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Celebrating the Present

Remarks at the 20th Anniversary Dinner of Integrity/Washington

October 27, 1995

by John Clinton Bradley

Tonight we celebrate the 20th birthday of our chapter.  Thanks to the vision and commitment of past leaders and members, Integrity/Washington has survived the vulnerability of childhood and the awkwardness of the adolescence.  We owe those who have gone before us a great debt.  I would like to ask all of the former officers of the chapter to stand and be acknowledged.

By the grace of God, Integrity/Washington has grown up.  We are now a mature organization fully involved in our world.  We have become an important contributor to the greater gay and lesbian community and the wider church.   

I would like to give you a brief overview of the state of our chapter today.  This may sound as if I am bragging.  Well, I am.  We have much to proud about and this is the time to reflect upon such things

I believe we currently have about 90 members.  If you have become a member in the past year, please stand.  If you have become a member in the past five years, please stand.  10 years?  15 years?  20 years?

We have a great Board of Directors.  Everyone is hardworking and is dependable.  We are able to disagree in a healthy and constructive manner.

Three of our board members are women; the other four are men.  This allows for the perspectives of both genders to be given equal consideration.

I would like to acknowledge these folks tonight.  Please stand as I call your name:

Carolyn--Female Co-Convener
Randy--Director of Communications
Tonda--Director of Finances
Jonathon--Director of Liturgy & Programs
Margaret--Director of Church & Community Affairs
Rich--Director of Social Affairs

We encourage all members to join one of our five workgroups.  The workgroups are:

Liturgy & Programs
Church & Community Affairs
Social Affairs

This gives every member the opportunity to directly participate in the ministry of our organization.  Everyone who is on a workgroup, please stand.  If you have not yet joined, please talk to the director of the one you wish to join.

We are financially sound.  I believe our bank balance is somewhere around $3500.  However, our financial base is not wide.   A small number of members provide the majority of our income.  We pay our bills, but we do not have the monetary resources we need to expand our work.  That's why we have to have so many special fund-raising campaigns.  I invite all members to prayerfully consider increasing their amount of giving and give on a semi-monthly or monthly basis.

We have a wonderful newsletter, Walking With Integrity, that is published three times a year.  I ask our editor, Randy, to stand and be acknowledged.

We publish a semi-monthly add in the Washington Blade.  We also publish an ad in Women's Monthly.  These ads are a significant source of visitors.  How many of you found out about integrity from one of these sources?

Randy and Jon maintain our voice mailbox so that interested persons can find out more about our chapter. 

We maintain a post office box, which is now visited regularly by Leslie.  Jon and Randy sort the mail.

We have a site on the World Wide Web thanks to Scotty Ward, the keeper of the unofficial Web site of the Diocese of Washington.

As mentioned by Warren Carson, we started and maintain Integrity Lightspeed, an Internet mailing list connecting Integrity members and chapters across North America.  We are the most wired of all the local chapters.  About 30 of us participate in Lightspeed.

We meet on the second and fourth Fridays.  We have wonderful liturgy  (Thanks to Michael).   We have great music (thanks to Bob).

Our average attendance is around 40.

We have a wide variety of local clergy join with us to preside.  (Please stand if you are a clergy person who has presided with Integrity/Washington in the past.)  Most of them are gay and lesbian, but not all.  We make a concerted effort to invite the rectors of our Welcoming Parishes to be with us. 

We have 21 Welcoming Parishes in the diocese who have declared that they welcome gay and lesbian people to full and equal inclusion.  I would like to publicly thank Corinne and Carolyn for the vision in initiating this project. 

We are present at diocesan convention every year.  Submitting resolutions and having an exhibit booth.  Our successful presentation of the Koinonia Resolution has really challenged our diocese to accept gay and lesbian people to full fellowship in the church and equal access to its rites.

We participate in Pride Day every year--sponsoring a unit in the parade and hosting an exhibit booth.

We participate in Whitman Walker's AIDSwalk every year.

We are very active in our diocesan AIDS ministry Episcopal Caring Response to AIDS (ECRA).   Two of our members are our liaisons. (Thanks to Rob and Parker.)

Good things are happening.  But the best is yet to come.

It has been a great privilege to serve as your co-convener during the past three years.