Friends of Jake blogger IT and her wife BP are on the road again, this time visiting our sister Cathedral St Mark's in Minneapolis, which they found very welcoming. In the comments to that post, lots of folks from around the country suggest friendly parishes to visit. It would be great if you mentioned in the comments here, parishes where you have felt welcome in your travels!
BP and I are in Minneapolis on a combined business/family trip. We are staying close to the University on the East Bank. Last time we were here we were in St Paul, and had a very nice visit to the parish church of St Christopher's. But this time, BP said, "let's bag a Cathedral!" (I guess she enjoyed our trip to the Cathedral in Portland, OR.) A moment on the web showed us that St Mark's Cathedral is a welcoming parish, so off we went.
It's an imposing church, neo-Gothic in style, with a high, vaulted ceiling. The stone is warm tan in color, though I have to say I'm glad I don't have to pay for heating the place in the winter time. (Our own Cathedral is also neo-Gothic but much smaller in size--not surprising because it was built before San Diego was an independent diocese. ) A good showing in the congregation, and a good choir, though we were disappointed not to hear more solo-choir pieces. They did a Vaughn Williams piece that was spectacular, however. A little less pomp than our home community--no incense, no stately vergers escorting the readers, and the Dean, who presided and sermonized, is not a chanter. But he had a warm, Southern intonation and his image of social justice and inclusion ( "that's when the Gospel hit the fan!") was priceless.
According with our habit of showing up when things are happening, they were retiring their Deacon today, and welcoming a number of new members (including young families). We enjoyed bringing greetings to the Dean from our home Cathedral and got a warm welcome from him in return.
We travel a fair amount (as you will have seen) and so we rely on web sites to tell us if the churches we look at are likely to welcome folk like us. This one is a spectacularly welcoming, social justice parish. We felt very much at home there, and commend it to you if you travel that way. Way to go, Minnesota.
Cross posted with permission from Friends of Jake.