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WLA Methodist Joins Gay Chorus on Disney Hall Stage

WLA United Methodist joined with 25 other faith communities to sing in concert with the Gay Men’s Chorus of L.A. at Walt Disney Concert Hall. WLA UMC was represented by Richard Yang, Katie Kitani, Pam Sase Ryder, Cooke Sunoo and Jeri Okamoto.

The Disney Concert Hall stage was filled with the 200 member Gay Men’s Chorus of L.A. and 200 members of L.A. faith community choirs on July 8.

Five from West L.A. United Methodist sang on stage for two well-attended performances. WLA UMC recently voted to become a “reconciling congregation,” one that fully accepts gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals to worship together in every aspect of the Methodist Church.

In addition to WLA UMC, 25 other faith groups participated in the concert. Groups ranged from Jewish and Muslim to Roman Catholic, Congregational, Episcopal, UCC, and Soka Gakkai International.

The concept of bringing the Gay Men’s Chorus together with choirs from a broad religious spectrum was designed intentionally to show that a harmony could be created. Commonly, one of the most divisive issues facing spiritual groups has been how to deal with LGBT worshippers. For the majority of faith organizations, accepting LGBT worshippers has created a tension between organized religion and the LGBT community.

The Disney Hall concert used music and emotional personal stories to celebrate religion and diversity while also illuminating the controversies and opening dialogue. Jonathan Weedman, GMCLA’s executive director, said the broad goal of the concerts is to “create a dialogue …an experience in space, where members of all faiths come together in love and understanding.”

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