Harmony's Board of Directors has prepared an open letter in order to respond publicly and transparently to a statement distributed by the Community of Christ First Presidency to the World Church Leadership Council (WCLC) on Thursday, December 9, concerning Harmony’s recent petition.
In this letter, we wish to provide important context missing from the First Presidency’s response; however, more than anything else we seek to commit our unwavering support to the cause that is safeguarding Queer members and friends of Community of Christ.
The purpose of providing you with such a letter is to share factual information based on several years of advocacy work on behalf of Queer voices in our denomination. Our goal (as stated in the petition) is to meet with the First Presidency in order to gain clarity surrounding the subject and to offer our support as they carry out the holy work of safeguarding Queer participation in countries where policy changes are in effect.
The letter can be viewed by clicking the button below.
Dear Harmony Member,
Tammie Lay (she/her) tendered her resignation from the Harmony Board of Directors yesterday, December 6, 2021. Our bylaws provide for a clean process by which to honor an individual’s wishes swiftly and efficiently. Article V, Section 13 outlines the automatic acceptance of resignations.
Tammie vacates the role of Congregation Support Coordinator. A search will commence in the new year to fill this position.
The Board of Directors wishes to extend its gratitude to Tammie for her work in moving the needle on the Welcoming & Affirming Program forward.
Parker Johnson (he/him)
Our services and programs continue to grow as the church deepens its commitment to truly living out its calling to uphold the worth and dignity of all persons. We’ve engaged with a number of new congregations and mission centers in the Welcoming and Affirming Program, and our Sacred Pause gatherings continue to grow and expand in Europe.
Will you help turn our dream of a fully affirming church into a reality?
We are excited to share that generous donors have committed to match the first $1,000 USD received dollar-for-dollar! Double your impact this Giving Tuesday!
WHAT WE DO:
Harmony provides support to individuals, families of Queer persons, congregations, mission centers, and church leaders in order to ensure a more affirming, inclusive, and safe future for Queer persons in Community of Christ.
WE DO THIS BY:
🏳️🌈 training and deploying facilitators to journey alongside willing congregations and mission centers as part of our Welcoming and Affirming Program;
📣 ampifying the needs of Queer voices through strategic advocacy efforts;
🙏 establishing regular opportunities for Queer ministry through spiritual companionship programs;
📇 maintaining a database of affirming members of the priesthood who are committed to upholding the worth and dignity of Queer persons in need of spiritual guidance, sacraments, etc.; and
📚 providing resources and educational opportunities to church leaders in order that they might make better, more inclusive decisions.
Our primary advocacy focus at this time is the formalization of each of Community of Christ's Queer/LGBTQIA2S+ policies concerning ordination and marriage in the countries that have held national conferences on the subject. We believe this should be done in close partnership with local representatives from each nation/region as well as Queer persons.
There are currently 42 nations that have recommended policy changes on this matter. All of them remain in interim form, and some have been in this form for eight (8) years.
🧑🤝🧑 We are a membership organization with 227 active members across 10 nations.
💳 In the last two years, we have raised ~$20,000 USD annually in grassroots fundraising campaigns from hundreds of donors around the world.
📅 We have been in operation consistently since the mid-1980s.
📈 Between the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years, we saw a 2500% increase in year-over-year donations and a 440% increase year-over-year in membership numbers. This growth continues on an upward trajectory.
🎓 2/3 of our Board of Directors are Community of Christ (Graceland University) Seminary graduates.
We are pleased to provide the results of the Harmony Board of Directors election that took place this weekend. Harmony members just like you from around the world participated in this vote.
Your Harmony President for the next two years will be Parker Johnson (he/him) and your Harmony Secretary for the next two years will be Dylan Weaver (he/him).
The full Harmony Board of Directors under the newly revised bylaws is as follows:
Thank you to all those who participated in this weekend's vote!
The purpose of the Finance Committee is to ensure that Harmony is operating in a financially sustainable manner in accordance with its mission. Harmony currently has no paid staff, so the Board of Directors is a working board. Likewise, the Finance Committee is a working committee tasked with:
To accomplish this, the Finance Committee meets regularly (currently, one hour per month via Zoom) and may communicate and take on specific actions and responsibilities between meetings. It is expected that Finance Committee members attend at least 75% of meetings and advise the Treasurer in advance when they are unable to attend. We collaborate and archive files via Google Docs.
If you have a heart for the LGBTQ2+ community within Community of Christ and are interested in serving on the Finance Committee, we are looking for YOU!
Click the button below to read the full position description and application details.
Dear Harmony member,
On behalf of the Harmony Board of Directors, I am pleased to inform you that the proposed bylaw revisions were passed by a vote of 69 in favor and 2 against with a total of 71 respondents. This satisfies our bylaw requirements concerning bylaw revisions.
I have included a clean copy of the newly approved bylaws for your review below, and the Board will be providing an update concerning our path forward with elections in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Parker Johnson (he/him)
Last month, Harmony partnered with Beyond the Walls for the second year in a row to plan a fully affirming worship experience for Queer/LGBTQIA2S+ individuals and allies. Hundreds of individuals joined this online gathering from around the world, taking part in meaningful sharing, singing, and the Sacrament of Communion.
