Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nominees for the 2015 Integrity Election

The following candidates have come forward for the elected positions. There is no candidate for the office of President of the Board of Directors. The statements by each candidate will follow the list of offices.

Voting eligibility and candidate eligibility is based on the rules described in the By-Laws adopted in 2009. Voters will be receiving an email with an individual unique link that that only allows one vote per person. Because the voting is open for a period of time, the voter may return to that link and alter his or her selection up until the time the voting ends. The voting begin Wednesday June 24, 8am EDT and will conclude Wednesday July 1, 5pm EDT. After that time, the link will no longer allow you to vote or edit your vote. Results will be announced before July 2, 12pm EDT.

If you are a member or a stakeholder and do not receive an email by Tuesday evening regarding the election, please contact to confirm your membership or status as a stakeholder.

There are three positions where no candidate has stepped forward. The most important of these positions is for the office of President. Integrity continues to search for candidates who are eligible to serve in these roles. As the new term does not begin until October, should we find candidates before September 1, we will hold an election similar to this process. After that time, we will follow the By-Laws regarding special elections. Please join us in prayer as we look for candidates and look into your hearts if you feel called and are able to serve.

Election Categories

A) Members of Integrity will be voting on the following positions.

President: No candidate has stepped forward. Election deferred.
Vice-President of National Affairs: Rev. Gwen Fry and Marcos R. B. German Domingues
Vice-President of Local Affairs: S Wayne Mathis
Treasurer: DeAnna Bosch
Secretary/Director of Communications: Mel Soriano

Provincial Coordinators
Province 1: No candidate has stepped forward
Province 2: Tod Roulette
Province 3: April I Fredericks
Province 4: Kay Smith Riggle
Province 5: David Fleer
Province 6: No candidate has stepped forward
Province 7: Doug Davis
Province 8: Vivian Varela

B) Stakeholders of Integrity will be voting on the following positions

Chairperson of the Stakeholders' Council: Rev. Carolyn Woodall

C) Those who are both members as well as stakeholders will be voting for positions in (A) and (B).

Candidate Statements

1. President

No candidate has stepped forward. We will continue to seek candidates before this term ends. If before October 1 we find one or more candidates eligible to serve as described in the By-Laws adopted in 2009, we will hold an election. If we cannot find one or more candidates before October 1, we will continue to seek candidates and hold a special election.

2. Vice-President of National Affairs

   a) Rev. Gwen Fry

I have always been an ally of the LGBTQ community, though for years I worked primarily behind the scene. In 2005 I began taking a more public role in the cause of radical inclusion,  especially in the church, by becoming the Diocesan Coordinator of the Diocese of Southwest  Florida’s Via Media chapter, which was seeking to include all voices at the “table” of the church. In February of 2014, while serving a parish in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, I came out as a trans woman. Since that time, I have experienced firsthand how far we as a church and society have to go before equality is a reality for all. Last September I co-founded Central Arkansas Integrity and we have focused on a number of educational events and lectures as well as outreach to local LGBT organizations. In that time I have also become the Integrity Diocesan Coordinator and I am working with two other parishes in the diocese interested in developing an Integrity group.

During this past state legislative session I lobbied and spoke at demonstrations against two bills specifically designed to discriminate against the LGBT community. I speak at forums in parishes and sit on panels for educational events in the wider community speaking about the trans community and faith. I was recently elected to the Board of the Arkansas Trans Equality Coalition (ArTEC) and am on the leadership team of a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) grant studying how we can transform the relationships between providers, researchers, and the transgender community so we can improve transgender health care experience and outcomes.

An ordained priest of 24 years, I bring experience in every imaginable setting—progressive to conservative, small parishes to large resource size parishes. This gives me a unique perspective and experience on pastoral, administrative, as well as financial issues. I have experience in creatively meeting the needs of an organization while staying within (and developing) a sometimes tight budget. Flexibility and openness to hear and implement new ideas are important to me.
Not only has Integrity been there for me personally this past year, I have seen how it has been a beacon of light and hope for people in Arkansas. Acceptance, or even tolerance--not to mention equality-- is a daily struggle for LGBTQ individuals in this area. During this past year I have become more passionate than ever about the full inclusion of the LGBTQ community in every aspect of and ministry in the life of the church whether it be a welcoming parish, baptism, marriage, or ordination. I believe I am being called to a ministry with my LGBTQ community. My goal is to work toward the reality that there can be equality for all.

