Sunday, September 2, 2012

Remembering Louise Emerson Brooks

A Remembrance by Integrity President Caro Hall

It was 2006, the first time I was a volunteer at General Convention, that I met Louise. I was the main writer that year, and she was head of the communications team, as she was in 2009 and 2012. Over the years we became close friends. It was Louise who called me to ask if I would step in when David Norgard had to resign before completing his full term as President; it was Louise who kept me abreast of things I should know about in the national and international church; it was Louise who kept pushing ahead and keeping us on track.

Caro Hall and Louise Brooks in 2012
Her passion for LGBT rights and LGBT inclusion in the Church has been an inspiration to me. I can’t imagine that she ever thought about much else – she always had an idea of where Integrity should be going, how we should be presenting our message, how we could do a better job. It will be impossible to fill the huge space she leaves; Integrity will need to find two or three people to pick up the work that she has done so faithfully, even when discouraged and even when extremely ill.

Louise has left us a tangible legacy in the Voices of Witness video series. The first one tells the story of same-gender couples whose relationships are blessed by God and the Church; the second, filmed by Cynthia Black and Katie Sherrod, gave voice to LGBT Christians in Africa; and the third, released just a few months ago, Out of the Box, tells the experience of transgender Episcopalians – in their own voices. We are so grateful that she completed these projects in her competent and painstaking way – producing material which has helped to move the Church towards greater and greater levels of inclusion.

My heart goes out to her spouse Susan Russell, her brother Fred, and the whole family as well as their church family at All Saints Pasadena.

Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Louise. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive her into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

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