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Defrocked Methodist pastor returns to D.C.

Frank Schaefer, United Methodist Church, gay news, Washington Blade

Frank Schaefer of Lebanon, Pa., appeared at Foundry United Methodist Church in December. (Washington Blade file photo by Damien Salas)

A Methodist minister from Pennsylvania who was defrocked as a clergyman in December for refusing to stop performing same-sex marriages is scheduled to return to D.C.’s Foundry United Methodist Church on Jan. 26.

Ex-pastor Frank Schaefer will deliver guest sermons at a service for “hope and justice” at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on the 26th, according to a statement released by Foundry. Foundry’s pastor, Rev. Dean Snyder, is a longtime ally of the LGBT community and has performed same-sex marriages.

The statement says two other United Methodist ministers who were defrocked will also participate in the services – Jimmy Creech and Beth Stroud. Church officials revoked Creech’s credentials as a Methodist minister in 1999 after he performed a holy union ceremony for a gay male couple in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Stroud was defrocked in 2001 after coming out as a lesbian while assigned as a minister for a United Methodist Church in Philadelphia.

Schaefer, Creech, Stroud and others will participate in a panel discussion at the church following the 11 a.m. worship service, the Foundry statement says.

“Foundry is on the forefront of full inclusion of the LGBTQ community in the life of the church,” the statement says, adding that Foundry continues to push for the United Methodist Church to end the “discriminatory language” related to LGBT people in its Book of Discipline or church law.

22
Jan
2014

Calendar: Jan. 24-30

Foundry United Methodist Church, gay news, Washington Blade

Foundry United Methodist Church welcomes Rev. Frank Schaefer for a special service Sunday. Despite anti-gay teaching from its hierarchy, Foundry continues to advocate strongly for LGBT believers. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Friday, Jan. 24

Red Knight Productions presents “The Ballad of the Red Knight,” the story of a prince who must save his kingdom from an evil villain Lord Fango, at Port City Playhouse (1819 N. Quaker Ln., Alexandria, Va.) tonight at 8 p.m. The show runs through Feb. 8 with shows on Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets range from $9-$16. For more information, visit portcityplayhouse.org.

The 16th annual Sugarloaf Crafts Festival begins today at Dulles Expo Center (4320 Chantilly Shopping Center Dr., Chantilly, Va.) from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The festival continues through Sunday. Purchase sculpture, glass, jewelry, fashion and more from 250 American artists. Live music, children’s entertainment and food vendors will also be available. Tickets are $8 online and $10 at the door. Children under 12 are free. For details, visit sugarloafcrafts.com.

D.C. Shorts hosts “Pasties and Popcorn” at the U.S. Navy Memorial’s Burke Theater (701 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.) at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Watch sexually themed films from the D.C. Shorts archive, enjoy burlesque shows and see dance and comedic performances. Tickets are $20. For details and to purchase tickets, visit pasties.dcshorts.com.

Women in Their 20s, a social discussion group for lesbian, bisexual, transgender and all women interested in women, meets today at The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) from 8-9:30 p.m. All welcome to join. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

Saturday, Jan. 25

Burgundy Crescent, a gay volunteer organization, volunteers for Food and Friends (219 Riggs Rd., N.E.) today from 8-10 a.m. Volunteers will chop vegetables and pack groceries. To volunteer, email jonathan@burgundycrescent.org. For more details, visit burgundycrescent.org

The Latino Queer Bilingual Writing Group hosts its monthly workshop at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) today from 12:30-2:30 p.m. The focus will be on memoirs. Open to writers of any genre and levels of experience to share creative work in Spanish or English. Workshop is free and no prior experience is necessary. For details, call 202-682-2245 or email washeg@gmail.com.

Adult entertainment star Ryan Rose appears at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) tonight. Rose was named Falcon Studios’ 2013 “Man of the Year.” Doors open at 10 p.m. The drag show starts at 10:30 p.m. Drinks are $3 before 11 p.m. The cover is $8 from 10-11 p.m. and $12 after 11 p.m. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For details, visit towndc.com.

Brother Help Thyself hosts its grant reception today at Ziegfield’s/Secrets (1824 Half St., S.W.) at 2 p.m. Doors open at 1 p.m. Brother is a community-based organization committed to providing support to non-profit organizations that serve the LGBT and HIV/AIDS community. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

A benefit concert for A Wider Circle featuring the music of Ralph Vaughan-Williams, Gustav Holst and Percy Grainger is tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church (9601 Cedar Lane) in Bethesda. Director Henry Sgrecci will lead the Cedar Lane Chamber Orchestra and Choir. Oboist Jeanine Reinier will also perform. A Wider Circle is a local charitable organization. Admission is free; donations will go to the charity. Open to all.

Concert pianist Denis Matsuev plays Haydn, Schumann, Rachmaninoff and more tonight at 7 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore Hall (5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md.). Tickets range from $35-75. Visit Strathmore.org for details.