While many have felt the comfort and support of their friends, loved ones, and congregations, this is unfortunately not the reality for many - if not most - of our Queer siblings. In fact, according to the Transgender Law Center, there have been 139 reported anti-trans murders in the U.S. since 2017. The U.S. ranks third in the world for trans homicides, after Brazil and Mexico. In addition, 2020-2021 has been a particularly terrible year for proposed anti-trans legislation in the U.S.
With this in mind, Harmony’s Board of Directors decided to collect donations during the June 27 Beyond the Walls service for the benefit of the Transgender Law Center, the largest trans-specific, trans-led organization in the U.S. The Transgender Law Center advocates for trans rights, health, and dignity through precident-setting litigation efforts.
Thanks to your generosity, $1,279 USD was raised during this service. Harmony has decided to match the first $1,000 USD for a grand total of $2,279 USD. Funds were sent Tuesday, July 6, 2021, to the Transgender Law Center along with a letter from Harmony Treasurer Michele McGrath (she/her) and President Parker Johnson (he/him) thanking them for all they are doing to support our beloved trans siblings.
This would not have been possible without your support. Thank you to each of you who made a contribution!
With gratitude and appreciation,
Your Harmony Board of Directors
See official notice below. (Clicking the image will open a downloadable PDF.)
Harmony Chaplain Linda Stanbridge and Member-at-Large Tyler Marz joined with Harmony’s Apostolic Ally Robin Linkhart to chat about Harmony, Pride Month, and more
Celebrate PRIDE month with Harmony! Catch up on all the latest news and coming events as Harmony continues to blossom and grow in advocacy, education, and resources for LGBTQIA+ in Community of Christ with a shared vision of full participation.
This year, Harmony is selling Pride 2021 t-shirts to commemorate not only the Queer/LGBTQIA2S+ Rights Movement but most recently our community's tenacity, courage, and resiliency throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These are tough times, and the marginalized have disproportionately struggled.
This shirt is for all those who identify as Queer/LGBTQIA2S+ and our allies. The purpose of this campaign is to promote the good work being done by organizations like Harmony and is therefore appropriate for anyone - whether they are associated with Harmony or not.
All proceeds will go toward Harmony's mission to provide advocacy, education, and resources to Queer voices* in Community of Christ with a shared vision of full participation.**
How It Works
Our vendor for this campaign is Bonfire, a t-shirt printing company based in the United States. Harmony has developed a design that can be printed on a variety of styles such as t-shirts, tank tops, and a hoodie. Please see full details below:
Click the button below to get started. We can't wait to see our global Harmony community wearing these shirts and spreading a message of resilience and hope!
*The term Queer is being reclaimed by some who identify as LGBTQ+ and is used as an umbrella term for the LGBTQ+ community. We use the phrase “Queer voices” to describe all person, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI), who have the courage to use their voice to speak for justice for the marginalized in the Queer community.
**Full participation in the life of the church pertains to all members, without exception, ensuring each person is fully eligible to participate in the sacraments, priesthood, all levels of church leadership, as well as any other benefits and responsibilities guaranteed to church membership according to the Membership Manual.
June is Pride Month, a time to intentionally practice self-love, immersing yourself in communities of love and support while remembering the sacrifices made by those who have gone before us, paving the way for the progress we enjoy today. With the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions around the world to keep us all safe, most Pride events were cancelled in June 2020.
While this was an understandable and necessary sacrifice, we mourned the loss of an opportunity to experience the blessings of our diverse community. Thanks to science, we could potentially see some in-person Pride events scheduled in some parts of the world; however, due to the long-term isolation, inequitable distribution of vaccines, and personal health concerns that might exclude already marginalized individuals in the Queer/LGBTQIA2S+ Community, we are hosting a virtual Pride mixer event on June 6, 2021, at 4 p.m. CDT.
🎟️ Current Harmony Members (Not a current member? Become a member today!)
📅 June 6, 2021
⌚ 4 p.m. Central
Using the Kumospace platform, we will host a virtual pride mixer to foster a sense of community, connection, support, and fun! While this is mostly an unstructured event, we will also share in a toast and a fun scavenger hunt activity.
SIGNATURE COCKTAIL/MOCKTAIL OPTIONS:
Note: We understand each Harmony household will have its own views on the consumption of alcohol for of-age individuals. We invite you to adjust any of the below recipes to fit your needs, taste, and comfort level.
Other beverage ideas: water, juice, soda, mimosas, champagne/prosecco, wine, beer, etc. Your choice!
What to Expect:
All current Harmony members will receive a link to join this virtual event. Upon arrival, you will be prompted to grant access to your device’s webcam and microphone. Once this step has been completed, you will be welcomed into our special Pride-themed space (pictured below). All attendees will be shown as a circular video feed and will navigate throughout the space using the arrow keys or by clicking and dragging.
Around your avatar (webcam feed) will be a secondary, surrounding circle representing your spatial audio range. You can hear anyone inside this circle and they can hear you. Anyone outside the circle is out of “earshot.”
Here is a quick tour of the platform offered by Harmony President Parker Johnson.
We hope you will join us on June 6, 2021, for this event. We can’t wait to see you there! If you aren't a current member of Harmony, it's not too late to join! Become a member today!
Your Harmony Board of Directors