News from AllianceQ: January/February 2022

Our Vision, Values, Mission, and Priorities: Small, BIG changes

Our vision is Affirmation, Love, and Liberation for ALL. At its November 2021 retreat, the Council identified these values to guide our work:

  • justice + liberation
  • belonging + affirmation
  • connectedness + relationship
  • love + grace
  • accountability + transparency
and these priorities:
  • ensuring organizational sustainability,
  • dismantling and divesting from white supremacist structures and practices, and
  • addressing the pastoral needs of LGBTQ+ people.

We are so very aware that our call is not necessarily to do more. In fact, our values and priorities may lead us to “do less” but to do what we’re doing better, more deeply.

What we’ve been saying:

We, the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance, are members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), called to join in God’s work of transforming the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) into a just and inclusive church that welcomes persons of all gender expressions and sexual identities into the full life and leadership of the church.

What we are embracing and embodying:

We, the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance, are members of the Body of Christ, called to join in God’s work of transforming the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) into a just and inclusive church that welcomes persons of all gender identities and expressions and sexual orientations into full life and leadership of the church.

The small changes to the wording of our mission statement communicate bigger shifts.

We are members of the Body of Christ

AllianceQ members and friends span denominational groups and/or do not affiliate with the DOC. We are members of the Body of Christ. Expanding our language here also allows us to ground our connectedness, humanity, and divinity in scripture.

Gender identities and expressions and sexual orientations

Gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation are separate entities. Here’s a recorded webinar from AllianceQ and here’s a visual called the Genderbread Person.

Full life

The change in our mission statement from “the full life and leadership of the church” to “full life and leadership of the church” emphasizes our work supporting LGBTQ+ individuals and issues beyond the institutional church. Further, we are claiming God’s call through Jesus for all to have life and have it to the full (John 10:10).

From your Council Members

“The value set I think is key for us is justice and liberation. I chose this because it is the heart of our work. We are a justice ministry that needs to be doing the work of liberation in a way that ensures that all means all in every DOC church.” – Steven Blinder
“The Alliance’s commitment to belonging and affirmation is most important for me. I have been a member of many churches and a leader in several churches. I firmly believe that there is a true difference between being the recipient of a generalized ‘welcome’ and actually being able to say, ‘I belong here. This is my place. This is my family. This feels like home.’ Being truly affirmed for all of one’s self is one of the best and warmest feelings a person can have. There is nothing like knowing that despite what you experience out in your community, or in your home, or in your workplace, there is one place in the world where you — all of you — truly belongs: your church. I am committed to and enthusiastic about creating more spaces of genuine belonging and heartfelt affirmation. This act of making space is in line with the work of Christ, as he constantly worked to connect with those who had been marginalized by removing any sort of barrier that had been put up to keep certain individuals apart from others. God’s children come in many beautiful varieties. I firmly believe that God affirms our differences and rejoices at the sight of our great diversity. AllianceQ rejoices alongside the creator, and AllianceQ will continue to work to ensure that a sense of belonging and affirmation are a part of the lived experience of all persons.” – Laura Jean Allen
Belonging and affirmation are significant to the work of the organization because LGBTQ+ people are everywhere, and we do belong in all aspects of life including church. Yet more than that, we want to be affirmed as our whole selves whenever we are involved. AllianceQ works to make that a consistent reality for LGBTQ+ folx in the DOC. Whether lay leaders, members, pastors, or more, AllQ aims to show that ALL people belong at the table, in the work, and in the life of the church AND all people are affirmed in their wholeness within the body of Christ.” – Elijah Burton
“I am always wondering who is missing from our conversations, events, and initiatives. In order for us to realize our vision, we must develop meaningful relationships with our members and partners. I believe that if people feel connected to AllianceQ and to other members (this goes along with belonging and affirmation), they are more likely to help drive the organization forward.” – Luther Young
“Being and staying connected is one of the foundations of organizing and movement building within and outside of the church. Building relationships, and sustaining them through our council, congregations, and communities is our work.” – RJ Robles
“I believe that every aspect of our work must be wrapped up in the value of grace. Graciousness offers us the space to make mistakes, to learn from one another, and to strive towards the betterment of all and the spiritual wholeness of the body of Christ.” – Alysha Laperche
“I believe accountability and transparency are paramount to building trust between the Alliance, our members, and our supporters — and that trust is the foundation upon which our work rests.” – Luther Young
“Holding the church constantly accountable for past transgressions is just as important as celebrating its progress in inclusivity. In that, full transparency with regards to agenda are paramount. Being fully transparent and candid about our intentions when reaching out to the queer community will help to establish trust.” – Jacob Vartan

Thank You

Thank you for the ways you embody your beliefs and join with us in this work. We urge you to complete a Commitment Card + Demographics Form to engage with us and help us collect demographics to inform our practices and programs.