From the Worldwide Faith News archives

UFMCC Responds to Death of Matt Shepard; Offers Free Resources

Date 13 Oct 1998 20:33:49

Statement by
The Rev. Troy Perry
Moderator of the 
Universal Fellowship
of Metropolitan Community Churches


Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of Matt Shepard.  We mourn his
passing and decry the senseless act that claimed his young life.

If there is any ray of light today, it is that Matt's life and death have
served to bring us together and have reminded us in powerful ways of the
sanctity and dignity of every life.

I am pleased to report that many UFMCC congregations, both across the US and
internationally, will be joining hands with many faith communities to hold
interfaith  candlelight vigils and memorial services in honor of Matt's life
throughout this week.

As Moderator of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, I
will be traveling to Caspar, Wyoming for the funeral services of Matt Shepard
this weekend.  I will carry the love, prayers and support of our denomination
to Matt's family and friends and will honor his brave and too-short life. I
will count it a privilege to stand in solidarity and support with the
community which helped to birth his sense of activism and his deep commitment
to justice.

I call upon all people to uphold Matt's family with our love and prayers and
to take hope that Matt has truly "slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch
the face of God."


October 12, 1998

UFMCC Communications Department
8704 Santa Monica Blvd.,  2nd Floor
West Hollywood, CA  90069

Tel. (310) 360-8640
Fax: (310) 360-8680



RESOURCE AVAILABLE:  The UFMCC Headquarters Staff has has prepared liturgical
resources which may be adapted by any faith tradition or community for use in
public prayer vigils to oppose violence, or to memorialize Matt Shepard's.
These resources are available free upon request by e-mail from

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