Here are some highlights from the NYC Pride March yesterday. I made a conscious decision to travel light, and I don't have any pictures to show you.
I got there quite early -- my plan was to march with the Diocese of New York. The announced assembly time was 11:30 and I was a few minutes earlier than that. We were in group 6 and assembled on East 54th Street. The delegation from St. Luke in the Fields had great tee shirts and I looked around for Counterlight. Overcoming my natural shyness, I spoke to him. Later I also saw and spoke to the Reverend boy.
The Eucharist was at 12. It was conducted amid a great deal of street noise but it went off well. Towards the end of it, the marshals wanted us form up so a few folks put the banners out as placeholders.-- we all knew that there would be a long wait afterward. The website had predicted a step off time of 1 PM.
I volunteered to help carry the diocesan banner and soon Lisa, another member of St. Mary's, Manhattanville, showed up and she volunteered to carry the banner, too. We both expected to see Patrick, another St. Mary's person, but he never showed.
Finally, we stepped off at 2:05 pm. The diocesan banner led, followed by Integrity, and at least four parishes -- St Luke in the Fields, Holy Apostles, St Bart's, and St John's in the Village. I carried the banner the whole way, so I didn't get a chance to circulate.
There are three churches near the beginning of the line of march. Out group didn't pass the first one, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian -- we started out one block south of it. Almost immediately we passed St. Thomas Church. Then two blocks later is St Patrick's Cathedral, with barricades isolating it from what was happening on the street. I think that's sad.
I was surprised at the number of people along the way who greeted us enthusiastically. A little more than a mile along the way, we came to Marble Collegiate Church, where there were people handing out cups of water -- a welcome refreshment.
The big surprise came a mile after that. At First Presbyterian Church they were also handing out water. Who should come towards us carrying a tray of cups, but Bishop Gene Robinson, who was their preacher yesterday morning. Receiving a cup of water from Gene Robinson on Pride Sunday was almost sacramental.
For the rest of the march, +Gene marched with us. An awful lot of people along the way recognized him and called out his name.
We got to the end of the march a little before 5:30. Three and a half hours to march around three miles -- an hour's walk at a good pace, maybe a little more for me these days. I called Liz, who had stayed at home feeling a little sick, and she came down to the Village for the Festive Choral Evensong at St Luke in the Fields. All in all, a memorable day. I'm sorry I don't have any pictures for you.
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