Advent Reflections Tuesday Night at The Dignity Center

December 8, 2016 by  
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Join us as we open up to the season of Advent with reflections on “Calm” by Michael A. Smith. This book focuses on developing a sense of calm and mindfulness to improve one’s own life and the world. These evenings programs will run from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at the Dignity Center and will include soft drinks and light snacks. We will meet on the four Tuesdays of Advent: November 29 – December 20. All are welcome, and sign-ups will be available in the back of church in the next few weeks. Denis and Jeff will lead the discussion.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the lord of the house is coming, whether in the
evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” —Mark 13:33-37

Celebrate Christmas with Dignity

December 8, 2016 by  
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Dignity/NoVA will celebrate mass on Christmas Eve at Immanuel Church on the Hill (3606 Seminary Road
Alexandria, Virginia) at 7:30pm followed by a potluck dessert social. Of course, all are welcome!

Dignity/Washington will celebrate Christmas mass on Sunday, December 25 at 6:00 PM at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.
All are welcome to join and bring any family or friends visiting for the holidays with you.

Warren Hall: “What God’s People Believe” Jan. 29

December 2, 2016 by  
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Dignity/Washington will be pleased to welcome Warren R. Hall as our guest speaker. His presentation, titled “Sensus Fidelium: What God’s People Believe,” will take place at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (1820 Connecticut Avenue, NW DC 20009), January 29 at 7:15 pm, immediately following the 6:00 pm Mass.

Warren R. Hall, a native of Jersey City, NJ was ordained as a priest of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark in 1989. He attended Seton Hall University earning BA, Master of Divinity, and Master of Theology Degrees.

In May 2015 Warren Hall was removed from Seton Hall University by Newark Archbishop John Myers for his support of LGBT Equality. Hall subsequently came out as gay. On August 31, 2016, following a year of ministry as Parochial Vicar of St. Peter and Paul Church in Hoboken, Archbishop Myers suspended Warren Hall from priestly ministry, for his continued involvement with the LGBT community, and for “confusing the faithful”.

Part-Time Communications Coordinator Wanted

December 2, 2016 by  
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The Dignity/Washington Board of Directors is seeking to hire a paid, part-time Communications Coordinator to promote public awareness of Dignity/Washington and its mission. The Communications Coordinator will focus on promoting current and upcoming activities (as well as reporting on recent events) to the Dignity/Washington community, and to the broader LGBTQ and Catholic communities through various media (e.g., website, press releases, social media, etc).

The job description is available on request by e-mailing the Dignity Center office at dignity@dignitywashington.org.

Applicants should include a résumé with cover letter. Applications should be submitted by December 18, 2016.

The Dignity/Washington Board is hopeful the successful candidate can begin at the start of the new year.

Louisiana Flood Relief: Caring for the Suffering Stranger

August 22, 2016 by  
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As everyone is aware, Louisiana, and particularly the area around Baton Rouge, has been stricken with millennial-level floods after they have just barely recovered from the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. Christ called us to care for the stranger and D/W has a long history of assisting other communities who are stricken by natural disasters.

For the next few Sundays we will have donation baskets present at the social for you to make donations. You may also put checks in the collection basket at Mass. Please make the check out to Dignity/Washington and write “Flood Relief” in the memo section. The money, plus an amount to to be determined by the board at their September meeting, will be sent to: Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge and Healing Place Church. Christopher Flow, our board member who is from LA, is familiar with these groups and says they are on the ground working directly with those who are suffering.

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Photo credit: BBC

If you would like to send money directly to the groups here is their information:

Thank you for your generosity.

Dignity Young Adult Caucus Retreat

August 20, 2016 by  
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In the final weekend of July, three current young adult members of Dignity/Washington (Michaela, Keith, and Martín) joined a group of about twenty other LGBTQ young adults from around the country for a retreat in Chicago with the theme “Telling Our Story, Creating a Home.”

DYAC 2016 retreat group

The retreat was led by Judy Brown of the Hesed Project. Judy — a long-time parish faith formation leader and retreat facilitator — was fun, energetic and a great storyteller herself, and she led the group through personal and small-group reflection time to help tell our own stories.

The storytelling concept was based on the premise that there is too much violence in the world, and that violence comes from fear, and that people fear what they don’t know. So if we tell our stories and become known, we can help dispel fear, reduce violence, and make a more peaceful world.

Throughout Saturday, the retreatants told their stories in their small groups and then workshopped them with others to tell it in any creative way they wanted in preparation for an evening of storytelling to the whole group. Members of Dignity/Chicago brought dinner and shared the meal with the young adults and guests then shared an evening listening to the prepared stories of about 10 young adults. Each story was powerful and heartfelt — some devastating, painful, or humorous — but all were very real and honest about the struggles of coming out as LGBTQ to themselves, with their families, and in their faith communities. It was a powerful witness to the real struggles that so many in our community find ourselves and to the courage and perseverance to continue to live and to love among a society and a church that too often does not want to accept or see us and our full human dignity. It was also a blessing and affirmation to our community to know that so many of us have found a wonderful home with Dignity.
Telling our story
A young adult tells his story.

Dinner table
Young adults with members of Dignity/Chicago enjoying dinner together.

