There's a transgender pastor, a gay saint and the Portland Gay Men's Chorus.
No, that's not a set-up for a "walk into a bar" joke. It's the people featured in the annual Mass for St Aelred
next Wednesday, Jan. 12, at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (1432 SW 13th Ave.) in downtown Portland.
The Portland chapter of Integrity USA
, a national outreach and advocacy organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Episcopalians, will host the service. According to Andy McQuery, convener of the Portland Integrity chapter, the national organization has been holding celebrations for St Aelred's Day since 1987, but this is only the second year for Portland.
The Rev. David E. Weekley of Portland, the first openly transgender clergyman in the United Methodist Church
, will deliver the sermon. Members of the Portland Gay Men's Chorus
The service honors Aelred of Rievaulx, a 12th
century English abbot speculated by scholars to have been gay.
The Jan. 12 event at St. Stephen's begins at 7 pm. McQuery emphasized that all members of the public, regardless of religious affiliation or sexual orientation, are welcome. The service is free and will follow with a reception.