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December 24, 2017
To all our dear family of friends in Christ,
Both Ruby and Chris, as your co-Chairs write to wish you a heartfelt Christmas greeting. We hope that the euphoria of the Assembly at Dachau carried all of you home safely to your loved ones.
The magic that happened at our Assembly was all thanks to the amazing work of our committed and hard working Steering Committee as well as our wonderful hosts at HuK and Queergottesdienst München. All of this was totally worth it with the culmination of the Constitution being adopted and witnessed with the signatures of our now founding member organisations of GNRC. And so, now the real work begins with the newly elected GNRC Board. There is so much that needs to be done with immediate effect even whilst we bask in the glorious joy of our Assembly.
We are thinking in particular on the important conclusions we reached together in the Assembly in Munich. As you know, from the 17th December, we became an officially registered organisation with the Italian authorities. This does not mean that our capacity building as GNRC is complete.
The Constitution and the Internal Regulations now provide us with the essential basics of our organisation, but the GNRC needs to continue developing and expanding into an organisation that is more financially independent and more effective in reaching out to LGBTIQ Catholic and Christian groups around the world. We need to work at becoming an effective prophetic voice, speaking against discrimination and criminalization within society and the Church. We must foster dialogue to help counter the gross ignorance related to issues on gender, sexuality and family life. We need to become a repository for resources and a community of faith where LGBTIQ spirituality can flourish in its own right. Finally, we need to become a more inclusive organisation. We are aware that only 19 women and 1 transgender woman attended the second Assembly. It would be so great if in two years time, the gender balance would be more representative of our diversity as a Network!
The African region presented a heartfelt statement at the Assembly. We want to assure you that the Board is not intending to sleep on the hopes and dreams of the African Rainbow Catholics. We make your cry our own and will explore all possibilities to procure ensure that your message gets to where it is most needed most to be heard!
We would like all the regional groups to meet and discuss how they will build on the discussions and strategies that were created in your workshops at the Assembly. The Board would like to hear from you on a regular basis. We would like to know about issues that are important in your region. We would like to know of any initiatives that your regional groups have created. We would like to hear about any good news or difficult challenges that you face on a political level or from your Church leaders.
Most importantly, we also need you! We need your skills and expertise in so many areas. If you have media skills, IT skills, journalism skills, accounting skills, language translation skills then please share them with the Board. In this same letter, you will find a link to an online document where you can volunteer your skills in the various working-groups and tasks of the GNRC. We urge you to help us continue developing our Network’s capacities and further our aims. Lastly, we need those amazing photos you took that can be shared within GNRC (firstname.lastname@example.org). And those who were there for the pre-conferences, we need any footage you took of your groups at work. We want to build up an archive of material of our incredible, never to be repeated and historic meeting at Dachau. Let’s continue as we began by working together for a great future for our GNRC family.
Wishing you a truly blessed and joyous Christmas
Chris Vella and Ruby Almeida, GNRC Co-Chairs