In a lovely recent note from Louie's widow, Ernest, wrote to me, "The torch of information has been passed to you. Louie is rejoicing. You are the right woman for the task."
I hope always to be worthy of the task.
It's been about six weeks since I've written about Integrity USA.
I’d love to say that things have gotten better. They have not. Decidedly. Not.
“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”
(1) How many people are members of Integrity and(2) Get a handle on what might have happened to the almost $400 thousand dollars that remain unaccounted for in the budget.
It mattered not.
See also: “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean.”
Apparently, “new membership individual” can also mean “donation.” It simply depends on who is the master of the word.
If you are wondering about this and why the name of the one nominee for the office of president did not appear on the ballot, I encourage you to send your question to:
IntegrityUSA c/o Humpty Dumpty.5678 Great WallKing's Horses and Men Landing, TX.
No, no!' said the Queen. 'Sentence first - verdict afterwards.'
'Stuff and nonsense!' said Alice loudly. 'The idea of having the sentence first!'
'Hold your tongue!' said the Queen, turning purple.
'I won't!' said Alice."
'Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at the top of her voice."
Except, oopsie, not every member received an e-blast email with the survey. That may have to do with whether or not they are "potential" or "actual" members or donors. Apparently, the Office of Humpty Dumpty had to be consulted on a case-by-case basis.
However, if you've not heard from the Chair of the Stakeholder's Council, well, you know why.
UPDATE: Here's a copy of the service bulletin. It really is a glorious service.
UPDATE: Here's a copy of Kim's Eulogy
Folks from UBE (Union of Black Episcopalians), The Urban Caucus, The Episcopal Peace Fellowship, The Episcopal Network for Economic Justice and other members of The Consultation were also present and well represented.
|The faithful remnant of Claiming the Blessing|
There were zero - zip, zilch, none, nada, bupkus - current Integrity board members present.
The date, time and place of the service were announced in early December.
The current leader of Integrity attends school in NYC. It is a $4.90 round trip ride on the PATH train from NYC to Newark and a 25-minute walk from Penn Station to the church.
Someone on the board posted something under the name "IntegrityUSA". No identity. Just "IntegrityUSA". It appeared to be another attempt at "censorship by noise" - posting things that had nothing to do with anything LGBTQ or Episcopalian or Christian but meant to push down other posts that were disturbing to those in power.
It's racist to question if the nature of the post was appropriate to post on an Integrity Facebook page?
Which, OBTW, is now "offline". Thanks, board member's mom!
Integrity USA Facebook group will be going offline. The momentary pause creates an opportunity for building digital enhancements. To connect with Integrity visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/integrityusa
Join Integrity, Inc. email list to receive updates:
The thing of it is that apparently, board members can (and do) post and they have allowed SOME selective comments, but mostly, it’s blatant censorship.
It was just so foolish.
Whenever someone would challenge him on one of his lies, he would post a YouTube sound of a 'gong'.
You know, like the old Gong Show, where they 'gonged' someone off the stage.
He has also personally "blocked" certain other members who have challenged or publicly disagreed with something he has said or a position he has taken.
That includes the new Chair of the Stakeholder's Council. But, not me. Yet.
I am not making this up.
When someone is invited to "speak" at a mainline denominational church, especially for a funeral, it usually means they are going to give a eulogy or pay tribute. It's a distinct honor. When someone is a "reader," it means they are going to read a lesson from Hebrew scripture or the Epistles.
Also an honor, to be sure. Big difference, however. Very different expectations of the tasks and associated honor.
The thing that is most revealing about the ethos of this board is that, despite the expressed wishes of the family to memorialize Louie by contributing to two of Louie's Scholarships, one at EDS@Union and one at The Oasis, the leadership determined yet another way.
God forbid they should give to any seminary except the one their former Stakeholder's Council Chair served as a trustee (Except, of course, that the President is presently a student at EDS@Union. I know, right? Go figure.). And, God forbid they should contribute anything to another LGBTQ+ organization like The Oasis.
Instead, they have donated $1,000 to start a scholarship fund at a local college in Georgia. The President mentioned this in one of his comments. I haven't seen a formal announcement of it. There's been no mention of how to make a contribution. No invitation to do so.
I don't know how much more money they will see contributed to what I'm sure is meant to be a start-up fund, or what $1,000 will buy nowadays at college. It's just so small and petty and mean-spirited that it makes me embarrassed for what Integrity has become.
The buzz from every corner of the room was "Well, as far as I'm concerned That was the FINAL Integrity Eucharist." To which I could only respond. "Amen".
Has been for a number of years. Had a chance to jump-start into new life but the then-president focused his energies on writing a weekly column in the Friday Flash e-newlsetter which just pontificated and then scolded us for not healing our prejudices as he had.
Call it something - anything - else, but the brand name of Integrity has been - and continues to be -so tarnished as to be an embarrassment.
Call it what they announced it would be at General Convention 2018: The Episcopal Rainbow.
The then-president *Gwen Fry might have been onto something when she said that the newer generation of LGBTQ+ people (present behavior to the contrary) weren't connected to Integrity - the name or the organization and its history - and that it didn't hold the same significance for them.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wallIntegrity has had a great fall. Let's save what we can of the good pieces and start something new, something that can shed the now cumbersome bylaws which were written for a national organization and be freed to assist people on the local level; something that can capture the vision and spirit of a new generation the way the original vocation Louie Crew Clay helped LGBTQ+ people connect with each other to work together to achieve what they couldn't as individuals.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
All the king's horses and all the king's' men are not able to put Integrity together again.
Time to grieve that loss. Time to move on.
PS: If you'd like to join an uncensored, transparent conversation about all things Integrity on Facebook, please join us at Integrity USA in Exile
NOTE: Michael Hopkins left this note on my FB page where I posted a link to this blog.
Well said, Elizabeth, and my name should be included on the list of former presidents who think it's time to close the door and move on. Michael HopkinsMicahel joins former Integrity Presidents Ellen Barrett, Fred Ellis and Susan Russell in calling for Integrity to close and move on.
To contribute to the Louie Crew Clay Scholarship at EDS@Union, click here and make a note about the scholarship in the comments.
To contribute to the Louie Crew Clay Scholarship at The Oasis, click here
For a copy of the Service Bulletin for Louie's Requiem: chick here.
For a copy of Kim Byham's Eulogy for Louie's Requiem: click here.
Resources and Background Information:
ENS Article: Integrity president resigns amid mounting criticism.
ENS Article: Facing financial struggles and board resignation, Integrity apologies for lack of transparency.
Juicy Ecumenism Article: "Integrity renamed The Episcopal Rainbow"
Anglican Mainstream: "Integrity renamed The Episcopal Rainbow"
*The Consultation Interview with Gwen Fry.
*Q: Can you tell me about the process that led to the decision to change Integrity’s name to the Episcopal Rainbow?
A: Well, we did that in consultation with Louie Crew Clay. (NOTE: But, not with any of the membership of Integrity) And, he fully supported that. We thought that perhaps it was time to change our branding. Change our image a little bit because we were moving forward with a very new way to be the organization. So, we did that. We talked about it. We thought that, in changing back to the grassroots movement, our new logo and name would be more appealing to a wider demographic of people in the Episcopal Church. That’s what we’re looking for. We want everyone to feel like we are there for them and support them.