At Dignity/Chicago's weekly service, held at Broadway Methodist Church, the congregation celebrated its 43rd anniversary and gave out awards to the community.
Rev. Bryan Cones, who delivered the service, called his return to the space "a gift." Cones, who currently ministers at St. Augustine's Episcopal in Wilmette, said joining Dignity 15 years ago helped him learn both about himself and the experiences of others.
Cones lauded Dignity's ability to remake the Catholic tradition, pointing out that historically the organization has "expanded our imagination about what it means to be Catholic." Cones said that while things have changed fast for LGBTQ individuals, there was still work for Dignity and others to do. "For whom will Dignity hold this space?," he asked.
During communion, Lakeview Pantry received Dignity's James Bussen award. In presenting the award, Mike Hogan of Dignity highlighted the Pantry's social services, saying "they treat clients with respect" and live out their motto of "food for today, hope for tomorrow." Sarah Carson of Lakeview Pantry in turn thanked Dignity for providing volunteers like Hogan. "We wouldn't exist without you," Carson said.
The Bussen Award also includes a $200 check from Dignity to the organization.
Dignity's Mike Cook presented the Spirit and Dignity award to Dennis O'Neill, a member of the organization who Cook said "influenced so much in the past 25 years." O'Neill accepted, speaking about the joy with which Dignity conducts its work.
The service and ceremony concluded with a potluck and social.