Thursday, April 28, 2011

Episcopalians in the Pride March 2011

The Episcopal Church has, for years, been in the forefront of the full inclusion of LGBT persons in all of the sacraments. While we may not yet have attained all of our goals, we are well on our way. The annual LGBT Pride March is one of the most visual and important ways that we have of reaching out to the LGBT Community, many of whom have given up on or been driven away from any organized religion.

For the first time in several years, in 2010, the Committee on LGBT Concerns of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, in collaboration with Integrity NYC-Metro and the Oasis-Diocese of Newark, as well as many parishes and individuals, sponsored a float in the annual New York City LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual & Trans-Gender) Pride March in June. Several hundred Episcopalians, from parishes large and small, from Staten Island to Sullivan County, marched down Fifth Avenue with the float, the largest religious contingent in the entire March!

In order to do this again in 2011, we need your help. The LGBT Pride March is not a budgeted item. We rely on donations from individuals, parishes and groups in order to make it possible. The cost is between $6000.00 and $7000.00 and our suppliers (float, music, registration) require payment in advance. While it may seem a bit early, Easter has just passed and the LGBT Pride March is on Sunday, June 26th, the second Sunday after Pentecost.

The Church of St. Luke in the Fields has agreed to act as our treasurer this year. Please make your checks payable to The Church of St. Luke in the Fields, note Pride March in the memo field and mail to:

Paul J. Lane
c/o The Church of St. Luke in the Fields
487 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014

The March takes place on Sunday, June 26, 2011. It will proceed down Fifth Avenue from the lower 30s to its usual end point on Christopher and Greenwich Streets in the West Village. Our exact meeting time and location won’t be known until about two weeks prior to the actual March. You will not need to register your group separately. We will take care of registration and marshals. All you need to do to participate is show up. We will post the information on the LGBT Concerns web-page: and our Facebook page:!/group.php?gid=220187362837 as soon as the March organizers let us know.

If you have any questions, please contact Paul Lane at 646-456-8705 or

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Integrity NYC Metro - Spring Meeting and Eucharist - May14th, 2011

Integrity/NYC Metro's Spring 2011 Eucharist will be celebrated on Saturday, May 14th 2011 at 4:00p.m. at The Church of the Transfiguration, 1 East 29th Street in Manhattan. The Eucharist will be followed by a General Membership Meeting and Social. (This is the same day as the celebration of Bishop Roskam's 15th anniversay as bishop.)

We will be talking about the directions in which Integrity sees itself going both nationally and locally as well as asking for input from our members about what they would like to see Integrity do on the local level.

We welcome all members and those who are interested in becoming members, as well as family and friends. Please email if you have questions or check out our web-site at

Again, All Are Welcome.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Coming Out as Christian at GAAMC

On Monday, April 4th, three of us "came out" at a regular meeting of the Gay Activist Alliance of Morris County (GAAMC), the oldest LGBT community organization in New Jersey... as Christians.

Given  the ongoing controversy over what the Bible (and, thus, God) is really saying about same-sex attraction in the way we understand it today, it is not surprising that the intersection of these two worlds is a  thorny one, and there is considerable distrust or at least bemusement at those who claim to be both.  And yet, that is where many of us find ourselves.  Our visit was intended to witness to our own very different experiences, and also to let people know that there are many Christian congregations in the area of various denominations where they will be welcomed, as part of the Believe Out Loud welcoming congregation program.  Integrity, the national organization for LGBT Episcopalians, is working with its peer organizations in thirteen other denominations to identify and support congregations that are striving to be more welcoming and affirming.

As it turned out, there were members of three different Episcopal congregations in the audience.  They also shared testimony of how they had been made to feel welcome, some after very negative experiences in other churches.  Others expressed pleasant surprise that there were so many places taking intentional steps to be more inclusive.

Some good networking followed the event, and we hope to forge cooperation with folks that are already "believing out loud" in their own congregations to keep building the groundswell of inclusion.  Panelists were The Rev. Robert Solon, Vicar at St. Thomas' Church in Vernon, N.J.; Mary O'Shaughnessy, Convenor of Integrity NYC-Metro; and Christian Paolino, Diocesan Organizer (Newark) for IntegrityUSA and a member of the OASIS Commission, the Episcopal Diocese of Newark's ministry to LGBT persons.

Much thanks to Sherry Rase, the program coordinator at GAAMC, for her assistance and hospitality.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Film Honoring Byron Rushing to Air April 26th

On April 26th, a fifteen-minute documentary honoring Massachusetts State Representative Byron Rushing 's work for marriage equality in African-American communities will be screened as part of a film festival honoring Nelson Mandela in New York.

Marriage Equality: Byron Rushing And The Fight For Fairness describes how Rushing (who is heterosexual and an Episcopalian) presents marriage equality as a civil-rights issue to black faith leaders. It will have its world premiere on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, at 7:30 p.m. at Aaron Davis Hall, 135th St. at Convent Ave., in New York City.