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Kensington Community Church to host "The Shower of Stoles" exhibit this month

SAN DIEGO — To draw attention to the role of LGBT people of faith around the country, Kensington Community Church in San Diego will host an exhibit of liturgical stoles called “The Shower of Stoles” at a community-wide open house on July 22.

The national project represents more than 1,000 clergy members of more than 30 religious denominations on three continents, including many who have been excluded from serving in their church because of their sexual orientation.

“This collection celebrates the gifts of LGBT persons who serve God in countless ways, while also lifting up those who have been excluded from service because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Debbie Loomis, chair of KCC’s Open and Affirming Committee.

KCC is an Open and Affirming congregation, welcoming to members of the LGBT community as well as to people from all walks of life.

Fifty stoles from “The Shower of Stoles” will be on display at a KCC open house on Sunday, July 22, at 11 am, immediately following the 10 am service. As part of its commitment to social justice, KCC welcomes the entire community to both the service and the free event.

Each stole – a long scarf usually worn with ministerial robes – will be accompanied by the story of a clergy member. Attendees can walk through the exhibit, where each stole will be hung with its accompanying story.

A documentary film, “So Great a Cloud of Witnesses: The Story of the Shower of Stoles Project,” will play continuously.

In addition, on Thursday, July 19, KCC invites members of local United Church of Christ (UCC) Partnership churches to another open house with a dessert potluck from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Partnership members can take in the stoles and their stories while making a colorful craft to carry in the annual Pride Parade on Saturday, July 21.

Along with KCC, the partnership churches include University City UCC, Christian Fellowship UCC, La Mesa UCC, Mission Hills UCC, and Pioneer Ocean View UCC.

“The Shower of Stoles” collection tours constantly around the country, being exhibited in local congregations, universities and seminaries, and regional and national denominational gatherings. The project’s mission is to end religious discrimination against LGBT people. For more information, visit HERE

About Kensington Community Church

Founded in 1929, KCC engages heavily in mission work around San Diego – for example, helping provide stockings and presents for more than 1,200 low-income children and families at the annual Copley YMCA Christmas Party. In September 2011, the church rededicated its newly remodeled, eco-friendly sanctuary, featuring the restoration of its large, stained-glass Good Shepherd window overlooking Marlborough Drive.

A hub for the neighborhood, the church hosts an annual pancake breakfast on Memorial Day weekend, a Halloween carnival and an Easter egg hunt and enables more than 30 self-help and community organizations to meet regularly in its facilities. For more information about the church, visit HERE or call 619-284-1129.