9 ways to fabulize your week

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Pride really gets going next weekend, but there are tons of gay things to do this week as well.

First up: Uptown Players’ third annual Pride Performing Arts Festival gets going with eight days of one-act plays from the farcical to the fantastic — and sometimes both at once. It starts tonight with Good Boys and True, pictured, set in the hothouse atmosphere of a boys’ boarding school, and continues with weekend matinees and evening performances all week. Check out the schedule here.

Also tonight, you can choose to attend the inaugural TacoCon (Cerveza) taco food truck festival at Four Corners Brewing (that starts at 6 p.m.), and catch Steven Jay Crabtree in his Dysfunctional Divas show at Pocket Sandwich. Plan it well, and you can do both those and the Pride Fest in one night!

You can opt instead for the fifth annual 5 Factor, recognizing local luminaries, sponsored by Resource Center Dallas, or catch the artists’ reception for ilume Gallerie’s new exhibit, Objects of Desire III.

On Sunday, the Dallas Price Volleyball Tournament will be a day-long extravaganza of volleyball, music, food and drink, while Sunday evening offers a one-night-only performance of Victims of Circumstance, about real-life stories of HIV, at the Cathedral of Hope.

Midweek, gay memoirist Mark Brennan Rosenberg reads from his latest book, Eating My Feelings — about growing up a fat gay kid — at the SMU Bookstore on Tuesday.  On Thursday, gay menswear designer Jim Duran takes to the runway with his new spring/summer 2014 collection for his label BLKLN.

For a full list of official Dallas Pride events, go here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Rev. Jo Hudson joins Brite faculty

The Rev. Jo Hudson

The Rev. Jo Hudson

Joretta Marshall, dean of Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, announced that the school has hired the Rev. Jo Hudson, former pastor of the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, as an adjunct faculty member. Brite is on the campus of Texas Christian University.

Hudson, who resigned from COH after nine years in April, will be part of the Carpenter Initiative in Gender, Sexuality and Justice, which produces “programs that promote a critical engagement with issues of gender and sexual justice” and promotes attention to these issues in church and culture. Marshall directs the Carpenter Initiative.

Marshall said Hudson will teach part time, working with the school’s United Church of Christ students, lecturing, conducting workshops and preaching in chapel this fall. She said she hopes some of the programs will be open to the public and plans are still being formed.

“We extremely excited to have her on staff,” Marshall said.

Hudson will not be the first LGBT staff member at Brite. Both Marshall and the Rev. Stephen Sprinkle are also gay.

Marshall said Hudson is also working as the gathering pastor of Extravagance UCC, described on the website as, “a web-based spiritual community that gathers in a new way of defining church in the 21st century.”

—  David Taffet

Cathedral of Hope names interim pastor

The Rev. James Mitulski

The Rev. James Mitulski

The Rev. James J. Mitulski will become interim pastor of Cathedral of Hope on Aug. 1. He has been a guest speaker at the church in the past.

Mitulski has 30 years of pastoral experience and has served churches in Berkeley, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

He was a Merrill Fellow of the Harvard Divinity School and holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia university, a master’s from Pacific School of Religion and an honorary doctorate from the Starr King School for Ministry.

Mitulski has dual standing with the United Church of Christ, and is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Metropolitan Community Churches.

Now that an interim pastor is in place, the process of searching for a permanent senior pastor will begin. A new committee is forming and applications have already begun arriving.

The interim pastor may not apply for the permanent position. His job is to guide the church through its period of healing and leadership transition after the resignation of its senior pastor, the Rev. Jo Hudson on April 21.

—  David Taffet

Former Cathedral of Hope pastor denies rumor she’s starting a new church

The Rev. Jo Hudson

The Rev. Jo Hudson

The Rev. Jo Hudson, who recently resigned as pastor of the Cathedral of Hope, responded to rumors that she and the Rev. Alejandro De La Torre — who led COH’s Hispanic ministry — are opening a new church this summer.

“My family and I gather with a few close friends about twice a month at our home for prayer, study and fellowship,” Hudson said in an email. “Rev. De La Torre is part of our gathering. I hope this clears up any confusion.”

Hudson and De La Torre resigned from their positions at Cathedral of Hope on April 21 effective May 19. At an April 29 congregational meeting, the church’s board said it hoped to have an interim pastor in place by May 19.

But finding an interim pastor to replace the Rev. Jo Hudson at Cathedral of Hope is taking longer than the board originally hoped. According to search committee member Johnny Humphrey, they are reviewing candidates and actively pursuing leads.

Although he could not put a deadline on when the interim pastor would be named, he said the committee hoped to find the right person soon.

He said Executive Minister Dawson Taylor and Executive Director Dan Dubree have have stepped up, fulfilling the needs of the congregation.

“They’ve kept us from having to make a hasty decision,” Humphrey said.

He described interim pastor as a special calling because that person deals with congregational healing in addition to other roles a senior pastor plays in a congregation’s life. Sometimes the position is filled by retired clergy but others specialize in that function and make a career of working with congregations in transition.