Sunday, Jan.26

Foundry United Methodist Church (1500 16th St., N.W.) presents “Service of Hope and Justice with Frank Schaefer” today at 9:30 and 11 a.m. Schaefer was recently defrocked for officiating the same-gender marriage of his son. Jimmy Creech, also defrocked for officiating a same-gender marriage, and Beth Stroud, who was defrocked and now is in a same-gender relationship, will also be in attendance. A panel discussion follows at 12:30 p.m. For details, visit foundryumc.org.

Perry’s (1811 Columbia Rd., N.W.) hosts its weekly “Sunday Drag Brunch” today from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The cost is $24.95 for an all-you-can-eat buffet. For more details, visit perrysadamsmorgan.com.

MetroStage (1201 North Royal St., Alexandria, Va.) presents “Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song” today at 3 and 7 p.m. The show chronicles Fitzgerald’s life both onstage and backstage. Tickets are $60. The show runs through March 16. For details, visit metrostage.org.

Monday, Jan. 27

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W..) hosts coffee drop-in hours this morning from 10 a.m.-noon for the senior LGBT community. Older LGBT adults can come and enjoy complimentary coffee and conversation with other community members. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Us Helping Us  (3636 Georgia Ave., N.W.) holds a support group for gay black men to discuss topics that affect them today, share perspectives and have meaningful conversations. For details, visit uhupil.org.

The D.C. Center presents “When Social Security and Same-Sex Marriage May Not Be Enough” at The Residences at Thomas Circle (1330 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.) today from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Attorney Michele Zavos and Financial Advisor DeWayne Ellis will discuss the issues that LGBT people face when they are not fully legally protected. Light refreshments will be provided. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Tuesday, Jan. 28

Genderqueer D.C. holds a discussion group at The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W..)  at 7 p.m. tonight. The group is for anyone who identifies outside of the gender binary. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Bachelor’s Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.) offers all drinks half price tonight until 2 a.m. Enjoy pool, video games and cards. Admission is free. Must be 21 and over. For more details, visit bachelorsmill.com.

SMYAL (410 7th St., S.E.) provides free and confidential HIV testing drop-in hours today from 3-5 p.m. For more information, visit smyal.org.

Wednesday, Jan. 29

The Lambda Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for duplicate bridge. No reservations required and new comers welcome. If you need a partner, call 703-407-6540.

Fresh Market (3680 King St., Alexandria, Va.) opens its new location today at 8 a.m. Enjoy chef demonstrations, food samplings throughout the store and drawings for The Fresh Market gift cards. The first 1,000 customers receive a sample bag of Fresh Market coffee and a reusable shopping bag. For details, visit thefreshmarket.com.

Thursday, Jan 30

Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) hosts its weekly “Beat the Clock Happy Hour” tonight from 5-8 p.m. Drink specials start at $2 and increase by a dollar each hour. For more information, visit nelliessportsbar.com.

Rude Boi Entertainment hosts “Tempted 2 Touch,” a ladies dance party, at the Fab Lounge (2022 Florida Ave., N.W.) tonight. Doors open at 10 p.m. Drink specials $5 and vodka shots $3 all night. No cover charge. Admission limited to guests 21 and over. For more details, visit rudeboientertainment.wordpress.com.

SMYAL (410 7th St., S.E.) hosts “Café SMYAL,” a fun event to get out of the cold, today from 4-5 p.m. Drink hot cocoa, play board games and make new friends. For more information, visit smyal.org.

Whitman Walker provides HIV testing at Glorious Health Club (2120 West Virginia Ave., N.E.) tonight from 10:30 p.m.-1 a.m. For details, visit Whitman-walker.org.

23
Jan
2014

Pro-LGBT banner set on fire at D.C. church

St. Luke's United Methodist Church Mission Center, gay news, Washington Blade

D.C. police are investigating the Feb. 5 burning of a banner outside St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Mission Center. (Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Church, a multi-site United Methodist congregation in D.C. that includes St. Luke’s Mission Center Church at Wisconsin and Calvert streets, N.W.)

D.C. police are investigating the burning of a banner last week outside St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Mission Center at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Calvert Street, N.W., as a possible anti-LGBT hate crime.

Rev. Charles Parker, senior pastor of three LGBT supportive United Methodist churches in D.C., including St. Luke’s, said in a Feb. 6 statement posted on the church website that the incident appeared to be related to the heated debate within the Methodist church over same-sex marriage.

Church spokesperson Jeff Clouser told the Blade on Monday, Feb. 10, that St. Luke’s employees discovered last Tuesday, Feb. 4, that the banner had been burned but weren’t sure exactly when it happened.

“I visited our St. Luke’s campus yesterday to find that someone had burned – yes, burned – our ‘Stop the Trials’ banner calling for a stop to church trials of clergy officiating at same-gender weddings,” Parker wrote in his statement.

He was referring to a banner currently being displayed by LGBT supportive Methodist churches in D.C. and other cities that consists of a rainbow flag bearing the words, “Stop the Trials.” The message refers to a decision by church leaders to put on trial and defrock pastors who defy Methodist Church rules that prohibit its pastors from performing same-sex marriages.

