To our Harmony Family:
On Monday, July 27, 2020, Member Support Coordinator Stephanie R. Gustave submitted her letter of resignation to the Harmony Board of Directors. Stephanie indicated she will continue to support the mission and vision of Harmony but that she was not able to commit the time that her position required. This position will be filled at our upcoming election this fall.
The Board of Directors has accepted Stephanie's resignation and wishes her success in her other endeavors. On behalf of the Harmony Board of Directors, I want to personally thank Stephanie for her contributions to the organization and its mission. We know she will continue to use her voice to build a more inclusive future wherever she may wish to serve.
As a volunteer organization, we continue to be grateful to individuals who feel a call to support the mission and vision of Harmony and respond generously with their time, expertise, and love. Sometimes, life can get in the way of that.
Despite the vacancy of the Member Support Coordinator position, I want to reaffirm Harmony’s commitment to serving members and congregations alike. In the last six months, exciting programs have already emerged such as Sacred Pause, Harmony 101, Family Support, and of course our updated Congregational Welcoming & Affirming program. In addition, advocacy work continues in partnership with Community of Christ leaders through essential work such as advising on inclusive and intentional language at all levels (e.g. congregations, campgrounds, and at the international level) as well as exciting possibilities with Graceland University. If you are interested in helping us to further these areas of support, please complete our Volunteer Form. Your voice is unique and will help to ensure we can better serve all in our community. Additionally, if you are a member in need of support, you may reach us at any time via email at email@example.com or by phone/text at +1 (816) 368-5773.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Hello Harmony friends and supporters -
On June 1, 2020, the officers received a letter of resignation from John Billings, Harmony Treasurer. In summary, John has requested to resign as soon as we find a replacement or by July 1, 2020, whichever occurs first. John has agreed to assist with the transition once his successor has been identified.
While we are profoundly sad to see John go, we are indebted to - and celebrate - his commitment to GALA, WCN, and Harmony over the years, and we wish him the very best. Any messages of support, well-wishes, etc. can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
At John's request, he will be shifting his focus to transitioning out. John was instrumental in setting up the Finance Committee prior to his resignation, and the organization is blessed to have such a high caliber of volunteers committed to responsibly managing the finances of a growing non-profit.
Going forward, Kellie Brady, Mike Roberts, and Val Sundell will make up the Harmony Finance Committee.
OUR NEXT TREASURER
On behalf of the Harmony Board of Directors, I'd like to welcome Mike Roberts as our newly appointed Harmony Treasurer. Mike brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in finance as well as a strong desire to support the mission of Harmony. The Board of Directors unanimously approved Mike's appointment as Treasurer, fulfilling the remainder of John Billings's term. Per the bylaws, we will be re-electing the position of Treasurer at our next election this fall. At that time, Mike will be eligible to run for the Office of Treasurer if he wishes. Any messages of support, welcome, well-wishes, etc. can be directed to email@example.com.
I've included Mike's biography below for your review:
"My name is Mike and I’m a 26 year old transgender man living in Salt Lake City, Utah with my spouse Meggan. Last year I received my BS in Business Management from Western Governors University and am now pursuing a BS in Accounting from the same school; I’m scheduled to graduate in June 2020. I have 4 years of accounting experience including accounts payable/receivable, tax preparations and filings, auditing, monthly financial statement preparation, etc. I currently work as a Staff Accountant for an international trampoline park company. I have an intense passion for accurate, prompt, and detailed financial reports and strive to improve each month. I am super excited for the future of Harmony and its ability to change many lives, especially those of the LGBTQIA+ community."
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. While the timing of John's departure is unfortunate, I want to assure you that the organization is well-positioned and in healthy financial shape. The future is bright!
Harmony welcomes Kellie Brady and Mike Roberts to the Harmony Finance Committee.
Kellie and Mike are both members of Harmony and join together with John Billings (Harmony Treasurer) and Val Sundell (At-Large Board Member) to form the first Finance Committee in Harmony history. Following the organization's bylaws, the Harmony Board of Directors unanimously approved Kellie and Mike at the May 2020 Board Meeting.
The Committee met for the first time this afternoon via Zoom to get organized and strategize. Harmony is grateful for the contributions of volunteers and board members committed to furthering the mission of the organization. Thank you for all you are doing!
Harmony stands with the marginalized, oppressed, and misunderstood.
On this International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, how are you promoting the worth of all persons in your communities?
We had a great time advising the North Idaho Pride Alliance this afternoon on what pride might look like in the midst of COVID-19. Their event is sure to be a major success!
The North Idaho Pride Alliance is a well-organized and passionate group. We were so impressed with their hard work and commitment to providing meaningful content, activities, & resources to their community.
Grateful for the opportunity.
Does your local Pride organization need some help re-imagining their event(s)? Let us know - we'd be happy to help!
