May 3, 2022
General Convention is fast approaching and we at the Consultation are busy getting ready by working together more closely than ever before. While some people may assume that having an inviting booth is what we do at convention, that is not our principal focus. What we do and have been doing since 1985 is mostly not visible, though we make no secret about our process. Indeed, this year we will be having meetings on alternate nights that will be open to all.
We work to support resolutions that promote a progressive agenda for our beloved church. Linked below is a brief look at some of the legislation we will be working on in consultation with one another. Also linked below is our Platform letting you know what criteria we use to evaluate resolutions.
As you will recall, since you were subscribed in Austin for the digital version of our newsletter, ISSUES, we work to get you news and opinion pieces on the issues facing the convention. With the general turn to digital communications and increasing limitations on handing out paper documents at General Convention (and ultimately to save money and trees!), we will be producing ISSUES primarily in digital form this year. This will still require funds to support a small team on the ground in Baltimore as well as help in distributing ISSUES as a digital publication via social media and email.
We are writing to you, even those of you won’t be with us in Baltimore in July, because this is the only digital list we have. In past years the General Convention Office has supplied us with both email and “snail mail” addresses for all Bishops, Deputies and Alternates. Because of privacy concerns, no addresses are being supplied this year. Consequently, we ask you to do two things to help us. First, share this letter, particularly the links, with your deputation. Second, if possible, please give a donation, either electronically at the link below or by mailing a check to the address below.
If you won’t be with us in Baltimore, please keep the Church in your prayers.
(Chair after GC)
Press release: Integrity withdraws from The Consultation
For immediate release
Laura A. Russell, convener of The Consultation
Integrity, Inc. withdraws from The Consultation
The Consultation, a consortium of progressive organizations in the Episcopal Church, has received word that Integrity, Inc. has withdrawn its membership in The Consultation. Integrity has been a charter member of the Consultation since 1985.
On March 21, Ronnie Ward, president of both Integrity, Inc. and Integrity Americas, Inc., notified
Consultation convener Laura Russell, “Since Integrity, Inc. is now in the post-dissolution winding-up
phase, the organization is withdrawing as a constituent member of The Consultation and will not be
sending a representation.” The dissolution of Integrity, Inc.’s corporate status began in January and the withdrawal is part of that process.
Russell responded, “We sincerely regret losing one of our charter members.”
According to Ward, some members of Integrity have formed a new organization, Integrity Americas,
with the intention to focus on the full inclusion of LGBTQI+ persons in the Episcopal Church, particularly those in Province IX (the Dioceses of Colombia, Dominican Republic, Central Ecuador, Litoral Ecuador, Honduras, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela).
In her response, Russell said that the new organization would have an opportunity to apply for
membership. The Consultation accepts new members at the fall meeting following every General
Convention, which this year will be from July 7 to 14 in Baltimore.
Kim Byham, Consultation coordinator and one of Integrity’s former presidents, recalled, “Over the years Integrity played a role in all the key changes in Episcopal Canons respecting full LGBTQ+ participation in the church as well as innumerable legislative resolutions.“ Byham added, “Although Integrity has had a presence at every General Convention since its founding in 1976, it became politically active at the first convention following the founding of The Consultation. That was the 1988 Convention in Detroit, and Integrity continued its activism for years thereafter. In 1988 there were only two openly LGBTQ+ deputies; by 1991 this had increased to six and by 1994 there were more than 20.”
This year, LGBTQ+ deputies have organized their own caucus. Several members of the Consultation
Steering Committee are members of that caucus.