“I am clear in my own wrestling with scripture, tradition, reason, and experience that the current position of our church is wrong,” Parker said in his statement. “I am also clear that other colleagues of good will and integrity have likewise wrestled with the issue and come to a different conclusion,” he said.

“What I would like to ask is, ‘can we respect each other enough to allow each of us to act in accordance with our conscience?’”

Foundry United Methodist Church, another LGBT supportive church on 16th Street, N.W., near Dupont Circle, has twice welcomed as a guest speaker Frank Schaefer, a former Methodist minister from Pennsylvania who was defrocked for performing his son’s same-sex wedding.

Foundry is among the D.C.-area Methodist churches that are displaying the “Stop the Trials” banner.

D.C. police spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump said the incident occurred on Feb. 4 and was reported to police on Feb. 5. She said police have classified it as a “destruction of property-hate bias incident.”

10
Feb
2014

Doin’ it our way

Lou Ann Sandstrom, Kathleen Kutschenreuter, Foundry United Methodist Church, same-sex weddings, wedding, same-sex marriage, gay marriage, marriage equality, gay news, Washington Blade

Lou Ann Sandstrom, left, and Kathleen Kutschenreuter at their wedding recessional at Foundry United Methodist Church on Sept. 28, 2013. (Photo by Paul Morse Photography; courtesy the couple)

Like the couples themselves, same-sex weddings come in all shapes and sizes.

We got to know three local couples that each went about it in different ways.

Kevin Anthony Rowe, 31, married Will Shreve, 28, last Sept. 19 at the Jefferson Memorial. They kept it “small and quick” so they could tie the knot before Shreve left for the Middle East on Christmas Day for his deployment with the U.S. Navy.

Greg Alexander, 43, married his partner of 13 years, Paul K. Williams, 47, on Jan. 31 at the Baltimore City Circuit Courthouse.

Kathleen Kutschenreuter, 43, and Lou Ann Sandstrom, 54, did the more traditional “big church wedding.” They had about 130 guests when they wed last Sept. 28 at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, an event that was also the day of their then-6-month-old daughter, Ava Kae’s, baptism.

For myriad reasons, each couple’s decision, they say, made the most sense for them.

David Lett, Kevin Anthony Rowe, Will Shreve, gay marriage, same-sex marriage, marriage equality, gay news, Washington Blade, wedding

Kevin Anthony Rowe, left, with husband Will Shreve, right. They were married Sept. 19 by Rev. David Lett, center. (Photo by John Ellis)

Rowe and Shreve met on a Sunday evening at Nellie’s Sports Bar in January 2012.

“It sounds cliché, but I knew from the minute I met him, this is the guy I was going to end up with,” says Rowe, a budget analyst at National Geographic who also tends bar on weekends at Town Danceboutique. “I’d had long relationships before … but I never had been so sure about something. …. In my mind, it was only a matter of time.”

He says they might have done a destination wedding had time not been so pressing, but they’re happy with how things worked out. They chose the Jefferson Memorial because it’s Shreve’s favorite D.C. memorial.

Rowe says it was all pretty easy to arrange. After downloading a form from the National Park Service website and sending $100, the permit was e-mailed back to them within about three days.

“It was super easy,” he says. “Once you get there, there are only certain areas you can have it, but you just ask at the little guard spot and they tell you where you can and can’t go.”

The ceremony lasted about 15-20 minutes and Rev. David Lett, a friend of the couple, officiated. They were at the site about an hour.

On the Thursday of their wedding, they had dinner beforehand and an after party at Number Nine, a gay bar on P Street, with balloons and Champagne.

Rowe says the separation is hard but he’s making do with Skype, texts and the like. They video chat every couple days and are planning a few trips throughout the year to see each other. Rowe says he keeps busy working two jobs and has great friends around to help fill the void.

Because they had lived together near Columbia Heights about a year before getting married, Rowe says the wedding itself didn’t change how their relationship felt.

“It kind of just felt like another day together,” he says. “We fit so well on every level and it’s so comfortable that just because the label was there now didn’t change anything.”

Greg Alexander, a magazine editor, thought he would feel pretty much the same way. He and Williams had lived together for about 10 years by the time they wed last month.

“It’s hard to describe it,” he says. “We’d been together 13 years and I didn’t expect it to feel any different. We’d exchanged rings on our 10th anniversary, just the two of us in the garden. But something about it, after it was done, not to sound cheesy, but it feels more real. When I look at my ring, it’s not just, ‘Oh, those are the rings we gave each other because we love each other.’ Now it’s more like, ‘Yes, we are married.’”

The couple thought about getting married when same-sex marriage became legal in Maryland in January last year, but decided to wait. When key parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) were repealed by the Supreme Court later in the year, Alexander says, “That was kind of the final push we needed.” They waited until 2014 for tax purposes.

