Interfaith Peace Chapel opens on COH campus

Interior of the new Interfaith Peace Chapel

The Interfaith Peace Chapel at Cathedral of Hope opened this morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The Rev. Jo Hudson, senior pastor at COH, officiated.

“We have many partners here today,” Hudson said.

In attendance were representatives of 17 of the world’s religions.

Among those offering prayers were Cantor Don Croll of Temple Shalom who also presented Hudson with a mezuzah for the chapel. A mezuzah is a parchment inscribed with a prayer from Deuteronomy that is hung on the doorpost of a building.

Tom Metcalf offered a Buddhist prayer, Sister Uma a Hindu prayer and Imam Zia a Muslim prayer.

Elected officials at the ribbon-cutting included Dallas City Councilwoman Pauline Medrano and District Judge-elect Tonya Parker. Medrano presented a city proclamation.

“It looked exactly like what I thought it would,” said the Rev. Michael Piazza, who first walked through the completed building on Friday.

The chapel is only one part of a new cathedral that has been planned for 15 years. The project was the final design of architect Philip Johnson. Piazza said Johnson originally turned down the project because churches take so long to build. The chapel was not part of the original design for the new cathedral but was added later by Johnson because COH needed a smaller space for daily events such as weddings and funerals.

—  David Taffet

Local briefs • 11.05.10

COH holds vigil for equality

The Cathedral of Hope 20Something Ministries and Peace House Dallas in conjunction with other community activism groups are hosting a candlelight vigil to commemorate and express gratitude to those who struggle for peaceful equality on behalf of LGBTQ people.

They will gather with local community leaders on the grounds of the recently dedicated Interfaith Peace Chapel, 5910 Cedar Springs Road, on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. Speakers will include representatives of Lambda Legal, Cathedral of Hope and Peace House Dallas.

The evening will conclude with a prayer for peace and strength with a progressive lighting of candles as a tribute in honor and memory.

Celebrichefs grill burgers for AIDS

A dozen celebrity chefs joined Chef John Tesar, culinary director of DRG Concepts, on the fifth floor pool deck at The House in Victory Park, for the second annual Burgers & Burgundy event benefiting Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. The chefs crafted a variety of burgers from BBQ spiced beef with smoked sausage to grilled garlic lamb sliders to raise funds for DIFFA.

This year’s event raised more than $25,000 while guests sipped burgundy wines and with  downtown Dallas serving as a backdrop.

Chefs who participated in addition to Tesar included Cooking With Friends host Nick Stellino, James Beard award winner R.J. Cooper, Stephan Pyles, Kent Rathbun, Tim Byres, Scott Romano, Dan Landsberg, Samir Dhurandhar, Sharon Van Meter, Kevin Williamson, and Brian Luscher. They represented restaurants as diverse as Samar, Nick and Sam’s, Smoke, Tillman’s Road House and The Grape.

Silent auction packages included four Kenmore grills paired with a celebrity chef visit or a party with Michael Martensen.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 5, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Gospel according to gays

Tim Seelig and Cathedral of Hope put a queer twist on that old-time religion with the ‘Gay’ther Homecoming, a celebration of hymns and homos

M.M. ADJARIAN  | Contributing Writer mmadjarian@gmail.com

SAY  AMEN | Seelig, above, tapped dozens of gospel artists for his inaugural concert, including out singers Ray Boltz, below left, and Marsha Stevens, below right.

‘GAY’THER HOMECOMING
Cathedral of Hope,
5910 Cedar Springs Road.
Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. $15.
CathedralofHope.com.

………………………………….

Leave it to Tim Seelig to find a way to queer-up the straightest event.

The original Gaither Homecoming was started in 1991 in Nashville by gospel singer and impresario Bill Gaither.

“It’s a huge industry of straight gospel singers — I mean hundreds of millions of dollars,” says Seelig.

And that industry has not been gay-friendly. According to Seelig, too many talented LGBT gospel singers have been excluded from performing at events like the Gaither Homecoming. Many are not even allowed to sing in their own churches.

But there is no want of LGBT gospel music fans out there. So on Saturday, Art for Peace & Justice (which Seelig directs) and the Cathedral of Hope will present the first annual “Gay”ther Homecoming, a gala evening of Christian music and song. Proceeds will benefit the Interfaith Peace Chapel at the COH.

The show, the first of its kind in the nation, will feature 49 singers and six instrumentalists from across the country, singing solos and then joining each other — and the audience — to  sing hymns and gospel songs.

“The audience will know every single song performed,” says Seelig. “They will sing along, tap their feet, clap, and utter many ‘amens.’ I have no doubt there will be tears.”

“The initial idea [for the event] came from a staff member at the cathedral and was simply [intended] to host a celebration of LGBT musicians and their friends during gay Pride,” says Seelig. “It is not meant as a spoof or parody of the Gaither Homecoming industry; we just felt that by giving it that name, people would immediately know what to expect with very little explanation.”

It is, though, meant to be empowering for gay people of faith.

“Over the years, I have come in contact with literally hundreds of musicians who cut their teeth in the church but were completely cast aside once they came out,” he observes. “There is no room for them at the table of main-line religion. Period.”