“We’re hoping to find the perfect candidate as soon as possible,” Humphrey said.

Once an interim is in place, a new search and call committee will be named to look for a permanent replacement. That process could take more than a year.

—  David Taffet

Cathedral to hold ‘Service of Healing and Prayer’ after Hudson’s resignation

The Rev. Jo Hudson

The Rev. Jo Hudson

The Cathedral of Hope will hold a “Service of Healing and Prayer” tonight in the wake of the resignation of the Rev. Jo Hudson, who has served as senior pastor for the last nine years.

Hudson announced her resignation at the 11 a.m. service on Sunday. The board sent an emergency email on Sunday afternoon to the congregation because the announcement had not been made to people who attended the 9 a.m. service.

The Rev. Alejandro de la Torre, who headed the Cathedral’s Latino ministry, resigned as well. His resignation was expected. He will be leaving to take care of his elderly mother in Mexico. Rachael Sandifer, the Cathedral’s executive director, resigned earlier this month.

The service of healing will be held in the peace chapel and the announcement was sent to members Wednesday by Cathedral member Ferrell Drum and Anita Haddy, the church’s coordinator for ministry development. The announcement stated:

“The recent announcement of the resignation of Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson has stirred a deeply emotional response for members of the congregation. At a time like this, quiet reflection can help heal the raw emotions being experienced.

“A Service of Healing and Prayer is planned for Thursday, April 25, at 6 p.m. in the Interfaith Peace Chapel. You are invited to attend and encouraged to invite those you know who may benefit from this service so they can attend.”

—  David Taffet

Easter week (and Passover) schedules for some local congregations

EasterCathedral of Hope

5910 Cedar Springs Road

“We are getting ready for Holy Week, where we will feature most of our traditional services, plus a new contemporary Easter service on Saturday evening at 5,” said CoH spokesman Phoebe Sexton. “I’m really excited about the Saturday service (called “Easter Extra”); it will feature Angie Landers (recent Voice of Pride winner), Scott Ayers, our own Voices of Hope and Gospel Choir, plus Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson and Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor will preach in a new format. (The service will still be between an hour and an hour and 15 minutes.) We hope to offer an option to those with busy Easter Sundays, either with family, Easter in the Park or something else (there are some pretty fabulous brunch options out there.)”

Schedule:

March 24 — Palm Sunday at 9 and 11 a.m.
The Way of the Heart: “Unceasing”
Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson, preaching
Our indoor labyrinth will be set up for walking and meditation in the Interfaith Peace Chapel from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday evening (I can get you specific hours later today).

March 27 — 5 p.m.
Community Dinner ($10 at the door, $7.50 if you register online at http://www2.cathedralofhope.com/lenten-suppers — the food is amazing)

March 27 — 7:15 p.m.
Service of Anointing and Healing
Christian Clichés: “If You Have Enough Faith…”
Minister Todd Scoggins, preaching

March 28 — Holy Thursday at 7:15 p.m.
The Way of the Heart: “The Servants’ Entrance”
Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor, preaching

March 29 — Good Friday at 7:15 p.m.
Featuring the Cathedral of Hope Sanctuary Choir and Orchestra

March 30 — Holy Saturday at 5 p.m.
Easter Extra: A Contemporary Easter Worship Service
Featuring Angie Landers, Scott Ayers, Voices of Hope and the CoH Gospel Choir
Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson and Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor, preaching

March 30 — 7 p.m.
Congregacion Latina Easter Vigil

March 31 — Easter Sunday at 9 & 11 a.m.
Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson, preaching

March 31 — 1 p.m.
Congregacion Latina in the main sanctuary

Celebration Community Church

March 24 — Palm Sunday at 9 and 11 a.m.
Since we have many denominations represented at Celebration Community Church, we thought we would share a bit of background. The symbolism of Palm Sunday, is expressed in Zachariah 9:9 — “See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” The riding of a donkey, based on ancient Eastern tradition, is considered as coming in peace, whereas riding a horse was considered wanting to come in waging a war. Therefore, Jesus wanted to symbolize he was coming as the Prince of Peace. Palm branches, in ancient times, represented goodness and victory. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds lined his entry with palm branches. On Palm Sunday, we distribute palm branches and enter the church waving them as we remember His triumphal entrance.

March 29 — Tenebrae Service at 7 p.m.
Be sure to join us for Celebration’s annual Tenebrae service. This very moving step in the procession to Easter is one of our most meaningful services. Tenebrae is Latin for “darkness” or “shadows”. As you arrive for the service, the sanctuary is joyfully alight; however, as the service progresses, the lights are extinguished until total darkness envelops us. The service will be presented by Reverend West and the Music Department. Tenebrae is on Good Friday, March 29th beginning at 7:00 pm.

March 31 — Easter Sunday
Sunrise Service at 6 a.m.
Breakfast at 7 a.m.
Services at 9 and 11 am
Our Easter season tradition continues at Celebration Community Church on Easter Sunday, March 31st. Be here to worship at our Sunrise Service beginning at 6 am, in the Rose Garden (weather permitting) followed by Easter breakfast in the Fellowship Hall at 7am. Our 9 am and 11 am services will be identical and we hope you can join us for one or all three services. We look forward to seeing you during this Easter season.

