“Clearing Space for God”—A QuiC Lenten Conversation Series

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FRIDAYS IN LENT, BEGINNING FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, THROUGH MARCH 22, 6:30-8 P.M., Leffler Living Room

This Lent, Queer in Christ will host a Conversation series called Clearing Space for God, designed with queer people in mind. Join James Davidson and Michael Seewer each Friday evening in Lent as we explore and share sacred stories that celebrate otherness. We'll dig into these stories and discuss how they and we celebrate our special gifts as queer people, and reflect on how we move forward in the process of clearing space for God in our daily lives.

This series is being planned as an in-person offering in Leffler Living Room, but please let us know if you would prefer to join remotely so we can accommodate such requests. Interested in joining these conversations? Contact Michael Seewer: mseewer@saintmarks.org

QuiC Advent Devotional Writing Series—Making Manifest

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Join the Queer in Christ ministry for an Advent devotional writing series using the book Making Manifest: On Faith, Creativity, and the Kingdom at Hand by Dave Harrity. All are invited, you do not have to identify as queer or be a part of the Queer in Christ ministry to join this series! All you need is a desire to write and reflect, and share the experience with others.

The book we are using, Making Manifest: On Faith, Creativity, and the Kingdom at Hand, contains devotional meditations and exercises designed for personal spiritual growth and innovative community building through 28 meditations and short projects anchored in poetry, prayer, writing, contemplation, and personal reflection. Each day’s project contains one meditation and one writing exercise—activities totaling at least a half hour. The meditations are short, thought-provoking points of contemplation—sometimes accessible, sometimes obscure. Each day’s project is designed to help you “re-vision” the way you understand and interact with the Kingdom of God. As you move through the devotional series, let the book’s daily exercises replace your devotional activities and routine, and allow the practices of daily writing and reflection to be born or more fully embodied as you spend time working through this text by yourself and/or with others.

Click here to download a preview of the book’s first three exercises.

Since Advent is only 3 weeks long this year, day 1 of the devotional series will begin on Sunday, November 26 (Christ the King Sunday). We will  meet as a group on the following 4 Saturdays at 1:30pm to discuss our writing journeys together:

  • December 2 (hybrid meeting on Zoom and in Leffler Living Room), 3–4 p.m.
  • December 9 (Zoom only meeting), 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • December 16 (hybrid on Zoom and in Leffler Living Room), 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • December 23 (Zoom only), 1:30-2:30 p.m.

At the weekly check-ins, we will join together to reflect on the week's devotions, and maybe even do a group writing exercise together!

To join this devotional writing series, and to purchase a copy of the workbook, email Michael Seewer (mseewer@saintmarks.org). Access to the book has been provided free of charge by the author, but participants will be asked to contribute $15 toward a donation that will be made to the author’s favorite charity (Fellowship of Reconciliation USA).

Questions? Email Michael Seewer (mseewer@saintmarks.org).

Transgender Day of Remembrance, 2023

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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 8 P.M., in the cathedral nave and livestreamed

Saint Mark’s Cathedral will offer a special Vigil and Eucharist in observance of Transgender Day of Remembrance 8 p.m. on Monday, November 20, in the cathedral nave and livestreamed, hosted by the Queer in Christ ministry. Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 which honors the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. The Reverend Linzi Stahlecker will preside.


UPDATE: A video of the service may be seen below:

Queer in Christ Book Discussion: The Book of Queer Prophets

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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 12:30 P.M., Leffler Living Room

All are welcome to join the next Queer in Christ book discussion on Sunday, November 19 at 12:30 p.m., discussing the first two sections of The Book of Queer Prophets: 24 Writers on Sexuality and Religion (Ruth Hunt, editor). We will discuss the essays in the first two sections of the book (Visions and Lamentations). Interested in joining? Contact Vicky Greenbaum (vgreenbaum1@gmail.com) with questions, and also to let her know if you’d like to join remotely.

