures that were discussed, as well as a communion service that included multicolored bread.

Stark, who contends the bread signified approval of homosexuality, says he was offended by use of the multicolored bread as well as by the fact that the communion service was used to make a political statement.  

"It was the fact that they know very well that the rainbow has been taken as a pro-homosexual sign, and then they incorporated the different colors of bread with that," the 20-year-old student says.  

HendrixCollege chaplain Wayne Clark, who bought the bread, says there was no special significance to it. "There was no political agenda, there was no social agenda -- nothing at all was that," the chaplain says.  

Stark says he is deeply concerned about the state of his lifelong denomination. "I live in Mississippi now and always have. Inside of Mississippi it doesn't trouble me; outside it does," he says. "I'm just hoping that maybe something as blatantly obvious as this will awaken some people and then we maybe can take a step in the right direction."  

The young Methodist says he has contemplated leaving the UMC, but hopes that day will not come. The student forum was sponsored by the denomination's General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.