Friday, October 3, 2008

Weekly Witness For October 3, 2008

We've reshuffled the responsibility card deck a bit in an effort publish this bulletin every Friday.

Action Alerts
  • Integrity has launched a supplemental website named Be It Resolved to track resolutions about LGBT issues within The Episcopal Church. It includes model resolutions, known diocesan convention resolutions, and known General Convention resolutions. If you are aware of any resolutions that aren't listed on the site, please report them to our field organizer, Jan Adams, at A full copy of the resolution (or a link to it) would be appreciated.
  • The Vote No On Prop 8 campaign is asking for California volunteers to staff phone banks. There are lots of undecided or uninformed voters who need some gentle persuasion. Click here for more information. If you live outside California, you can help by making a secure, online donation. The proponents of Prop 8 have raised millions of dollars to end marriage equality.
  • Arizona voters are also faced with a similar constitutional amendment--Prop 102--on election day. Click here to find out how you can help.
  • In case you are wondering, IRS regulations permit charitable and religious organizations to lobby on ballot initiatives such as Prop 8 and Prop 102. For example, it's perfectly acceptable for clergy to address this issue from the pulpit or for laity to submit and article on this issue to the parish newsletter. On the other hand, lobbying on behalf of specific political candidates or parties is prohibited.

Reviewing Last Week

  • Our annual audit is essentially done. No major problems were found. An official report is being prepared by the auditor and will be published in the near future.
  • The board has entered into a contract with David Norgard of od180 to develop a personnel policies and procedures manual, organizational evaluation system, and communications improvement plan.
  • Staff are preparing to transition to Groundspring's Donor Management Suite to provide Integrity with an integrated, online system for receiving contributions, maintaining member contact information, and sending e-mail messages to constituents. Integrity already uses Groundspring's online donation and mass e-mail services.
  • All chapters were asked to complete the annual chapter report form as required by the bylaws.
  • The Institute For Welcoming Resources is in conversation with LGBT faith organizations about rescheduling the Many Stories, One Voice conference. The current plan is to hold the event in October or November of 2009.
Anticipating Next Week

  • The next issue of the quarterly Integrity InfoLetter will be going in the mail soon. Watch for it!
  • The Claiming the Blessing steering committee will be meeting October 9-11 in Anaheim. Representatives from most of the major Episcopal LGBT organizations will be gathering to debrief on the Lambeth Conference and plan for General Convention.

Upcoming Events

  • Creating Change will take place January 28-February 1, 2009, in Denver. On January 29th the conference will include a day-long institute titled "Empowering and Working with People of Faith." Is is geared for people of faith and religious organizers who want to build a more powerful faith-based movement for LGBT equality and for secular activists who want to build stronger relationships with communities and leaders of faith. This year's Institute will emphasize the strength of multi-faith organizing and will explore sexual liberation, sexuality, and the ways in which religion and spirituality are resources. Conference registrations are now being accepted. The early bird registration rate of $250 is available until November 30, 2008. Integrity encourages all local leaders and inclusion activists to attend.

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