Last night completed a busy week for us, as IntegrityUSA’s President, the Rev. Dr. Caroline Hall, made her way around our area to meet with folks and talk about the work of LGBT inclusion in our churches.
On Saturday, April 27th, she spent the afternoon at a Believe Out Loud Congregational Workshop at St. James’ Church in Hackettstown, N.J.
She was up early again the next day and headed north to Christ Church in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., home of the Mid-Hudson Dignity-Integrity Chapter. There, she offered the sermon and led a forum afterwards.
On Tuesday, April 30th, Dr. Hall met with the Right Rev. Mark Beckwith, Bishop of Newark. They explored the history of LGBT inclusion in the area, which began with the ordination of Robert Williams back in 1989 and the formation of The OASIS as a diocesan ministry to gay and lesbian Episcopalians. We also discussed possible ways we could work together to promote mission work in the LGBT community.
That evening, we hosted an “open house” event at St. Paul’s Church, Chatham. After reading excerpts from her new book A Thorn in the Flesh, Dr. Hall participated in a spirited conversation with the multi-generational audience about the ways Integrity’s focus is shifting and how we can continue to be an asset to the church.
On Wednesday, Dr. Hall took lunch with students and faculty at General Theological Seminary in New York. That evening, she hosted a “meet the author” event at the Bureau of General Services: Queer Division, a new pop-up LGBT bookstore and gallery on the Lower East Side.
It was interesting to take this subject matter into a secular space, where those less familiar with our movement’s history within the church could bring different contexts and perspectives to the conversation.
Finally, on Thursday, May 2nd, Dr. Hall led an adult form at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields in the West Village, unofficial “mother church” of the NYC-Metro Chapter.
Now, as Dr. Hall continues her journey by heading to the Boston area, the NYC-area leadership team takes a breath before gearing up for the next wave of events as we move into Pride season.
We offer our profound thanks to the Rev. Dr. Cathy Deats, the Rev. William Blake Rider, the Rev. Mary Davis, the Rev. Caroline Stacey and their congregations, The Rev. Lang Lowrey III, and the faculty and staff of General Theological Seminary, and Mr. Greg Newton of the BGSQD Bookstore for their hospitality during Dr. Hall’s visit.