The Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas

Cathedral of Hope celebrates its 47th anniversary this summer with a variety of events. The centerpiece is a series of fundraising dinners in homes and restaurants throughout July and August.

The Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas said two years ago that members did something like this and were very successful, explaining that “It gave people an opportunity to support the church and build relationships.”

He said with such a large congregation, building relationships can be a challenge. The dinners allowed smaller groups to get together to form friendships and help the church, and they allowed people active in the church to invite friends so they can “brag on the church and share its vision.”

A number of other events and speakers are planned throughout the summer.

The Big Bowling Blow-out takes place from 6-9 p.m. on July 7 at AMF Richardson Lane. And for two weeks, beginning July 9, the Cathedral will be transformed into an art gallery featuring a collection of original 20th and 21st century movie posters and art, including Texas artists and commissioned works.

On July 23, writer and producer Del Shores will be on hand, with cast members Ann Walker, Emerson Collins (producer), Rosemary Alexander, Newell Alexander, for a screening of Shores’ new film A Very Sordid Wedding.

The Rev. Elder Troy Perry, founder of Metropolitan Community Church, will be the guest of Cathedral of Hope for the July 29-30 anniversary weekend. Cazares-Thomas said this will be Perry’s first visit to Cathedral of Hope since the church left the denomination and joined United Church of Christ. Perry will attend a reception at 7 p.m. on Saturday and will be the guest preacher at the 11 a.m. service on Sunday.

Cazares-Thomas said the visit would heal the divide created when Cathedral left the denomination. Before coming to Dallas, Cazares-Thomas was pastor of Perry’s former church in Los Angeles.

Mayor Mike Rawlings will be presented the Hero of Hope Award at the church’s Aug. 27 11 a.m. service. A reception on Aug. 26 at Hilton Dallas/Park Cities Hotel honors the mayor’s work for equality in Dallas.

— David Taffet

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 23, 2017.