October 11, 2019: Coming Out at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine

From Fr. Steven

Some years ago, while part of a different church in a different denomination, I led a committee that focused on helping homeless LGBTQ+ youth here in New York City.

When people would ask me why I seemed so wound up about this issue, even though I wasn't part of this community, I would answer that being a Christian (of whatever denomination) made us all very much responsible.

After all, it was our Bible that was being used as the moral justification for marginalizing, excluding, and in many cases, literally kicking out from their homes, these LGBTQ+ youth. So it was only right that the church should make a special effort to help them.

In our secular age, although the church has lost the respect of much of the popular culture, it still retains its power over the rituals, rites, and poetic language that provide meaning and ground our moral life.

So our Cathedral congregation's continuing efforts to "come out" and to affirm the full humanity and dignity of the LGBTQ+ community is profoundly important.

When we put a Pride flag over the Cathedral entrance or hang panels of the AIDS Quilt on our walls or host the SAGE Table events, we are not just doing good works.

We are also speaking to people at a deep unconscious level. We are speaking to people at the level where real change, reconciliation, and healing occur.

The Rev. Steven Lee



LGBTQ+ Fellowship Organizing Meeting
Sunday, October 27 at 12:30 PM
Cathedral House Conference Room

Second Sunday Parish Brunch
Sunday, October 13 at 12:30 PM
Cathedral House Conference and Dining Rooms

Newcomers Brunch
Sunday, November 24 at 10:00 AM
Cathedral Nave


Pathfinders: A Program of Spiritual Exploration for Children at the Cathedral

All three of our children's classes will meet this Sunday. Little Pilgrimsand the Next Step will have a combined class at 10:00 AM in the Cathedral. The Great Adventure (7th grade and older) will meet at 1pm in Cathedral House.

For more information and to register, please contact Donna Devlin, Director of Christian Education.


"Global Mission: The Good, the Bad, and the Sublime"
A (Brief) Talk by Jennifer Allen
Sunday, October 13 at 12:45 PM
Cathedral House Conference Room

Unburdening: Saturday Morning Quiet Meditation
Saturday, October 12 and 19
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Cathedral House Conference Room


For information about parish elections and the Annual Meeting on February 2, 2020, please click this link.


Stewardship Kick-Off Brunch
Sunday, October 20 at 10:00 AM
Cathedral Nave

From Marsha and Tim

Last Sunday the Cathedral put on a fair with pet blessings to observe Saint Francis Day. As we’ve done for several years, the Congregation set up table where we had information on our community, a big bowl of dog biscuits, a bowl of water and some dog tags for sale (proceeds go to our mission and outreach program). Since there was no St. Francis Day service with Earth Mass and exotic animals, I wondered how many people would come to the fair.

There seemed to be more than ever—so many people with dogs of every shape and size, from “boroughbreds” to exotic and popular breeds; tiny Chihuahuas to one huge (230 pound) American mastiff walked by to be blessed by clergy on the green. Lady GaGa, the pink chicken, was present. I wonder what happened to Chuckles the macaw that came every year for over thirty years. What everyone had in common was a love for another creature. Showing hospitality and good cheer to the thousands of souls (human and canine) is just very reassuring—love is all around us for sure.

The best moment for me was a conversation with a man named John. He must be in his sixties and has been coming for years. His passion is pugs. We reminisced about Bishop Grein and his black pug, Bruno. He told me stories about the politics of the pug world. Finally he talked about the Cathedral which he loves, although he doesn’t come to church much. He said, “Everyone sees this building from the outside and is impressed. But you (meaning the congregation) have built this place on the inside and I must thank you. Seriously: thank you!”

To all who are reading this THANK YOU!

Blessings from Tim and Marsha