Monday, July 16, 2007

Integrity Naples Welcomes Dabney T Smith To Southwest Florida

July 12, 2007, Naples, FL—Integrity Naples welcomed Bishop Dabney T Smith, newly elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Southwestern Florida, on Monday evening to their 25 June meeting at Trinity-by-the-Cove, Naples.

Integrity Naples is a chapter of the national organization Integrity USA. It is composed of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender persons and their friends. Its mission statement reads: "Integrity Naples supports the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) persons in all ministries of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Southwest Florida; and provides a safe and supporting environment for community, worship, education and outreach for all."

The monthly meeting began with a celebration of the Eucharist conducted by the Bishop for the 14 members attending. The Eucharist was followed by a Pot Luck Supper and a chance to speak informally and share the stories of our spiritual journeys. The Bishop listened attentively and we, in turn, listened to him. It was a time of sharing, fellowship and good food together.

The meeting marked an opportunity not only to welcome the new Bishop and ask "how can we help you in your new role" but also provided the unique opportunity to respond to the Bishop’s invitation to take a "first step" in the listening process required of the Windsor Report. Integrity Naples looks forward to continued constructive engagement with Bishop Smith and the Diocese of Southwest Florida in times to come.

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