Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Presbyterian Highest Court Clears Spahr of Censure

Tiburon, CA - Today the Presbyterian's General Assembly Permanent Judicial
Commission (GAPJC) reversed the two-year-old Synod decision to censure Rev.
Dr. Jane Adams Spahr for her role in marrying same-gender couples. Today's
decision held that the Presbyterian constitution contains no prohibition
against marrying same-gender couples.

Read more:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

IWR | Transgender Basics

Integrity is a proud partner of the Institute of Welcoming Resources [IWR].
This eucumnenical ministry recently added a couple of great new features to
its home page--a weekly video and a listing of LGBT/spiritual blogs. This
week's video is Transgender Basics--a great educational 20-minute film.
Check it out at

Monday, April 28, 2008

Canterbury Campaign Update 3

Dear Friends:

We have more good news! Chapters across the country are doing their part to ensure that Integrity has a powerful witness at this summer’s Lambeth Conference.

Here is a sampling of what chapters are doing to support Integrity's Canterbury Campaign
  • Atlanta--will host a regional reception and briefing on 10 May at which John Clinton Bradley, Integrity’s Administrator, will speak.
  • Bethlehem--made a contribution from their general fund.
  • Chicago--just hosted a special service at St. James Cathedral (on 18 April) at which the Bishop of Chicago presided. The offering was given entirely to the campaign.
  • Central Ohio (Columbus OH)--sent in a donation from a special collection.
  • Desert (Palm Springs CA)--sent in a donation from its general fund.
  • El Camino Real (CA)--will take a special collection at the 3 May Integrity Eucharist with Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves.
  • Fort Worth--hosted an event on 28 March at which the founder of Integrity, Dr. Louie Crew, spoke.
  • Hawaii--held a special fund-raising brunch.
  • Houston--will host a regional reception and briefing on 21 June at which our Treasurer, Jeff Martinhauk, will speak.
  • New York City--hosted a regional event on 12 April and donations continue to come from it.
  • North Shore (Salem MA)--will host a regional reception and briefing on 8 June at which the Rev. Susan Russell, President, will speak.
  • Northern California (Sacramento)--is making a special appeal to its membership via mail.
  • Puget Sound (Seattle WA)…will host a regional briefing and reception on 30 May at which our President, Susan Russell, will speak.
  • San Diego--Diocese of San Diego Network will host a regional briefing and reception on 17 May at which our President, Susan Russell, will speak.
  • Spokane (WA)--included a special article about the campaign in its newsletter, along with an appeal.

Let us know what your chapter is doing and we will publish it in a future update!

On behalf of the entire volunteer team that is preparing to go to Lambeth this summer, we wish to express our deep gratitude for all the support received so far. We thank all who have contributed and urge those who have not yet done so to go on-line right now and make your contribution at


Bruce Colburn
Acting Development Coordinator

Sunday, April 27, 2008


The Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians has been formed to assist those who wish to remain Episcopalians if Bishop Jack Iker tries to achieve his publicly stated goal of taking the diocese out of The Episcopal Church [TEC] and aligning it with another province of the Anglican Communion.
Read the rest here ...and give thanks for the work & witness of the Episcopalians in Fort Worth!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

NYT: +Gene's civil union!

Bishop Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal prelate whose consecration led conservatives to split from the church, said in an interview on Thursday that he and his partner of 20 years were planning a civil union ceremony to be held in his home church in the diocese of New Hampshire in June.
The New York Times, 4/25/2008:
Gay Bishop Plans His Civil Union Rite

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Integrity's Amazon Portal

Integrity is now an Amazon Associate! That means if you go to or, click Integrity's Amazon Portal, and make a purchase, a percentage of Amazon's profit will be donated to Integrity. The portal features a number of recently released books and DVDs that may be of interest to Integrity members and friends.

Click here to go directly to the portal!

Rebuilding Communion: Who Pays the Price?

Edited by Peter Francis

This timely book chronicles the experiences of gay and lesbian people and suggests new possibilities for Anglicanism.

The aim of this book is threefold: firstly, to provide a brief Who’s Who and What’s What on the recent history of sexual orientation and Anglicanism; secondly, to give voice to gay and lesbian people from around the Anglican world; thirdly, to reflect on the present crisis and offer new possibilities for learning from areas such as human rights legislation, the African concept of ubuntu and conflict resolution in Bosnia.

All the contributors to this book are committed Anglicans. Most of them were attracted to the Anglican Church because of its inclusive nature and its careful sifting of scripture, tradition and reason.

