Friday, April 24, 2015

Nominations for Integrity Board and Provincial Coordinators

It is time for us to start the process of electing the Board of Directors and the Provincial Coordinators to lead Integrity into the new 2015-2018 triennium. This leadership team will have the joy of building on the successes of General Convention as well as leading Integrity in its future outreach.

We have named a Nominations Committee whose task is to gather nominations from the membership for the Board (President, National Vice-President, Vice President for Local Affairs, Treasurer, Secretary, and Chair of the Stakeholder’s Council) and for Provincial Coordinators for each of the eight domestic Provinces.

The members of the Nominations Committee are:
Dante TavolaroProvince 1
Rev. Kerlin RichterProvince 2
Rev. Scott AllenProvince 3
Nancy MottProvince 4
David FleerProvince 5
Bill OliverProvince 6
S Wayne MathisProvince 7
Shireen MilesProvince 8

If you think that God might be calling you to run for one of these elected positions, please take a look at the task outlines (see below for excerpts from the bylaws) and then send an email to nominate@integrityusa.org with the following information:
  • Name, Address, Phone, Email
  • The position you want to run for.
  • 2-3 paragraphs about yourself
    • your diocese and your experience with Integrity
    • the skills/experience you will bring to this position
    • why you think God may be calling you to this position
We need to receive your nomination by Friday May 15, 2015. The only requirement to run is that you are a member of Integrity. So please make sure your membership is up to date!

You are welcome to contact Matt Haines (matt@integrityusa.org) or other current Board members if you want to know more about what’s involved, or contact Marie Alford-Harkey (Marie@integrityusa.org) Vice-President for Local Affairs, to talk about the role of the Provincial Coordinators.

Once nominations are closed, current members will be sent a ballot by US Mail.  All ballots will need to be returned by June 15, 2015.  Results will be announced on the last day of General Convention.

Please join us in praying that God will raise up leaders among us who can joyfully take on the responsibilities of this organization so that we may further God's kingdom together!


Chapter 2. Board of Directors
   Article 2. Responsibilities
      Section 1. General
The Board shall be responsible for the programs, development, and
administration of Integrity in accordance with the organization's goals and
purposes and its Articles of Incorporation. Except as otherwise provided,
policies not set forth in these bylaws shall be made by a majority vote of the
Board at any regular or special meeting of the Board.

      Section 2. Financial
The Board shall annually adopt a national budget which shall be published to
the membership and shall cause a "review" if not an "audit" of the financial
records to be performed according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
by a Certified Public Accountant biennially.

   Article 5. Duties of Officers

      Section 1. President
         A. If and when there is no Executive Director, the President shall be the
principal spokesperson for the organization and shall be the chief
representative of Integrity to the Episcopal Church and the Anglican
Communion, and other organizations domestic and foreign.

         B. The President shall chair meetings of the Board.

         C. The President shall have charge of, and may with the concurrence of the
Board, appoint committees and individuals to assist in carrying out the
programs and obligations of the organization; shall be a member ex-officio
of all committees and task forces; and shall make regular reports to the
membership of Integrity.

      Section 2. Secretary
         A. The Secretary shall record and maintain the minutes of meetings of the
Board; shall conduct the legal correspondence of the organization; and shall
be the custodian of the official business records of Integrity.

         B. The Secretary or his/her designee shall maintain Chapter status records for
purposes of certification and shall confirm in-formation status and authorize
the use of the name "Integrity" by Chapters-in-formation.

         C. The Secretary shall also function as Director of Communications.

      Section 3. Treasurer

         A. The Treasurer shall be bonded and shall be responsible for the receipt and
disbursement of all funds of Integrity, and for the maintenance of accurate
financial records with a regular accounting to the Board and an annual
accounting to the membership, shall prepare and file such fiscal reports as
may be required by governmental entities, shall prepare an annual budget
for approval by the Board, and shall, with the concurrence of the Board,
arrange for a "review" or an "audit" of the books as specified in Article 7. Section 2.

         B. The Treasurer or her/his designee shall maintain the current membership
rolls and bill members for the annual dues.

      Section 4. Vice-Presidents

         A. The Vice President for National Affairs, in concert with the Executive
Director (if there be one) and the President, shall be responsible for
planning, implementing, and evaluating Integrity's programming,
development, and administrative work at the national level.

