Monday, July 27, 2009

[PR Integrity USA] - Integrity Responds to Archbishop of Canterbury's post-GC2009 Statement

The following is a Press Release from Integrity USA as posted on "Walking With Integrity" on Monday, July 27, 2009 - Original Post


The Archbishop of Canterbury issued a statement this morning entitled "Communion, Covenant and our Anglican Future" and subtitled: Reflections on the Episcopal Church's 2009 General Convention from the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Bishops, Clergy and Faithful of the Anglican Communion. In it, +Rowan Williams does what he believes he is called to do as an "Instrument of Unity" for the whole communion: He tries to keep as many as possible at the table doing the work of the gospel. Integrity does not envy him that task.

Integrity regrets the Archbishop's categorization of TEC's commitment to full inclusion of the LGBT baptized as a "rights" issue rather than a "theological" issue -- believing that it falls sadly short of recognizing all the theological reflection that has both moved and motivated this church over the years.

"We are frankly tired of being told we 'haven't done the theology,'" said Integrity President Susan Russell, "when the truth is that there are those in our wider Anglican family who do not agree with the theology we have done. But what we can do is keep doing it. We can keep reaching out. We can keep working together with our communion partners on mission and ministry all over this Worldwide Anglican Family of ours with those who will work with us. And we can stay in conversation with those who won't.

Because we recognize that those who have been waiting for the casting-out-of-TEC-into-outer-darkness are not getting what they want. And as we continue to move forward in mission and ministry with those who embrace historic Anglican comprehensiveness, we believe those "outer darkness" threats are going to ring more and more hollow until they fade away altogether.

And meanwhile, we can live into the liberated-for-mission message our General Convention sent home from Anaheim and bless those who come to us asking for the church's blessing on their already-blessed-by-God relationships and raising up into ALL orders of ministry those who God calls into vocations of deacon, priest and bishop.

Because, as the closing word's of +Rowan Williams' statement assure us:

If the present structures that have safeguarded our unity turn out to need serious rethinking in the near future, this is not the end of the Anglican way and it may bring its own opportunities. Of course it is problematic; and no-one would say that new kinds of structural differentiation are desirable in their own right.

But the different needs and priorities identified by different parts of our family, and in the long run the different emphases in what we want to say theologically about the Church itself, are bound to have consequences. We must hope that, in spite of the difficulties, this may yet be the beginning of a new era of mission and spiritual growth for all who value the Anglican name and heritage.

As American Anglicans, we've "rethought structures" before (see also: "1789" and the birth American Episcopal Church) and lived to tell about it! And -- at the end of the day -- that may in fact be the good news and great hope we have to offer our worldwide Anglican Communion family as we move forward together into God's future."

Louise Brooks, Director of Communications,, (626) 993-4605

Friday, July 24, 2009

Greetings in Christ

Several inclusive parishes have been reached out to regarding becoming a P3: Proud Partner Parish. I encourage you to review this website and look at what the local chapter of Integrity has done and is doing. Please feel free to contact IntegrityNYC at the email to the right with any questions you may have.

I hope you will prayerfully consider officially joining our cause.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"We Will Not Be Silent" Community Rally

Sunday, July 26, 2009 (2:00pm - 4:00pm)
Jackson Heights Post Office
37th Avenue and 78th Street
Jackson Heights, NY

Two transwomen were brutally attacked on the streets of Queens.

Leslie Mora was attacked on June 19th in Jackson Heights and beaten with belt buckles- suffering wounds in her scalp and legs.

Carmella Etienne is attacked on July 8th in St Albans with rocks and bottles & suffers a major gash in her leg. Attackers threatened to slash her throat.

We speak out against discrimination & violent attacks towards our transgender sisters and brothers.

We unite in building communities of tolerance & inclusion.

We work for the passage of GENDA in NY State.

We extend solidarity, care & compassion for victims of transphobic hate crimes.

For information or to co- sponsor:
Melissa Sklarz : (347) 886-7961

Brendan Fay: (718) 721-2780

Getting to the Rally
By Subway :Take the 7,E,F, G & R to 74th St

By Bus: The Q32 bus runs between Penn Station in Manhattan and Roosevelt Avenue. Buses Q19, Q19B, Q33, Q47, and Q66 also serve Jackson Heights

Co-Sponsored By:
New York Trans Rights Organization (NYTRO)
Anti-Violence Project (AVP)
Campaign to Stop the False Arrests
Civil Marriage Trail Project
Civil Rights Front
Dignity NY
Integrity NYC (iNYC)
International Socialist Organization (ISO)
Lesbian & Gay Democratic Club of Queens (LGDCQ)
Make the Road NY
Metropolitan Community Church NY (MCCNY)
Out Astoria
Proud Righteous Youth Demanding Equality (PRYDE)
Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee (QLGPC)
Queens Pride House
Queens County Young Democrats
St Pats For All
Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC (SDNYC)


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Integrity Celebrates Virtual Clean Sweep on GC2009 Legislative Agenda By Susan Russell, President of Integrity USA

The following is a message from Susan Russell, President of IntegrityUSA as posted on "Walking With Integrity" on Saturday, July 18, 2009 - Original Post

Integrity Celebrates Virtual Clean Sweep on GC2009 Legislative Agenda
By Susan Russell, President of IntegrityUSA

I’m going to write more about “General Convention in General,” but here’s a legislative wrap up (coming later in the day than I’d meant it to but I’ve decided to give up waiting for the official GC2009 resolution web pages to come back up online – will just add the links to the citations later.)