Queer in Christ Coffee & Art Walk

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8, 12:30 P.M., meet on the front patio

Join members of Queer in Christ on October 8 at 12:30 p.m. for a visit to Lower Queen Anne to grab some coffee and then visit The Fishbowl, one of Seattle’s newest art galleries designed specifically for QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) artists, creatives, and community members. We will meet at 12:30 p.m. on the cathedral’s front porch, and then travel together to Lower Queen Anne.

Queer Conversations

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FOLLOWING EVENSONG ON THE FIRST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH, 5:30 P.M., Cathedral House Room 210

Join the Queer in Christ ministry after Choral Evensong for "Queer Conversations". We will meet following the conclusion of Evensong in Cathedral House 210, for refreshment, fellowship, and a discussion on a variety of topics.

  • OCTOBER 1, 2023: We will be joined by Communications Director Gregory Bloch, who will lead us in a fascinating conversation about the queer history of Saint Mark's.
  • NOVEMBER 5, 2023: We will discuss the saints in our tradition that have been embraced by the queer community (including Vida Dutton Scudder, Marina the Monk, Perpetua and Felicity, and Simeon Bachos), as well as those holy people who have been saints to us in our own lives.
  • DECEMBER 3, 2023: no meeting due to the "O" Antiphons Liturgy
  • JANUARY 7, 2024: We will be joined by Canon Daugherty, and Rachel and Russ Crosbie as co-facilitators of the conversation, discussing how queer people can find meaning in religious expression while also honoring their gender, gender identity, and orientation, and how the church's theology affirms and nurtures this integration.
  • FEBRUARY 4: Michael Garrett (MS, CCM), a health equity and case/care management consultant, who will lead a conversation about LGBTQ+ healthcare
  • MARCH 3: The Reverend Linzi Stahlecker will lead a conversation about grief.

QuiC Picnic at Little Water Cantina

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UPDATE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO A LATER DATE

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 1 P.M., at Little Water Cantina, 2865 Eastlake Ave E

Celebrate the end of summer and approach of autumn with a Queer in Christ Picnic! Join co-hosts Michael Seewer and Vicky Greenbaum for an afternoon of bites and beverages at Little Water Cantina on Eastlake Ave on September at 1 p.m.

Please email Michael to RSVP so we know how large of a table to get: mseewer@saintmarks.org

QuiC Book Discussion: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

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Queer in Christ Book Discussion: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 12:30 P.M., Room 210

For the first QuiC Book Group gathering, ministry leaders have chosen Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson, a moving memoire about growing up queer in an abusive religious family in 1970s Britain. The first half of the book contains many scenes which will be familiar to readers of Winterson's essential 1985 Lesbian novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, but here they are presented stripped of their fictionalization and told with painful honesty. The book then jumps forward several decades, as Winterson explores how these experiences continued to resonate in adulthood. Issues of faith and organized religion pervade both sections of the book.

The discussion will be in person only in Room 210, unless sufficient interest for online participation expressed in advance. Contact Vicky Greenbaum with any questions, or if you would be interested in joining remotely: vgreenbaum1@gmail.com

Celebrating Pauli Murray, the First Queer Saint in The Episcopal Church

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TAIZÉ PRAYER LITURGY: SUNDAY, JULY 2, 4:30 P.M., in the cathedral nave and livestreamed. (QuiC Meet & Greet to follow in the cathedral nave)

FORUM: WEDNESDAY, JULY 12, 6 P.M., Bloedel Hall and via Zoom

The Saint Mark's Queer in Christ Ministry has planned two events in July honoring The Rev. Pauli Murray, the first Black person perceived as a woman in the U.S. to become an Episcopal priest, and the first queer person added to The Episcopal Church's "Calendar of Saints" (called Lesser Feasts & Fasts). Murray's feast day is July 1.