         B. The Vice President for Local Affairs, in concert with the Executive Director
(if there be one) and the President, shall be responsible for planning,
implementing, and evaluating Integrity's programming, development, and
administrative work at the provincial, diocesan, and congregational levels.
This officer shall act as mentor to the Provincial Coordinators and serve as
the primary liaison between them and the Board.

CHAPTER 3. STAKEHOLDERS’ COUNCIL

   Article 1. Composition

      Section 1. Members

There shall be a Stakeholders’ Council (hereinafter "Council"), which shall
consist of the following:
• MEMBERS WITH SEAT, VOICE, AND VOTE: Chapter Conveners, Diocesan
Network Coordinators, Congregational Circle Moderators, Partner
Representatives, and Lifetime Members
• MEMBERS WITH SEAT AND VOICE: Provincial Coordinators, Past
Presidents, members of the Board, representatives of organizations
designated by the Board as “allied organizations,” and the Executive
Director—if there be one.

      Section 2. Officers
There shall be a Chair and a Vice Chair of the Council, elected by the members
of the Council as provided in these bylaws.

   Article 2. Responsibilities

The Council shall offer advice and counsel to the Board concerning the mission
and ministry of Integrity, the organization’s programs, resource development,
leadership development, organizational alliances and collaborations, and on
any other matters which the Board may, from time to time, bring to the
Council for its consideration.

   Article 3. Meetings

The Council shall meet at least once each calendar year at a time and place
established by the Board.

   Article 4. Resolutions
Resolutions shall require a vote of the majority of those present for adoption.


The full bylaws can be found at IntegrityUSA's website.





Integrity USA's mission is to inspire and equip the Episcopal Church, its dioceses, congregations, and members to proclaim and embody God’s all-inclusive love for LGBTQ persons and those who love them.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Bringing Easter to People Stuck in Holy Week


Beloved of Christ:

Today is Good Friday, the day we remember the selfless death of Jesus on the cross.  It is stark and tragic, yet we know how the story ends.  It ends with resurrection! 

The cross makes no sense without the hope of resurrection.  Yet many people in our LGBTQ community still long for that hope.   They are stuck in a Holy Week sort of life.  They get little joy from the jubilation of Palm Sunday, because they see it as fleeting emotion disconnected from their own feelings of societal rejection.  They understand too well the oppression of religious authorities and the cynicism of government leaders who wash their hands of the notion of equality or justice.  These brothers and sisters feel the derision of the mobs and endure the torture of violence.  Their loved ones watch helplessly—or sometimes join in on it.  So called people of faith have too often betrayed them with a kiss.  Too many of our people have been killed because of who they are; some have actually died at the hand of the state.  They live Holy Week.

Many of us have lived there too, yet we have seen glimpses of hope.  Some of us have seen resurrection in our own lives!  As LGBTQ Christians we are a witness to the savior’s promise of new and eternal life.  We see that life in churches that open their doors and hearts to our families.  We see that life in the way people grow together in relationship based on mutual love and respect.  We see new life as people live honestly and dare to explore their authentic identities fully.  We find hope in the teen who dares to trust that God loves them just the way they are.

We are people of the empty tomb.  There is nothing to see here!  Our Jesus is alive and calls us to live life abundantly.    Let’s remember to always lead lives of contagious hope and to continue to work toward building a church able to model resurrection.

The Passion of Christ lasted a week; the Compassion of Christ lasts forever.

Have a blessed and holy Easter!
 

Matt Haines,
President

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Statement from Integrity on Recent Legislation in Indiana

As Integrity's Coordinator for Province V, which encompasses 14 dioceses of the Episcopal Church in six Midwest states, I wish to express my deep sadness over the passage of legislation in Indiana that legitimizes discrimination against LGBTQ persons.

This law arose after the Supreme Court, on October 6, 2014, declined to hear an appeal of the Seventh Circuit Court's decision to end the ban on same-sex marriage in Indiana and four other states.

There are three reasons for my sorrow. Firstly, it is disgraceful to see elected officials enacting laws that provide legal cover to the behavior of individuals whose education or upbringing blind them to the equality of all persons as established by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution.