“Hope will never be silent.' It may have taken years for my closet door to shatter, but it is shattered now, and I will not be silent. We must work for equality in our churches so that all may have a place of belonging.” - Harvey Milk

   b) Marcos R. B. German Domingues

I was Convener in Hawaii for the Honolulu Chapter of Integrity and I served as Treasurer for the Integrity Chapter in Portland Oregon. In Brazil, when the HIV epidemic was ravaging the gay community there during the late 80s and early 90s, I served as a volunteer at the Hospital das Clinicas in Sao Paulo Brazil to help the patients and visit with them. I ran for city council in the City of Osasco in Brazil. I have volunteered for several organizations in Brazil and NGOs. I was a part of the first gay rights parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I was granted political asylum in USA for persecution of gay people in my country because I was an activist there. In Portland Oregon, I volunteered with Basic Rights Oregon from 1999 until 2012. During that time, I was the Chair for the Faith Committee of Basic Rights Oregon 2010-2012. I volunteered in the Gay Pride Parades in Portland, Oregon, Honolulu, Seattle, New York City, and Boston, and in several other cities. I organized several successful fundraisers for different groups. I was a member of The LGBT Center in Hawaii. I have been involved with Gay Rights advocacy and rallies for over 35 years.

3. Vice-President of Local Affairs

   S. Wayne Mathis

I am a genderqueer activist with a strong calling from God to help create space within the Episcopal Church for ALL.  I was confirmed at Grace Alvin within the Diocese of Texas in May of 2001.  From the day that I walked into the church, I have been breaking down barriers. I have a rather large diverse family that does not always fit in easily. We are diverse in race, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

I give credit to an unnamed priest for bringing out the gay activism in me. During our time of tremendous tension and strife, I found “My Voice”.  I knew that if I did not speak up in small town Texas, then there would be no one to stand up for the next generation of LGBT youth. From vestry meetings to Diocesan Council I have tried to make the path a little brighter and a whole lot more welcoming.

My spirit first found Peace during an Integrity Houston Eucharist. I have gone on to become CoConvener of the Houston chapter and Provincial Coordinator of Province 7. Two of my most life changing moments were while volunteering with Integrity at General Convention 2012.  The TransEpiscopal Eucharist and the Integrity Eucharist are forever etched into my heart and soul.

My queer activism goes beyond my faith and at the same time my faith ties everything together.   I serve on the Brazoria County Library board. I am active in the local Relay for Life, Meals on Wheels and PFLAG all while being a constant reminder to my political representatives that there are Progressive folks in their district that support full Equality for Everyone including the LGBT community. I particularly enjoy my political trips to the state capitol.  While my late Mom taught me the importance of giving back to the community, my personal goal is to give back to the community while STANDING OUT AND PROUD.

The most important skills that I would bring to the Office of Vice President of Local Affairs is Passion and an absolute Joy in Working with People.   I feel that God is calling me to become a national leader and I feel that I would be a good fit for Vice President of Local Affairs.  I know that we have made great strides within the Episcopal Church but our work is not over. .  Somehow, I would like to see Integrity become a powerful force throughout the country, in large cities and even in tiny communities like my own.

I would appreciate the opportunity to serve Integrity USA.

4. Treasurer

   DeAnna Bosch

My husband and I were confirmed in the Episcopal Church in June, 2001.  I have been actively involved in our church since that time, having served on Vestry, as church Treasurer, participated in and coordinated various ministries, on Altar guild, an acolyte, as Diocesan council delegate and other positions.  I am currently the Administrative Director of Lord of the Streets Episcopal Church, a special evangelical mission church of the Diocese of Texas for the homeless of Houston.

Having lived during the “Women’s Lib” movement and experienced it first hand in my daily working life, I am sensitive to injustice and discrimination of anyone.  I see Integrity as one way I can proactively work for inclusion of everyone in my church. As a Straight Ally, I bring another perspective to the work and can often open or bridge discussions with others.  I attended General Convention as a Volunteer and Visitor in 2012 and was much moved by the Integrity Eucharist and activities there.

We have lived in Houston, TX, for 35 years, have 4 children, 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandsons.  I have a BSBA in Accounting from the University of Tulsa, OK, Non-Profit Executive certification from the University of Houston, and completed Education for Ministry (EFM) program of University of the South, Suwanee, TN.

Diocese of Texas, member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Houston, Board member of Integrity Houston since 2010.  I have been responsible for email lists and notices to parishioners monthly and for special notifications, attend meetings, organized annual Jazz Gospel Pride service event for several years.

