Another Year Walking the Walk

It’s been a busy four days— from the quiet solitude of a mini-work retreat up at Mount Calvary to working at the Episcopal Church booth at the L.A. Pride Festival with it’s sensory overload of people moving in all directions, and sound hitting your rib cage as if accosted by drums on steroids, to marching in the Pride Parade this Sunday with people waving and screaming things back at you….it was serious sensory overload.

It was my first experience working a booth at the pride festival. I enjoyed the conversations I had with people with nothing overly contentious in their questions, or comments, but I got a sense from some that they sometimes think of their spiritual lives even though they are spinning inside their current existence.

Even though their questions were friendly and non-committal, the tug was present and this is a good thing. My best moments of evangelism was not really talking religion, but just shooting the breeze with people who stopped by. More than anything, I think, this casual conversation did more to spread the good news…that committed religious people can have a regular chat, and not shove platitudes in people’s faces, but by the end of the conversation they had literature in their hands.

This morning my friend, Ian, and I, after taking separate metro link trains, met at the Kodak Theater, and taxied our way to the Bishop’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Ministry which held a street Eucharist on the corner of Santa Monica and Crescent Heights (The B of A parking lot). On a side note, while waiting for the taxi, I was able to walk Ian over to Grauman’s Chinese Theater so he could have his first look at the famous footprints.

The street Eucharist was smaller than usual, but we were graced by our Bishop J. Jon Bruno who offered the reflection. It was one of inclusiveness, also asking us to never be complacent. He was warm, and genuine as he always is, and once again remarked that each year he enjoys hosting the Commission Garden Party at his home. Our Bishop also warned us of the fight we must still wage as an amendment to the State Constitution has reached the ballot. I am sure as time moves on, the blogland of rhetoric will be filled with various takes on this hot button issue.

The parade this year had much to say about the recent Supreme Court Ruling, and the usual parade activities. As for the crowd, they are always wonderful. At some points we were greeted with huge rounds of applause as I am sure people are aware of the hits our religious institution has taken concerning our policy of accepting all people into our community, and our vocal support for all the baptized, as well as those who are still finding their way.

At 12:00 noon, as the parade was making its way down Santa Monica Blvd, signs were raised which said “shhhhhhhhhhhhh.” The parade came to a halt, and for 35 seconds was a moment of silence for those who have died, and those who can no longer participate in their life, and the lives of their friends and family. Of course, I thought of people I knew, and also thought of Erik, who I assume is alive, but don’t know where he might be — I called to mind other friends with which I have lost contact.

Though I am somewhat lobsterish from the sun, I am once again glad I was able to participate. I was also happy to have a chat with the current leader of the Bishop’s Commission who told me that the GLBT Ministry of the diocese will support and co-sponsor my National Coming Out Day Service to be held this October 12. I also was happy to find out this service has also been invited to be held at the Pro-Cathedral of Los Angeles — this move will take place in 2009.

If your denomination does not participate in your local pride activities, try and change this and become active. Its a lot of work, but the message is huge. Today and over the weekend we reached close to 300,000 people.