Secondly, I am distressed by these legislators' justification: that this law in some way "restores" religious "freedoms" that have somehow been lost. Supporters of this law are very careful not to articulate these "freedoms," for obvious reasons: they are the acts that express a moral or genetic superiority over an oppressed minority. Over the years many other groups have been discriminated against, denied equal treatment in housing, service, employment and law enforcement, and made to feel unwelcome in this country by others who are taught to feel somehow superior. As with the first point, this "freedom" to be bigoted is frankly un-American.

Finally, to claim a "right" to discriminate against others on religious grounds offends me. The supporters of this law claim, as I do, to be followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus disturbed the religious leadership of his time by prioritizing concern for people over regulations and traditions. His only command to us was "to love others as I have loved you". As Christians, we are called to reflect the compassion and mercy toward others that He showed us during His life on earth. The legislation that passed in Indiana serves a different god.

We hope that in the coming weeks and months, this odious law will be repealed or declared unconstitutional. In this regard, we encourage your action to "do Justice". Write your legislators. Recognize and celebrate diversity among our citizenry. As Scripture says, again and again, "Be not afraid".


David Fleer, Integrity Coordinator
Episcopal Province V

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Integrity USA Reduces Workforce

Integrity USA today announced that it will reduce its workforce as part of a plan to align the organization's resources with its missions and goals. This action will be noted by the departure of Integrity’s full-time employees, Executive Director Vivian Taylor and Development Director Sam Peterson.

"I would like to sincerely thank all of our departing employees and recognize their important and valued contributions to Integrity," said Matt Haines, President of the Board of Directors for Integrity. "While this decision by the Board of Directors was extremely difficult, aligning and managing our limited resources is a critically important priority in our efforts to remain faithful stewards of Integrity."

Several challenges face Integrity in the next few months. Despite some sentiments in the Episcopal Church that the battle over marriage equality is done, Integrity recognizes that much of its work remains and that the mission remains as important as ever. The Board continues its support of the faithful resolutions proposed by the Task Force on the Study of Marriage, which was created in 2012. The upcoming General Convention in Salt Lake City this June 23-July 3 will require resources for legislative and communication support, as well planning and offering a Church-wide Eucharist.

Moreover, much of the discrimination against LGBT people has shifted. Integrity is committed to encouraging the Episcopal Church to stand up against so called “religious freedom” legislation, discrimination against transgender people, the continuing disproportionate number of LGBT youth who are impoverished or driven to suicide, and the dismaying lack of support offered to LGBT women and people of color.

“We thank Vivian and Sam for their contributions and commitment,” said Haines. “We hope that we can find ways of increasing our resources to meet the needs of the Church. Until that time, we are fully committed to seeing that the efforts and contributions of our members and allies are carefully directed in a faithfully sound and responsible fashion without losing sight of our holy mission.”

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Unfailing Love of Pauli Murray -- a Saint for Us Now

My introduction to Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray was from a search on the internet for material for Integrity’s Friday Flash, our weekly newsletter. My first thought was: why are we not talking about this Episcopal hero all the time!? Here was an exemplary being, a freedom-fighter, a woman of mixed race and elastic gender who, in the most difficult days of the 20th century became a the first African American to receive her J.S.D. from Yale, was a civil rights activist, and at age 66 became the first African-American woman ordained the Episcopal Church. Of course, some of us were talking about Pauli— both the Union of Black Episcopalians and Episcopal Women’s Caucus are champions of her memory. A vote at the 2012 General Convention of the Episcopal Church named her to Holy Women, Holy Men - an Episcopal saint.

Here is an excerpt from a sermon titled "The Dilemma of the Minority Christian" from Anthony B. Pinn’s collection Pauli Murray: Selected Sermons and Writings

Put in its simplest terms, salvation is feeling safe, living without fear, living with the serenity in confidence that we are the objects of God's unfailing love, and that we will always be safe whatever happens, in life or in death, if we have a complete and childlike trust in God's love and tender mercy.
This is a great leap of faith, which does not come easy, which deserts us continually, and which we achieve only by the greatest pain and effort — every day a trial, every breath a prayer. Salvation does not mean that we will avoid suffering, shame, humiliation, or defeat. It does mean that we are not alone — God's love, which was poured out for us in Jesus Christ, is always  with us, to strengthen and save us in every situation, if we have trust in his love.

