Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry’s Executive Director (and your humble author/editor of this blog), will be crossing the Atlantic to join with thousands of LGBT leaders from around the world. The World Pride 2012 website describes the event:
“The LGBT community from across the globe is expected to descend on the city for two weeks from 23 June – 8 July for a festival of art, culture and campaigning culminating with the Parade through central London on Saturday 7 July.”
DeBernardo will serve on a panel at a conference entitled “Mind the Gap: Faith and LGBT Rights, ” a multi-faith, multi-national event, on Thursday, July 5th, 12 noon-5:00 pm, at Friends Meeting House, 52 St. Martin’s, Lane, London WC2N 4EA. For information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to http://www.cuttingedgeconsortium.co.uk.
He will also conduct New Ways Ministry’s very popular “Next Steps: Developing LGBT Ministry” program on Saturday, June 23rd, St. Anne’s Church, 55 Dean Street, Soho, London W1D 6AF. For registration details: email@example.com, or + 44 208 986 0807.
DeBernardo will carry the New Ways Ministry banner in the Pride Parade on Sunday, July 7th, along with scores of other LGBT faith groups.
“I’m excited at this opportunity to connect with LGBT advocates from all over, particularly those from the faith community,” said DeBernardo, who was the keynote speaker at the conference on religion and homosexuality at the first World Pride celebration in Rome, Italy, in 2000. “We have so much to learn from one another, and this is a great opportunity to show one another support.”
London has a strong Catholic LGBT community, with diocesan-sposored semi-monthly liturgies, called the Soho Masses. A national organization, Quest, also helps to facilitate activities and programs there. Additionally, the Roman Catholic Caucus of the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement also coordinates activities. The blog, QueeringTheChurch.com, is an excellent resource on news, opinions and events of concern to Catholic LGBT people in the UK.
DeBernardo will be traveling to London on June 18th to meet informally with London’s LGBT and Catholic church reform leaders before World Pride begins. Stay tuned for photos and posts on this blog beginning after that date!
–Dwayne Fernandes, New Ways Ministry