Almost 50 local and national leaders of Integrity gathered during September 9-12, 2009, at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis for the After Anaheim conference. The core of the 4-day event was the Faith-Based Community Activism curriculum taught by Vicki Wunsch and David Lohman [shown in the photo] from the Institute for Welcoming Resources. Participants learned several tools for building our movement through graceful engagement…
  • Framing—How to identify a positive, effective, overarching message that resonates with those inside and outside the movement.
  • Story Telling—How to share a brief, personal story that includes a challenge, a choice, and an outcome. When speaking in public, how to tell the story of self, the story of us, and the story of now.
  • One-on-One—How to hold personal conversation to get to know another person.
  • Propositioning—How to ask another person to participate in the movement.

Click here to download a kit from IWR that explains these tools and others in detail.

Participants broke into small groups—national, provincial, and local--to discuss how they could use these tools as Integrity leaders. Participants also shared their hopes for Integrity over the next three years and identified their top three action items for Integrity's leadership to address in the strategic plan.

Faith-Based Community Activism is offered several times a year in cities across the country. Click here for a calendar. Integrity USA encourages all local leaders to attend a training event near them.

John Clinton Bradley presented a proposal for a welcoming parish program in the Episcopal Church similar to those operated by Integrity's sibling ministries in the other mainline denominations. The consensus of participants was that Integrity should make a few adjustments to the program and move forward with it.

Sung Park of Intersections gave participants a preview of Believe Out Loud—a multi-media campaign to be launched in early 2010. It will encourage clergy and laity in mainline Protestant denominations to publicly share their positions about LGBT equality.

After Anaheim also included the first annual Stakeholders' Council meeting. Outgoing President Susan Russell reviewed the progress Integrity has made over the past nine years she has been on the Board of directors. Incoming President David Norgard discussed recent changes made to the structure of the organization so that it can continue the forward movement of the Episcopal Church. Stakeholders Council Chairperson Joshua Blackwood explained the role of the council and brainstormed ideas for the work of the council. Josh announced that the next Stakeholders' Council meeting and leadership conference is tentatively scheduled for August 26-29, 2010, in Atlanta.

The outgoing and incoming national Board of Directors had a transitional meeting. They reflected on things done well, goals accomplished, and activities with better-than-expected results. They also reflected on things left undone, goals unmet, and activities with worse-than-expected results. They gave thanks for the ministry of the retiring members of the board and shared their hopes for the organization going forward.

The incoming board had a separate meeting to plan its work. This included discussions about the strategic plan, 2010 budget, communication protocols, ground rules for collaboration, position descriptions, and meeting schedules.

Finally, the new officers and provincial coordinators received training from Douglas Gould & Company on messaging and media relations.

Watch Susan's Russell's retrospective of the past 9 years...

After Anaheim - Integrity Leadership Conference

Browse Susan's Russell's photo's for St. Louis...