Some have said to me: Max, of course we want LGBT folks to be more warmly welcomed in our parish and our diocese. Of course we want our churches to celebrate the unions of same-sex couples, as well as different-sex couples – through marriage ceremonies, or at least “blessings.” We know that our church needs to learn more about the transgender community. We know that people in committed same-sex unions need to be able to heed God’s call to become deacons, priests, and bishops. And we want more people to know about all of that. That’s why we’re members of Integrity!
But how can we make that happen? Give us some ideas - how can this grant help us?
So, here are just a few ideas to get you thinking: These are not the only options! We want to hear your creative ideas, and different approaches will work in different communities.
Host a series of dinners: You could host a series of dinners in church halls or homes where LGBT Episcopalians and the people who love them tell their stories, make the case for inclusion, and open dialogue with people who are struggling with homophobia. Follow up on this by writing a short article about the experience (preserving confidentiality where necessary) and submitting it for publication in your diocesan newsletter, the local paper, and Walking with Integrity.
Publish your stories. Collect personal stories that show how important it is – to individuals and to the Episcopal Church – that the Church extends a radical welcome to all of God’s children. Print them in a booklet, produce a DVD, or post video clips to YouTube and our Walking With Integrity blog. Distribute the stories to clergy and other Episcopal leaders in your diocese. Write a short piece about your project that could be placed as a Letter to the Editor in the local paper, or the diocesan newsletter.
In addition to a grant of up to $1,500 from Integrity USA, you might use funds from your Chapter or a special community fundraising effort to support projects like these.
Integrity USA will provide help with drafting and placing news items, if you would like, in addition to the funding.
These are just a few examples of what you might do. Share your ideas with us or ask us questions by writing to us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember – the deadline for applications is May 15th.