Friday, October 23, 2009

And God Said, "Let There Be Light"

The 50th Annual Convention for the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin grew from spark to flame on this pleasant October evening. It was a time for sipping wine, eating a light repast and talking with old friends we had not seen for a while. It was a time for workshops including one on Education for Ministry (Wilma attended this one) and Episcopal Relief and Development and one led by +Jerry Lamb and Chancellor Michael Glass (I attended this one. There will be more on this one later) that featured "Where are We Now". 'The later referred to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.

It was also a time for vendors and bookstores and all sorts of things. Integrity, a group long banned from this diocese was there and visible! The old bishop (in age and in history) in the last five to ten years had few if any vendors and Integrity was never permitted. Clearly, we are different. Clearly, this diocese is beginning to live out their Christian beliefs.

Tonight, I feature a flyer from Straight for Equality. Since I am typing this I will simply say that this is a copyrighted item but since it was shared with me in physical form I feel comfortable sharing with all of you in digital form.

10 Things You Can do to Be A Straight Ally

Looking for simple ways to start being a more engaged and active straight ally? Try using a few of these suggestions to build your ally skills and start creating change.

Don't forget to visit and read the guide to being a straight ally.

1. Become informed about the realities, challenges and issues affecting the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) people's lives through websites, books, documentaries, and educational material (blogger note: for the bible tells me so is a great one!)

2. Be open about having gay friends, family or acquaintances that you value, respect, and are grateful to have in your life. When you talk about, them do not omit the fact they are GLBT.

3. Speak up when you hear derogatory slurs or jokes and don't tell them yourself.

4. Ask if you are unsure how a GLBT friend, family member, or acquaintance would like their significant other to be referred to or introduced, rather than avoiding acknowledgement of the relationship.

5. Help your kids learn about and appreciate all different kinds of families. Be mindful of the day-to-day messages that they are receiving about gay and transgender people and issues in school, from friend, and on TV. Talk about it with them.

6. Quit or don't join organizations that overtly discriminate. Let them know why you are leaving or not joining in the first place.

7. Support gay, lesbian, bi, and/or transgender-owned and -friendly businesses and ally businesses that have policies in place to ensure equal treatment for all.

8. Educate your church on which organizations are inclusive, and which ones aren't.

9. Write letters to the editor of your newspaper to comment as a straight ally on why you support respectful and equal treatment for GLBT people.

10. Call, write, e-mail, or visit public policy makers and let them know that as a straight person who votes, you support laws that extend equal rights and protections to all people.

We here in San Joaquin can now see a little better.

"God said, 'Let there be light', and there was light. God saw that light was good . . ." Genesis 1:3

More from convention later.

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