Next meeting: Jan. 26

We will have our regular monthly meeting at Church of the Redeemer this Sunday, Jan. 26, at 3:30 p.m. Topics for discussion include:

— Briefing about our recent volunteer effort at the EECM shelter dinner
— Planning for our upcoming outreach training
— Responses to our postcard mailing
— Important change to the chapter bylaws

We hope to see you Sunday!

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What people are saying …

In case you missed it, here’s what leaders of Integrity USA had to say about Bishop Dorsey McConnell’s decision to approve same-sex blessings in the Diocese of Pittsburgh:

“I think this is a fabulous step forward, and I look forward to the day when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania offers equality to all.”
—Susan Pederson, Integrity’s Province III Coordinator

“I echo the praise of the leaders of Integrity Pittsburgh in celebrating this step on the journey to real equality being offered by Bishop McConnell. The General Convention in 2012 made space for bishops to offer blessing rites to Episcopalians in loving, same-sex relationships as a part of a ‘generous pastoral response’ to the needs of gay and lesbian people, and it is encouraging to see that pastoral need being met for faithful Episcopalians in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. While it’s true that there are miles to go before we achieve real equality, Bishop McConnell’s generosity is a very welcome development. I share in the joy of Integrity Pittsburgh and offer my gratitude to their bishop. I pray that their diocese and our whole church will shine as a beacon of welcome to all people on the margins of society.”
—Rev. Jon M. Richardson, Integrity’s Vice President for National Affairs and rector, Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd, Philadelphia

“The Diocese of Pittsburgh has been through a careful process to discern its way forward, and Bishop McConnell’s decision to allow each parish to make its own choice shows a respect and pastoral concern for the diversity of opinion which exists. However, in his comments on the rite of blessing he seems be condemning it as an inadequate rite for the sacrament of marriage. He is — of course — correct, because General Convention did not authorize a rite of marriage. Integrity is committed to working for the day when a rite of marriage will be available for same-gender couples in every church, and gives thanks for each small step along the way.”
—Rev. Dr. Caroline Hall, President, Integrity USA

No meeting Dec. 22

There will be no meeting on Sunday, Dec. 22, due to Christmas falling that week. Our next regularly scheduled meeting is Sunday, Jan. 26.

Merry Christmas!

Response to Bishop McConnell’s pastoral letter

Integrity Pittsburgh today issued the following statement regarding Bishop Dorsey W.M. McConnell’s Nov. 25, 2013, Pastoral Letter regarding same-sex blessings and ordination of partnered same-sex clergy:

“We appreciate this announcement as a first step. We’ve patiently waited for this first step, and we thank the bishop for it. We feel this is only the beginning of full inclusion of LBGTQA people into the life and ministry of the church.

“We understand this is incremental, but the next steps need to be forthcoming more quickly. For the rest of the Episcopal Church, this is a non-issue. We are twenty years behind the rest of the church and the Anglican Church of Canada.

“We call for full inclusion of LBGTQA individuals in the life and ministry of the entire diocese.

“We are calling for justice and equality. We are the voice in the wilderness calling for full recognition of same-sex marriages and holy orders. And we pray the bishop will see his way to full inclusion for all.”

Next meeting: Nov. 24

Our next meeting is at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24 at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh.

We hope you can attend, and we will try to keep the meeting to 90 minutes or less!

Gene Robinson to visit East Liberty Presbyterian

The Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson (right). Photo courtesy Center for American Progress, via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons.

The Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson (right). Photo courtesy Center for American Progress, via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons.

The Right Rev. Gene Robinson, retired Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, will visit East Liberty Presbyterian Church (ELPC) Nov. 9 and 10.

On Nov. 9, ELPC will welcome Robinson for a “Reception and Conversation,” 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Social Hall; Nov. 10, Robinson will lead a joint adult Christian Education class from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m., and then be ELPC’s guest preacher at the 11 a.m. worship service.

For more information, visit ELPC’s website.

(Hat tip: Lionel Deimel’s weblog.)

Mission and purpose adopted

pridefest_banner_smallAt our Sept. 22 meeting, we adopted a mission and statement of purpose:

For many of us who are GLBT, life growing up, and beyond growing up, was awful. We hated ourselves, we believed God hated us. We were lucky: we met people, our angels, who taught us God’s love for us, who taught us that we are as precious as any other person God created. We want to do whatever we can to be that angel for others, and to create a world where everyone can grow up knowing God’s love for all of God’s creation. (read more)

Our next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 27.

Next meeting: Sept. 22

copy-cropped-1039763_208539732628278_2121935597_o1.jpgAt our last meeting, we discussed opportunities for members of Integrity USA to help the wider community, and plans to distribute information about outreach to LGBTQ people and their families to our local churches.

Members voted unanimously to begin holding meetings monthly, on the fourth Sunday of every month, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Squirrel Hill.

Our next meeting is slated for Sept. 22. We hope to see you then!

Next meeting: Aug. 11

We had a wonderful meeting on Sunday at Church of the Redeemer, Squirrel Hill, with about 20 people from all walks of life.

And we had a wonderful discussion about the families, friends and lives of GLBTQ Christians in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

It’s an exciting time. More details to come! Our next meeting is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013 at Redeemer.