Many people think that Anglicans should be discussing more important issues than sexuality, for example, issues of conflict and justice. The Church’s right to speak about injustice is negated by the lack of justice it shows to a significant proportion of its adherents who are gay and lesbian. It is a justice issue because sexual orientation is biological in nature; it is not a choice. Gay and lesbian people have exactly the same rights and responsibilities concerning the expression of their sexuality as heterosexual people. The fullness of life that Christ came to bring includes our sexuality.

Read the Introduction.

Click here to order from the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement. Or send a message to

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Treasurer Jeff Martinhauk presenting the financial report.

Integrity's national board of directors held its semi-annual meeting in Chicago on April 18-19. Here are few highlights...
  • Chaplain Randy Kimmler led a mini-retreat focusing on the kingdom of God and the ministry of leading an LGBT faith organization.
  • Consultatant David Norgard (from od180) led a discussion of Integrity's strategic position--what is working, what is not working, and how to fix problems.
  • David Norgard also reviewed the status of Integrity development plan.
  • An Integrity-sponsored eucharist was held at St. James Cathedral. Jeffrey Lee, Bishop of Chicago, presided. Bonnie Perry, Rector of All Saints Chicago, preached on a dramatic YouTube video about water buffalo, lions, and crocodiles. Over $1000 was collected for Integrity's Canterbury Campaign.
  • Field Organizer Jan Adams reported on the Inclusion Activism workshops being held in 5 locations around the country.
  • Caro Hall, Director of Anglican Communion Affairs, updated the board on preparations (with for the Lambeth Conference.
  • Administrator John Bradley asked the regional vice presidents to promote 2 upcoming ecumenical events--Hearts on Fire and Many Stories...One Voice.
  • Western regional vice president Bart Bartosh shared the need for Spanish-language print and electronic resources.
  • Treasurer Jeff Martinhauk presented the FY2008 budget, asked for ratification of an updated procurement policy, and outlined a potential new mode for local members to cooperate at the local level.
  • South Central regional vice president Barbi Click requested full chapter certification for Integrity/Forth Worth.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Gene at Seabury

The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson preached during a eucharist at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, on April 16, 2008. Using the Beatitudes as his text, he discussed the blessing of same-gender blessings.

Click here to view the video!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

+Gene Robinson on Fresh Air

+Gene Robinson will be interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air, by Terry Gross, on
WEDNESDAY, April 16 (one day earlier than originally scheduled). Check
local NPR programming for times.

Inclusion Activism road show rolls on

During the last three weeks, the Rev. Cynthia Black, Katie Sherrod and I have bounced around the country, gathering with local Integrity and Oasis friends and supporters to put on Inclusion Activism workshops. Dozens of folks from over 20 dioceses have picked up pointers on how the church works and how to work the church from these sessions. We focus on diocesan activism, how organizing for your local conventions can lead to progress on the larger goal of full inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments.

There are some spaces available for the session to be held in Newark on May 9-10. And we are considering planning another date somewhere in the Midwest soon. Anyone who might be interested, should email

Here are some pictures:

The Rev. Susan McCann hosted the workshop in Liberty, Missouri outside Kansas City at Grace Episcopal Church on March 28-29.

Journalist and video producer Katie Sherrod from the Diocese of Fort Worth gave tips on media contacts ...

while participants listened intently.

On April 11-12 the show moved on the All Saints Episcopal Church in Atlanta where this group assembled.

Though the subject matter is serious and sometimes dense (what is this "polity" stuff anyway?) participants enjoy themselves.

You can too. Email to learn about future opportunities to join these activist trainings.

Gay couples face higher tax bills


MOUNT LAUREL, New Jersey (AP) -- For gay couples, the April 15 tax filing deadline can be a reminder of the disparities they face, even in a nation that is becoming more accepting of same-sex couples.

Gay couples often pay higher taxes because they don't get the federal tax benefits that go with marriage. And for couples in state-sanctioned domestic partnerships, civil unions or same-sex marriages, filing federal income taxes can involve doing three sets of paperwork instead of one.

Read on at:

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Canterbury Speaks Against "Bullying" of GLBT Advocates

The +ABC's words against conservative-inspired violence were given a short piece on the BBC website.

Maybe not the best reporting I've read on the AC, but this faerie rejoices that at least some sensible words are getting press for a change!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Saskatoon diocese votes against same-sex blessings

Anglican Journal News

The diocese of Saskatoon, at its biennial synod held April 4-6, narrowly
defeated a resolution that would have allowed clergy to bless same-sex civil

The vote was 41 against, 38 for and four abstentions, said Lorea Eufemia,
secretary/treasurer of the diocese.