Taizé Prayer Liturgy in Honor of Pauli Murray, Priest, Activist, Scholar, and Poet

A special Taizé Prayer liturgy will be offered Sunday, July 2, including readings and prayers by Pauli Murray and specially chosen music. (This service is offered in the first-Sunday, 4:30 p.m. time usually taken by Choral Evensong, which will be on summer hiatus.) A Queer in Christ Meet & Greet will follow the liturgy in the southeast corner of the nave. Contact Michael Seewer to learn more: mseewer@saintmarks.org

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Projecting Justice: Protect Trans Lives

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Learn about the original May 2021 iteration of the Projecting Justice project, highlighting the names of people killed by the police, here

JUNE 21, 2023

In 2021, Saint Mark's collaborated with the ACLU of Washington State to use the unique visibility and position of the cathedral building as a beacon on the hill to make a powerful public statement about violence and justice in our city and our region. For two weeks, we projected names of people in Western Washington killed by the police, with the simple message that each one "should still be alive today." Read about this project, and all the names that were included, here.

This year ACLU-WA and Saint Mark's are again collaborating, this time to make a public statement in light of an unprecedented wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, and the atmosphere of threat that trans people—both across the country and in our own cathedral community—are now experiencing:

Protect Trans Kids, Protect Trans Lives

On their website, ACLU-WA explains the project:

Protect trans kids. Protect trans lives. These two messages illuminate Saint Mark's, seen across Seattle during the city's biggest Pride celebrations, from June 20 through June 29. So far this year, state lawmakers across the country have introduced nearly 500 anti-LGBTQIA2S+ bills, most of which target transgender and non-binary people. The ACLU has been fighting back by working in state legislatures, taking unconstitutional policies to court, and mobilizing supporters to protect trans rights. This Pride month, and every day, we are defending everyone’s right to be themselves – fully, freely, and with joy. Learn about a recent legislative victory around gender affirming care here in Washington. Celebrate LGBTQIA2S+ Pride at these events across Washington all summer long. Check out the national ACLU’s podcast episodes, Finding Trans Joy Through Sports and Let Trans Kids Speak for Themselves.

The projections will be visible after sunset on the west façade of the cathedral building (facing Interstate 5) through June 29.

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Volunteer at the Saint Mark’s PrideFest Booth

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SATURDAY, JUNE 24, 12–8 P.M., booth located near Broadway & Roy, sign up here

Saint Mark's will once again have a booth at Capitol Hill PrideFest booth on Saturday, June 24, from noon to 8 p.m., and volunteers are needed to sign up for a 2-hour slot at the booth. It's a fun way to participate in the event, and you may be surprised at how many people are interested in learning more about Saint Mark's and the Episcopal Church. You don't have to be an expert—you'll be showing the love of Christ to our neighbors just by being a friendly face and speaking from your experience. If you are interested and available to sign up, please use this form. Questions? Contact Michael Seewer: mseewer@saintmarks.org

Proud People Spotlight: Rose Hazard

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In this occasional series, the Saint Mark's Queer in Christ ministry will be highlighting the voices of LGBTQ+ members of the cathedral community.


How you found Saint Mark's

After a two-year period of identifying as bigender, my egg cracked on Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, 2021. The day your egg cracks is the day you realize you are transgender.

In light of such a transformative experience, I desired to find an accepting place to celebrate Easter. This was doubly hard to do in person at the time, due to the pandemic. After some Googling, I found out that Saint Mark’s was having an outdoor sunrise service. I was terrified, but so excited, to spend my first Easter as my true self. Everyone was so kind and welcoming, and Canon Jennifer King Daugherty sealed my interest in Saint Mark's when she made a point to make sure I knew I was welcome here.

I have since formed so many beautiful relationships in our church, and I know someone will always be there for me if I need support. The women of the church were so quick to claim me as one of them, and that was so important to me during the early parts of my transition, especially after feeling so isolated during the pandemic.


Why the Queer in Christ ministry is important to you (perhaps even in a church/denomination that is already accepting and inclusive)

This ministry is so important to me because it opens up a space where queer parishioners can freely talk about their gender and sexual identities with other Christ followers.