Heading to Anaheim, Integrity had two primary “agenda items:”
* Move the Episcopal Church beyond B033 and reopen ordination processes to all the baptized;
* Move the Episcopal Church forward on the blessing of same sex marriages and unions.

We saw those goals realized in the adoption of the following resolutions:
* D025 – Supports inclusive ordination processes for ALL orders of ministry
* C056 – Authorizes “generous pastoral support” for blessing marriages, unions & partnerships and collection of liturgical resources for consideration at GC2012

As noteworthy as the content of the resolutions is the context. These resolutions passed not by narrow margins after rancorous debate. They passed by overwhelming consensus after respectful dialogue that left no doubt that those who gathered in Anaheim are committed to an inclusive Anglicanism that keeps at the table all who desire so to do.

D025 -- Ordination
It can – and has – been said that D025 does not “repeal” B033 – and that is, of course, true. There will still be bishops with jurisdiction and standing committees who will choose to “exercise restraint” when consenting the election of a bishop whose “manner of life” would cause concern to the wider Anglican Communion. (And we all know that is code for “partnered gay or lesbian bishop.”) Nevertheless, the inclusive and expansive language of D025 states “this is where we are in 2009” – and frees bishops and standing committees to focus on the theological orientation rather than the sexual orientation of qualified candidates to the episcopate.

Furthermore, by stating unequivocally that “God has called and may call any individual in the church to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church, in accordance with the discernment process set forth in the Constitution and Canons of the church” – D025 actually states for the first time as an official resolution of the Episcopal Church that the extra-canonical requirement of celibacy of gay and lesbian candidates for ordination is not the mind of this church.

From the letter by the Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Deputies to the Archbishop of Canterbury:

Nothing in the Resolution goes beyond what has already been provided under our Constitution and Canons for many years. In reading the resolution, you will note its key
points, that:
* Our Church is deeply and genuinely committed to our relationships in the Anglican Communion;
* We recognize the contributions gay and lesbian Christians, members of our Church both lay and ordained, have made and continue to make to our common life and ministry;
* Our Church can and does bear witness to the fact that many of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters live in faithful, monogamous, lifelong and life-giving committed relationships;
* While ordination is not a “right” guaranteed to any individual, access to our Church’s discernment and ordination process is open to all baptized members according to our Constitution and Canons; and
* Members of The Episcopal Church do, in fact, disagree faithfully and conscientiously about issues of human sexuality.

C056 -- Blessings
What the Episcopal Church adopted in Resolution C056 is a broad local option for the blessings of the marriages, unions and partnerships of same sex couples and a call to the church to work together toward common liturgical expressions of those blessings.

The Rev. Sam Candler (Atlanta), chair of the committee that presented the resolution, called it "an elegant blend of theological care, ecclesiastical breadth and pastoral generosity."

The Rev. Dan Martins (Northern Indiana) had this to say about C056: “If there was ambiguity surrounding D025--and I have contended that there is -- there is none here. This convention has abrogated every positive gesture it has made toward the Anglican Communion since 2003. Everything we did three years ago in response to the Windsor Report is down the drain.”

In other historic action, the General Convention adopted resolutions supporting the enactment of anti-discrimination and hate crimes legislation protecting transgender people at local, state and federal levels. Both houses also adopted resolutions adding "gender identity and expression" to its nondiscrimination policy for hiring lay employees and calling for the revision of church paper and electronic forms to allow a wider range of gender identifications. In review:

C056 – Authorizes “generous pastoral support” for blessing marriages, unions & partnerships and collection of liturgical resources for consideration at GC2012
C048 – Urges support of fully inclusive ENDA legislation pending in Washington
D012 -- Support for Transgender Civil Rights
D025 – Supports inclusive ordination processes for ALL orders of ministry
D032 -- Non-discrimination clause including gender identity and gender expression for lay employees
D076 -- Support for immigration equality for gay couples
D090 -- Church paper work to be made more accessible to flexibility in gender identity and pronoun preference
C023 – Urging support for repeal of DOMA (“Defense of Marriage Act”) passed in Deputies and was referred by Bishops to Executive Council – where we expect affirmative action will be taken to take the voice of the Episcopal Church to Washington on this important issue.

Finally, Integrity applauds the amazing work of ALL our allies in advancing resolutions on a broad range of critical gospel issues. Unlike our last two General Conventions, where the resolutions regarding human sexuality so consumed our legislative process that there was precious little left for anything else, this 76th General Convention worked long, hard and diligently to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God” – acting on everything from lay equity in pension plans to ending torture; on labor issues and human rights violations; on universal health care and climate change; on human trafficking and ending the blockade in Cuba.

One of the most moving moments for me came on the last day of legislation when Frank Wade reminded us that our actions in the House of Deputies were -- in their own way --offerings being laid at the altar of our God who calls us to this work of justice, compassion and love. The reminder that “liturgical” and “political” are words that share a root – and that both the work of the people – was a holy container for this holy work we have been about for the last ten days in Anaheim.

There are miles to go before we rest – before the kingdom come on earth IS as it is in heaven. But BIG steps forward were taken by The Episcopal Church at this General Convention. And for that, we rejoice and are glad!