Monday, July 2, 2012

We're Here!

by The Rev. Dr. Caroline J.A. Hall
President, Integrity USA

The 2012 Integrity team has, on the whole, arrived in Indianapolis, tired but cheerful. Our Nerve Center is set up thanks to David Cupps and Chris Mackey-Mason who came in a day early to get everything ready for us and the Exhibition Booth is well on the way to being ready for all comers by opening at noon tomorrow.

I met several Integrity members and friends coming in from Central California via Phoenix, including Province VIII Provincial Coordinator Cindy Smith. Then at baggage claim, there was past President, Susan Russell. Indianapolis is not the easiest place to get to from the West Coast, but we made it and here we are with Integrity volunteers from New York, Georgia and Texas, to mention just a few places.

Once here, the team got together for a light dinner and spent several hours together getting to know one another and talking about the organization of our work here, discussing how we work with allies and others, and our hopes for the week. This is a slimmer organization than in previous years, partly for budget considerations and partly because a couple of people haven’t been able to come at the last minute for health and family reasons. So those who are here have a lot of work ahead of them.

One big change is that we are right in the Convention Center, in the very middle of things. This is the first time that Integrity has been able to get space in the Convention Center itself – both for our Nerve Center and Meeting Room, and for the Eucharist. It comes with a big price tag, but we are delighted at the recognition that it reflects. No longer are LGBT folk outsiders. We’re right here in the center of the Church.

We hope that will become even more of a reality this Convention with the passing of legislation making the Church more inclusive.

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