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Dignity/Washington News

Dignity/Washington Young Adults Host a Mardi Gras Party

by Kenneth Dowling, Dignity/Washington Board member

The Holy Spirits, Dignity/Washington's new young adult group, invited the larger Dignity/Washington community for a Mardi Gras party at the Dignity Center on February 12. Discussion of papabili over pancakes, mimosas, and sweetheart candies gave way to a live viewing of President Obama’s State of the Union Address, occurring only a mile away. Enlivened by bead necklaces and masks, the event was the first that the Holy Spirits has hosted for Dignity/Washington, after planning happy hours with other LGBT Christians at Nellie's Sports Bar in October and December 2012. After finding themselves gathering for dinner following Sunday Mass week after week, the young adult group has been excitedly meeting to plan more events in 2013, including community service, discussion forums, movie nights, and a baccalaureate Mass.

Dignity/Washington Board Gathers For a Retreat and Planning

by Henry Huot, Dignity/Washington Board member

The Dignity/Washington Board along with several community members participated in a weekend retreat and planning session held February 15 to 17 at the Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center in Marriottsville, Maryland. Dr. Tom Little, formerly of the Center and currently the Pastoral Associate to the Vicar Bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore in the Seton Vicariate, led the group in a series of reflections entitled Sustaining Our Leading With Holiness and Heart, focused on the challenge of several Catholic saints, including Francis of Assisi, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and Dorothy Day, whose Church renewal efforts in their day continue to be instructive for the mission of Dignity today. Each session sought to elicit from each member, and the group as a whole, practical strategies for renewed commitment and engagement to serve the Dignity/Washington community, and ways to reach out to the wider LGBT community. Several members of the Young Adult group presented their vision for improving the community’s media outreach, especially through new forms of Facebook advertising and upgrades of our website, and planning community events for the coming year. Sunday morning’s session, The Gathering of Graces, sought to capture the new insights gained through this time together, most prominently, how much vitality and energy there exists in our community for the work that lies ahead.

Moment for Reflection and Thanksgiving Held in a Time of Loss

by Henry Huot, Dignity/Washington Board member

On Sunday, January 13, Dignity/Washington members came together at the Library of St. Margaret Episcopal Church, for about an hour before Mass to lovingly remember late member, Bill Line, and to share in faith their memories of him. Friends spoke poignantly of what his life and death had meant to them, how their faith had been tested and also had comforted them, and what concrete actions they were now resolved to take in his honor. Other attendees spoke of the impact that other losses had had on their lives and faith. A short session, facilitated by Tim MacGeorge and entitled, Prayer and Sharing: Death, Grief and Faith, sought to build on the very well-attended, more formal session at the Dignity Center that had explicitly provided resources on “suicide prevention” by a mental health professional. January’s gathering succeeded in a less formal way to allow people to share their thoughts, feelings, and struggles in a mutually prayerful, safe, and supportive way.