Women’s March on Washington

January 6, 2017 by  
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Dignity/Washington will organize a group to march in the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, January 21, at 10:00 am. The group will meet at 9:00 am at the Dignity Center and will join other attendees at the starting point of the march (at Independence Ave and 3rd St SW).

If you would like to participate, please email Vin Testa at vtesta914@gmail.com.

Join Dignity/Washington for Drag Bingo Jan. 24

January 6, 2017 by  
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After a successful and exciting event last year, Dignity/Washington is teaming up again with the lovely staff at Nellie’s Sports Bar for their Tuesday night Drag Bingo on January 24, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm.

There will be limited seating at the Dignity table and Drag Bingo usually fills up quickly on a normal night, so please arrive early in order to get yourself a seat!

Share Your Lenten Reflections

January 6, 2017 by  
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Thanks to EVERYONE who volunteered to write a reflection for our Lenten Reflection
Booklet! All 46 daily readings have been spoken for! Remember that the deadline is February 5, but early submissions are appreciated.  Send all reflections and questions or concerns to
jeffvomund@gmail.com.

This year’s Lenten Reflection Series will be held on Tuesdays in Lent beginning March 7
and run through April 11.  Sessions will be from 7:00 – 8:30, at the Dignity Center,
with a simple soup supper served beginning at 6:30.  The series will explore our own coming out stories and
parallel how they, like the Exodus event, shape all of the subsequent ways we understand God,
our community, and ourselves.

If you have any questions, please see Denis Pringle or Jeff Vomund.

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

December 28, 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”.

The Black Civil Rights Movement & LGBTQ Equal Rights–Feb. 19

December 28, 2016 by  
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Understanding the Impact of the Black Civil Rights Movement on the LGBTQ fight for Equal Rights — Feb 19

Join us on Sunday, February 19th after the 6:00 Mass to hear Earl D. Fowlkes, Jr.
This session will focus on the similarities and differences between African Americans struggle for equal and the LGBTQ fight for equal rights. Also, to be explored are reasons why there is discomfort and sometimes resistance to LGBTQ Rights within the African American community, and a look at the difficulties in discussing race issues in the broader LGBTQ community.
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Earl D. Fowlkes, Jr.

President/CEO, Center for Black Equity, Inc.

Chair, LGBT Caucus, Democratic National Committee

Chair, DC Commission on Human Rights

Earl Fowlkes serves as the President/CEO of the Center For Black Equity, Inc. (formerly the International Federation of Black Pride -IFBP). He founded the IFBP in 1999 ago as a coalition of organizers the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and South Africa formed to promote a multinational network of Black LGBT Pride and community-based organizations. There are over forty plus Black Pride events around the globe with over 250,000 attendees each year.

Prior to working at the Center For Black Equity, Earl previously served fifteen years as the Executive Director of the DC Comprehensive AIDS Resources and Education Consortium (DC CARE Consortium) and Damien Ministries, organizations that provided services to Person Living With HIV/AIDS in Washington, DC. Earl has worked on health, political and LGBTQ issues in many communities for nearly thirty years. Earl currently serves as Chair of the DC Commission on Human Rights, and was former chair of the DC Mayor’s GLBT Advisory Committee.

Earl has always been politically active focusing on voter registration and getting out the vote activities particularly among communities of color and LGBT Democrats. In 2009, he was appointed by then Virginia Governor Tim Kaine as an At-Large member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). In August 2013, Earl was reappointed, and elected Chair of the DNC LGBT Caucus. In December 2014, he was elected President of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club which is the second oldest LGBT Democratic Club in the United States

Earl has received numerous honors and awards for his community service, and was named one of three 2013 Grand Marshalls of the Heritage of Pride (NYC Gay Pride) along with Harry Belafonte and Edith Windsor. In September 2014, Earl was given the 2014 Wanda Alston Democratic Service Award by the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club in Washington, DC. Earl is considered an expert on LGBT and HIV/AIDS issues. He has written numerous articles and op-eds, and has appeared on the Roland Martin and Michael Baisden shows. Earl currently resides in Washington, DC.

The Sacrament of Resistance — March 19th

December 27, 2016 by  
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Army Chaplain 1st Lieutenant, and UU Minister the Rev. Chris Antal on The Sacrament of Resistance


Resistance is what love looks like in the face of U.S. policies of global military supremacy, “preemptive war” and “defensive strikes” by lethal drones.

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The Rev. Chris J. Antal is the called and settled minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Rock Tavern, New York. Prior to that he was a chaplain in the U.S. Army and served one tour in Afghanistan. While there he witnessed armed drones and since then he has joined the growing number of religious voices resisting U.S. drone policy. His ministry has been featured in Disarmament Times and Sojourners and his public resignation in protest was reported on Democracy Now!, in Army Times, and on ABC news.

He is active in the D.C. based Interfaith Working Group on Drone Warfare and joined their delegation as the Unitarian Universalist Representative for Disarmament, Peace and Security Advocacy at a recent meeting on drone killing with staff members of the National Security Council.

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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