Sunday, May 16, 2010

On the Road in Minneapolis

BP and I are in Minneapolis on a combined business/family trip. We are staying close to the University on the East Bank. Last time we were here we were in St Paul, and had a very nice visit to the parish church of St Christopher's. But this time, BP said, "let's bag a Cathedral!" (I guess she enjoyed our trip to the Cathedral in Portland, OR.) A moment on the web showed us that St Mark's Cathedral is a welcoming parish, so off we went.

It's an imposing church, neo-Gothic in style, with a high, vaulted ceiling. The stone is warm tan in color, though I have to say I'm glad I don't have to pay for heating the place in the winter time. (Our own Cathedral is also neo-Gothic but much smaller in size--not surprising because it was built before San Diego was an independent diocese. ) A good showing in the congregation, and a good choir, though we were disappointed not to hear more solo-choir pieces. They did a Vaughn Williams piece that was spectacular, however. A little less pomp than our home community--no incense, no stately vergers escorting the readers, and the Dean, who presided and sermonized, is not a chanter. But he had a warm, Southern intonation and his image of social justice and inclusion ( "that's when the Gospel hit the fan!") was priceless.

According with our habit of showing up when things are happening, they were retiring their Deacon today, and welcoming a number of new members (including young families). We enjoyed bringing greetings to the Dean from our home Cathedral and got a warm welcome from him in return.

We travel a fair amount (as you will have seen) and so we rely on web sites to tell us if the churches we look at are likely to welcome folk like us. This one is a spectacularly welcoming, social justice parish. We felt very much at home there, and commend it to you if you travel that way. Way to go, Minnesota.

14 comments:

Erp said...

Well if you are planning ahead, it seems Stanford Memorial Church has Katherine Jefferts Schori preaching next Ascension day, June 2, 2011 (it should be a joint Evangelical Lutheran/Episcopalian service with choirs from several of the local churches involved).

James said...

I have always loved the word "sermonizing" ever since I was a kid and saw Pollyanna the first time. Funny, but I've never heard that word in a complimentary review. :)

I'm glad you two had a great time today.

Pierre R. Wheaton said...

If you're ever in the Pittsburgh area. Calvary Episcopal and Church of the Redeemer are known for being quite inclusive. Also the Church of the Holy Cross (my church) is quite inclusive as well as the only predominantly African-American Episcopal parish in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and one of the few such parishes in Pennsylvania.

Jim Pratt said...

Should you ever come to Montreal, it would be easier and shorter to list the churches to avoid.
But I would particularly recommend Christ Church Cathedral (downtown and convenient to McGill), St. James the Apostle (next to Concordia) and my own St. Philip's Montreal West (near the Loyola campus of Concordia).
If you like smells and bells, St. John the Evangelist is the place, but they tend to be friendlier to gay men than to lesbians.

Pfalz prophet said...

Should you perchance to be in Chicago on a Sunday morning, search out St. Paul & The Redeemer. Besides being radically welcoming, it exudes more energy and enthusiasm than any Piskie congregation I've ever attended. The music expands the bounds of my own eclectic tastes. This is not my father's Episcopal church. Hallelujah!

JCF said...

Next time you're in Sacra-tomato (as I suggested on your train-blog, we should take in the State Railroad Museum!), there's Trinity Cathedral (Seat of the Dio of NorCal). It's pretty small (I'd be curious if it were smaller than yours in San Diego).

I don't know if they're specifically "inclusive" (I just can't imagine they're not. After all, NorCal has a bishop who's in his third marriage and, obviously, can't afford to lecture OTHERS re their sexual morality!).

MadPriest said...

No wonder that oil slick isn't being cleared up with BP waltzing around the country on vacation. I'm disgusted with her irresponsible attitude.

Word Verification: "moismit."
That sounds suspiciously lesbian.

Anonymous said...

St. Luke's, Saranac Lake in the Northern Adirondack Mountains of New York State is a most welcoming parish. This in spite of being in the Diocese of Albany.

Pierre R. Wheaton said...

Given you two crazy kid's propensity to go cathedral hopping, if you do come to Pittsburgh, be reminded that Trinity Cathedral, which is an attractive building with a pretty good service is considered claimed by both the TEC diocese of Pittsburgh and Duncan's ACNA Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. The Cathedral considers itself neutral ground and accommodates both organizations. I'm not a member of the Cathedral, nor do I attend many services there, so I'd check Trinity's Website or call the TEC Diocese of Pittsburgh offices to find out how the services are divvied up there.

Counterlight said...

If you ever get stuck in New York, there's lots of great parishes. Mine is St. Luke in the Fields. We have Bells and Smells and a first rate choir.

IT said...

I love the suggestions! (Pierre, you get a smooch for calling this greying old prof a "crazy kid"). it's actually not easy to find friendly churches since the Integrity list and the gay-welcoming church list are obviously incomplete. I hope people continue to post their suggestions and make this an added resource.

Lisa Fox said...

YESYESYES!

A couple of years ago, I had a conference there. Like you, I searched the Web to find an Episcopal church where I might find a warm welcome. Like you, I went to cathedral. And OH what an experience! Marvelous music. Marvelous preaching. At the end of othe service, I was so warmly welcomed that I was one of the last people to leave after "coffee hour."

And I wonder what the weather was like for you all. I was at St. Marks on a beautiful, sunny day, and the way the sun moved across the stained glass was a glory to behold.

I'm glad you went there!

Jim Pratt said...

Pfalz prophet,
Glad to hear that St. Paul & the Redeemer is still thriving. I was a member there for 2 years, and sang in the choir there for a year when I was at the U of C. (over 20 years ago now)

Marny in Maryland said...

The Diocese of Washington (DC) has lots of welcoming churches, and if you haven't worshiped at the National Cathedral of course you should, but if you find yourself in the MD 'burbs, you'd be very welcome at St. John's, Norwood. We're broad church (no smells and bells) but good music and lots of friendly people!