Background in Accounting, systems, procedures, and non-profit accounting.  Over 40 years experience in corporate positions, including 11 years as an independent consultant for systems, cost accounting, procedure development and documentation.  An additional eleven years experience with non-profit organizations, including Episcopal churches and 501( c)3s.

I’m not sure why God is calling me (I think only He knows the answer to that) but I do hear his call. I kept putting this nomination out of my mind – “I’ve got enough other things to do, maybe after I slow down a bit, etc., etc.” – but it just keeps coming back.  That happens to me when God is pushing me to engage in something – for whatever reason.

5. Secretary / Director of Communications

   Mel Soriano

Having served as Integrity's Secretary & Director of Communications for the past 18 months, I present myself as a candidate in the same role for 2015-2018. I am a member of All Saints Pasadena in the Diocese of Los Angeles: I serve as a member of the Vestry (chairing Pastoral Care), lead the Taize, Labyrinth, and Greeting ministries, serve as a Lay Eucharistic Minister and Visitor, assist with communications for the LGBTQ at All Saints ministry, and sing in Coventry Choir. I am a member of Episcopal Communicators and work on several committees at Union Station Homeless Services in Southern California.

Twenty years ago, I formed and have since led a software firm that delivers database, web, and mobile app products and services. This work exposes me to national communication and social media issues daily and has been useful to the current board. My personality has been characterized as an extroverted champion that, supporting and lifting up people and issues, lends itself to this position of Director of Communications.

The past year has had ups and downs for Integrity, and I feel that my commercial background has helped in dealing with difficult questions. Moreover, my local parish experiences are grounded in the nurturing, caring, value, and dignity of every person - something that I try to bring with me to the national church. As a newlywed husband whose marriage at All Saints Pasadena is a dream come true, I consider my blessing as one that should be shared with all who seek it; I will always advocate for the equitable treatment of our LGBTQ sisters and brothers, in every congregation and diocese, and am called to bring the message of God's radically inclusive love to all.

6. Provincial Coordinators

You may vote for only one candidate. The candidate that you select must be from the province in which your diocese is found. If you are unsure, you can visit to determine your province. If you enter a write in a name, that candidate must be eligible as described in the By-Laws and must belong to a diocese of your province.

   a) Province 1

No candidate has stepped forward.

   b) Province 2

         Tod Roulette

I am a parishioner in the diocese of New York and have long attended Integrity events at other parishes in the past 14 years and was a founder of Epiphany, a LGBT African centric worship group at St. Philip's over ten years ago. It continues its ministry, but almost 2 years ago St. Philip's felt the need to become an Integrity USA affiliate and I volunteered to spear head the effort.

My academic training is as a feminist scholar with an emphasis on LGBT and African American issues and specialties. In 2013, I had the distinct honor of teaching the first LGBT course in the Black Studies Program at City College. The course was one I designed myself, titled “Black Art in the Age of AIDS”.

St. Philip's is the second oldest historically African American Episcopal congregation in the U.S. and I have personally initiated and supervised our participation in the annual Gay Pride Parades in NYC with other Episcopal churches. Maintaining a voice and perspective as a gay man of color in the larger gay community as well as the Christian community is a special concern for me and I feel called to witness to all sides.

Since 2013 and our becoming affiliated with Integrity I have organized four programs since 2013 at St. Philip's which have been opened to the public. The programs have been ranged from a benefit concert for Episcopal Social Services Foster Care and Ali Forney Homeless Center in Harlem to a five hour film festival featuring films, film shorts and web series by LGBT people of color. This fall a soft bound publication will be produced documenting the panel discussion held at St. Philip's as part of its Black History Lecture Series,  “Native Among Us”- Interdenominational Clergy Panel about Black Churches Welcoming LGBT People”.

Becoming a lay Eucharistic visitor has recently become an important vocational calling of mine and I have specifically asked the clergy at St. Philip's if I might reach out to the LGBT community who have been hurt and estranged from the church. I believe that ministry has many forms and the Episcopal church is poised and aided by the secular recognition of our convictions and actions around this cause; using this and expanding upon what some might consider a 'deficit' is important for churches to learn and share amongst themselves and to do so with the larger community. I know God is calling me to dig deeper in my prayer life and witness and action and I believe that being a Provincial Coordinator for its term would strengthen my spiritual journey and assist in bringing community and enlarge faith in action programming to Province II churches.