Within the nave, you don't want to assume someone else is queer without first knowing them, and conversations are generally more vague and less personal. This ministry allows us to meet other queer congregants and to really encourage each other and get to know each other. There is a lot of anti-religious sentiment in the queer community, so it's very nice to be there for each other and know we aren't alone.


A reflection on the intersection between your sexual orientation/gender identity, and your faith as a Christian/Episcopalian

I was raised in an Evangelical faith tradition that taught homosexuality and being transgender is a sin. From a young age, I felt like I should have been born a girl, but I had no idea I had any options other than having another side of me exist in the deepest secrecy.

I met someone who completely opened up my mind and heart to the queer community, and this eventually allowed me to explore myself fully. When I realized that I am a trans woman, I knew I couldn't live any other way from that point forward but I was afraid that I would have to practice my faith by myself since I wouldn't be accepted in church.

Being unconditionally accepted by Saint Mark's and the Episcopal Church has meant the absolute world to me, and has helped me to foster a much stronger faith of hope and love, instead of fear and guilt. This acceptance has helped me to thrive in all facets of my life and has caused me to have the desire to give back through service. I have a particular yearning to serve the queer community and to show other trans and queer people that they too can have a spiritual home

Rose's Renaming Liturgy, January 22, 2023

Saint Mark’s at Pride Night of the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Storm

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UPDATE: The deadline to sign up for Pride Night with the Mariners and the Seattle Storm has passed, and neither event had a sufficient number of registrations for a group admission.

If you have ideas for similar events in the future, or if you plan to attend either game as an individual, please contact ministry leaders Rose Hazard (for the Mariners) and Michael Seewer (for the Storm).


Mariners: TUESDAY, JUNE 13, 6:40 P.M., T-Mobile Park (or meet at the cathedral at 5:15 p.m.)

Storm: THURSDAY, JUNE 22, 7 p.m., Climate Pledge Arena

Deadline to register: SUNDAY, JUNE 4.

Join Queer in Christ ministry group members and friends for the Mariner's Pride Night at T-Mobile Park on Tuesday, June 13! The game starts at 6:40 p.m., and those who wish to travel together are invited to meet at Saint Mark's at 5:15 to walk together to the Capitol Hill light rail station. Reserve your Mariners tickets by completing this form. Tickets cost $19. For questions about the Mariners game, write to Rose Hazard at: pinuprose90@gmail.com

The following week, on Thursday, June 22, you are invited to join together at Seattle Storm's Pride Night at Climate Pledge Arena. Reserve your Seattle Storm tickets by completing this form. For the Storm event, the ticket cost is contingent upon us getting a minimum of 20 reservations, and then each ticket will cost $45. For questions about the Storm game, write to Michael Seewer at: mseewer@saintmarks.org

Deadline to reserve your tickets for either event is end of day on Sunday, June 4. You will be asked to pay for your ticket if you submit a reservation, even if you are not able to attend in the end. If you purchase a ticket and end up not being able to attend, you can gift your ticket to somebody else.

Transphobia has no place in the Christian Church

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 A Message from Dean Thomason

Dear friends,

Haters will hate…and yet we have another story to tell!

As we approach Holy Week and the heart-heavy task of walking with Jesus to the cross and beyond, I am keenly aware of the harm that is done when religion is misused to justify crimes against humanity. The One we follow was killed by the deadly concoction of distorted religious fervor by the few, doused with the flammable rhetoric of a politics of hatred.

The sin of transphobia and the devastating effects on the dignity of human beings is not new, but it does seem to be escalating in our country. This week a television talk show host took the further step of twisting theological language to advance the argument, and his rhetoric sent a violent message to his followers. I do not join his echo chamber regularly, but its ripple effects were sobering and fearful for the trans and queer communities. For their sakes, I watched the segment, and feel the need to respond.

This person does not speak for me, or for this cathedral community, and his transphobic tropes are poorly developed, dangerously extrapolated, and provocative of the sort of violence we, as Christians, eschew. We have a different message to share with one another and with the world—it is one of love, mutuality, dignity, respect, all while espousing the Christ-like virtue of non-violence. This is who we are; let us show the world what it means to be Christian!

