SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND — In conjunction with the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists (AMCAP) meeting in Silver Spring, a fireside has been set for October 16 that will address a topic that affects all wards and branches.

David Pruden, the international executive director of Evergreen, will focus on the situation regarding the approximately three percent of Church members (the same as in the general population) who deal with same-sex attraction.

Pruden, a former bishop and a counselor who specializes in this issue, works with LDS General Authorities regarding same-sex attraction.  He says that members of our congregations are suffering — usually in silence.  Many leave the Church because they feel they cannot live up to Gospel standards.

In addition to Pruden’s remarks, the fireside will feature comments from parents of children with same-gender attraction.  They will tell how they coped with the knowledge of their children’s situation and learned to lovingly help their children. 

Also, there will be comments from faithful Church members who deal with this issue.

The fireside is open to all Church members, particularly church leaders, parents, and individuals who suffer from same-sex attraction.  It will be held Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005, at 7:00 p.m., at the

Suitland Maryland Stake Center (5300 Auth Road).

If you are not familiar with Evergreen, you can get information and read their mission statement at www.evergreeninternational.org.  The article “Advice to Church Leaders” by Jason Parks, in the family and church leaders section is especially good.