A Letter from Dignity/Washington President

February 2, 2017 by  
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Dignity/Washington community members:

As most of you know, following nearly three years of community discernment, there is now a gender-neutral process for credentialing presiders for our sacramental needs. I, along with the Board of Directors and the Liturgy Committee, am pleased to announce that on Sunday, February 19, Rev. Ann Penick, a Roman Catholic Woman Priest, will preside at the regular Dignity/Washington Sunday Mass at 6:00 PM at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.

Starting in 1986, the hierarchical Roman Catholic Church forbade facultied priests from presiding at Masses for all
DignityUSA chapters. Since then, as a people in exile, local groups have discerned an expanded understanding of the
priesthood in order that they might continue to be nourished by the grace of the sacraments. In that way, Dignity/Washington has welcomed Roman Catholic priests as presiders who are gay, straight, with and without faculties, laicized, single and coupled, and on leave from official religious duties. It is the calling to a vocation, a high degree of training, and a loyalty to the Roman Catholic tradition that have been paramount. We have been blessed with many presiders who realized their calling to bring Christ to our congregation, which we know is in need of his grace.

At this time, Dignity/Washington has determined a call to welcome presiders in a manner not based on gender discrimination. The process began, following the aforementioned discernment activity, with a committee of twelve members drafting a gender-neutral credentialing document, overseen by the Liturgy Committee, and approved by the Dignity/Washington Board of Directors in June 2015. Subsequently, three priests’ training, experience, ordination
status, and commitment to the best of our Roman Catholic tradition, have been reviewed and approved – including Rev. Ann Penick. Following the Mass on February 19, Rev. Ann will join the normal rotation of presiders who bring
the Eucharist to the congregation on a regular basis.

To some in our community, this is a long overdue act of justice; to others, it is a fearful time of moving even further away from our Roman Catholic roots. Wherever you stand, or however you feel, let me say that much more unites us-as LGBTQ-identifying people of faith – than divides us. We are a community with a rich history; a community that is rooted in supporting each other when others would not, and we should not let our different ideas about church keep us from being kind and generous allies to one another. We want to celebrate ALL of our new presiders, but not in a boastful way. We will move forward, but I hope not without all of the members whose diversity – whether in thought
or appearance – makes us such an excellent image of the Body of Christ.

If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to myself or Jeff Vomund, Chair of the Liturgy

May God bless you,
Vin Testa
President, Dignity/Washington

Defender’s Mass on January 15

January 12, 2017 by  
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The Defender’s Philosophy

We believe that Christian LGBT persons, who are into
Leather/Levi, can express their sexuality in a manner
consistent with Christ’s teachings hence the name
“Defenders.” We represent another
face of Catholicism and defend our right
to express ourselves in a variety of ways.

Leather is an integral part of our being as well as our spirituality.
We believe it would be hypocritical to deny our affinity for leather and the
images connoted by it.

It would be just as hypocritical to ignore
our spiritual side when we wear
our leather. Just as Jesus challenged the traditional limits
of religion in His day, we believe
our role challenges the traditional
concept of religion today.

For more information on the
Defenders, please contact Tom
Yates at Tom.Yates.53@Comcast.net.

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

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.

Dignity/NoVA New Years Eve Mass — Dec. 31

December 28, 2016 by  
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Dignity NoVA will hold a New Year’s Eve Mass at Immanual Church On the Hill in Alexndria, VA at 6:30 PM. All are welcome to attend.

Immanuel Church on the Hill
3606 Seminary Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22304

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

Join Dignity/USA at US Bishop’s Conference Nov. 15

November 11, 2016 by  
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bishops conference

On Tuesday, November 15, 2016, DignityUSA will sponsor a Prayer Vigil outside the hotel in Baltimore where the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is holding its annual meeting. We want to remember the victims of the Pulse massacre, as well as the 123 transgender people murdered in the US so far this year, and call on our bishops to explicitly condemn violence towards LGBTQ people.

Following the shooting at Pulse, only 6 of the nearly 300 US bishops dared to acknowledge that those killed were targeted because they are LGBTQ. For our community’s safety, they must be mindful of the role that religious rhetoric and dehumanizing teaching play in allowing this kind of targeted violence.

Please join us on Tuesday between 10:30 AM – 2:00 PM outside the Baltimore Waterfront Marriott, 700 Aliceanna Street, Baltimore for this prayer vigil. Join us as we pray the Rosary and remember those lost to anti-LGBT violence and call on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to acknowledge the reality of their lives, and our lives. Come for the entire time, or drop in as you are able.

If you are able to come, please let us know by emailing allenr@dignityusa.org or signing up at the Facebook event page for the Vigil. And help spread the word!

Hope to see you Tuesday!

Tues, July 26: Listen to Inside Out LGBT Radio

July 26, 2016 by  
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Listen to WPFW, 89.3 FM, 2-3 p.m. EST, as Dignity/Washington President Vin Testa, and Tom Woods, DC Spiritual Director, discuss navigating Catholicism for those in the LGBT community. The show will air live from (and will be archived as well streamed live on www.wpfwfm.org). Please call in to share your questions and comments during the second half of the show. Call in number is 202-588-0893.

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


Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Orlando – June 15, 8pm

June 13, 2016 by  
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Several faith communities will be gathering to join in prayer for those lost and affected by the senseless tragedy in Orlando, Florida.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Dupont Circle, Washington, DC

Names of the supporting faith communities will be updated and added as they commit to join this event.

** This event WILL be ASL interpreted. Please spread the word.**

For most up-to-date information, please visit the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1348689151812371/

Faith Communities/Leaders Attending:
– Dignity/Washington
– Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
– Bethel Christian Church – DC
– National City Christian Church
– Baltimore-Washington Area Reconciling United Methodists
– Covenant Baptist UCC
– Imam Daayiee Abdullah
– Empowerment Liberation Cathedral/Bishop Allyson Abrams
– Augustana Lutheran Broadcast Outreach Ministries
– Augustana Lutheran Church – DC
– Bet Mispachah
– Center Faith
– Holy Redeemer MCC
– Capitol Hill United Methodist Church
– Lutheran Church of the Reformation
– St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church
– St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill
– Rabbi Binyamin Biber, Humanist Chaplain @ American University
– Humanist Community and Chaplaincy at American University
– Labor Heritage Foundation
– GLOE at the Washington, DC JCC
– Foundry United Methodist Church
– Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church
– Wesley United Methodist Church
– St. Luke’s Mission Center
– ReconcilingWorks
– Dumbarton United Methodist Church
– Calvary Baptist Church
– St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church
– Episcopal Diocese of Washington, DC
– Always God’s Children, LGBT group of the Cathedral of St. Matthew of the Apostle

Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) organizations assisting:
– Project End Gun Violence
– Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
– Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

Prior to this event, please attend a very important conversation hosted by the DC Center: https://www.facebook.com/events/294013917607645/?ti=icl


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