Towards a Welcoming & Inclusive Church
A Time to Build Up
AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD!
All in God's Family: Creating Allies for Our LGBT Families
Giving you opportunities to gather with other members of your congregation to pray, to learn, to share, and to work together to transform your lives, your congregation, and your world into a loving place in which God's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families can thrive.
To Do Justice: A Study of Welcoming Congregations
In order to both highlight the vibrancy, faithfulness and power of the Welcoming Movement and to counter the 'false witness' of those who seek to quash this movement of hospitality and justice, the Institute for Welcoming Resources surveyed pastors and leaders of 1,200 Welcoming congregations to ask them about their work and witness. Two areas emerged that warrant particular focus and celebration:
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A Transgender Curriculum For Churches and Religious Institutions
AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD!
Embodying Our Faith
To the Contrary: the Welcoming Movement
Join us as we look at three churches around the United States who are part of the "Welcoming Movement." These churches, in Arizona, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C., are committed to accepting and affirming gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Watch their triumphs and struggles in this special documentary episode!
Faith in Action
Level Ground:A Safe Space for Dialog through Art
Level Ground uses art to create safe space for dialogue about faith, gender, and sexuality. Our hope is to cultivate a better way of speaking with one another across our differences and disagreements. Level Ground is becoming a national innovator in film festival programming, art curation, and dialogue.
The name Level Ground comes from a prophecy in the book of Isaiah. The name embodies a space where we descend from our mountains and climb out of the valleys to meet one another on sacred, though likely uncomfortable, level ground.
We believe safe space is integral for transforming how we see each other and create a world of peace and civility together. Level Ground works with artists and communities, curating art that tells stories and fosters reconciliation.
Goodbye to David Cupps
The new year is always an exciting time. We get to look forward to new futures and new possibilities. This New Year's is a little bittersweet though. After more than three years of excellent service on the staff of Integrity, our Operations Manager, David Cupps, will be moving on to new opportunities.
We are sad to see him go. He has served as the core for many systems and groups that have not only served Integrity well, but that have served the Episcopal Church well. “During the year when we had no Executive Director, David really kept the organization going, and I depended on him for his wisdom, knowledge, and leadership as well as for doing everything it takes to make Integrity run smoothly,” said the Rev. Dr. Caroline Hall, president of Integrity's Board of Directors.
2013's Top Ten Moments in Christian Faith & LGBTQ Equality
This year has brought unprecedented progress toward LGBTQ inclusion and equality in the United States and around the world. Even as we gain traction in our work, debates over Christian faith and LGBTQ equality persist.
Here are the top ten moments from these conversations in 2013:
10. Pope Francis Shifts LGBTQ Dialogue In Catholic Church
In August 2013, Pope Francis surprised the world by asking a simple question on the topic of gay priests: "Who am I to judge?" The next month, he challenged the Catholic Church to focus more on becoming a "home for all" than topics like homosexuality. Pope Francis has yet to affirm LGBTQ identity, and he continues to uphold the Catholic definition of marriage, but his change in tone is undoubtedly shifting dialogue on LGBTQ equality in the Catholic Church.
Big LGBT faith moments of 2013
2013 was a big year for LGBT equality, and the LGBT religious movement had several significant moments as well. Take a look at the list below:
We mourn the passing of Nelson Mandela
By Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to the millions of people who yearn for freedom across the world. With great personal sacrifice, he fought Apartheid and state-sanctioned racism. His principled approach, his willingness to reach out to former enemies, led to the introduction of multi-party democracy and real change in South Africa. Indeed, South Africa’s post-apartheid constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. His legacy is hope; hope that people can achieve peace and freedom in a world with more than its fair share of conflict.
More articles below:
Faith Transitions at National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is pleased to announce the dynamic team of people who will lead the Faith Work at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for the coming months. Javen Swanson will serve as the Interim Faith Work Director and Barbara Satin will be promoted to Assistant Faith Work Director. The changes are in response to the October 1st departure of Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel after eight years of important work as the founding Director of the Faith Work Program.
To support this transition period, the Haas, Jr. Fund has provided The Task Force with a generous grant from its Flexible Leadership Awards program. As a result of this strategic support, Viveka Chen and Steve Lew have been engaged to serve as Listening Process and Search Consultants. Their work will provide an opportunity for the Task Force’s Institute for Welcoming Resources constituents and other faith leaders to reflect on the status and needs of the Welcoming movement into the future.
Statement from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force on 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the March on Washington
“Today's commemoration of the march on Washington was in the spirit of Bayard Rustin — the openly gay man who was the lead organizer of the march 50 years ago — and an extraordinary and magnificent showing of support for Dr. King's dream of jobs, justice, freedom and equality: a dream that is yet to be fulfilled,” said Rev. Darlene Nipper, Task Force Deputy Executive Director, who marched with a group of Task Force supporters from across the nation.
