September 22, 2011 | by Staff reports
Gay-friendly Ugandan bishop to speak

Rev. Disani Christopher Senyonjo (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Rev. Disani Christopher Senyonjo, a former Anglican bishop in Uganda, will speak at All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church (2300 Cathedral Ave., N.W.) in Washington Sunday at the church’s 11 a.m. Mass. A reception will be held in the fellowship hall with a discussion forum following the service. It’s open and free to the public.

Senyonjo, who’s straight and retired in 1998, is on what he’s dubbing the “Compass to Compassion Tour” in the U.S. in which he’s attempting to educate Americans about the persecution of LGBT Ugandans and gays in 75 other countries that face persecution and even death simply for being LGBT.

Last year, Senyonjo founded St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation (stpaulsfoundation.com) to support global equality for LGBT people and their allies.

Rev. John Beddingfield, pastor of All Souls, is gay and invited Senyonjo to the church through a D.C. Anglican bishop who knows Senyonjo. Church leaders say how the Episcopal Church (most Anglicans in the U.S. are Episcopalian) treats believers is radically different from how they’re accepted in other parts of the world, even by others in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

“We wanted to offer him a forum,” said Jeff Wells, an All Souls volunteer. “I know our priest also feels passionate about fighting for gay rights and supports other mission work in South Africa.”

Senyonjo was scheduled to appear in D.C. with a gay-affirming Lutheran group tonight. Visit allsoulsdc.org for more information about his Sunday appearance.

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  • For those who may have missed Bishop Christopher Sunday at All Souls, he is speaking at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Tuesday, Oct. 5. Reception starts at 6:00 p.m., and the program at 6:45 p.m. 4444 Arlington Boulevard (Route 50 @ S. George Mason), Arlington, VA 22204.

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