Integrity USA is the principal gay-advocacy organization in the Episcopal Church. The organization sprang to life in 1974 following a newsletter postmarked Fort Valley, the county seat of Peach County, Georgia. Louie Crew, a young professor of English was behind the mailing, and Dr. Crew remained a mainstay of the organization for many years.
The Episcopal General Convention meets every three years, and the Integrity worship service has become a highlight, an institution attended by thousands. At the General Convention in Indianapolis this past summer, the Integrity worship service was preceded by a cocktail party in honor of Dr. Crew. Through his prior writings, phone conferences, and email correspondence, Dr. Crew has been an invaluable resource for me, and I was privileged to finally meet him face-to-face before and during the cocktail party. This is a picture of Dr. Crew being honored during the Integrity worship service.
Dr. Crew had been one of the select few invited to be part of Bishop Robinson’s consecration as Bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese in 2003. Of course, the ice arena of the University of New Hampshire was full of guests, and the procession included hundreds of priests, bishops, and other dignitaries, and Dr. Crew was part of the contingent of family and friends who processed in with the bishop-elect.
It was also fitting that Bishop Robinson offered the sermon during the Integrity worship service that followed Dr. Crew’s party. I was also privileged to meet the bishop and his partner, Mark, during the party. I visited with Bishop Gene, Mark, and former Integrity president Rev. Susan Russell.
All of this is introduction to a blog post penned by Rev. Russell that appeared today on the Huffington Post. Rev. Russell paraphrased the Simon and Garfunkel song “Mrs. Robinson” as she lauded the tremendous progress made recently in the church and society for LGBT inclusion. Click below to check it out.