The Bay Area Reporter, a publication that can be described as San Francisco's gay newspaper of record, shares the news:
Gay-friendly church celebrates 150 years
A San Francisco church that's been welcoming the LGBT community for more than three decades will celebrate its 150th anniversary this weekend.
The Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist has survived low membership, the 1906 earthquake, an arson fire in the 1970s, and an ever-evolving neighborhood. The church, which occupies a quiet, leafy corner of the Mission District, will host a special Eucharist, reception, and dinner Sunday, November 18.
You don't have to be Episcopalian to attend.
The church offers a "very loving, supportive community," said Kathy Veit, one of the church's lay leaders. The church provides "something people are looking for that can be elusive in a place like the San Francisco Bay Area, where people are too busy to work on relationships," she said.
Veit, who identifies as lesbian and was raised Roman Catholic, said before she became a member three years ago, it had been 25 years since she'd been to church. She said the Bay Area's transitory nature makes it hard for people to get to know each other, but church members do things for each other like taking meals to new parents, and helping elderly church members get to medical appointments.
According to the Reverend John Kirkley, the church's openly gay rector – the pastor of the parish – as many as 80 percent of the church's approximately 90 members are LGBT. Veit said about 60 percent of the church's members live within walking distance, which is close to the Castro District, Noe Valley, and the South of Market neighborhoods.
This San Francisco purveyor of graffiti has it right. When times are bleak -- when country and planet sink under the barely restrained sway of greed, raw power, and fear -- it's time to restate what matters.
I write here to preserve and kindle hope for a national and global turn toward multi-racial, economically egalitarian, gender non-constricting, woman affirming, and peace choosing democracy that preserves the habitability of earth for all. There's a big order -- but what else is there to do but struggle for this? Not much.
Topics range from the minuscule to the transcendent to the global, from dire to delightful. I am not an optimist, but I refuse to allow myself to wallow within the easy bias that everything is going to always be awful. Good also happens; love lives too.
I've been yammering here about activism, politics, history, racism and other occasional horrors and pleasures since 2005. I intend to continue as long as the opportunity exists. In this time, that means activism and chronicling resistance. Perhaps it always has, one way and another.
I'm a progressive political activist who runs trails and climbs mountains whenever any are available. I've had the privilege to work for justice in Central America (Nicaragua and El Salvador), in South Africa, in the fields of California with the United Farmworkers Union, and in the cities and schools of my own country. I'm a Christian of the Episcopalian flavor; we think and argue a lot. For work, I've done a bit of it all: run an old fashioned switch-board; remodeled buildings and poured concrete; edited and published periodicals, reports and books; and organized for electoral campaigns. Will work for justice.