I prayerfully and humbly submit my personal testimony to the nominating committee for your consideration to continue God's work in this 21st century.

   c) Province 3

       April I Fredericks

I am a 65 year old trans lesbian. I have a Bachelor’s of Science degree for textile management marketing. I worked in the garment industry in Manhattan until 1985 at which point I took over the family business A-1 Flushing Pattern works which supplied patterns and castings to the machine and architectural trade .I started my transition in 1993 and completed that journey with my gender congruency surgery on April 24, 1995.I owned A-1 Flushing Industries dba A-1 Flushing Pattern Works Inc. / A-1 Casting LLC first is a man that is a woman from 1994 on. I was a preferred vendor for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. I had the business certified as a women's business enterprise  [WBE] with New York State and New York City. I was listed as a member of the Landmarks Conservancy of New York City professional circle.

I was baptized as an adult male in an Episcopal chapel in Noyack Sag Harbor New York in 1980's and was confirmed as an adult woman in the Episcopal parish of Calvary St. George in New York City in May 1995. I was active in that parish, serving as Morning Prayer Leader, Usher, Acolyte, Thurifer. I also restored their cast iron fence on the corner of Park Avenue and 21st Street casting and replacing 11 of the broken Flaming Amphora Urns that adored each fence post. After my transition I was called to the ministry in 1995 but met extreme resistance which I did not understand at the time as many of my friends in the gay community were involved with the church I did not realize the church's resistance to transgender people at that time. I was a charter member of the Transsexual Menace we demonstrated in Washington DC about the death of Tyra Hunter a black transgender woman when EMS and the hospital refused to treat. I went out to the trial the people that murdered Brandon Tina. I also was in Washington DC the first two gender lobby days in 1995 and 1996.I am a retired 911 emt / paramedic that has worked in Northeast PA as an out trans woman from 2002- 2012 and upon retiring I became a certified Christian life coach. I worked with the Church of the Good Shepherd to draft their new inclusive welcoming statement and sending their application for membership into Integrity. I also donated hundred dollars for their P3 membership. I feel that I have a lot to offer for the position as a business owner I was project manager/general contractor for many historic sites in New York City including the refurbishing of all four gates to Gramercy Park.

   d) Province 4 

       Kay Smith Riggle

After walking away from different church 25 years earlier, a friend’s invitation introduced me to the Episcopal Church. I felt like I had found my home and was confirmed in my local church about a year later. My intent was to only attend church and was amused to find myself becoming involved in more and more ministries in my parish. I became active in ECW and later was elected Chairperson of ECW, was elected as Communications Chairperson for the Diocesan ECW and later elected as one of the ECW Convocation Coordinators. I have served several terms on our parish vestry was Senior Warden for one term and served several years as secretary for the Vestry. I have published an informational email for the past 10 years.

I met my wife, Sarah Riggle, in our church. She later transitioned as a transgender woman and came out to our church in 2004. It was during this time that we learned about Integrity GA and Integrity USA. Both groups gave us the support, love and nurturing we needed during a trying time. Sarah I became involved with Integrity GA. I served as Secretary and am currently serving as Chairperson.

Knowing that Holy Spirit (sometimes gently and other times not so gently) has led me through some very unexpected places, I believe that I am being led to serve Integrity USA as a Provincial Organizer and my prayer is that I can be instrumental in helping to move the organization forward and to foster healing.

   e) Province 5 

       David Fleer

David L. Fleer has been an Episcopalian since his parents joined the Church of the Good Shepherd in Webster City, Iowa, when he was ten years old. He’s been active in the church ever since, serving a term as leader of Canterbury Club in college, working as resident sexton at the Episcopal Student Center at the University of South Florida, but mostly singing in church choirs. A former organizer of lay lectors, he now manages the choir library at his home parish, St. Paul & the Redeemer in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. In 2007, Dave helped re-start Integrity’s Northern Illinois chapter. He’s been the Province V Coordinator since that position was established two years ago.

Dave recently retired from free-lancing as a business consultant, specializing in software quality assurance and testing. He now spends his summers at his partner’s home in the Berkshires and the much of the remainder of the year at home in Chicago.

   f) Province 6

No candidate has stepped forward

   g) Province 7

       Doug Davis

I am Doug Davis, gay, born in to the Episcopal Church and never looked back. I love my Church and am passionate about it.  I come from strong Scottish Anglican roots.  Acolyte at age 12, Acolyte at age 50, Verger at Emmanuel Episcopal Church Houston Texas at age 64...once an Acolyte, always an Acolyte.