“Feeling safe, living without fear…in confidence that we are the objects of God’s unfailing love…” What a radical proposition! Particularly from a woman of mixed race, slippery gender, and a sexuality that could not be shared by any person of ambition, much less a woman of color then.

Now here we are, in 2015, working towards a more earthly safety for LGBTQ people, for whom the intersections that Murray embodied still can mean not just discrimination, but violence and even murder. Yet we find strength in this world of suffering, because we know the truth of Murray’s words, that Jesus Christ is always with us and we are indeed the objects of God's unfailing love!

Integrity Board President Matt Haines, Executive Director Vivian Taylor, and I met with Barbara Lau, the Executive Director of the Pauli Murray Project in Durham, NC, where Murray grew up.

Lau clearly sees her own role as the means by which young leaders can step into their own. When she talks about Pauli Murray, you get a sense that Murray -- or "Pauli" as Lau calls her -- is in the room with you encouraging your relationship and ideas. We all felt Murray’s presence at our meeting, even there in a sandwich shop in downtown Denver. There, we agreed that we would do all we could to share Murray’s grace with our membership and to bring attention to our own multifaceted identities. Pauli Murray can serve as a starting place for community connection.

Over the next months, leading up to General Convention, we’ll talk more about our vision for collaboration with the Pauli Murray Project. We hope you’ll have the same experience of Murray that we have come to have on many occasions. And we pray that our vision encompasses the kind of work Murray herself would have us do, to foster divinity through human connection, by creating enriching society, and by sharing the Holy Spirit through graceful service.


Sam Peterson, Development Director Integrity USA

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Farewell to the Rev. Canon Malcolm Boyd (1923-2015)


Malcolm Boyd, 1969
episcopalarchives.org
Integrity USA mourns the loss of the Reverend Canon Malcolm Boyd (1923-2015).  Canon Boyd, author of several spiritual books, shared his interactive relationship with God with millions of people. It could be said that his down to Earth poetic voice enables a generation a way to understand their journey with God.  In fact, his voice has enabled several generations a way to communicate the grace of God. 
Malcolm Boyd was already beloved as a symbol of faithful seeking when he became one of the first Episcopal priests to come out of the closet.  His risk was our gain.  Malcolm Boyd showed LGBTQ Christians that honesty of life within the church can bring blessing and growth.  He never ceased to share his special gifts with us; a true exemplar of Christ.

We mourn especially with his spouse Mark Thompson, his family and especially his diocesan family at this time.  As a Canon and writer-in- residence for the Diocese of Los Angeles, his reassuring presence will surely be missed.  The world has been blessed for 91 years with the talented, loving voice and presence of Canon Boyd.  The Church has been blessed by 60 years of priesthood. 
The title of Malcolm Boyd’s groundbreaking book, “My Book of Prayers—Are you running with me, Jesus?", posed an important rhetorical question.  We have faith that Malcolm Boyd has found out the answer and is running with Jesus even as we mourn.  Rise in Glory, Malcolm! 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Integrity Works with Michigan to Expose "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" Bill Bigotry


The following is from a letter sent to our Michigan congregations. It speaks to the overwhelming tide of similar bills making their way into state legislation. We urge you to prepare a letter-writing campaign, a sermon, or an action if your state is similarly challenged. We can help. Contact our office at info@integrityusa.org. 

Dear Friends,

We recently read about baby Bay, a 6 day old child denied a doctor’s medical treatment—because Bay’s mothers were lesbians. Despite the Hippocratic Oath, and the American Medical Association’s injunction to treat all patients regardless of sexual orientation, baby Bay’s doctor could refuse treatment under something called the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA). An epidemic of refusals to treat, serve or do any business with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender based on people’s religion is happening in Michigan and in 21 states around the country. This legislation is a direct attack on our friends, families, loved ones, and children.

The Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act is back, this time in the state senate. In Michigan, there are at present no legal protections for LGBTQ people, while religious freedom is constitutionally protected by the First Amendment. We love and respect religious freedom, and we’re grateful for the First Amendment--but true religious freedom accommodates our differences with mutual respect—it does not privilege certain people overs others. RFRA legislation is simply another form of discrimination.

