Dignity/Washington News for June 2016
As a continuation of its 2015-2016 Speaker Series Dignity/Washington hosted senior climate scientist with the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel, for Earth Day. She spoke on “Cooler, Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living” to a small but engaged group of Dignity/Washington members.
The chapter is excited to re-start a relationship with Catholic University’s unofficial gay-straight alliance, CUAllies. The group held a panel discussion featuring Dignity/Washington members at the Dignity Center, and a large group of students joined Dignity/Washington for Mass. We look forward to continuing the conversation and finding ways to work with each other in the coming months!
After Sunday Mass on May 8, present members of the Dignity/Washington community accepted five candidates for terms on the Board of Directors through a vote by acclamation. Four of these members will start a two-year term: Jaime Coronado, Peter Edwards, Chris Flow, and Jose Luis Sanchez. Vin Testa will serve a one-year term as president. The candidates will begin their official duties at the Board meeting of June 1. The community wants to thank these members for generously volunteering their gifts in this important leadership role.
The Washington chapter of the Defenders along with Dignity/Washington held a successful Flea Market at the Dignity Center on Saturday May 14. The Defenders are looking forward to their next flea market, perhaps as early as September during the Barracks Row Autumn Festival. They raised about $450 and gave approximately half to Dignity/Washington and they will donate the other half in January 2017 to LGBT charities when yearly donations are chosen.
Young Adult members of Dignity/Washington attended DC’s annual Youth Pride Celebration on May 14, to continue our outreach and visibility in the community. As part of the Pentecost Anniversary Celebration the Scriptural Mass readings were done in French, Spanish, German and Tagalog (Filipino), in addition to English. This year’s celebration fell on May 15, and marked the fortieth anniversary, since Pentecost Sunday, June 6, 1976, that the Dignity/Washington community has celebrated Sunday Mass for the LGBT community of the Metro DC area, our families and friends.
With the exception of only two Sundays when we could not meet due to severe snow storms, we have offered a welcoming Mass to those who have sought its blessings. We have moved several times, including when we were forced out of Saint William’s Chapel at Georgetown University, upon the issuance of directives from Vatican officials that prohibited us from using Catholic facilities. We were not deterred by their opposition but instead grew in our resolve to continue our work. With gratitude we celebrate at our current location of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church thanks to that congregation’s constant and unwavering support of our mission.
Hundreds of individuals have lent their time and talent to make this truly “liturgy” in the root sense of the word, that is “the work of the people,” over these many years and we are grateful to every one of them. Reviving a tradition in our community that had lapsed, Anniversary Pins were given out to recognize and honor members for their years of membership. 132 pins will be awarded over the next weeks with the following breakdown:
- 40 year -- 4 pins
- 35 year -- 10 pins
- 30 year -- 9 pins
- 25 year -- 23 pins
- 20 year -- 22 pins
- 15 year -- 7 pins
- 10 year -- 25 pins
- 5 year -- 32 pins
Dignity/Washington cherishes all of these members for the variety of gifts that they continue to share and that enable the community to exercise its ministry and mission. Thank you to all. Most of all, we have all benefited from the grace of God in Christ and the action of the Holy Spirit. Rejoice with us.
Coming up this summer, Dignity/Washington looks forward to:
- Capital Pride Events where we’re again planning a float at the Pride Parade of June 11 and having a booth at the Festival on June 12; and
- the annual Night OUT at the Nationals on June 14, the DC’s LGBT-community event to cheer on our hometown baseball team as they go up against the Chicago Cubs.
The community is also excited to send a few young adults to the DignityUSA Young Adult Caucus Retreat in Chicago at the end of July. The chapter is proud to help sponsor the retreat, as well as help with travel expenses of a few young adults of our community — of what promises to be an important opportunity for the young adults in the Catholic LGBT community around our country to get together to collaborate, support each other and plan for the future. Any young adults interested to learn more and register, visit dignityusa.org/dyacretreat.