Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | May 29, 2023

Congregation Update: United in the Spirit of Love

Blog|Steph McNally

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

(Acts 2:1)

Dear friends,

Recently, I met up with a former student of mine from Australia who was in town for the day. (They were doing the thing Australians in their twenties tend to do and traveling the globe). When I asked them what they most wanted to do in San Francisco, they replied without hesitation, “See as many rainbow flags as possible.” 

We went immediately to the Castro. A broad smile broke across their face as they saw the enormous flag on the corner of Market and Castro Streets. Their smile grew even wider as we traveled down Castro Street to the famed Rainbow Crossing. There was a new bounce in their step as they crossed this landmark. 

I felt so proud that I could be there with my student as they experienced this place that celebrated them. 

On Sunday, June 4, at 6 pm, we are all invited to gather for Grace Cathedral’s Pride Mass 2023. Some may assume that this service is offered primarily to those in our community who identify as LGBTQIA+. It is, however, also a wonderful opportunity for all who would be allies to gather with pride and love. 

Like the city it serves, Grace Cathedral has led the way in creating safe and sacred spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community, from creating the AIDS Interfaith Chapel to innovative services like The Vine. The faithful allyship of cathedral leadership, and that of the Episcopal Church, has helped spread a message of love and inclusion that has resonated across the nation. 

Now, in a year when a record number of anti-LGBTQIA+ bills are being introduced in the US, we are called to continue in the sacred tradition of allyship that has defined our faith. 

On June 4, at 6 pm, we are all invited to gather in one place for Pride Mass 2023. We will celebrate a liturgy led by our Canon Pastor, the Rev. Mary Carter Greene, lift our voices to sing with the glorious GLIDE Ensemble and open our hearts to receive the prophetic words of acclaimed preacher Marvin K. White.  

Pride Mass is an invitation to worship in communion with each other and the souls and saints whose names are written in the Interfaith Chapel and on our hearts. It is a chance for us to be together in one place, living into God’s dream for the world and the church. 

This Sunday, May 28, is the Day of Pentecost, one of the principal feasts of the church year. On this day, we hear of the spirit descending on the Apostles who have gathered in one place, enlivening them to begin their work of building the church. Those of us present at the cathedral this Sunday will have the opportunity to be inspired by the lifelong activism of the Rev. Norman Fong, who will be in conversation with the Rev. Dr. Greg Kimura at The Forum and preach at the 11 am Festal Eucharist honoring AAPI Heritage Month. A number of us will be gathered at the beautiful Bishop’s Ranch for our annual Congregation Retreat, where we also will be listening for the voice of the spirit. 

I trust that wherever you are this Pentecost, you feel joy, peace, and the enlivening presence of the spirit! 

With gratitude 
Steph McNally 
Associate for Children, Youth, and Family Ministry 

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