To that end, I want to highlight a special forum tomorrow evening in which Saint Mark’s is hosting the Rev. Canon Carla Robinson who will facilitate a conversation of hope and respect observing the Transgender Day of Visibility. You are invited to join in Bloedel Hall or via Zoom. Registration is required, and the space will be moderated. Cis-gendered participants should take our cues from our trans siblings.

Canon Robinson is a transgender priest in the Episcopal Church, a leader in this diocese, a blessing to this cathedral community which sponsored her for ordained ministry, and I count Carla+ as a friend, confidante and counselor to me. I marvel at her witness to Christ’s love, and I have learned much from her. We are grateful for her ministry in our midst.

We have a different story to tell, and our world needs it now as much as ever. This cathedral community is committed to this work, and I hope you will join the effort. I am,

Your sibling in Christ,

The Very Reverend Steven L. Thomason
Dean and Rector

 

Transgender Day of Visibility

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UPDATED 

FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 6:30–7:30 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall and online via Zoom

Join The Reverend Canon Carla Robinson, Canon for Multicultural Ministries and Community Transformation in the Diocese of Olympia, the Saint Mark's Cathedral Queer in Christ ministry, and others from across the diocese in observance of Transgender Day of Visibility. Learn about why this observance is important, and hear from transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming individuals and allies from our diocese about what the church can do to increase awareness and support of the transgender community as well as what the church can learn from trans people and their experiences. All are welcome!

Canon Robinson will host this event in person in Bloedel Hall. The Zoom option will still be available. No registration is required to attend in person, just show up! Otherwise, if you wish to attend via Zoom, please complete the Zoom registration here to receive your Zoom link.


UPDATE: In-person participants may wish to attend a portion of the Protest and March for Trans Lives, which begins at 4 p.m. very close to the cathedral at Volunteer Park. Speeches and performances are planned for the first 60–90 minutes in the Volunteer Park amphitheater, followed by a march to Cal Andersen Park. More details here; also see the Facebook event page here.) The doors to Bloedel Hall (at the rear of the cathedral building) will open between 5:30 and 5:45 for the 6:30 p.m. forum.

New Ministry Launch: Queer in Chirst

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UPDATED WITH VIDEO

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 10:10 A.M., Bloedel Hall

Queer in Christ, a new ministry forming at Saint Mark’s, welcomes all whether you identify as part of the queer community, you are an ally, or you just want to find out more. We gather together in fellow-ship and friendship while learning more about being queer in the church. Join us on Sunday, February 19 for a forum in Bloedel Hall between the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services to learn more about this new ministry, what got it started, and what the future looks like. Questions? Contact Sacristan Michael Seewer at mseewer@saintmarks.org or Canon Rosario-Cruz at: erosario@saintmarks.org

UPDATE: A video of this forum is now available:

Queer Theology Workshop with Hugo Alas

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UPDATED WITH VIDEO

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2023, 9-11 A.M., online via Zoom

In this workshop, we will understand what queer theology is, analyze the relationship between theology, sexuality, gender and sexual orientation, and critique the assumptions institutional religions have about gender and sexuality."


En este taller, buscamos comprender qué es la teología queer, analizar la relación entre teología, sexualidad, género y orientación sexual, y criticar los presupuestos de las religiones institucionales sobre el género y la sexualidad.

UPDATE: A complete video is now available: 

About the Facilitator:

Hugo Alas is a member of the Ministry of Sexual Diversity of the Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador with advanced studies in Global Queer Theologies from the Higher Institute of Interreligious and Social Studies (ISDEIS) of Argentina. With the Sophia Institute of the USA, he has studied Theology and History of Christianity. He is an industrial engineer with a master's degree in quality management and twelve years of experience as a university professor.


