Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Birthday St. John's:
We're 150 today!

Marshal Cousins photo.

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.

[There's much more ...]

The party is this evening. I intend to enjoy.

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