Our Lady of Consolation Old Catholic Church

Interfaith Peace Chapel
5910 Cedar Springs Road

March 24 — Palm Sunday at 10–11 a.m.

March 28 — Holy Thursday at 7–8 p.m.

March 29 — Good Friday at 6:30–7:30 p.m. with Stations

March 30 — Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil at 7–9 p.m.

March 31 — Easter Sunday at 9–10 a.m. in the downstairs chapel

Congregation Beth El Binah

March 26 — Second day Passover Seder
Community seder led by Rabbi Steve Fisch at Resource Center Dallas on March 26 at 6:30 p.m. $45 for members and $65 for non-members. Email to make a reservation because the event is catered

—  David Taffet

WATCH: Cathedral of Hope wins Telly Award for ‘Dates of Change’

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 9.36.03 AM

Cathedral of Hope was named a winner in the 34th annual Telly Awards for a video in which church members describe how their life changed on the date they began attending the church.

“Dates of Change,” a video produced by Jerry King and David Mehl of the Cathedral’s TV ministry, was named a Bronze winner in the 2013 contest, which attracted nearly 11,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries.

The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs, video and film productions and online commercials, video and films. Each year awards are given in both silver and bronze categories.

“Cathedral of Hope’s television ministry accomplishment illustrates their creativity, skill and dedication to their craft and serves as a testament to great film and video production,” said Linda Day, executive director of the Telly Awards.

Telly Awards are given by the body of the academy and are judged by past Silver award winners within the industry. Entries do not compete against each other, but rather they are judged based upon a “high standard of merit.”

Watch the video below.

—  David Taffet

End of Mayan calendar means final SolstiCelebration at Cathedral of Hope

Is the 2012 winter solstice, the final date on the Mayan calendar, the end of it all or a launching point for transformation?

Earth Rhythms, organizers of Winter SolstiCelebration, say it’s both.

The tradition comes to an end, according to organizer Amy Martin, with the 20th and final Winter SolstiCelebration and Tranformation, celebrating the regenerative power of darkness and the redemptive grace of light, at Cathedral of Hope on Friday. SolstiCelebrators spanning all 20 years of the event return to Dallas from around the country to explore how the idea of transformation has shaped their own lives and the course of man, with song, ritual, dance, magic, music, poetry, ceremony, circus arts, meditation, storytelling and conscious movement.

The event began 20 years ago with about 100 people gathered for the solstice in a rented building on White Rock Lake. Recent events have drawn closer to 1,000 people from a variety of faiths. It will end as it began two decades ago, with the beat of the drum and the words of a poet.

Bring a flashlight to participate in the ceremony.

Organizers ask everyone to bring a canned food item for the Resource Center Dallas Food Pantry and donations of warm winter clothing.

Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. 7–9 p.m. Tickets $17 in advance, $20 at the door. 214-261-5599.

—  David Taffet

This week’s takeaways: Life+Style

The most important thing you need to know this weekend is that there are only a few chances left to see On the Eve, and all shows are currently sold out. So if you can’t get on the waiting list, look for a reprise of this show next year. In other theater news, there are still numerous holiday-themed plays to choose from (A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life, Mother Goose, Bur-Less-Q Nutcracker, Cirque Dreams: Holidaze opening Tuesday at the Winspear), as well as a real Nutcracker over in Fort Worth.

The Turtle Creek Chorale continues its concert season, with another performance of Comfort & Joy in McKinney and the new show, Naughty & Nice, opening Thursday at the new City Performance Hall. You can also check out the CPH earlier, with the Women’s Chorus of Dallas doing their holiday show, Believe, there on Saturday.

On Wednesday, the Cathedral of Hope gets a jump-start on Christmas as well with their “Travelers’ Silent Night,” a worship service for congregants who won’t be in town on Dec. 24.

And of course there’s sad news, as well: Monica Greene is no longer owner of her eponymous restaurant at the ilume, which seems to be shuttered for the time being.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

PHOTOS: Transgender Day of Remembrance at Cathedral of Hope

A rose was placed in a basket for each transgender person remembered at Transgender Day of Remembrance. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

More than 100 gathered Sunday evening at the Cathedral of Hope to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Dallas City Councilwoman Delia Jasso presented a city declaration marking the day as Transgender Day of Remembrance in Dallas, and Black Trans Men Inc. founder Carter Davis was the featured speaker. Euless eighth-grader Hannah Walter spoke about why she is an ally.

Mosaic Song, a small chorus from Resounding Harmony, performed several times during the service.

The reading of names included 39 transgender people brutally murdered during the previous 12 months including Janette Tovar of Dallas. Tovar’s was the only death marked as having an arrest made in the murder.

A rose was placed in a basket at the front of the church for each name read.

More photos below.

—  David Taffet