by Lourdes Rodriguez-Nogues, President, DignityUSA
We are now in the midst of our Lenten season, and as believers we use this time as a preparation to celebrate the mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Christ Jesus. In whatever way we have chosen to prepare our minds, bodies, and souls for the joy of Easter, we know that as a people rooted in the promise of Redemption, our work does not end at the Easter Sunday celebration. . Our faith calls us to faith in action, and to the work of building the kingdom of God. That is the exciting reality of the work of Dignity at the local and national levels.
Many of us currently participate in many local actions through our chapter or caucus affiliations. We continue to need that voice at the local level to be present in media statements; in local challenges to oppressive Church leaders and in support of all people unfairly treated by those forces; in working with local charities who serve the marginalized; in speaking about the truth of our faith and LGBT identity, .and the list goes on. Many of us have answered the call to work at the national level by being members of the Board of Directors of DignityUSA or one of its national committees. In fact, that call to participate at the national level is out right now as we are in the midst of our next election cycle for Board members. Have you heard that call? If you have not, here it is again: "Hello, can you hear me? Dignity needs your help, right now. How about running for the Board? You still have a little time to submit your nomination (deadline is April 15). Let's hear from you."
It is indeed an exciting time for our Dignity work. Pope Francis has been in office now for a year, and he has not ceased to amaze us. That he means to renew the Church and send a message to all Church leaders about what it really means to minister to the people of God is an understatement. He wants to and he will; even if it is not as fast, as all of us who have been waiting for this renewal would want. I believe that what Pope Francis call means for us is not the answer that comes out of relief and complacency. I believe that what that means for us is more work; work that is wiser and more strategic; work that needs more planning, more alliances, and collaboration; more funding from external sources; more outreach to the faithful in the pews. And we will respond to that call, for now is the acceptable time to be an inclusive and life-giving Church, not only for all LGBT faithful but for all who, like us, believe in a kingdom of Peace and Justice.
Having in mind the challenges and the work ahead, and guided by the strategic vision that we presented to all of you at Convention 2013, the Board will meet in Boston, April 11-13 with Monique Meadows, a consultant who will work with your Board of Directors and Dignity staff on new fundraising strategies to take us into the future. We are really excited about Monique's skills and her enthusiasm and understanding of our work. We look forward to this weekend together and to the challenges and rewards that a fresh look at our fundraising and development strategies will give us. You will hear back from us about this in the near future.This meeting in Boston will also give us the opportunity to spend time with members of the Boston chapter. We are looking forward to our dinner together on Saturday night.
As we prepare, as individuals and as a community, to greet Easter in just a few weeks, the Board would like to send out to you and all your families and communities a message of HOPE and LIGHT. May the wonder and joy of that first Easter morn fill your hearts and renew your faith in the Promise of eternal life.