“We were pretty sure this is what we wanted,” says Williams, who is president of Congressional Cemetery. “I think we were more concerned we might offend some family members or friends by not doing something bigger, but we talked about it with them and decided to do some nice dinners with our two families a few months later. That’s just kind of the way it worked out best for us, especially for our families and their schedules.”

Alexander says in early discussions that, “luckily we were on the same page about this.” They’d had large parties with family, friends, banquet halls, private chefs and that type of thing for each other on their respective 40th birthdays, so when it came time to tie the knot, they agreed simpler was the way to go.

Paul K. Williams, Greg Alexander, wedding, gay marriage, same-sex marriage, marriage equality, gay news, Washington Blade

Paul K. Williams, left, with husband Greg Alexander the day they married at the Baltimore City Circuit Courthouse. (Photo courtesy the couple)

He says there was some initial concern that doing it so low key might feel anticlimactic, but he says the courthouse didn’t have the bare bones feel he thought it might.

“I thought it might be a little two-second thing like going to jury duty or something, but we were pleasantly surprised,” Alexander says. “It’s actually pretty nice. The people were amazing, which kind of caught us a little off guard. … You go into a little room that’s decorated and they have an officiant do your vows. … We couldn’t get over how excited the city employees were. We had total strangers hugging us and telling us they were so happy two gay men could get married. We didn’t expect that from the Baltimore City Courthouse.”

The license was about $85 and there was an additional $25 charge for the civil ceremony. Three couples joined them for dinner afterward.

“I think the couple needs to really ask themselves how they want to remember the occasion,” Williams says. “I know when we had the big [birthday] party, it went so fast and it was so involved and complex, I barely remember the conversations we had. I think it’s just something that’s very individual and each couple needs to look at themselves and how they like to entertain and decide how they want to do it.”

Kutschenreuter and Sandstrom were struck by Rev. Dean Snyder’s homily when they visited Foundry United Methodist Church in November 2012. As he shared a story of a same-sex couple whose wedding he had officiated the previous day and Kutschenreuter and Sandstrom discovered the church’s social justice, community and LGBT advocacy work, it hit a nerve.

“We really knew we wanted a sacred space to really honor our desire to express our commitment in front of family and friends and we didn’t want to do it on our own, we wanted witnesses,” says Kutschenreuter, who works for the Environmental Protection Agency. “We had a desire to do it in front of a higher power … . To us, we felt for our marriage to have the best chance and to be the most grounded, we wanted it to be grounded in a spiritual context.”

They say the cost of the church was a “drop in the bucket,” considering what they spent on their reception. They said it was “less than $2,000” for the church, clergy and a team of musicians who performed. Foundry offers a discount to members.

“It’s between about $500 and $2,000 depending on how lean or heavy you want to go,” Kutschenreuter says. A reception was held that evening at the Hay-Adams Hotel.

“We have absolutely no regrets about it,” says Sandstrom, who works for the FBI. “We saw it as an investment and everyone had a fantastic time.”

“We did think along the way, ‘Oh my gosh, what are we doing, this is so stressful,’” Kutschenreuter says. “But we weren’t being elaborate just to be elaborate. We were trying to honor the fact that we’re older people, we have a daughter, it was Lou Ann’s Dad’s 90th birthday and both our dads walked us down the aisle, we had people coming from all over; there was just so much more to it than there would have been for a younger couple. But we knew this group of people would never be together any other time so we wanted it to be special. It was definitely worth it.”

13
Feb
2014

Best of Gay D.C.: Lifetime Achievement Award

Rev. Dean Snyder (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Rev. Dean Snyder (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

For the first time in the 12-year history of the Washington Blade’s annual Best of Gay D.C. readers poll awards, the Blade has selected a “lifetime achievement award.” This honor is being awarded to Rev. Dean Snyder, an LGBT ally and senior pastor of Foundry United Methodist Church (1500 16th St., N.W.).

Snyder, in his 12th year at Foundry in a ministry that began in 1968, says he became sympathetic to the plight and struggle of gay Christians during his years as a campus minister in Pennsylvania.

“I spent a lot of time listening to my gay students tell me of their struggles,” Snyder says. “This includes people who desperately did not want to be gay. I’ll never forget one student who was in aversion therapy and it just broke my heart to see the pain he was going through. … He was so convinced his parents would never accept him and that he could not be a Christian if he was gay.”

By the time Snyder came to Foundry, he was known within the United Methodist congregation for being an LGBT-affirming minister. The church had become “reconciling” (its term for open to gays) five years before he arrived, but he found a simple way to make them feel more included.

“They were saying that while the church was reconciling, they didn’t hear that much acknowledgement of it during the service,” Snyder says. “I decided I would mention it in some way — even if it was as simple as so-and-so is in the hospital, we remember he and his partner George today — … in each service. I just made it a repetitive thing. I used to think being a minister was about being creative but often it’s just about saying the same things over and over.”

Foundry, no doubt in large part for its location between Dupont and Logan Circles, has always had a large LGBT core among its parishioners. Snyder says about a third of its 1,200 members (about 650 attend its two weekly services) are LGBT.

