Making God’s Love Tangible Everywhere
Integrity Vision Statement
Since 1974, when Integrity began, the Episcopal Church has become much more welcoming to people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. We just ordained our first openly lesbian bishop, after having ordained our first openly gay bishop. Marriages between people who share the same sex or gender are celebrated in many diocese. The Church is developing rites and pastoral resources for the blessing of same-sex relationships on a national scale. The Church has spoken out in favor of equality in civil marriage, immigration, and other domains of public life.
But there is still much work to be done. Episcopal congregations, the Episcopal Church, and our broader society do not yet give full witness to God’s love for all.
Twin Focus Areas
Making God’s Love Tangible In and Through the Episcopal Church
Integrity will continue to be a leader in making “all the sacraments for all the baptized” a reality throughout the Episcopal Church so that all Episcopalians are able to serve God as they were born to do.
We can do this by:
- Providing resources and support to members, chapters, Proud Parish Partners and Integrity Believe Out Loud Congregations so they can be more effective on the parochial and diocesan levels
o Believe Out Loud trainings on the diocesan and parish levels
o Mentorship opportunities that link people on issues such as making parishes more welcoming
o Educational materials on Integrity’s website, as well as materials that could be adapted to local needs (e.g., draft letters to the editor on various topics, draft resolutions for diocesan conventions, information sheets)
o Opportunities to experience the links that bind us together as local, regional, and national communities
o Partnerships with colleague organizations that support broader diversity aims that go beyond the LGBT community
o Displays and encouragement to represent Integrity at diocesan conventions
o Media training
- Serving as an information channel to enrich the work of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music as it develops resources for the blessing of same-sex relationships
- Encouraging partners to act on Integrity’s charge to “make God’s love tangible in and through the Episcopal Church”
- Advocating for positive change at General Convention 2012
o Coordination with partners at General Convention
o Opportunities for members to have their voices heard on priorities and strategies, and to demonstrate that Integrity is an authentic voice for LGBT people and their friends
o Educational efforts for deputies and bishops
... and other activities not listed here
Integrity will let the wider society know about God’s inclusive love for all – including LGBT people – as it is expressed by the
The Episcopal Church is a leading voice for truth and justice in the world. As a national body the Church has clearly voiced support for marriage equality, as well as equality in the immigration system and other domains of public life. Because of this, the Church draws the ire of those who would seek to make the oppression of LGBT people permanent, and the admiration of many others. We will provide a distinctively Episcopalian voice on issues of social importance, and we can do that by:
- Letting the world know that the Episcopal Church is on the side of justice when it comes to marriage equality, immigration equality, school bullying, and other issues
o Model a “diverse” community that is motivated by inclusive love, within our own leadership and network
o Work with partners to support civil rights initiatives like equality in marriage and immigration, especially in battleground states
o Walking With Integrity blog and email list
o Friday Flash
o Face Book pages
o Many other communications channels
- Supporting the capacity development of allied groups globally, as our resources permit
o Continued engagement with Bishop Christopher Senyonjo and his colleagues in Uganda
- Letting LGBT people and those who love them know that there can be a spiritual home for them in the Episcopal Church
... and other activities not listed here
Integrity’s Mission and Infrastructure Development
Unity and Diversity
In order to effectively promote justice within and through the Episcopal Church, Integrity will concentrate on strengthening its infrastructure of members, Chapters, Proud Parish Partners, and Integrity Believe Out Loud Congregations. Integrity will also invigorate its Stakeholders Council, increase and diversify its individual membership, and continue to develop its network of Provincial Coordinators and Diocesan Organizers. The people who populate these roles will all be essential components and decision-makers in the fulfillment of Integrity’s renewed vision.
This infrastructure-building work will proceed hand-in-hand with Integrity’s mission-driven work. We can best build infrastructure by working together within a common framework, adjusting the framework to our changing needs, and continuously drawing more people into our movement.
Our broad strategy will be to provide coordination and resources that help our members pursue the goals that they have for their church and society. The communities we work with are different, and at the national level Integrity’s work will mirror that diversity: Some leaders and groups will want to focus on making their parishes more welcoming; others may want to focus on General Convention, speak out for marriage equality, and/or support LGBT rights within the broader Anglican Communion.
Integrity will be as much a “bottom-up” as a “top-down” organization. At the national level, we will follow the lead set by our members, as much as seek to lead them; we will be attentive listeners, as well as persuasive speakers. Our job is not to dictate, but to coordinate, cultivate enthusiasm, and make the national network that we call “Integrity” powerful as a single body composed of diverse, dynamic, interrelated parts.