Dear Friend of the Global Justice Institute,
At the end of another year of activism around the world, we take this moment to express our deep gratitude for you support of our shared work. Your prayers, your thoughtfulness and your financial contributions have allowed us to make a difference in the lives of many this year, and we appreciate you more than words can express.
Over the past months we worked with partners in Romania to fight back a referendum narrowing the definition of family, excluding same-sex couples and through the amazing efforts of our partners there, the referendum was defeated. We supported a successful legal case demanding that married couples from other parts of the European Union be recognized in Romania, regardless of gender, and the couple we sponsored won. Not only is this good for them, but it helps establish precedence for future cases.
We partnered with people in Armenia to plan the Forum of LGBT Christians in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Illustrating the work we still have to do, that conference had to be cancelled at the last minute due to extreme security threats, including armed gangs. We worked with the Global Interfaith Network to move people to safety in Tanzania, when their lives were threatened. Our work around HIV/AIDS intensified in the face of threats from the US government to cut programs and decrease funding. We battled against the government’s threats to erase Trans people and to remove gender language from policy guaranteeing protections and care for all people.
We participated fully in the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto, hosting the first ever LGBTQ2 Hospitality Room at that meeting. Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner, Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes and Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt participated in panels and worships throughout the Parliament. This was the first time in its history the Parliament offered an LGBTQ track with nineteen specific workshops including LGBTQ2 issues. We maintained our involvement with the Council for Global Equality in Washington, DC, and Rev Dr. Jim Merritt served as a delegate to the United States Department of State’s Ministerial for the Advancement of Religious Freedom, ensuring that LGBTQ people of faith were included and that we did not become targets of the initiatives.
We are partnering with a new initiative in Canada, the Rainbow Faith and Freedom Movement, to identify safe and unsafe religious communities and stem the exporting of religiously based homo/transphobia by faith-based communities.
In Asia, the Rev. Boon Lin Ngeo proudly carried the Global Justice banner in Taipei’s Pride March, and represented our voice in a campaign to address marriage equality. Seventeen groups have sprung up across China, providing safe space for LGBTQI people to congregate, supported by the “teaching tours” across the country dismantling the myths and fears about the Bible and Homosexuality.
In Africa, in partnership with Stan Kimer, the Global Justice Institute helped complete a well on the site of our compound in Mtito Andei, and local people are able to both access clean water and irrigation for small vegetable patches.
The Rev. Michael Kiminda, Director of African Affairs for GJI and pastor of Neema MCC, will conduct what has become an Annual Christmas Retreat for LGBTQI people in Mtito Andei and the surrounding area. He continues to explore partnerships with local schools and the western part of the country.
Thanks to the work of the Rev. Margarita Sanchez De-Leon, we have revitalized a partnership in Costa Rica, Proyecto Casa Abierto, for Central American refugees. In Puerto Rico, Proyecto Matria will help rebuild LGBTQI businesses, and housing for trans people devastated by the storms in Miraflores.
Your gifts, your prayers helped enable an all-country retreat for MCCs in Brazil, and renovation for Casa Missao, a shelter in Maringa.
In the new year, we will explore connections in Nepal.
All of these are examples of our active work to save lives and promote basic human rights around the world. And for every success we enjoyed and every challenge we faced, you have been present with us through your ongoing support of the Global Justice Institute.
So as we approach the end of another year, we come to you again seeking your partnership in our work. The Global Justice Institute holds its own 501 C 3 status as a not for profit organization in the United States. We have our own Board of Directors and we are responsible for our own fundraising. All of our activists work on a volunteer basis, contributing their own resources to the cause of justice.
We hope you will consider an end of the year gift to support our work; perhaps a one time gift or a monthly contribution. We need large gifts to cover travel, we need small gifts to cover administrative costs and we need every size gift in between to keep our faith-filled message of hope traveling around the world in 2019 and beyond.
Donations to the Institute can be made by mailing checks to The Global Justice Institute at 446 W 36th St. New York, NY 10018. Gifts can also be made by visiting https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1435416 and donating online.
For all you have done, we give thanks. May God continue to bless and guide all our efforts, until at last there is peace on earth and good will among all.
In hope for the future,
The Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner, Executive Director
The Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt
The Rev. DeWayne Davis
The Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin
The Dr. Renee McCoy
John D. Hassell
The Rev. Ty Bradley
The Rev. Steve Torrence