Tuesday, December 15, 2009

DignityUSA Adopts More Inclusive Mission Statement

By Mark Matson,

President of DignityUSA

At the October 2009 DignityUSA Board Meeting held in Minneapolis, the DignityUSA Board of Directors unanimously adopted a reworded Mission Statement that is more inclusive, more reflective of reality, and more forward-thinking than the former Mission Statement.

If you recall in my San Francisco Convention address of July

2009, I stated, “We will not get to the Promised Land of a fully inclusive Church by doing what had brought us safe thus far. The Spirit is not a creature of habit. We must change our way of thinking.”

The former Mission Statement read: DignityUSA works for respect and justice for all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons in the Catholic Church and the world through education, advocacy and support.

The newly adopted Mission Statement reads (with added language underscored): DignityUSA works for respect and justice for people of all sexual orientations, genders, and gender identities—especially gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons—in the Catholic Church and the world through education, advocacy, and support.

There are four reasons for our Mission Statement change:... Read more

In summary, we have broadened our mission to include people of all sexual orientations and gender identities:

1. Welcoming non-gay allies who seek authentic Catholic community increases our visibility outside the GLBT Catholic community. This is our most effective strategy for changing minds and increasing support outside the GLBT community. At the same time we will enrich our own experience of church by increasing the diversity of experiences and perspectives.

2. The best opportunity to reverse the trend of declining membership is to understand and serve the spiritual needs of our under-served populations: women, youth, minorities, and 
straight allies who are also searching for an inclusive church and society.

3. Dignity has developed a core competency in challenging and reframing the Church’s theology of sexuality. This has been shaped by our GLBT experience but can easily be broadened to address broader issues of concern to heterosexuals. We are the best reform group to take up this challenge.

4. It is the right thing to do, consistent with our Statement of Position and Purpose and long-held stands on social justice and full inclusion of women.

Your National Board of Directors is steering Dignity through challenging times. Not only must we involve and support the core of our organization—you, the membership— but we must increasingly involve and support reform-minded allies among Catholics hungry for an authentic church. Read complete article - By Mark Matson, President of DignityUSA

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