Posts Tagged ‘The Pride Center’

Those who attended the Sunshine Cathedral last night, Monday, held in response to the nationwide call for Vigils and Marches as an alert to the recent rash of gay suicides, no doubt found themselves this morning with a revived sense of awe, inspiration and purpose.

The speakers were nothing less than top notch. Each had a specific message, delivered with eclectic soul reaching verbal acuity, embellished with appropriate humor and containing well reasoned intellectual points, impossible for any rational person to challenge or refute.

The program was lead off by Dr. Robert Griffin, Minister for Social Justice of the Sunshine Cathedral, who set the key note for the event. His remarks were then followed by a lengthy series of speakers, each making a point as they saw it, each from their respective positions of leadership within the community or as allies of the LGBTQIA (I know, all those damn initials we use are a bit too much) community.

The follow up speakers included our Executive Director of the Pride Center at Equality Park, Paul Hyman, Chair of the Sunshine Cathedral, Anne Atwell, Presiding Elder of the MCC, Nancy Wilson, members of the Inter-Religious Leadership, Rev. Gail Tapscott of the Unitarian Universalist Church, Rabbi Noah Kitty representing the Congregation of Etz Chaim, a Florida State Senator and a Florida State representative. The closing and summation was eloquently delivered by Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins who also administered the Community Blessing to all who attended as well as extending it to all who did not.

The generally paid for musicians, donated their artistic abilities, declining any compensation, as a proof offering of their sincerity and dedication to the event. The music they provided was from a range of well selected pieces such as “Prayer of St. Frances” performed by soloist Elena Correia, “Holding You,” “This is the Day” with Katy Peterson directing portions of music which included the Sunshine Cathedral Community Choir along with members of the Gay Men’s Chorus having various portions backed up on organ, piano and drum. This was also interlaced with specially created drama “To Be or Not to Be” by the SunServe’s Youth Interactive Theater Group followed by “One Heart” musical of Kris Drumm, as director.

My personal take on all of this? It takes a lot to impress an old high milage, elder curmudgeon such as myself but I was totally impressed by it all, but once being impressed, I remain impressed. All points, all views and all tastes were well represented and fairly presented.

I can not help but further point out the genuine warmth of the Greeters and volunteers of the church. The dedication and sincerity of their purpose was clearly evident, as well as was the overall warmth the church membership and others attending. Coming from background religious mixture of a lapsed Lutheran and shunned Amish, this was all new to me; inspirational, ennobling, humanizing and stimulating.

We also had a good showing of the Wednesday Night Group. I didn’t take a head count, but we did more than fill an entire pew, which afforded us the opportunity for us all to hold hands, cross shoulders, and join together in the celebration of what was taking place.

Though I was unable to go, the group later retired to Peter Pan. I surmise being more attracted to a certain Argentinian waiter than food quality, but with all my sexual afflictions, peccadilloes and proclivities, I realize that I should be the last to talk about that.

So, let us all join together in continuing our crusade against hatred and oppression, now refreshed and re-inspired.


I counted 10 people from our group.

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