Moved by Canon Colin Clay and seconded by Cathy Hartsook, the resolution
said: "Be it resolved that this 68th Session of the Synod of the Diocese of
Saskatoon request the bishop to allow clergy, whose conscience permits, to
bless the duly solemnized and registered civil marriages between same-sex
couples, where at least one party is baptized, and to authorize rites for
such blessings."

It was the first time the issue had come before the Saskatoon synod, and the
debate lasted nearly an hour and a half, said Ms. Eufemia. Opinions did not
divide along urban and rural lines, she said. "Some members of urban
parishes voted against it and some rural parishes were for it," she said.
She also noted that the debate was characterized by "respect, kindness and
love." The bishop of Saskatoon, Rodney Andrews, who could not immediately be
reached, was pleased by the tone of the debate, she said.

To read the rest of the story, please visit the Anglican Journal Web site,

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Canterbury Campaign Update 2

Dear Friends:

We have good news! Because of the generosity of many of you, we are now half-way toward meeting our Canterbury Campaign goal! On behalf of the entire national Board of Directors, I want to thank all of you who have contributed already and invite all of you have not yet participated to do so on-line at

Several Canterbury Campaign events are coming up soon on the calendar. You are all cordially invited to attend any (or all!) of the functions listed below. Many thanks go to our several gracious hosts across the country.

Bruce Colburn
Acting Development Coordinator

12 April in New York
Saturday from 4:00 until 6:00 at the home of Jacob Miles, 312 W 12th Street, Apt 14 A
Reception and briefing by the Rev. Susan Russell, President
RSVP to David Casey at or or call 646-416-0218
Hosted by Integrity/New York

18 April in Chicago
Friday at 7:30 at St. James Cathedral, 65 E Huron Street
Holy Eucharist with the Rt. Rev Jeffrey Lee presiding and the Rev. Bonnie Perry preaching, reception following
Hosted by Integrity/Chicago

10 May in Atlanta
Saturday from 4:00 until 6:00 at All Saints Church, 634 W Peachtree Street
Reception and briefing by John Clinton Bradley, Administrator
RSVP to Tim Raasch at or 770-429-8262 OR Bruce Garner at or 770-642-3183
Hosted by Integrity/Atlanta

30 May in Seattle
Friday from 5:30 until 7:30 at Diocesan House, 1551 Tenth Avenue East
Reception and briefing by the Rev. Susan Russell, President
RSVP to David Swim at or 206-932-2457
Hosted by Integrity/Puget Sound

8 June in Salem, MA
Sunday from 2:00 until 4:00 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 24 St. Peter’s Street
Reception and briefing by the Rev. Susan Russell, President
RSVP to the Rev. Paul Bresnahan at or 978-317-3400
Hosted by Integrity/North Shore

21 June in Houston
Saturday from 3:00 until 6:00 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 1805 W Alabama
Reception and briefing by Jeff Martinhauk, Treasurer
RSVP to John Michael Lee at or 713-443-2106
Hosted by Integrity/Houston

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


620 Park Avenue #311 Rochester, NY 14607-2943

April 9, 2008

Integrity thanks Archbishop Rowan Williams for his statement today—which condemned recent violence and the threats of violence against LGBT Anglicans. The Rev. Susan Russell, President of Integrity, said, “In too many provinces of the Anglican Communion, the LGBT faithful life in fear of violence and even death because of who they are and whom they love. More often than not, Anglican bishops have been silent about—and sometimes complicit in—bullying and brutality directed at the LGBT children of God.”

Russell concluded, “Members of Integrity USA, along with other LGBT Anglicans from other provinces, will be in Canterbury this summer to offer our testimonies to the bishops gathered for the Lambeth Conference. We look forward to sharing our lives and our stories with all of them who will listen.”


The Rev. Susan Russell, President

Click here to support of Integrity USA’s presence at the Lambeth Conference!

Archbishop of Canterbury condemns recent violence

The Archbishop of Canterbury has released the following statement through the Anglican Communion News Service:
In response to reports of violence and threats towards Christians involved in the debate on human sexuality, the Archbishop of Canterbury has given the following statement:

“The threats recently made against the leaders of Changing Attitudes are disgraceful. The Anglican Communion has repeatedly, through the Lambeth Conference and the statements from its Primates’ Meetings, unequivocally condemned violence and the threat of violence against gay and lesbian people. I hope that this latest round of unchristian bullying will likewise be universally condemned.”

