A living history of ministry for the LGBTQ+ community — Part 5: The intersection of God’s work

The night before the two-day forum was set to begin, the All Family Coalition — which, from inception in June to the service on July 11, had grown to include “more than 60 religious and social justice organizations in the Bay Area” — began their program of events with an interfaith service at Grace Cathedral, described in the San Francisco Examiner as an “unorthodox service — which included a Jesuit priest, a shofar-blowing rabbi, and mimes passing out a communion of Hershey chocolate kisses.”

After the service, hundreds of those in attendance marched down Nob Hill to the hotel where the Family Forum would be held to begin a 48-hour vigil for all people affected by “political, racial and religious hatred, and social injustice.” For the next two days, volunteers with the All Family Coalition handed out information to break down stereotypes about gay people to the forum attendees.

It was around this same time that the Rev. Bernard Mayes had represented the Diocese of California in Canterbury, England, to visit the Archbishop and his Church of England Board of Social Responsibility. Mayes went with the goal of sparking conversation about homosexuality and the Church’s position on it, and soon after his return, the chairman of that board — Anglican Bishop Hugh Montefiore — visited The Parsonage and spoke with the Parsons on duty.

For the time being, The Parsonage’s leadership had figured out how to work in the many areas it was being called to. The Parsonage became the intersection in ministries related to the AIDS crisis, political activism, and reconciliation. Recently, Holly McAlpen, a friend of Tom Tull’s said about this work, “this brought a lot of folks to the front of leadership because you needed a lot of leadership” to make all of these vital ministries possible. 

For more of the living history of ministry for the LGBTQ+ community series, click here.