Merriam Webster defines the word gay as meaning, “keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits “. In this regard, Pride weekend was a great success in more ways than we might have imagined.
Friday night, a contingent representing St Paul’s, led by the Rev. Canon Allisyn Thomas, attended the Pride opening rally to receive the Stonewall Award recognizing the outstanding witness of St Paul’s in LGBT rights. We enjoyed the VIP reception and meeting various luminaries backstage. Click on the image of the award for a closer view.
Saturday the marchers gathered at the Parade start site in the sweltering heat. There was a moment of panic when we realized we had become separated from the car carrying the Very Rev. Jim Carroll, but at the last minute the lost sheep was restored to the flock and led the way as we marched onto University Ave. There were over 120 purple t-shirts, colorful streamers and signs, the big “Our Love to You” banners, and the ever-popular baskets of chapstick to give away. We got tons of cheers along the way and were one of the biggest, if not THE biggest group marching. What a wonderful and affirming experience. Back at the Cathedral, our water volunteers gave the passers-by and their dogs cool drinks, and we all enjoyed a friendly barbeque. Same time next year?
On Sunday, the Rev. Canons Barnabas Hunt SSP and Andrew Rank SSP were presented with an award by the Rev. Canon Albert Ogle on behalf of Integrity, for their tireless work for equality for all. Congratulations to our much loved Brothers for this most deserved recognition.
And for many of us, the most amazing point of the weekend was the Rev.Canon Allisyn Thomas announcing during her sermon that, with the approval of Bishop Mathes, the Cathedral would start the process to bless same sex couples. This is a huge and brave step that will mean much to many, and I think will enrich our community.
Thank you all, for a most happy, wonderful Pride!
Click on any picture for a closer view. And be sure to check out the Cathedral photo site on Flickr.
For more about this news, including interviews with Bishop Mathes, visit Episcopal Life Online and The Living Church. There are also many blogs that have picked up the news with joy. Please tell us in the comments what you think of this news!