He says the denomination’s General Conference has never punished the church for being LGBT friendly, although the United Methodist denomination as a whole is not totally on board. He says he regularly gets e-mail from around the country “from people who chastise us.”

Snyder says LGBT issues are just one part of the church’s mission. It also works on homelessness, high rates of incarceration among minority youth and other areas in which it advocates for change.

Snyder has announced his retirement. He will end his ministry there next June.

24
Oct
2013

Best of Gay D.C. 2013: Community

Foundry United Methodist Church, Best of Gay D.C., Best Place of Worship, gay news, Washington Blade

Foundry United Methodist Church (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best house of worship:

Foundry United Methodist Church

1500 16th St., N.W.

202-332-4010

foundryumc.org

Runner-up: Bet Mishpachah

 

Miss Pixies, Best of Gay D.C., Best Home Furnishings, gay news, Washington Blade

Miss Pixie’s (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best home furnishings:

Miss Pixie’s Furnishings and Whatnot

1629 14th St., N.W.

202-232-8171

misspixies.com

Runner-up: Room & Board

 

Best property management:

Coldwell Banker Mid-Atlantic

6031 University Blvd. Suite 140

Ellicott City, MD

coldwellbanker.com

Runner-up: Bozzuto Group

 

Best hotel:

The W

515 15th St., N.W.

202-661-2400

whotels.com

Runner-up: Carlyle Suites Hotel

 

Best of Gay D.C., Best Art Gallery, Corcoran Gallery of Art, gay news, Washington Blade

Corcoran Gallery of Art (Photo by Kmf164; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Best art gallery:

Corcoran Gallery of Art

500 17th St., N.W.

202-639-1700

Corcoran.org

Runner-up: The Phillips Collection

 

Whitman-Walker Health, Don Blanchon, Best of Gay D.C., Best Non-Profit, gay news, Washington Blade

Whitman-Walker Health (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best non-profit:

Whitman-Walker Health

1701 14th St., N.W.

202-745-7000

wwc.org

Runner-up: SMYAL

 

Logan 14 Aveda (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Logan 14 Aveda (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best salon/spa:

Logan 14 Salon Spa — Aveda Hair & Body

1314 14th St., N.W.

202-506-6868

logan14salonspa.com

Runner-up: Aura Spa/Bang Salon

 

Universal Gear, Best of Gay D.C., Best Men's Clothing, gay news, Washington Blade

Universal Gear (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best men’s clothing:

Universal Gear

1529 14th St., N.W.

202-319-0136

universalgear.com

Runner-up: H&M

 

Best women’s clothing:

Proud Threads

Proudthreads.com

Runner-up: Buffalo Exchange

 

VIDA Fitness (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

VIDA Fitness (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best gym:

Vida Fitness

Multiple locations

Vidafitness.com

Runner-up: Results

 

Kennedy Center (Photo by Steve; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Kennedy Center (Photo by Steve; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Best theater:

Kennedy Center

2700 F St., N.W.

202-416-8000

kennedy-center.org

Runner-up: Studio Theatre

 

Rocky Horror, theater, Studio Theatre, Best of Gay D.C., Best Theater Production, gay news, Washington Blade

Rocky Horror (Photo by Igor Dmitri; courtesy of Studio Theatre)

Best theater production:

“Rocky Horror” at Studio Theatre

Runner-up: “Book of Mormon” at Kennedy Center

 

Stonewall Kickball's 21 Amendments (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Stonewall Kickball’s 21 Amendments (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best LGBT sports team:

Stonewall Kickball’s 21st Amendments

Stonewallsports.org

Runner-up: D.C. Front Runners

 

Flowers on Fourteenth, Best of Gay D.C., Best LGBT-Owned Business, gay news, Washington Blade

Flowers on Fourteenth (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best LGBT-owned business:

Flowers on 14th

1718a 14th St., N.W.

flowerson14th.com

Runner-up: Grassroots Gourmet

 

Best comedy club:

D.C. Improv Comedy Club

1140 Connecticut Ave., N.W.

202-296-7008

dcimprov.com

Runner-up: Washington Improv Theater

 

Dos Locos, Rehoboth, Delaware, Best of Gay D.C., Best Rehoboth Business, gay news, Washington Blade

Dos Locos (Photo courtesy of Dos Locos)

Best Rehoboth business:

Dos Locos

208 Rehoboth Ave.

Rehoboth Beach, Del.

302-227-3353

doslocos.com

Runner-up: Blue Moon

 

Best LGBT social group:

Burgundy Crescent Volunteers

Burgundycrescent.org

Runner-up: Nice Jewish Boys

24
Oct
2013

LGBT-affirming Christmas services

MCC DC, Metropolitan Community Church, gay news, Washington Blade, Christmas

Metropolitan Community Church of D.C. (Washington Blade file photo by Callie Marie)

Many houses of worship in the Washington region are LGBT-affirming. Here are a few that are having holiday services.