Read it here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Local parish opposes Episcopal Church's stance on gays

Alan Reed

The Dickinson Press - 04/06/2008

DICKINSON - Though small in number, the officers and most of the 44 active
baptized members of Dickinson's St. John's Episcopal Church are speaking
loudly in opposition to their bishop's decision to not license a partnered
gay priest in Grand Forks.

The Rev. Bruce MacDuffie said their position is not to champion the cause of
the Rev. Gayle Baldwin, 62, an associate professor of religion at the
University of North Dakota. Instead, the Dickinson parish opposes Bishop
Michael Smith's general position on not licensing partnered gay and lesbian

"We can't presume to be the personnel judges of the individual, but the
bishop doesn't cite personnel reasons as the reason for not licensing,"
MacDuffie said. "But rather states plainly that he will not license gay and
lesbian folks who are in faithful and committed relationships."

Baldwin's situation was shared by the Associated Press on March 22, and
members of St. John's felt a need to affirm their stance as supportive of
the ministry of all baptized people, regardless of ethnicity, race, politics
or sexual orientation.

Read the rest at

LGBT Anglican leaders threatened & violently attacked in Nigeria & England

8 April 2008

Over the Easter weekend 2008, gay leaders of Changing Attitude Nigeria were
seriously assaulted. They, and the Director of Changing Attitude England,
were also threatened with death because "they are polluting Nigeria with
abomination and immorality". The attacks were reported to the police in
Nigeria, Togo and the UK.

In an open letter to conservative Anglican church leaders nineteen Anglican
bishops and leaders have expressed concern about the use of incautious
language and urge conservative church leaders to consider the effects of the
language that they use.

The Revd Colin Coward, Director of Changing Attitude England, said:
"The Anglican Communion has been in turmoil for 10 years since the 1998
Lambeth Conference passed a very negative resolution about homosexuality.
The conflict in the church has intensified since then, with many bishops and
other leaders making highly judgemental and often abusive comments and
pronouncements about LGBT Anglicans.

"Such inflammatory statements lead some members of Anglican Communion
churches to believe that threats and violence against those who are LGBT (or
those who support a more open stance towards LGBT people) are not only
justified but are authentic expressions of Christianity."

For further information contact: Reverend Colin Coward, Director of Changing
Attitude England, Office: +44 (0)1380 724908; mobile +44 (0)7770 844302;

Changing Attitude is a charitable organisation that works for the inclusion
and affirmation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people in the
Anglican Communion


Open Letter to the Leadership Team of GAFCON

Dear friends in Christ,

You may know that there were several instances of actual physical violence
and threats of violence and death enacted against lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) leaders of Changing Attitude in Nigeria over the Easter
Weekend 2008. The leader of a Changing Attitude group was violently beaten.
Subsequently, death threats have been issued against the Directors of
Changing Attitude in Nigeria and England.

The discourse taking place in the Anglican Communion about the presence of
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in our churches must be
conducted in the context of Christian love and mutual respect. If it is not,
then people will continue to perpetrate abuse and violence against LGBT

Some Anglican Christians act in this way because they believe that the
language of criticism articulated against LGBT people in general and the
Episcopal Church in particular gives them permission to perpetrate violence
and abuse against Christians who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender. We know that is not your intention, but it is the reality as
many experience it.

Changing Attitude understands that the Anglican Communion is engaged in an
extended period of debate about the place of lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender people in our churches. We are committed to engage in this
debate and in the Listening Process which is integral to it and authorised
by the Councils of the church.

Conservative Anglicans will want to argue against the position which
Changing Attitude represents. They will continue to question the pattern of
life and identity adopted by some lesbian and gay Christians. We recognise
the integrity of those who hold this position at the same time as we
disagree with it. We are not resistant to engaging in the debate with those
who hold radically different views.

We recognise that it is extremely difficult to conduct this debate in
language that does not polarise opinions or inflame tensions. Tension will
grow more intense in this period immediately prior to the Lambeth Conference
and the GAFCON event.

The language we use has direct consequences on the lives of LGBT Christians.
Language affects us emotionally, spiritually and physically. We ask that all
of us within the Anglican Communion be mindful of the words we use and the
opinions we express when talking about LGBT people. We ask that all of us
actively discourage any form of threatening behaviour so that we may all
engage in respectful listening and conform the pattern of our lives to the
pattern of love embodied by our Lord Jesus Christ.

None of us wishes to encourage or condone violence and none of us wishes to
be responsible, indirectly, for murder or violence perpetrated on another
person, whatever their sexual identity.