My call to ministry has always been worship through service, and service through worship at the Altar.  I love worship, all forms of it, high to low, anything within the rubrics.

After graduating from Education For Ministry, my ministerial focus has shifted from the Altar.  As a gay man, I realized I needed to be more active for fairness and equality for all God’s children in the Episcopal Church.  I saw the inequalities in my home Diocese of Springfield Illinois, and really have witnessed them in my own Diocese in Texas. The Holy Spirit has guided me this direction.

Living in the Diocese of Texas, and my experience with Integrity has been eye opening. I have been attending Integrity for nearly two years, met fabulous passionate LGTBQ brothers and sisters in Christ, who just want fairness for all. I was just elected Secretary of Integrity Houston.  Again, the Holy Spirit is guiding me.I have leadership skills instilled on me from childhood, from Boy Scouts to “the gay member” of Rotary Club.  Always comfortable with my sexuality since a very early age, I enjoy meeting people within our community.

God is calling me to do this work.  I am defiant that as Christians, we are commanded to Love the Lord our God, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  My motto from childhood is “I’m Third”...God first, the other fellow second, and I’m third.  I am defiant that as Episcopalians, we go to church each Sunday, proclaim God’s inclusive love, and then forget about it until next Sunday.  I am defiantly determined to attract more young people in to the fold of Integrity and our cause. I do not see our work ending anytime soon, as there is much work to do!

   h) Province 8

       Vivian Varela

I have been a member of Integrity since 2009 at which time I served as a member of the Booth Team at General Convention in Anaheim. I was invited to be co-leader of the Booth Team for General Convention 2012 in Indiana and now in 2015 for General Convention in Utah. I have attended one of the Believe Out Loud Trainings in San Diego, CA.

I began attending All Saints Episcopal Church Pasadena in 2001 and became a member in 2003. My resume will demonstrate my interest and involvement in church activities and work which include Godly Play-Children’s ministry, Altar Guild and GALAS our LGBT ministry to name a few. Most recently, the past 5 years I have been mostly focused on our Spanish-speaking ministry. I am on the leadership team for this ministry.

I attended St. Paul’s in Tustin for  two years and participated in the Chancel Choir. While I was there I worked as a lay pastor at Trinity Episcopal Church in Los Angeles for 4 months. In the Diocese of Los Angeles I completed   a 4-year Diocesan training for Hispanic Lay ministry co-sponsored by Bloy House seminary in Claremont. I also completed the 4 year EFM course. I am a member of the Program Group on Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Los Angeles.

As demonstrated in my resume I believe that my education, life experience in both secular, religious work, social work which include outside interests like comedy and drama have given me the skills necessary to serve in this position. I believe God is calling me to this work at this time because there is a need and because I am interested in the success, continuous growth, relevance, and change for Integrity as I believe there is still much work to be done in many areas of this organization and it’s mission.

7. Chair of the Stakeholders' Council

The voters for this position are stakeholders rather than members, as described in the By-Laws.

   Rev. Carolyn Woodall

I am a transgender woman and a Deacon serving at St. James Episcopal Church, Sonora, CA in the Diocese of San Joaquin. I have been a member of Integrity USA for several years. I was the Vice-Chair of the Stakeholders' Council, and I'm the incumbent Chair of the Stakeholders' Council, a position I recently assumed when the former Chairperson resigned. I appeared in "Voices of Witness: Out of the Box" and served as an Integrity volunteer at General Convention in 2012.

I am an attorney, admitted to the California State Bar in 1987, and semi-retired after thirteen years in the Tuolumne County, CA Office of the Public Defender. I currently have a small criminal defense practice. I have a BA in Sociology, an MBA, and a Juris Doctor. I also retired from the Naval Reserve in 1997 at the rank of Commander. I also serve on the Board of Trustees of the School for Deacons in Berkeley; and on the Board of Directors of Sierra HOPE - an organization providing health, housing, and other services to those afflicted with HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and other chronic illnesses.

I have been an advocate of equality for a number of years - particularly since I transitioned in 2004. I served as Chair of the Commission on Equality in the Diocese of San Joaquin. I have also given numerous training sessions on transgender issues for churches, government agencies, and charitable organizations. I firmly believe that advocating for the LGBT community is a call from God, and one I wish to continue.

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