Many thanks to all the wonderful volunteers who helped with the Ascension Water Table at the New York City LGBT Pride March on June 25, 2017 and a huge thank you to Steve Hubbard for organizing it all! This year was the 30th anniversary of this ministry and the biggest parade ever; we served for 9 hours, with the help of a multitude of volunteers from Ascension and also from Holy Apostles; St. John’s in the Village; St. Luke’s in the Field; All Saints, Glen Rock, NJ; Redeemer, Morristown, NJ; the Marriott hotel, and probably more. It was a wonder to behold. The Rev. Cynthia Black, Rector of Church of the Redeemer, Morristown, NJ, provided us with a video that captures the march and spirit of the day with our volunteers. Click the following link to view 2017 LGBT Pride Day at Ascension.
This year we served more than 25,000 cups of lemon infused water to the marchers and used more than 7 dozen lemons (we ran out after 7 dozen). Our volunteers were in the street with water trays for nine hours until the parade’s end around 9pm. This week some of us began to wonder how the water table started, and a bit of research brought the following history from former parishioner, the Rev. David Carlson:
In 1986 there were protesters against the Pride March in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. In those days Ascension members informally gathered in front of Ascension to watch the march. That year, as the religious groups passed (led by Dignity), Fr. Donald Goodness and Dennis Keene decided to peal the church bells. The Dignity contingent turned “en masse” and faced Ascension-tears pouring down their faces. Larger than life Donald blessed them to cheers and more tears for everyone! It was then that we decided that we needed to do more for the parade. In 1987 we began the water table, which in those days also included prayer cards for people with AIDS.
The Ascension parish is very thankful and proud of our priests and staff who help make the water table outreach possible and provide a supportive and inspiring spiritual home for EVERYONE on every day of the year.