Jesus was clear that the summary of the law was to love God, and to love your neighbor as yourself! If you and your ministry would like talking points and a guide to action, to plan writing a letter campaign after service, Integrity offers these resources to you and your congregation. We intend to send an Integrity representative to our congregations in Michigan very soon and lend support to our communities there. If you are able to make a donation towards this work we would be grateful: we are member, not Church, supported.

We look forward to standing together with you, kneeling together with you, and bringing our faith into everything we do!

Blessings,

Vivian

Vivian Taylor, Executive Director

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Rev. Carolyn Woodall assumes the Chair of the Stakeholders' Council

At its February 24th meeting, the Integrity USA Board of Directors welcomed The Rev. Carolyn Woodall as Chair of the Stakeholders' Council, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of Christian Paolino this past January. Carolyn was the Vice-Chair and, as stipulated by the bylaws, assumes the position of Chair until the end of the term.

Carolyn Woodall resides in Copperopolis, California with her oldest child, and four cats. An attorney since 1987, she recently retired from her position as a Deputy Public Defender in Sonora, CA. She currently maintains a small criminal defense practice in Sonora. Carolyn also retired from the Naval Reserve in 1997, having attained the rank of Commander.

She was ordained a Deacon on March 10, 2012, and is the first, and so far only, transgender person to be ordained in the Diocese of San Joaquin. She is currently serving at St. James in Sonora, where she runs a ministry providing provisioned backpacks to the homeless. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the School for Deacons in Berkeley; and a member of the Board of Directors of Sierra HOPE, which provides assistance to people with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illness.

Carolyn believes that acceptance regarding LGBT issues begins with education, and has given numerous presentations on transgender issues to church groups, government agencies, charitable organizations, and even a local news station. She told her story in Voices of Witness: Out of the Box, produced by Louise Brooks for Integrity USA.

The Board of Directors would like to thank the tireless work of Christian and all his work with Integrity, both at the national level as well as locally. President Matt Haines says, "Christian has served us with true faithfulness and dedication in his role as Stakeholder's Chairperson.  He has been an authentic and prophetic voice of witness to our community and the Church.  We are grateful for his gifts, friendship, and his constant service to us all."

Please join us in congratulating and thanking Carolyn for agreeing to assume this responsibility.  You may reach her at CarolynW@integrityusa.org.



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Oh Lord, Make Me New: Reflections on Creating Change

When I first became employed by Integrity, I made a series of phone calls to our members to situate myself in the work and introduce myself. As a long-time gay rights>LGB>LGBTQIA equality activist (since the 70’s, where I lived in Dupont Circle in D.C. and worked at Lambda Rising) I have witnessed decades of contention over where our work should focus, and I wanted to feel out where folks saw us now. Unsurprisingly, I kept hearing, “what will we do, now that marriage is finished?” and “we’re exhausted; our members have all retired to rest and recover.”

Burnout is a very real phenomenon. Exhaustion is a by-product of having too-few resources and fighting not just singular “bad” politicians, but entire institutions built to bolster this very inequity.  It relies on our exhaustion, and it depends on some of us being very comfortable, too comfortable in fact to always see how others suffer.

This is the downside of so-called marriage equality. We have exhausted ourselves doing laudable, important work—absolutely—but we find ourselves in some ways no closer to equality than we were before the “true blessing.”  Hate crimes are still happening; women still earn less; people of color experience these disparities of violence and economy in ways that cannot fail to shock those of us paying attention.

Thank God we have a relationship with Christ! We need him now more than ever!

During the beginning of this month I traveled to Creating Change in Denver to participate in the Transgender Leadership Exchange under the aegis of the LGBTQ Task Force. I spent a day in a Faith workshop, with other activists, church leaders, rabbis, shaman, druids, and priests. We are nothing if not spiritually eclectic! The focus of the workshop was “how do we care for ourselves so we can care for our community?”  Fatigue was a spectral participant. But we were present enough to critique the rhetoric of “anti-oppression.” I think we all intuitively understood it was the “anti” that was sapping our ranks.

Surrendering to God’s mercy means giving up the fight. What I resist persists. In earth-bound strategies for policy change both in our Church and without it can feel like only some of us “do the work” while others appear complacent. The wounds we've borne and the trauma we've experienced—living as lesser citizens, and under the constant thrum of violence—carries into our work and we feel attacked, beaten up. Often by our own. Surrendering seems counter-intuitive; haven’t we gotten this far by forceful demands to be recognized as equals?