Special thanks to Harmony member Kimberly Crabtree Gazzo for inviting us to join the call today.
Check out their website & stay tuned for future events: https://www.nipridealliance.com.
As part of the merger between GALA (Gay and Lesbian Acceptance) and WCN (Welcoming Community Network) we have officially merged the two respective Facebook Pages into a single official Harmony Facebook Page. Please ensure you have "Liked" this Page to stay up-to-date on all things Harmony.
If you had "Liked" or "Followed" the WCN Facebook Page, you will automatically be moved over to the official Harmony Facebook Page.
Yesterday, April 30, 2020, several Harmony volunteers in the Kansas City area gathered at the Community of Christ Temple to fill the planters surrounding the building with beautiful fresh flowers. This act of service has been a longstanding Harmony tradition for over a decade and will continue far into the future as a gesture of good will, ministry of presence, and as a symbol of the diversity of human variety. Since 2009, Harmony has committed over $10,000 USD to this incredible ministry. It is an honor to support such an important tradition.
Special thanks to the Harmony volunteers who worked hard to make this happen - even in the midst of COVID-19. We are grateful for your service! We would also like to especially thank our members and supporters who fully fundraised for this project in under 48 hours. Without you - this important work could not proceed!
Lastly, Harmony would like to express its gratitude to Bryce Veazey for his work to ensure this moment was properly recorded.
If you would like to make a donation to ensure the Harmony Temple Planting Project can continue for years to come, please visit www.harmony.lgbt/donate.
For over a decade, Harmony has helped to beautify the Community of Christ Temple grounds as a symbol of the diversity of human variety and as a quiet but meaningful ministry of presence seen by thousands of visitors to this facility each year. Please consider making a donation to help us offset these costs to ensure this important project can continue. Our goal is to raise at least $1000 USD by May 31, 2020.
Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate a lot or a little. Anything helps. Thank you for your support.
Pam Robison provided this wonderful historical overview of Harmony's Temple planting story. Watch below and consider making a contribution to ensure this important ministry can continue - even in the midst of COVID-19.
Thank you for your consideration!
Past Temple Planting Work Days
Browse past photos of volunteers working hard to keep the Community of Christ Temple planters filled with beautiful flowers over the years.
The Harmony Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Tammie Lay has moved into the recently vacated Congregational Support Coordinator role. This change comes after Tammie expressed a strong interest in supporting those congregations within Community of Christ seeking to become welcoming and affirming, and she brings with her a great deal of experience developing and standing up programming in her area. Tammie lives in the Kansas City area and is a graduate of the Community of Christ Seminary.
Following a formal Board of Directors vote - in which Tammie received unanimous support - Tammie graciously and excitedly accepted the new title of Congregational Support Coordinator. The organization is blessed to have Tammie on the Board, and we look forward to the many contributions she will make in this new role.
Tammie writes, "I come to this position with a commitment to encourage the development and growth of those congregations who aspire to become welcoming and affirming communities to all, regardless of gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation."
Please help us welcome Tammie into this role by showing your support through volunteerism. You may also wish to contact Tammie to express your congratulations. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a membership organization, Harmony is filled with passionate, hard-working advocates for the Queer/LGBTQIA2S+ Community across a multitude of intersecting scenarios (e.g. churches, communities, workplaces, etc.) We wish to highlight these important local efforts as often as possible so that we might help connect advocates around the world with hope, ideas, and a network of supporters.
We've chosen to highlight Sean Langdon, a member of Harmony living in the Pacific NW in the United States, and the good work he is doing there. Check out his story and video below.
We'd like to thank Sean for all of his hard work to help draw the circle wider still. He is doing some incredible things. Well done!
Part of the work I do here in Oregon is to serve on the Board of Directors for the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO). An initiative that EMO sponsors is Common Table of Oregon. I join about 40 other interfaith leaders throughout Oregon as part of this initiative. Common Table seeks to draw together an interfaith perspective as we seek common ground on important issues facing our state. The walls that might normally be up among ecumenical and interfaith leaders begin to come down as we learn from each other's stories and begin to create new ones together.
Recently we launched a campaign where we asked faith leaders to respond to one of two questions via video or written response. The set of questions that I chose to respond to was this: "We’d like to hear from the wisdom of all your traditions. Where do you find applicable examples from your own spiritual and cultural histories of facing and transforming fear, isolation and scapegoating?"
For my response, I shared how Community of Christ journeyed towards our USA National Conference in 2013 with the principles of Faithful Disagreement to guide us forward. This video clip below is my response!
Here is a link to a news article covering Common Table of Oregon's efforts: https://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/2020/04/opinion-a-call-to-communities-of-faith-across-oregon-to-practice-solidarity.html?fbclid=IwAR2BprqKrlkbP9fI8rJKhrBLMjpe8C3D7r2oSd3ZatZ7PaM_kFis3EJotsc