Dear Friends in Dignity,
We are excited that you will be joining Dignity’s Golden Anniversary celebration in Chicago, July 5-7, 2019!
This year’s conference experience will have familiar, as well as new, features. The familiar includes the welcoming reception, keynote speakers, President’s Lunch, membership meeting, caucus meetings and well-planned liturgical celebrations you’ve come to expect. New this year, you’ll see a video salute to our 50 years of advocacy and hospitality, and participate in a unique three-hour experience we have entitled “Visioning Together: A Dynamic Dialogue.” This year, we will devote even more time to talking with our members, the people with the most expertise to help us define the future direction of DignityUSA.
Since our 2017 conference in Boston, our local communities, national caucuses, and members from around the country have been engaged in three “Jubilee Conversations” about our past, present and future. Minutes from these conversations were submitted to DignityUSA by 80% of participants – a wonderful addition to our archives! The minutes are posted on our website. The Board read our members’ thoughtful input and used it to identify four priorities for a viable future, supportive of our historic mission. These are:
1. Be the go-to voice for LGBTQI Catholics: DignityUSA will expand its engagement of local, national and international audiences using traditional and new digital formats to amplify our voice, build our base of active supporters, and ensure we remain the go-to voice of LGBTQI Catholics and allies.
2. Provide for faith communities of the 21st Century: DignityUSA will develop new models of inclusive communities that reflect the diversity of the Church and LGBTQI people, and embrace all gender identities and expressions and all expressions of family.
3. Focus on education and be the go-to authority and resource for the reform of Church teachings: DignityUSA will be a leading national and global center for theological studies and pastoral resources with an emphasis on LGBTQI sexuality, gender identity, and family studies.
4. Be the leaders needed to sustain our movement and take us into the future: DignityUSA will be seen as visionary leaders of the movement for LGBTQI justice; be at the forefront of developing future leaders, and bring our leadership to national and international reform groups, allies and partners.
The DignityUSA leadership seeks the input of our member communities as we refine these priorities into a future strategy. To do that we have constructed an innovative format for discussion, using interactive media and a team of trained facilitators.
Please come prepared:
- Consider these topics and select two items that most interest you. You will join a group of others with the same interest for 45-minute conversation sessions to discuss and refine the priority.
- You will receive discussion questions at conference check-in, allowing you to prepare your responses prior to the session. We want to be sure we capture your wisdom and guidance!
- Bring your smart phone, laptop or tablet if possible. You will use it to communicate in real time with everyone in the room, gathered in four smaller discussion groups, during the live communication session. Instructions to access the interactive website will be provided at the session. If you do not have a device, your contribution will still be recorded on paper, allowing your input to be recorded during the discussion.
- The password for the wi-fi in the meeting rooms is jubilee50.
We look forward to being with you again!
Chris Pett and Mark Matson