News from AllianceQ: January/February 2020
An Open Letter from Members of AllianceQ Council
To members and friends of the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance (AllianceQ), the wider Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and everyone working towards justice across the intersections of oppression.
From members of the AllianceQ Council who served September 2018—September 2019.
As the Council for the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance, we recognize the important role we play within the organization and our wider denomination as we work to transform the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) into a more just and inclusive church for all people in all aspects of their identities. We recognize that this work must be intersectional and that our efforts to set a place at the table for persons of all gender expressions and sexualities must not be separate from other embodied realities.
We, particularly in situations last year, have not fully honored the intersections of race, sexuality and gender; and have caused harm to queer people of color in our leadership and network. We acknowledge that we have caused and perpetuated harm toward non-white leaders and members and we have failed to fully account for the ways we’ve benefited from and operate within the unfairness that pervades our majority-white culture. Though we have incorporated anti-racism practices, we have not struggled with the important work of bridge-building that makes such work effective. We acknowledge our actions and inaction and we offer our sincere apology for these failures.
As our intention to be intersectional has failed some of our relationships, our confession is not enough to bring healing but rather is a renewed starting point for the work of redemption and transformation. We re-commit to anti-racism education and training for ourselves and throughout our ministries. We commit to evaluating where individual and institutional racism exist in our organization and the general church and to reorganizing power structures that exploit historic injustice in our society.
With the leadership of our new Executive Director + Minister, we are:
- examining white-body supremacy from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology;
- engaging in ongoing racial justice training with Reconciliation Ministry as well as the National LGBTQ Task Force and the Institute for Dismantling Racism;
- investing time and financial resources in a new Intersectional Justice team and seeking individuals to serve with this team; and
- shaping Listening Sessions to hear from and learn from people of color, especially queer people of color in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
As we do deep work to change and grow, we understand that we will be challenged and will at times need correction, and we ask to be held accountable on an ongoing basis. We, along with those who have joined our team this year, will prioritize learning and healing. We seek the continued engagement of queer and allied people across all racial lines. We will maintain transparency as we invest in this work and will continue to communicate our progress as we work to promote justice for all people, for their whole selves.
We are thankful to follow the path of Jesus together, offering and living into his invitation for wholeness in a fragmented world.
Robin Knauerhase, Moderator
Tyler Heston, Secretary
Robert Shaw, Council Member
Eric Emily Satchwill, Council Member
Find reflections from the Executive Director + Minister (EDM) here. Melissa Guthrie Loy speaks about intersectional justice, growth and healing.