10th Annual Multi-faith Pride Service


    “Please join us in celebrating our pride in a spiritually inclusive setting. We’re celebrating 10 years of affirmation, diversity, and love! Guest Speakers include Democratic primary Gubernatorial Candidate Kelly Fryer (Lutheran Minister), nationally acclaimed queer theology author Justin Sabia-Tanis, and Noreen Olsen, founder of the Colby Olsen Foundation and Susan Cottrell, founder of FreedHearts.org). Tables represented by various groups from the greater Tucson LGBTQ community will be present. There will also be a light reception to follow.”


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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


    1. Over 150 people at this multi-faith service tonight, with welcome by Rev.Dr. Delle McCormick, first female & lesbian pastor at Rincon Congregational Church, followed by former U.S. Senate candidate Muslim Deedra Abboud, who spoke about community as like a salad (all mixed up), then Sikh representative Sat Bir Kaur Khalsa chanting about compassion. Former Gubernatorial candidate Kelly Fryer spoke of love and joy, being “bigger than ourselves”. Desert Voices sang “We’ve Got to be Taught” from South Pacific musical, followed by gift presentations to the altar from the Multi-Faith working group accompanied by flute music. Founder of these services (now in 10th year) Marc Paley led two sing a longs, and spoke of “dreaming big and living fearlessly together”. Wiccan high priest Patrick Campion said to find unity, asked the “elementals and deities to bless us all”. Bisexual singer Joyce Luna sang “We Rise…when we gather together”. Noreen Olsen, mother of deceased Colby Olsen, told the audience about their Foundation’s goal to help LGBTP youth and seniors, followed by offerings and a video by Pentatonix spelling “HUMAN” at the end. Susan Cottrell, President of Freedhearts.org spoke of accepting/loving her 5 daughters (2 of whom are lesbians), and talking to God while biking. Desert Voices sang uplifting, prideful “This is Me” song, followed by closing prayer and song by Rev. Shermaine Fort, Pastor of Water of Life MCC, who tried to “seal every loving word” spoken tonight. Thus it was indeed a service of CommUNITY, showing off Unity in Community.

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