Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why Integrity/NYC-Metro? Why Now?

In its original incarnation, Integrity/NY served as a support and refuge for gay and lesbian Episcopalians who had very few welcoming parishes to choose from.

Today, we are blessed in the dioceses of Long Island, New York and Newark with a wide variety of parishes who have integrated LGBT people as members, leaders, and clergy.

You might well ask, “Why is Integrity/NYC-Metro needed?”

Our LGBT brothers and sisters need our support. There are many Episcopalian and Anglican LGBT people who are not as blessed as we are. This past fall, Integrity/NYC-Metro helped raise $6500 to support Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, a Ugandan supporter of LGBT rights who has been stripped of all his income and threatened with death, because he believes in our equality before God. There are U.S. dioceses in which no openly LGBT person can present themselves for vocational discernment, solely by virtue of their orientation or identity. We need to continue to stand with those in need.

There are LGBT Christians who are seeking welcoming churches. Many LGBT people who were raised in hostile churches or denominations still love Jesus Christ and want to follow him as Lord, even though they feel shunned or alienated by “organized religion.” Integrity/NYC-Metro wants to reach out to these Christians and offer them the same gift we have found for ourselves—membership in welcoming, truly integrated faith communities. Parents of LGBT people have also found themselves choosing their love for their children over the condemnation of their churches, and they too seek church homes. We are actively working to identify parishes who want to be part of this Integrity/NYC-Metro movement.

We need to be as out as Christians as we are as LGBT people. Many progressive people scoff at Christianity as a close-minded, ignorant refuge for the hate-addicted and self-righteous. We need to fight that stereotype by coming out as Christian and LGBT wherever and whenever the opportunity presents itself. Integrity/NYC-Metro is a supportive group for coming out as Christian!

Please join Integrity today. A portion of every member’s dues comes back to our chapter. This is how you can support our ongoing outreach to the LGBT community and the church. Visit and sign up at the Membership link. Be sure to specify Integrity/NYC-Metro as your chapter!


Mary O'Shaughnessy

1 comment:

Mary O'Shaughnessy said...

Any parish newsletter editors who want to use this to explain why Integrity membership has value, is welcome to reproduce it with attribution.