A special focus throughout the weekend was learning and brainstorming how we can be more inclusive and attentive to the trans* individuals among us. We learned and discussed the unique struggles and challenges that trans* people go through and many simple things we can do with our spaces, our language, and our activism.

The weekend ended on Sunday morning with a discussion with DignityUSA board members and leaders Mark Matson and Bob Butts to hear from young adults about our vision and hopes for the future of DignityUSA — how the society and world is changing, and how the organization must as well. Many ideas were shared and be sure this will be an ongoing conversation in the months and years to come.

Many thanks to the several chapters, including Dignity/Washington, and DignityUSA who helped sponsor the retreat — as well as the several individuals from Dignity/Washington who donated on their own to help send young adults from our chapter to the retreat. It was truly a spirit-filled weekend that helped bring young adults from across the country together in loving fellowship and closer to Dignity as we build the next generation of DignityUSA.

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Young adults with Dignity/Chicago guests.

Listen to D/W President Vin Testa on LGBT Radio

August 3, 2016 by  
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Dignity/Washington President Vin Testa appeared on 89.3 WPFW’s Inside Out radio show, where he discussed his experience as an LGBT Catholic, as well as Dignity’s role in the D.C. metro area. The link to the archived shows is below. Once you visit the link, select “Inside Out” from the drop-down menu of shows. Find the July 26 archived show and either play it online or download it to your computer.

Inside Out LGBT Radio

Thank you to Inside Out Radio for featuring Dignity/Washington!

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Dignity/USA Responds to Pope’s Remarks

June 29, 2016 by  
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LGBT Catholics welcome statement of Pope Francis that the Catholic Church must apologize to gay people; say apology must be followed by concrete actions

 

Boston, MA. June 26, 2016–Leaders of DignityUSA, the organization of LGBTQ Catholics and allies committed to equality and justice for LGBTQ people, welcomed the statement of Pope Francis today that the Church must apologize to gay people and to other groups that it has let down or offended throughout history. The Pope’s comments echoed similar remarks made last week by one of his closest advisors, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Germany.

On a flight back to Rome from Armenia on Sunday, the Pope revised his famous phrase about gay people from 2013, “Who am I to judge?,” saying this time, “Who are we to judge them?” The Pope also said, “I will also repeat what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: that [gay people] should not be discriminated against, that they have to be respected, pastorally accompanied. The matter is a person that has that condition [and] that has good will because they search for God.”

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DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke welcomed the Pope’s remarks. “This could be a very important step in healing the relationship between the Catholic Church and LGBTQ people,” she stated. “The frank acknowledgment by the Pope that Church teachings and practices have done immense harm to LGBTQ people over the centuries—leading to such evils as violence, oppression, self-hatred, the division of families, youth homelessness, and suicide—is essential.”

Duddy-Burke welcomed the Pope’s reference to the part of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that says gay people should not be discriminated against. However, she noted that the Catechism also still uses such damaging and scientifically inaccurate language as “objectively disordered” and “intrinsically disordered” in reference to homosexuality. DignityUSA and its partner organizations in the Equally Blessed coalition, among others, have repeatedly called for such language to be eliminated.

Finally, Duddy-Burke said, “In order to bring about the full healing of the relationship between the Catholic Church and LGBT people, the Church must not only acknowledge the wrongs of the past, but take concrete actions that demonstrate its commitment to treating LGBT people justly from now on. For example, Catholic institutions must stop firing LGBT people simply because their sexual orientation or marital status becomes known. The Church must stop conducting public campaigns that seek the right to discriminate unjustly against LGBT people in the civil arena on the specious grounds of ‘religious liberty.’ It must cease campaigns against same-sex civil marriage and LGBT civil rights protections around the globe. And it must speak out strongly and clearly against the horrific violence and discrimination that is often directed against LGBT people in countries around the world, including our own, many with substantial or majority Catholic populations.”

DignityUSA works for justice, full inclusion and equality for LGBT people in the Catholic Church and society. Founded in 1969, it is one of the longest-standing organizations working for LGBT rights in the world.

Church Should Apologize for Discriminating Against Gays

June 28, 2016 by  
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Pope Francis said that “Christians and the Roman Catholic Church should seek forgiveness” from Gays. The Pope made the comments while traveling back to Rome from Armenia. Read the whole story at The Huffington Post:


Pope Francis Says Church Should Apologize For Discriminating Against Gays, Ask For Forgiveness

Capital Pride 2016

June 19, 2016 by  
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Capital Pride 2016 was a huge success. Thanks to our Pride planning committee, we had a wonderful float in the Capital Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11, 2016. More than 40 community members and our friends joined us to march as a contingent of LGBT Catholics and our allies — either riding on or walking alongside our well-decorated decorated 48-foot truck. We were very well-received by the enthusiastic crowds.

Pride float - whole group

The 2016 Capital Pride theme was Magic — and building off of that theme, since the magic of God is LOVE, we marched under the theme of Our Magic Is Love and #MakeLoveHappen. Dignity/Washington is thankful to CUAllies for joining us and for all who made the parade a success. 

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Defenders pride parade

Banner gang

Float - group 1

On Sunday, June 12, we had a prominent position in the Pride Festival with some of the same elements with our float centerpiece being a background for selfies for visitors to post #MakeLoveHappen. All in all, it was a beautiful weekend to celebrate God’s love and the spirit of Dignity/Washington.

Festival booth

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