“On jobs, LGBT people can be fired for who they are and who they love. Congress must pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). On freedom, Congress must restore the Voting Right Act gutted by the Supreme Court just a few weeks ago. You only had to watch the voter suppression tactics against people of color in the last election to see why this landmark law is still absolutely essential to deliver justice and a free and fair democracy. On jobs and freedom, Congress must pass comprehensive and inclusive immigration reform.”
"In Our Fullness: Faith and Activism Across Difference"
Produced by the Institute for Welcoming Resources, a Project of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, in partnership with the Macalester College Chuck Green Civic Engagement Fellowship.
For more information: info@WelcomingResources.org
Additional Ecumenical & Multi-Faith Groups Convened by IWR
New & Timely Resources
Resources from IWR Available
Building an Inclusive Church
Training and a Toolkit
A Welcoming Toolkit 2.0 – Updated and greatly expanded!
Drawing upon thirty years of experience within a variety of Christian denominations, this Toolkit is a step-by-step guide to help facilitate a Welcoming Process in your local congregation. Biblically and theologically based, it uses tools of relational organizing, congregational assessment, conflict management and change theory.
AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD!
Building an Inclusive Church
Hearts Unbound: Engaging Biblical texts of God’s Radical Love through Reader’s Theater
by David R. Weiss
The overwhelming message of the Bible, in story after story, is that of God’s radical love and welcome. Every time we think we know who’s in and who’s out, God does something to challenge those assumptions, to unbind our hearts and minds from old ways of understanding, and to draw the circle ever wider.
HEARTS UNBOUND invites you to explore ten of those inspiring stories of radical love and welcome. Entertaining, thought-provoking, and participatory, each session looks in-depth at the story, the historical context out of which it came, and some of the insights to be gained.
Designed to be used as a small-group Bible study, HEARTS UNBOUND uses the format of Reader’s Theater. But fear not… no costumes, sets, or refined acting chops needed! All you need are six to eight people around a table, reading the script, having fun, all the while learning a great deal in the process.
All ten sessions are available for free download below.
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, HRC y UNID@S presentan nueva guía bilingüe dirigida a familias e iglesias latinas para educar sobre la orientación sexual, la identidad de género y la Biblia
En un esfuerzo por promover el diálogo dentro de las familias e iglesias latinas sobre la orientación sexual, la identidad de género y la Biblia, el National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, la Campaña de Derechos Humanos y UNID@S, presentaron hoy una nueva guía bilingüe, A La Familia, Una Conversación Sobre Nuestras Familias, la Biblia, la Orientación Sexual y la Identidad de Género en una conferencia de prensa durante la 82va convención nacional de la Liga de Ciudadanos Latinoamericanos Unidos (LULAC por sus siglas en inglés) en Cincinnati, Ohio.
"LULAC está en contra de todo tipo de discriminación. Me siento muy orgullosa de mi estado natal al aprobar los matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo", dijo Ralina Cardona, directora estatal de Nueva York para LULAC. "Como americanos, tenemos que aceptar nuestras diferencias. Es lo que separa a este gran país. No todos somos de la misma cultura, color, orientación sexual o religión, pero todos somos americanos y en nuestra unidad está nuestra fuerza, pero en nuestras diferencias está nuestro poder".
Más artículos sobre A La Familia en español
HRC, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and UNID@S release new bilingual guide on sexual orientation, gender identity and the Bible for Latino/a families and churches
In an effort to foster a dialogue with Latino/a families and churches on sexual orientation, gender identity and the Bible, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and UNID@S, unveiled today a new bilingual guide, A La Familia: A Conversation About Our Families, the Bible, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity at a press conference during the League of United Latin American Citizens' 82nd National Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people often face unique challenges in Latino/a families and churches. To help in the process of acceptance and inclusion, A La Familia is born out of a profound desire to faithfully integrate an excluded group of people back into the life of their churches and families. This guide is written for two primary audiences: heterosexual people honestly struggling with LGBT issues and the Bible, and those whose sexual orientation and gender identity have marginalized them within their family or church or even both.
Before God, We Are All Family: a companion film for A La Familia
The new short film, Before God: We are all Family is a story of reconciliation that documents the compelling journey of five Latino families who reconcile their unbreakable love for each other and their deep commitment to living faithful lives in the face of religious-based intolerance of those with different sexual orientations and gender identities. See the preview below.
For more information about Before God, We Are All Family, click here.
The Institute for Welcoming Resources is delighted to be a partner in the transdenominational Believe Out Loud campaign. Believe Out Loud provides a much-needed national network for churches committed to welcoming and affirming lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people as beloved children of God.
Believe OUT LOUD is based in a simple truth: Privately believing that LGBT persons should have an equal share in our church and society is not enough; we must publicly proclaim that belief. Believe OUT LOUD gives the congregations, parishes and missions of our denominations the means to do exactly that.
New Believe OUT LOUD web site!