Seelig faced similar discrimination when he came out in the 1980s, but has since achieved international acclaim as a singer, educator and chorale conductor. He’s also brought to Dallas, through A4P&J, speakers such as Maya Angelou and recently a performance of Terence McNally’s Corpus Christi.

His latest project has two aims. The first is to offer LGBT gospel musicians a welcoming space where they can let their talents shine. And the second is “to bring the audience to a place full of wonderful memories of their own journey with religion and, more specifically, the music of their youth.”

Among those slated to perform at the “Gay”ther Homecoming are LGBT gospel luminaries as Ray Boltz, Marsha Stevens, Mark Hayes, Susie Brenner and Pattie Clawson Berry. Local artists joining the line-up include Gary Floyd, Amy Stevenson, Danny Ray, Lonnie Parks and Shelly-Torres West, along with three LGBT gospel groups: Redeemed, Out 4 Joy and Voices of Hope. The show will be filmed for future DVD release.

“Our hope is that this will be something that LGBT people all over will purchase and enjoy,” says Seelig. “There are so many people all over the world who feel disenfranchised. This is just one way that the Cathedral of Hope and Art for Peace & Justice can help them know they are not forgotten.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 17, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Gay Pride events for Saturday

The parade and festival are only a day a way, and here’s a list of Pride-sanctioned events for Saturday from the Dallas Tavern Guild:

Gay Day @ Six Flags
Once again the “queer” community descends on the largest theme park in the Southwest for a day of food, fun, rides and community. This is a really special outing and should not be missed.
Six Flags Over Texas is located in Arlington, midway between Dallas and Fort Worth at the intersection of Interstate 30 and Highway 360 (Angus Wynne Jr. Freeway).
10:00 am until park closes.

A Gay-ther Homecoming Concert
This event brings together LGBT artists from all across the country for a night of gospel music. Concert will benefit programs of the Interfaith Peace Chapel. Celebrate with LGBT Musicians and Allies as they gather for an evening of Joy, Praise and Musical Memories.
Cathedral of Hope Sanctuary
5910 Cedar Springs Road
Dallas, TX 75219
8:00 pm
Tickets: $15
For more information or tickets, go to: www.cathedralofhope.com

Gay Bingo at The Rose Room
“Gay Bingo Glam” Fierce, Fiery and Fashionable
One of the highlights of Pride Week is Gay Bingo. Lots of guest stars, surprises, great prizes and loads of laughs with Jenna Skyy and her cohorts. Reserve your tickets early because this one is always sold out well in advance of the date.
The Rose Room @ Station 4
3911 Cedar Springs Road
Dallas, TX 75219
Doors open @ 5:00 pm Bingo starts @ 6:00 pm
www.resourcecenterdallas.org

Gay Pride Celebration Party
Round up Saloon
Open at noon with Drink Specials all day
3912 Cedar Springs Road
Dallas, TX 75219
www.roundupsaloon.com

The Annual “High Drag” Ball
It’s not a “Stonewall Riot” but it will be a “fashion and laugh riot” as the gang gathers to model, perform and raise money for charity.
Barbara’s Pavilion
315 Centre Street
Dallas, TX 75208
http://www.myspace.com/oakcliffpav

‘EQUINOX’ – A Celebration of Dallas Pride
The Brick/Joe’s
Featuring superstar DJ/Producer Chris Cox
Doors open at 9pm. Dance ‘til 4am.
Advance $15 tickets on sale.
2525 Wycliff
Dallas, Texas 75219
www.brickdallas.com

Pride Night Karaoke, hosted by Totally Twisted Karaoke
Pekers
Our Saturday night is filled with “Pride” as we sing karaoke and pay tribute to all the great music that made the GLBT community sing and dance through the years.
2615 Oaklawn Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219
www.pekersbar.com

Hot Music Night at Exklusive
Exklusive
Come and enjoy the best top 80′s, 90′s / top 40 music mixed by DJ Style
Strippers starting at midnight (12am)
Drink Specials – $2 wells / $2 domestic from 9pm – 10pm
No cover
4207 Maple Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75219
www.exklusive.tv

Glow Pride Party & Glow Dance
Dallas Eagle
10:00 pm
5740 Maple Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75235
www.dallaseagle.com

Dance Night @ Kaliente
Kaliente
Come and enjoy the best Latino and top 40 music mixed by DJ Puma
Drink Specials – $2 wells / $2 domestic from 9pm – 10pm
No cover 9pm – 11pm
4350 Maple Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75219
www.kaliente.cc

Hear our Pride sponsored by the Sharon St. Cyr Fund, Inc.
Radisson Hotel and Suites, Mockingbird (off of I-35)
Dinner with entertainment provided by renowned comedian, Paul J. Williams. Tyler McCormick, International Mr. Leather 2010 is our special guest. The Sharon St. Cyr Fund, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to raise funds to provide hearing aids for hearing-impaired individuals and provide grants to organizations for ASL interpreting services for the deaf and hard of hearing community.
45 – Individual Tickets or $100 for VIP Tickets
7 p.m. until 10 p.m.
More information can be found at www.SSCFund.com



—  John Wright