Sobre el facilitador:

Hugo Alas es Miembro del Ministerio de Diversidad Sexual de la Iglesia Episcopal Anglicana de El Salvador. Posee estudios superiores sobre Teologías Queer Globales por el Instituto Superior De Estudios Interreligiosos y Sociales (ISDEIS) de Argentina. Con el Institute Sophia de USA, ha sacado su diplomatura en Teología e Historia del Cristianismo. Es ingeniero industrial y Maestro en Gestión de la Calidad, con doce años de experiencia en docencia universitaria.


 

Saint Mark’s Returns to PrideFest

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SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 2022, 11 A.M.–8 P.M.

Capitol Hill PrideFest is Back... and so is the Saint Mark's booth!

We will have a tent and display on Broadway during Pride weekend on Saturday, June 25, from 11 a.m. on toward evening. Just like last time—pre-pandemic—we will have fun talking with festival attendees about Saint Mark's and handing out info and souvenirs. PrideFest is a great time and a great way to represent your faith community to a variety of folks looking for a spiritual connection.

To sign up, contact The Rev. Eliacín Rosario Cruz: erosario@saintmarks.org or Deacon Earl Grout: deaconeg@gmail.com


March in the Pride Parade!

SUNDAY, JUNE 26, meet downtown at 11 a.m. (exact location to be announced); registration required.

Join the Diocese of Olympia for the 2022 Seattle Pride Parade. Though many, we truly are one as we march for justice and dignity. By our actions we demonstrate that the Episcopal Church of Western Washington really does welcome everyone. Learn more and register here. Once you register, you will receive precise instructions about where to meet on Sunday, when the information is available. All marchers get a free tee shirt!

 

Forum on The Santa Marta Anglican Center

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Above: Santa Marta Center donation links. Click to enlarge.

UPDATED WITH VIDEO

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 10:10–10:50 A.M., Bloedel Hall or via Zoom.

The Santa Marta Anglican Center: Supporting LGBTIQ+ youth in El Salvador

The Santa Marta Anglican Center supports LGBTIQ+ youth in El Salvador who are facing homelessness. It is a ministry of the Diocese of El Salvador, part of the Anglican Church in Central America. Attend this Sunday morning form in person or online to learn more about Diocese of El Salvador's work to advance LGBTIQ+ rights, celebrate LGBTIQ+ stories, and support LGBTIQ+ youth and young adults who have been kicked out of their homes.

Check out an article about the work of the Center here.

Their fundraising official, Joseph Russ, is visiting from El Salvador to share the story of founding the Center, the faith that grounds this work, and how this faith becomes action by accompanying queer Salvadoran youth and young adults.

A complete video of the presentation may be seen here:

¡Encuentro! Meet People in El Salvador and Hear about the Work on for LGBTQ Rights and Safety

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¡Encuentro! Meet Each Other!
Meet People in El Salvador (via Zoom) and Hear First-Hand Their Stories—and Stories from four Saint Mark’s Folks, too!

SATURDAY, JUNE 5, 2:30–4:30 P.M. via Zoom: email Canon Nancy Ross for link: nross@saintmarks.org

Meet people and hear first-hand their stories of living in El Salvador, and hear the personal stories from four Saint Mark’s community members, too, for mutual sharing, as we kick-off Pride Month together with an Encuentro (gathering to get to know each other). It’s a chance for us to learn more about the situation in El Salvador, where many members of the migrant community in U.S. come from, and to hear about the Diocese of El Salvador’s work to advance LGBTQ+ rights, as we celebrate individuals’ stories and share in solidarity with LGBTQ+ members. Saint Mark’s is a supporter of the Anglican Church of El Salvador’s Santa Marta Center project, to offer shelter and services for LQBTQ+ youth and young adults, many of whom have been kicked out of their homes or deported. The Anglican Church of El Salvador is one of the few open and affirming churches in a region that has historically been (and continues to be) very hostile to LGBTQ+ people. Let’s meet each other with gratitude for this chance to begin an ongoing relationship. Email Canon Nancy Ross for the link: nross@saintmarks.org.