Yours in Christ,
Revd Canon Professor Marilyn MacCord Adams
Rt Revd Michael Bourke
Rt Revd Ian Brackley, Bishop of Dorking
Rt Revd Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ramsbury
Very Revd Vivienne Faull
Rt Revd Lord Harries of Pentregarth
Rt Revd Richard Holloway
Rt Revd Stephen Lowe, Bishop of Hulme
Revd Sr Una Kroll
Rt Revd Richard Lewis
Rt Revd Jack Nicholls, Bishop of Sheffield
Rt Revd John Oliver
Rt Revd John Packer, Bishop of Ripon & Leeds
Christina Rees
Rt Revd Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire
Rt Revd John Saxbee, Bishop of Lincoln
Rt Revd Dr Peter Selby
Rt Revd Kenneth Stevenson, Bishop of Portsmouth
Revd Dr Anne Townsend
The Revd Canon Angela Weaver

Letter sent to:
Rt Rev Nicodemus Okille, Archbishop Henry Orombi, Rt Rev Wallace Benn, Rt
Rev Martyn Minns, Canon Dr Chris Sugden, Archbishop Greg Venables,
Archbishop Peter Akinola, Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini, Archbishop Peter
Jensen, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, Archbishop Justice Akrofi, Archbishop
Donald Mtetemela, Rt Revd Michael Nazir Ali

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hearts on Fire

All Integrity members will soon receive an announcement by mail about"Hearts on Fire." This gathering will provide participants with advocacy skills that can be applied in either a Lutheran and Episcopalian context. Bishop Robinson is a featured speaker. Jan Adams, Integrity's Field Organizer, also plans to provide a workshop on Inclusion Activism for Episcopalians (probably while LCNA members are having their business meeting).

Lutherans Concerned / North America invites people of all sexual orientations and gender identities to assemble with members of Reconciling in Christ and prospective RIC congregations at San Francisco State University July 3–6 under the theme, Hearts on Fire.

We’ll worship together, using a rich variety of traditions of the worshipping community. We’ll provide a blend of the familiar and the unique drawing on our Lutheran heritage and the wealth of liturgical practice in the area. We’ll network with one another, hear stories of joy and frustration, and make decisions together about the future direction of Lutherans Concerned / North America.

Hearts on Fire is more than a conference. We take pride in nurturing our participants. Many see the biennial assembly as a family reunion. In 2008, we hope to expand that family feeling by offering some new and exciting aspects to the assembly. Some the new aspects include:

  • Our Assembly is one week following San Francisco Pride. You can come to town for Pride and stay for the Assembly (all at San Francisco State University).
  • Assembly Pre-Events offer extra education and edification before the assembly begins.
  • Vacation Bible School will be offered for children of Assembly attendees and local RIC congregations. This will allow children to have a meaningful Assembly experience along with parents.
Click here for more information and to register.

Many Stories... One Voice

"Many Stories...One Voice" is the successor to Welcoming Our Witness. It is THE ecumenical gathering for LGBT people of faith this year. Integrity is hoping that at least 20 Episcopalians will register. Please save this date on your calendar. Registration information will be available soon.

Many Stories

We come from many different contexts. We are Protestant, Catholic, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Anabaptist. We are African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latino/a, First Nation People, European American. We are queer, questioning, intersex, lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, heterosexual. We are a diverse mix of theological and political beliefs: progressive, moderate, conservative.

One Voice

And we are drawn together into Christian Community. As we come to genuinely know one another, we are invited to challenge the world to these same kinds of just, loving and genuine relationships across race, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation and ability. We are devout in our faith and committed to a just society that discriminates against no one. We are drawn together to speak with one voice the truth of God’s extravagant welcome.

Many Stories, One Voice

Designed as a leadership development event, this conference offers:
  • rich Bible Study
  • challenging and profound worship and praise
  • genuine relationship-building across and amidst our differences
    concrete skills-building
  • reflective and incisive theological analysis
  • strategic action

Many Stories, One Voice has as its goal transformation – of individual lives, of our pro-lgbt movement and of our culture. Come join us as we joyfully equip the saints for the Ministry of God’s Extravagant Welcome.

Click here for more information!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Guardian (UK) story on +Gene

There is a wonderful article in the UK Guardian about Bishop Robinson and his grace-filled approach to everything. We all can learn a lot from this fine Bishop.

(This link was posted in a comment (thank you, Dennis!) and I wanted to make sure everyone saw it.)

We love you +Gene!