In this regard, fighting for equality in our church has been devastating. It took a lot of human will and energy against a deep-seated culture of “we've always done it this way.” We come to the work already tired, we come to our church to be revitalized but we find no peace there either.  And the work is not done.

At the leadership summit I experienced a lot of hostility towards marriage equality. “It’s not equality when only some of us can afford to do it!” a young white transwoman said. “It’s not equality when Latina transwomen have a one-in-eight chance of being murdered,” snapped another.  I was in a room with twenty, mostly youthful (to me, under 35!) activists. They were bitterly angry and hurt by a movement they saw as working only for white equality, only for rights for the wealthy. They were there to hold our movement accountable, to say “we who are dying no longer accept your taking money and energy from us to do work that is not for us.”

I could hear that. As a white, 54 year old transmasculine person, I can finally relax. I mostly pass nowadays, and it’s extraordinarily liberating to not feel the heat of stares and stings of remarks, not to mention violence. But as a woman, I experienced the abuse, the ridiculous salaries, the generous hostility; I have been violently harassed, assaulted, and raped. As a lesbian, I've been chased by cars, followed by strangers, denied jobs, and even housing. In this I feel a kinship with my trans*sisters. But what about my own exhaustion? I’m weary! Some days I just don’t have anything to give. I’m hurt, I’m angry, I’m sick, and I’m tired. I have fibromyalgia, arthritis, headaches, depression. How can I show up for justice when even in our own community there seems to be none?

This is where my practice must begin. On my knees. I cannot, we cannot, fight oppression without exhausting ourselves. In my earnest desire for freedom, I forget sometimes that I am already free. I am a being without limit, without end, because I am a child of God. I have a relationship with the only One, the only thing with meaning, the only place of real love. If I am to attend to the earthly work I am so compelled by, this work of LGBTQ justice, I must gently remind myself where true power lies. There, there is nothing to fight. I can stand my ground, rally my congregation, lobby my bishop, but when I forget what’s real and what’s meaningful, this work will become very tiring indeed. I begin to resent others who “work less.” I begin to believe that the work depends on me to get done. I forget there is a deeper agenda, an inspirited agenda, working through me and for me. And I forget that you are my ally, that we’re in this together, and I begin to recreate you as my enemy.

So as I learned at Creating Change, if you are tired, rest Sister. Rest Brother. Some of us will carry others now. Our weariness needs attention and our spirits need loving kindness. And still, I cannot mistake the freedom of some as the freedom of all, nor mistake my exhaustion for mine alone. Let us rejoice that we know the truth, and that we are on a mission to carry this truth everywhere: that God loves us all, that we are all equally endowed with grace and love! I am learning, a day at a time, not only to give my hurt and my weariness over to Christ, but to offer yours too. Only then can I be open to hear that there is more work, and that I can participate in ways that stretch but don’t break me, because I have found the source of illimitable strength.

“Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

Oh Lord, make me new. Amen.


Sam Peterson is the Development Director at Integrity USA


Friday, February 13, 2015

Reimagine the Episcopal Church, with Marriage Equality

In 1976 the Episcopal Church adopted a resolution promising "full and equal claim" to the LGBT faithful. Nearly 40 years later, we are still working to make that resolution a reality.  This summer at our 78th General Convention we will consider resolutions calling for an end to discrimination against the marriage of same-sex couples in the Episcopal Church. In that process, the Episcopal Church has the chance to proclaim the Good News of God's inclusive love and embody a theology of marriage that transcends the gender of the couple promising to love, honor and cherish each other until death do they part.

We have the opportunity to lift up "fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God" as the values that make a marriage holy. We have the chance to talk about marriage as vocation of holy love, grounded in biblical values of faithfulness and forgiveness. And we have the opportunity to say we are a community of faith focused on supporting all who are called into the vocation of marriage - not discriminating against some who are called into the vocation of marriage.

We believe that the time is now to Reimagine the Episcopal Church -- with Marriage Equality. Join us!

Visit the Facebook page that will contain the latest news and resources supporting the full inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments: https://www.facebook.com/MarriageEquality4TEC


Rev. Susan Russell
Senior Associate, Communications, All Saints Pasadena
Past President Integrity USA