Christmas Eve

Foundry United Methodist Church (16th and P streets, N.W.) holds a kid-friendly Christmas Eve service from 6:30-7:30 p.m. with interactive storytelling and glowsticks. At 8 p.m., the church will also hold a Christmas Eve service with scripture readings, music and a homily. For more information, visit foundryumc.org.

Metropolitan Community Church of Washington (474 Ridge St., N.W.) holds a Christmas Eve worship service tonight at 8 p.m. Visit mccdc.com for details.

Washington National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) has carols by candlelight with Rev. Mariann Budde. At 10 p.m., there’s Festival Holy Eucharist with Budde and Rev. Gary Hall. For more information, visit nationalcathedral.org.

Dumbarton United Methodist Church (3133 Dumbarton St., N.W.) offers two Christmas Eve services today at 5 and 9 p.m. The first service is geared toward children while the later service is more formal and will feature Advent worship themes. Visit dumbartonumc.org for details.

National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle, N.W.) has a service tonight at 7:30 p.m. with a musical prelude starting at 7 p.m. For more information, visit nationalcitycc.org.

The Christ Church on Capitol Hill (620 G St., S.E.) holds a festival service at 10:30 p.m. with a choral prelude starting at 10. For details, visit washingtonparish.org.

Saint John’s Episcopal Church (3240 O St., N.W.) presents its Christmas Pageant today at 4 p.m. Later in the evening, there’s a Holy Eucharist service with choral prelude beginning at 8:30 p.m. Visit stjohnsgeorgetown.org for more information.

Seekers Church (276 Carroll St., N.W.) holds a Christmas Eve dinner and service beginning at 6 p.m. For more information, visit seekerschurch.org.

Church of the Pilgrims (2201 P St., N.W.) holds a Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service with performances by a choir, soloists and instrumentalists. Visit churchofthepilgrims.org for details.

Christmas Day

Washington National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) holds Festival Holy Eucharist this morning at 11 a.m. There is a Christmas Day service of lessons and carols today at 4 p.m. followed by an organ recital featuring organists Christopher Betts and Benjamin Straley at 5:15 p.m.

The Christ Church on Capitol Hill (620 G St., S.E.) has its Christmas Day breakfast and service this morning from 7:30-8:30 a.m. For more information, visit washingtonparish.org.

Saint John’s Episcopal Church (3240 O St., N.W.) has a Christmas Day and Eucharist service at 5:30 p.m. For details, visit stjohnsgeorgetown.org.

19
Dec
2013

Safe spaces for worship

Foundry United Methodist Church, gay news, Washington Blade

Foundry United Methodist Church (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Good Friday, March 29

The National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) provides the Liturgy of Good Friday, providing opportunity for deep contemplation of the crucifixion starting at noon. Later, the church will be providing a meditation for Good Friday beginning at 6:30 p.m. For details, visit nationalcathedral.org.

Sixth and I Historic Synagogue (600 I St., N.W.) hosts a Passover Shabbat Dinner this evening at 7 p.m. The synagogue will provide a full kosher meal. For more information, visit sixthandi.org.

Metropolitan Community Church of Washington (474 Ridge St., N.W.) provides a Good Friday observance this evening at 7:30 p.m. For details, visit mccdc.com.

National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle, N.W.) provides a Good Friday service this evening at 7:30 p.m. Visit nationalcitycc.org for more information.

St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (1820 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) has a Good Friday worship service beginning at noon. For more information, visit stmargaretsdc.org.

Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ (3845 South Capitol St.) has a Good Friday service starting at noon. For details, visit covenantbaptistucc.org.

All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church (2300 Cathedral Ave., N.W.) hosts a Solemn Mass for Good Friday at noon. For more information, visit allsoulsdc.org.

Bethesda United Church of Christ (10010 Fernwood Rd.) provides a Good Friday Service at St. Mark’s Presbyterian (1021 Palm Springs Dr.). Visit bethesdaaucc.org for more details.

Temple Sinai (3100 Military Rd., N.W.) hosts a Shabbat Service this evening at 6:30 p.m. For details, visit templesinaidc.org.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (3rd and A streets, S.E.) holds a Good Friday Service at noon. For more information, visit stmarks.net.

Bet Mishpachah provides a Erev Shabbat Service (Chol Hamoed Pesach) with service leader Allan Armus tonight at 8 p.m. at the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center (16th and Q St., N.W.). For details, visit betmish.org.

Western Presbyterian Church (2401 Virginia Ave., N.W.) hosts a Good Friday service at noon. Visit westernpresbyterian.org for more details.

Saturday, March 30

National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle, N.W.)  provides an Easter Egg Roll and Tea Set-Up today at 11 a.m. Visit nationalcitycc.org for more information.

Foundry United Methodist Church (1500 16th St., N.W.) hosts an Easter egg hunt from 10:15 a.m. to noon. For more information, visit foundryumc.org.

