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Historic AIDS interfaith service at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

Thursday, July 2, 2020  
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Global faith leaders, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi among the service participants

AIDS 2020: Global audience invited to interfaith service at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

Livestreaming July 7, 2020, from Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
Global faith leaders, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi among the service participants

Suffering. Resilience. Hope. Renewal. A worldwide audience is invited to gather online with global interfaith leaders for a first-of-its-kind service to celebrate, reflect, and pray on the themes of AIDS2020, the world’s largest annual conference on HIV and AIDS.

What: AIDS2020 Interfaith Service: Online
When: Tuesday, July 7 at 9 a.m. PST / 12 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. CET
Where: Livestreamed from Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
Co-hosts: The Episcopal Diocese of California, Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance of the World Council of Churches, San Francisco Interfaith Council, The Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, UNAIDS

RSVP: On Facebook or Eventbrite

The interfaith service, live-streamed from Grace Cathedral, will include music and spoken word drawn from a variety of faith and spiritual traditions, as well as video greetings, prayers, and words of solace from a diverse array of faith leaders, including:

  • The Most Rev. Dr. Thabo Cecil Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Rabbi David Shlomo Rosen KSG, CBE, International Director of Interreligious Affairs, American Jewish Committee
  • Sister Crina Cardozo, Human Touch, Goa, India
  • Bishop Yvette A. Flunder, Presiding Bishop, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries
  • Rabbi Denise L. Eger, Senior Rabbi, Congregation Kol Ami, Los Angeles and President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR)
  • Ishaq Pathan, Bay Area Director, Islamic Networks Group (ING)
  • Khadijah I. Abdullah, Founder & Executive Director, RAHMA & National Faith HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • The Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Handley Andrus, Episcopal Bishop of California (the Episcopal Church in the Bay Area)

Service participants will also hear via video from U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A panel for the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, sewed by Pelosi for Susan Piracci Roggio, a flower girl in Pelosi’s wedding who died in 1986, will also be on display at Grace Cathedral.

AIDS History at Grace Cathedral and the Episcopal Diocese of California

When the AIDS crisis emerged in the early 1980s, Grace Cathedral and the Episcopal Diocese of California were at the forefront of a compassionate response. They communicated widely that all impacted by the disease were welcome at the cathedral to seek solace and support. The cathedral offered labyrinth walks, reviving an ancient spiritual practice of peace and healing. The cathedral also offered funeral services for anyone who succumbed to AIDS, regardless of whether a person was a member of the congregation — this at a time when some churches hesitated to offer such services to the afflicted. At the peak of the AIDS crisis in San Francisco, the congregation was burying up to 35 people a week. Many of the first panels of The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt were sewn in cathedral meeting rooms. And, in 1995, the cathedral and the community began to work on creating the AIDS Interfaith Memorial Chapel; it was completed and dedicated in 2000.



Stephanie Martin Taylor, The Episcopal Diocese of California
(415) 869-7820

Michael Rolph, Grace Cathedral
Tel: (415) 749-6300

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