THE VOICE OF INTEGRITY


From the President
   








October 17, 2019



Dear Siblings in Integrity,

It has been my experience that the most important aspect of any organization, and the one that is most in need of improvement, is communication. As President of Integrity: Episcopal Rainbow I want to reach out to you and reopen communication and transparency now that I have returned from my leave in mid-September. No one is perfect and I am no exception. As much as we would all wish to be perfect none of us will ever see it in this lifetime. This holds true for our mental and physical health as much as it does for everyday necessities like communication. I have failed to be perfect on both counts and I fear that the spiritual, mental, and physical health of Integrity has suffered because of it. For this, I am profoundly sorry for any part that I have contributed to with regard to the health of our organization.

One thing I have learned from my coming out and social transition five years ago is that being vulnerable opens us up to the real possibility for reconciliation and experiencing a much deeper understanding/sense of what it means to love. I invite you into this vulnerability with me so that we can move forward with the mission and ministry of Integrity. God knows there is so much yet to do before we reach LGBTQIA equality in our beloved Episcopal Church and in the wider society. The T community, in particular, is facing the discrimination and persecution that the LG communities faced in the 70’s when the organization came into being. I would encourage you to look around and see how many trans priests are serving in the church in any capacity paying particular attention to the number of trans women holding positions. Our work is not finished. There are even dioceses and parishes in TEC that still do not accept our lesbian and gay siblings, including the refusal of Holy Matrimony. Our work is not finished.

As we move forward, I would encourage you to be actively involved at the local level. This began as a grassroots organization and we are at our best when we act locally. With all this in mind, you as a member will be encouraged to let us know who and where you are so that we can be responsive to and better communicate the assets and needs of the local chapters and members.

I promise you that I will, along with the board, be better at communicating as we move forward. I promise that I will do all that I can to ensure that our organization becomes as transparent and responsive to our members as possible. And I as your president would love to hear from our chapters and membership so that we can meet in our vulnerability and grow to know and love each other more deeply.

Let me thank the members of the board for all of their dedication and hard work while I was away. And let me particularly thank Kay Riggle for going above and beyond the call of her duties as Vice President of Local Affairs during my time away. Her work and love for the organization singlehandedly kept us afloat during this time.

Sincerely,

Gwen Fry
President
    
   
From the Vice President









October 17, 2019



Dear Integrity Members,

The following communication is to inform you of what has been happening in Integrity over the past year.

The new Board for Integrity USA took over on September 24, 2018, via a conference call.  The newly elected members were Gwen Fry, President; Brent Cox, Vice President of National Affairs; Kay Smith Riggle, Vice President of Local Affairs; Deanna Bosch, Treasurer, and Letty Guevara-Cuence, Secretary/Communication Director.

The new Board began to meet monthly and discuss the needs of the organization and plans for the future but by the end of the year our President had stepped away due to health issues.  Three of the 4 board members were new to the organization.  We reached out to previous Board members for support and advice.  We are thankful for the suggestions, information, and support we received during that time. 

Unfortunately, on March 18, we received a resignation from our Treasurer with her date of resignation effective May 15.  Shortly thereafter we received a resignation from our Secretary/Communications Director with a promise to stay until we found her replacement.

Again we reached out to previous Board members to locate individuals to fill these positions.  Eventually, we were put in touch with Fr. Frederick Clarkson who is the Spanish Language Ministry Coordinator at the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina.  Frederick introduced the Board to Lindsey Harts who was interested in the position of Secretary/Communications Director.  On May 18, 2019, in accordance with the Bylaws of Integrity USA, Frederick was appointed to the position of Treasurer and Lindsey was appointed to the position of Secretary/Communications Director.

In June, the Board received the resignation of Vice President of National Affairs, Brent Cox.  Again, another position had to be filled.  Paul Horner, an Episcopalian for many years who has extensive education and experience in the field of business and finance agreed to fill the position.  In accordance with the Bylaws, Paul was appointed to fill the position of Vice President of National Affairs on June 23, 2019.

This has been a stressful time for the Board.  We have communicated as much as possible but regretfully members needed to hear from us more.  This is a problem we are tackling this week.  Our President, Gwen is back and the Board is working first on communications with our members and with your help, we will revitalize IntegrityUSA.

It will easy to reach us through our new website.  We are looking to hear from our members.



Sincerely,

Kay Smith Riggle,
Vice President of Local Affairs