All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church (2300 Cathedral Ave., N.W.) provides an Easter Vigil tonight at 8 p.m. For details, visit allsoulsdc.org.

St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (1820 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) has an Easter Vigil this evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. For details, visit stmargaretsdc.org.

Sunday, March 31

National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle, N.W.)  hosts an Easter Sunrise Service at 7:30 a.m. For more details, visit nationalcitycc.org.

The National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) gives a Festival of the Holy Eucharist today at 8 a.m. and again at 11 a.m. For more information, visit nationalcathedral.org.

St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (1820 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) provides Holy Eucharist this morning at 9 a.m. For more information, visit stmargaretsdc.org.

Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ (3845 South Capitol St.) holds a sunrise service at 6 a.m. with a breakfast immediately following. They also have regular service at 10 a.m. For details, visit covenantbaptistucc.org.

Foundry United Methodist Church (1500 16th St., N.W.) has a worship service at 9:30 a.m. For more information, visit foundryumc.org.

All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church (2300 Cathedral Ave., N.W.) holds Low Mass with Easter Hymns at 8:30 a.m., Easter Egg Hunt at 10 a.m., and High Mass with Festival Music at 11 a.m. Visit allsoulsdc.org for more details.

Bethesda United Church of Christ (10010 Fernwood Rd.) hosts an Easter Sunday Celebration Service at 10:30 a.m.

Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church (3401 Nebraska Ave., N.W.) provides a Easter Brunch at 7 a.m. and traditional worship service at 11:15 a.m. For more details, visit nationalchurch.org.

Asbury United Methodist Church (926 11th St.) holds worship services at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Visit asburyumcdc.org for more information.

Western Presbyterian Church (2401 Virginia Ave., N.W.) provides an Easter Sunday worship service at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and an Easter Egg Hunt at 10:30 a.m. For more information, visit westernpresbyterian.org.

Monday, April 1

The White House Easter Egg Roll takes place today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event is open to the public. Details are at whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll.

The National Zoo (3001 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) celebrates the African-American Family Tradition every Easter Monday. The day includes family activities, Easter egg hunt, animal demonstrations, live entertainment throughout the day, field and relay-style games and visits from the Easter Panda. Festivities begin at 11 a.m. For more information, visit nationalzoo.si.edu.

22
Mar
2013

2012 was a very good year

It was an interesting year in so many ways. Looking back made me realize the first thing I did was accept reaching the age when many people retire. I contemplated that for about 10 minutes before moving on to more relevant thoughts. After all, life was still fun, my job still interesting and writing was still something I enjoy.

Each month of the year brought with it some new events to focus on. Overriding everything was the election. In January, I wondered why we should care what the Iowa caucus results were — and I am still wondering. That was about the same time the pizza guy flamed out over his transgressions with a series of women. The ups and downs of the Republican debates were fascinating in a macabre way, like watching a train wreck is fascinating. Some of the candidates faded faster than others including Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann (not fast enough), Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry. Others like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum hung around longer and used the eventual nominee Mitt Romney as a piñata dragging him further to the right all to the eventual benefit of President Obama.

Then there was Foundry United Methodist Church’s fight for LGBT rights within the Methodist Church. While they lost that fight we can all be thankful for the ongoing work of Foundry and their Senior Pastor Dean Snyder. In May, Dr. Robert Spitzer, a leading member of the American Psychological Association, wrote an apology (better late than never) that admitted he was wrong when he authored a study supporting “reparative therapy” for gays. That study harmed unknown numbers of young gay men who were subjected to this phony therapy and still are in some areas.

June brought Pride with its festivals and parades and the knowledge that we now had a president who supported marriage equality and was willing to stand up and tell the world. There was also the decision by the Supreme Court to declare “Obamacare” constitutional. In his statements on the Affordable Care Act as well as other comments Justice Scalia again showed why he should be impeached.

July brought the International AIDS Conference to the United States for the first time in 20 years. There were meetings and talk about how far we have come in the fight against HIV/AIDS and recognition of how far we still had to go. There was the announcement of the first patient, called the “Berlin Patient” who has reportedly been cured and the discussion of spending more money on finding a cure and not just finding a vaccine. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the conference and to great applause spoke of a generation without AIDS being within reach.

In August we watched the spectacle of the Republican Convention in which they approved a platform clearly more appropriate for the 19th century than the 21st. They highlighted their fight against women and the LGBT community and selected the Romney/Ryan ticket, which proved a colossal mistake.

The election was going fine for the Democrats until the first presidential debate, when President Obama barely showed up. An election thought to be in the bag suddenly became a nail biter for a short while. But those of us who are Nate Silver fans soon understood that President Obama was going to win a second term and do so fairly easily. The bonus was winning marriage referenda in four states and gaining House seats and two Senate seats as well.

All in all, a good year yet it ended with so many things left to be done. Some are easy and can be done with the stroke of a pen like the president signing an executive order to ban discrimination in federal contracting. Others — like setting the nation on a course to fiscal solvency — will take negotiation and perseverance and require our help as we pressure Congress to act.

