Present: Logan Bear, David Goldsmith, Mike Tynan
We began our discussion by talking about our purpose. We talked about describing Dignity as being ”Within the Catholic Tradition, But a Little Beyond.” We discussed our purpose as “reforming” the Church, out of justice and respect for ALL human dignity, but not necessarily “replacing” the Church. For some it is still important to participate in regular parish life, if for no other reason than to witness that GLBT persons have a right, and even a responsibility to be there, in the church and in the Church.
At the same time, coming on the heals of our gathering at Redeemer Lutheran, we felt it important to foster even more contact with Integrity, Lutherans Concerned, the Gay-Straight Alliance in Delaware, in an ecumenical effort that the hierarchical church has neglected. Again, in our liturgical gatherings, we have stepped “beyond” the Catholic tradition, by having, not only a celibate priest, but also a married priest couple and a woman presider. Ironically, this has come about by the restrictions the hierarchical church places upon us.
The Promotion Committee is willing to promote Dignity, even as Dignity develops more activities to promote. We actually came to that conclusion towards the end of our discussion. Here is what led to the statement. At present we seem to be essentially a liturgical community. There is very little going on. Mike felt that the officers this year had moved along hesitantly, trying to get there “legs” so to speak. We never elected a chairperson, although different members at various times assumed some leadership. The various roles listed in the “Model for Leadership Council” paper got blurred. There were no committees established to provide better coordination and we may have depended on e-mails a little too much, instead of quality meeting time. Someone suggested that everyone in Dignity should be on a committee, whether they participate or not. At least that would ensure some sense of responsibility.
A good example is the idea of a retreat. One member has been suggesting it for several months. Several others say that sounds good, but nothing happens. If we establish a retreat committee to do a little research, set a tentative date, time, place and a few retreat master candidates, then the project might eventually move forward and even involve more people who might have been initially indifferent to the idea.
We talked about other activities that could be developed:
- A workshop by National Dignity or another local group that is vigorous and can help us develop.
- Develop a speaker program.
- Observance of St. Aelred Day, with Integrity again or by ourselves.
- A plan to do something special for Solidarity Sunday, October 8.
- Plan an activity that would highlight the work of PFLAG—attend one of their meetings on the 4th Sunday of the month, at 2:00p.m., at the Unitarian Church on Weisheimer.
- Support or walk with Mike and Norma in the Columbus AIDS Task Force 5k fundraiser. Mike and Norma would like to carry the Dignity banner, if CATF will let us. Others could them or sponsor them.
- We need some activity to reach out to our lesbian sisters and let them know about our efforts to be more inclusive. From the hierarchical church’s perspective they have two strikes against them: they are gay and WOMEN!
- We suggest researching our Leadership Council description as we approach elections in September. (Anyone interested in chairing or being on a nominating committee?) Mike will bring copies to the Sunday meeting. It will be important for everyone to prayerfully review the “job descriptions” so that the directors will be prepared to actively engage other members in their various activities. Anyone who runs should also be willing to accept the role of Chair, if elected or chosen by the other directors.
Now we get to actual promotion, or as one of us suggested, “evangelization.”
- We know that Logan has done a great job in getting the website up. We figure that sometime in September he can give a formal instruction, instead of the informal sharing he did at the last meeting. Logan believes very strongly in creating links to other related groups, such as the Defenders, or Soulforce, or our ecumenical gay organizations. One thing seemed certain to us: The website had better offer some inviting and interesting activities, notices and articles.
- But the website is helpful only if we can get people to it, and especially young people or people living in outlying communities. (David comes all the way from Bucyrus, Don from Newark, etc. How many GLBT folks are in Lancaster, London, Springfield, Washington Courthouse, Delaware, Marion, Circleville, etc., who might be supported to know that Dignity Columbus is here for them?
- Logan suggested a “bar run” putting posters or cards in various gay-friendly locations. Norma suggested doing a “college run” doing the same thing on various bulletin boards on all the campuses around.
- Mike suggested putting ads in the Dispatch, selected outlying community newspapers, suburban news, the Lantern, etc. The ads and the posters might read something like this:
We’re Still Here!
“Within the Catholic Tradition, But a Little Beyond”
Visit our Website at www.DignityColumbus.org
Come worship with us the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month
At First Congregational UCC, 444 E. Broad St., Columbus
- Someone is researching getting our ad updated for Lavender Pages. We will also investigate “OUT” and “Gay People’s Chronicle and any other resources Dignity members suggest.
It was a great meeting and the three of us felt renewed and enthusiastic!