Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Harry From Sundance: Gracefully Engage & Reach Out With Love

Harry Knox
Executive Director
Integrity USA
In the movie Love Free or Die, which premiered at The Sundance Film Festival on Monday, Bp. Gene Robinson asks the question: Who are we to question 2000 years of Church teaching? He then answers his own question: if we don't, who will?

One if the many things I love about this film is that it shows the tremendous possibility for church growth inherent in our willingness to courageously confront dogma that kills while offering life-giving Good News. Is it hard? Sure. But the joy on the faces of those finding their way home to parishes that embrace them as they are, with all their human complexities makes all our struggle worthwhile.

Love Free or Die tells the story of +Gene and how he, and we, have changed the Church. But it is really a story about making the Gospel real for those Christ said we should always have in the front of our minds:  the marginalized. It documents the ways all of us are enriched when people of Godly courage reach out on love to seek to move their neighbors toward greater compassion.

Tied to this powerful film is a campaign of "graceful engagement" - the loving and caring way to reach across our divides to those who are not yet with us. Integrity has 35 years of graceful engagement under our belts and we wholeheartedly support the LFOD Friends and Family project. This project invites everyone in this General Convention and general election year, to think of one person we love who loves us back, but votes against our well-being. It equips us to engage that person in respectful conversation to help them see why we need them to have us in mind when they vote at General Convention or for President of the United States.

Sharon Groves of HRC, Jeff Krehely of Center for American Progress, Rebecca Voelkel of NGLTF, film maker Macky Alston with his daughter Penelope, and Harry Knox of Integrity.

Screenings of the film in local parish halls and at Integrity chapter meetings around the country will be sure to prompt the healing conversations the Church, and the world, sorely need. Contact us at about how to make those screenings happen. You will be blessed and God's beloved world will be changed!

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