To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Cathedral of Hope as a United Church of Christ congregation, UCC General Minister and President the Rev. Geoffrey A. Black will come to Dallas to preach on Sunday, Feb. 5 at the Cathedral.
Cathedral of Hope, the fourth-largest congregation of the UCC, officially became a member of the denomination on Feb. 4, 2007.
Jo Hudson, senior pastor of Cathedral of Hope, recalled the day, saying: “When all the i’s had been dotted and all the t’s crossed, after the official words of welcome had been spoken, and we all felt good about the service we had just shared, the Voices of Hope choir and our orchestra led us in the anthem How Great is Our God. I thought the roof was going to come off the church.”
The relationship between Cathedral of Hope and the UCC has been great for both the congregation and the larger church, the Rev. Hudson said.
“What has stayed the same are our shared core values of compassion, inclusion and liberation, our hope and our faith in Jesus,” she said. ”What changed was that the UCC welcomed all at once the largest influx of LGBTQ members in the history of a mainline U.S. church. And, in the ensuing months, Cathedral of Hope saw a double-digit percentage increase in the number of heterosexual worshipers on Sunday morning. Our God is a great God, indeed!”
As part of the fifth Anniversary festivities, Cathedral of Hope announced that in July it will present the Rev. William R. (Bill) Johnson, vice president for Member Relations with the UCC Council for Health and Human Service Ministries, with its annual Hero of Hope Award. In 1972, the Rev. Johnson became the first openly gay minister to be ordained by a mainline U.S. church. During that weekend, July 20–22, CoH will also host the “Hope Initiative Weekend,” a conference on church leadership and effectiveness. Details on registration will be announced soon.