St. Hilda's Anglican Church in Sechelt is sponsoring a weekend of activities focusing on spirituality and homosexuality, which will coincide with the start of Gay Pride Week in Vancouver.
On Saturday, July 25 at 7 p.m., St. Hilda's will host a public forum called Sharing Queer Spirit: Can the Church Be Saved?
Featuring speakers Anita Fast and Jeffrey Preiss of the Vancouver School of Theology, and Rev. Neil Fernyhough, priest-in-charge of St. Hilda's, the forum will touch on issues of inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the Christian faith. The following evening, Sunday, July 26 at 7 p.m., there will be a screening of the award-winning documentary For the Bible Tells Me So, an award-winning documentary discussing how people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child or family member.
"To my knowledge, this is the first time a church on the Sunshine Coast has done anything of this kind," said Fernyhough, who has been at the church for a year and a half. "There is a large gay and lesbian population on the Sunshine Coast, but many feel alienated from church. My hope is that these events will help achieve reconciliation and send the message that the church can be a safe place for sexual minorities to explore their spirituality."
Fernyhough noted that St. Hilda's is one of only eight parishes in the Anglican Church of Canada that has received official authorization to bless same-sex unions.
More information on these events can be obtained from St. Hilda's at 604-885-5019, or www.sthilda.ca.