A Report from the Rev. Dr, Caroline Hall
I’m always fascinated by the interesting lives that LGBT Episcopalians live, and the group that gathered in Washington DC yesterday on the eve of the HRC Clergy Call was no exception. Our host, Dean Donovan, the Integrity Provincial Coordinator, created a lovely evening of good conversation, wine and food. He told us about the connection DC Integrity has made with an LGBT center in the Congo, correction, THE one and only LBGT center in the Congo. DC Integrity is collecting resources to send to the folk there who have the courage to explore their identities in the midst of the never-ending brutal conflict.
Integrity members in DC are also coming together to work on immigration issues, offering us a new model for Integrity chapters. In many of our dioceses we no longer need to meet for potlucks and the Eucharist in a regular basis, but we do need to continue to work for equality wherever there is inequality. That’s in a lot of places, so there’s plenty of room for creativity and innovation. Across The Episcopal Church we see tremendous inequality between LGBT people. Some of us live privileged lives; we’re comfortably out in our families, at work and at church and the fear and oppression seem to be things of the past. In other dioceses it’s still dangerous to let the Bishop know you’re queer, and it’s hard to be out at work. There are hundreds of un-welcoming parishes around the country.
Integrity will continue to work for sacramental equality in the Episcopal Church, which means not just a service in the Book of Common Prayer to bless our covenanted relationships, but the lived reality of that equality in every parish and mission. That’s why we’re encouraging you to take part in Believe OUT LOUD workshops to help empower you in the work of making your congregation and diocese truly inclusive.
The work we do through General Convention and its committees on a national level and the work that this Clergy Call will do, lobbying Congress, is only as good as the work we are all doing day by day in our own lives and communities. Kudos to the chapter here in DC, and again thanks to Dean Donovan for making us so welcome.