As the president of Integrity USA, the 30-year-old national Episcopal lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, the Rev. Susan Russell has been at the forefront of some of the boldest, most inclusive and most controversial policy statements of any church leader in America. Sheâ€™s also the convener of â€œClaiming the Blessing,â€ a national ministry focused on the full inclusion of the LGBT population within the Episcopal Church, and a charter member of the Human Rights Campaignâ€™s Religion Council.But itâ€™s in her role as the senior associate for parish life at All Saints Episcopal Church that Russell has a strong hand in the discussions of social, political and moral issues in Pasadena. And as All Saints celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, Russell finds the challenges to equal rights and social justice of all stripes are just as formidable as ever â€” but also utterly worth fighting to overcome.
This weekend, All Saints plays host to a special three-day conference on â€œViolence, Religion and the American Soul,â€ which will involve â€œexamining the state of the American conscienceâ€ and exploring â€œthe Christian responsibility to live a faith of nonviolence, healing and respect.â€
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