But at midnight on Dec. 31, as we say goodbye to 2012 and welcome in 2013, let us all drink a toast to the year past and say a prayer and pledge to each other that in the year to come we will keep up the good fight for equality and will do everything in our power to make the world a safer and healthier place for all.

27
Dec
2012

Holidays and holy days

Foundry United Methodist Church, gay news, Washington Blade

Foundry United Methodist Church (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Not all houses of worship spew the same old tiresome fire-and-brimstone theology. Several churches in the Washington region are openly LGBT welcoming and affirming and have services planned over Christmas Eve and Christmas. Here are a few:

Christmas Eve

Foundry United Methodist Church (16th and P streets, N.W.) holds a children and family Christmas Eve service this evening at from 6:30-7:30 p.m. At 8 the church will also host a Christmas Eve lessons, carols and candlelight service filled with music and scripture readings. Rev. Dean Snyder will share a homily. For more information visit foundryumc.org.

All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church (2300 Cathedral Ave., N.W.) has a children’s Mass and blessing of the Creche today at 4 p.m. This includes carols, scripture and the story from the rector. Later at 7, staff will hold Christmas lessons and carols, which will include songs sung by the choir. The High Mass will be held at 11pm with a prelude of music at 10:30 pm. For more information, visit allsoulsdc.org.

Metropolitan Community Church of Washington (474 Ridge St., N.W.) holds a Christmas Eve worship service tonight at 8 with Rev. Dwayne Johnson. Visit mccdc.com for details. Johnson is openly gay and MCC is the city’s largest mostly LGBT church.

Washington National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) has carols by candlelight with Revs. Mariann Budd and Gary Hall this evening at 6. At 10 p.m., there’s Festival Holy Eucharist. For more information, visit nationalcathedral.org.

Covenant Baptist Church (3845 S. Capitol St.) holds its Christmas Eve service tonight at 7. For details, visit covenantbaptistucc.org.

Dumbarton United Methodist Church (3133 Dumbarton St., N.W.) offers two Christmas Eve services today at 5 and10 p.m. The first service is geared toward children while the later service is more formal and will connect with the Advent worship themes. Visit dumbartonumc.org for details.

National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle, N.W.) has a service tonight at 7:30 with a musical prelude starting at 7 that includes a vocal soloist, organ, harp and other instrumentalists. National City has one of the region’s largest and best-sounding pipe organs. For more information visit nationalcitycc.org.

The Christ Church on Capitol Hill (620 G St., S.E.) holds a Christmas Eve service this evening at 5:30 p.m. and a Choir Festive service at 10:30 p.m. with a choral prelude starting at 10. For details visit washingtonparish.org.

Saint John’s Episcopal Church (3240 O St., N.W.) presents its Christmas Pageant today at 4 p.m. Later in the evening there’s a Festival Holy Eucharist service with choral prelude beginning at 8:30 p.m. Visit stjohnsgeorgetown.org for more information.

Seekers Church (276 Carroll St., N.W.) holds a Christmas Eve dinner and service from 6-9 p.m. For more information, visit seekerschurch.org.

First Trinity Lutheran Church (309 E St., N.W.) has a Christmas Eve service tonight at 7:30 p.m. For details, visit firsttrinitydc.org.

Church of the Pilgrims (2201 P St., N.W.) offers a Christmas Eve candlelight service with Christmas music, celebration of the Lord’s supper and candlelighting. Visit churchofthepilgrims.org for details.

Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle (1725 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) has a Christmas Eve Mass with a musical prelude today at 4, a Misa De Vigilia de Navidad at 6:30 p.m. and a Solemn Mass of Christmas with a musical prelude beginning at 9:15 p.m. The Roman Catholic Church’s official stance is anti-gay, but some parishes are quietly LGBT welcoming. For more information, visit stmatthewscathedral.org or dignitywashintgon.org.

Christmas

All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church (2300 Cathedral Ave., N.W.) holds low Mass this morning at 10 a.m. Visit allsoulsdc.org for more information.

Washington National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) holds Festival Holy Eucharist this morning at 11 a.m. There is a Christmas Day Service of Lessons and Carols today at 4 p.m. followed by an organ recital featuring Jeremy Filsell this evening at 5:15 p.m.

The Christ Church on Capitol Hill (620 G St., S.E.) has its Christmas Day service this morning at 10 a.m. For more information visit washingtonparish.org.

Saint John’s Episcopal Church (3240 O St., N.W.) has a Christmas Day Holy Eucharist service beginning at 10 a.m. For details, visit stjohnsgeorgetown.org.

Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle (1725 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) offers four different Christmas services: one at 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and a service in Spanish at 1 p.m. Visit stmatthewscathedral.org for more information.

Dignity Washington (1820 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) has its Christmas Mass this evening at 6 p.m. at St. Margaret’s Church. Dignity is a special group for LGBT Roman Catholics. For more information, visit dignitywashington.org.

20
Dec
2012