Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Making “All the Sacraments for All the Baptized” a Reality in 2011 and 2012

A Three-Part Series on Integrity USA

Part Three: How We Will Pursue Our Goals Through 2012
by Max Niedzwiecki
Executive Director, Integrity

Part One: What We Have Achieved

Part Two: Goals We Hope to Achieve

Integrity's goal is nothing short of all the sacraments for all the baptized in the Episcopal Church..

Here are some specifics on how we plan to achieve that audacious goal:

We plan to  increase our membership base, chapters, and partners. Integrity is proud to count 2,000 individual, dues-paying members; 60 chapters; and 500 allied parishes and other partners, including Proud Parish Partners (P3s) and Integrity Believe Out Loud Congregations. Growing our base of support will add to those already changing hearts and minds in the church.

We will communicate our successes on every level of the church. Our Walking With Integrity blog and weekly Friday Flash will tell stories of our growing membership and their progress in every diocese. Our revamped website will offer valuable and important resources for reconciliation, conversations across the divide, and getting our message out.

We will continue to recruit a strong network of volunteer leaders including Provincial Coordinators and Diocesan Organizers. Each of the eight domestic provinces of the Church will have a Provincial Coordinator who will coordinate activity among Diocesan Organizers in every diocese of the church. In time, all of the 100 domestic dioceses of the Church will have a Diocesan Organizer. This new level of diverse leaders will make a true impact on our mission and ministry.

For the first time, Integrity will provide financial assistance in the form of mini-grants and technical assistance to chapters and Proud Parish Partners. These grants are designed to help them champion full inclusion in the church, especially events that spread our message and generate media attention.  To date, we have $24,000 in grant money to spread among  those meeting the criteria for this work.

In 2011 and 2012, Integrity will train and resource our constituency. We will stage sixteen “Integrity Believe Out Loud” trainings (two per province), which educate members on how to be more effective at communicating the need for full inclusion in parishes and dioceses where we see the need. We will also stage eight media trainings equip people to stay on message, to share their personal stories in a way that changes hearts and minds, and to interact effectively with the media.

In the past, Integrity educated the church about the issues we support. In 2006, Integrity collaborated with Claiming the Blessing to produce Voices of Witness, the story of a parish beyond the inclusion struggles and what it looks like. The project, a DVD and a study guide, won the coveted Polly Bond Award for Excellence in the Episcopal Church. In 2009, Voices of Witness Africa was released to tell the stories of our African LGBT brothers and sisters. And for 2012, we will produce and release a DVD and study guide titled, Voices Of Witness: The Gender Continuum. This will be a joint project with TransEpiscopal to enlighten the church transgender persons. This will be distributed to all bishops and deputies prior to GC12.

Dr. Louie Crew is one of the great heroes of the Episcopal Church. He set the groundwork for the transformation of our Church into one of the most fully welcoming religious communities the world has ever seen, and he continues to be a leader for justice within the Church and beyond. In 1974, he founded Integrity USA, which since then he has been a central organizing force in the quest to make “all the sacraments for all baptized” a reality in every diocese. He has served on the Church’s Executive Council for many years, and been a friend, mentor, and inspiration to untold numbers of people who see that they follow in his footsteps. As Dr. Crew begins to withdraw from public responsibilities in 2011, Integrity USA is leading the charge to recognize his many accomplishments and tell him “thank you”! We will initiate the Louie Crew Legacy Tour to all the provinces. This event will be a major fundraiser for Integrity's work moving forward in Louie's name to complete his vision.

In August of 2011, Integrity will hold its first National Convention in several years. This event will bring together hundreds of Integrity members and allies for two days of strategy sessions, trainings, and relationship-building.

Integrity will identify, recruit and train over thirty volunteers who will join our team at General Convention in July of 2012. We hope to begin this process at the Integrity National Convention. These volunteers will serve in one of a number of capacities, following our successful experience from years past:
  • Legislative: Track status of LGBT resolutions, attend committee and house meetings, lobby bishops and deputies, recruit speakers, and suggest substitutions and amendments.
  • Communications: Write and disseminate press releases; interpret news for the press; write and publish newsletter articles, blog posts, Facebook posts, and Twitter tweets; produce daily video programs.
  • Booth: Greet and talk to visitors, distribute educational and advocacy materials, display videos.
  • Liturgy and Chaplaincy: Plan and implement public and private services, counsel volunteers dealing with stress, counsel visitors dealing with coming out issues.
  • Nerve Center: Provide administrative, technical, and logistical support for other teams (printing, computer networking, word processing, data entry and analysis, etc.).

At General Convention, Integrity will advocate for a legislative platform in partnership our social justice partners, including The Consultation, Claiming the Blessing. the Chicago Consultation and TransEpiscopal.

As always Integrity will stage a number of public events at General Convention. In 2012, these will include the hugely popular Integrity Eucharist (with Bishop Gene Robinson preaching and Bishop Mary Glasspool as the celebrant). We will hold a special screening of a new film about Bishop Robinson called The Truth Will Set You Free, with Auburn Media; and we will honor Dr. Louie Crew at what he claims may be the last General Convention he will attend. (That remains to be seen!)

Following General Convention Integrity will strategize how to make the successes of General Convention 2012 a reality on the local levels.

Please consider making a contribution to our important work. Click here to make a donation.

Join with Integrity to make all the sacraments for all the baptized a reality in every diocese!

If you are not yet a member, join Integrity. Membership rates begin at $25.000 per year for students, seniors, and people with low incomes; $50 for individuals; and $75.00 for households

If you are already an Integrity member, make an additional donation, or become a Lifetime Member for a donation of $1,000.

If your church or organization is not yet a member of Integrity, become a Proud Parish Partner (P3) or Proud Partner (P2) for as little as $100.

If your church or organization is already a Proud Parish Partner or Proud Partner, consider increasing your commitment.

Make your contributions online at http://www.integrityusa.org/.

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