38 Years of LGBT Supportive Leadership in The Episcopal Diocese of Rochester:
"History" was the theme of Pride in Rochester this year. That played well with the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester. We have 38 years of history of supporting the LGBT community in Rochester. Our placards celebrate our leadership starting in 1972 with Cannon Walt Szymanski and Bishop Robert Spears. This leadership has been unbroken through Bishop Burrill, Bishop McKelvey and now Bishop Singh.
This year we set a new mark in that history with an African-American lesbian priest celebrating our annual street Eucharist. The Rev. Deborah Brown also preached on the Gospel text about the "good" Samaritan. Although never labeled as "good" she pointed out, the entire phrase is now capitalized. We are all good, created in God's image, and need to claim our goodness, she posited.
This was the first of three Pride Parades in which our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Prince Singh, was able to join our contingent. During the first year of his episcopacy, he was at Lambeth and last year at General Convention. He was greeted by cheers and thanks by thousands of parade participants and onlookers.
His wife, Roja, and son, Eklan, joined us as well.
Tomorrow Prince and his family leave for a month long visit to his homeland in southern India. As we marched along he shared that word of his support for an inclusive church had spread to his home parish and he was dis-invited to preach there.
"It all good," he said, "I will be preaching at several Cathedrals."
And so it goes. We will continue to witness to God's Love that is more inclusive and amazing that we deserve or can imagine. We will continue to believe... OUT LOUD!