Dear Integrity Members and Friends,
My name is Alan Yarborough, and I’m a student at Clemson University and Peer Minister of Canterbury of Clemson. I was born and raised in the Episcopal Church in Asheville, North Carolina. I love the Episcopal Church, and I cherish all that it has provided for me. The future of the Church is of vital importance to me. Integrity is working hard to make that future one I can look forward to and one that attracts families and others like me looking for an inclusive, loving place to worship.
I am writing to ask you to support Integrity’s Claiming the Promise: Making All Mean All campaign, which will fund Integrity’s crucial efforts at General Convention 2012 in Indianapolis. Your gift of $100, $250 or $500 will ensure that the Church that so many young adults like me dream of will be there in the future. The goal for the Claiming the Promise Campaign is $110,000, of which $35,500 has been raised to date. We need your help to make sure Integrity has all the resources it needs for a successful GC12.
By encouraging the development of my faith, the Episcopal Church helps me accept myself as a gay man. By opening up its doors, the Episcopal Church invites me to thrive individually as part of a broader community. Through support and affirmation, the Episcopal Church enables me to minister to a wonderful family of college students.
But when I look into my future with the Episcopal Church, I wonder if it will support the husband I dream of having. I wonder if it will be a welcoming environment for all, including transgender people. I wonder if the church will more actively minister to LGBT people, encouraging others to stand up for what is right in the face of those who bully and deny basic care and support to God’s children. Here in South Carolina, the stakes are high among LGBT youth and young adults. We need the Episcopal Church to be there for us when the world seems set against us.
Allowing marriage equality will show all families that the Episcopal Church is a denomination that manifests God’s unconditional love. Passing anti-discrimination canons for transgender people will help fulfill the Church’s promise to protect and nurture all of its flock. Encouraging the church to actively protect and love LGBT people, especially youth, shows an active engagement in extending the love of Christ to all.
Integrity’s work at General Convention 2012 will help the church more fully embody the loving spirit Jesus commanded. Integrity’s work will help grow the church by showing others like me, especially those who did not grow up in the Episcopal Church, that they are invited to live with Christ in a more welcoming, accepting and pastoral Church. By building inclusive communities within our parishes, my family and other families will see what a wonderful place the Episcopal Church can be. I want to work and live in a church that provides all of the sacraments to all of the baptized.
In order for Integrity to achieve this mission at this year’s General Convention, we need your help. As a student, I don’t make much money right now. But I prayed about my own gift and was proud to contribute what, for me, was a sacrificial amount to this campaign. I am asking you to pray likewise about your own gift and to help with the largest contribution you can afford in order to help make the Episcopal Church of the future truly welcoming to ALL. I, and future generations of LGBT Episcopalians, will bless you for it.
Clemson, South Carolina
PS: If you have already made a gift in support of Claiming the Promise: Making ALL Mean ALL, thanks! If you can make an additional gift, please do so by clicking here.