Sep 24, 2016
Continuing with this exploration on how to manage and cope with this continuous assailing of our hearts, minds and souls by the external world, from the place of soul and heart rather than the influence of the mind. Together with Neil we consider the place of hope, action and forgiveness.
Neil G. Cazares-Thomas is the senior pastor of the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas, the world’s largest liberal Christian church with a primary outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Cazares-Thomas is a former senior pastor of the Founders Metropolitan Community Church in Los Angeles, California
A native of Bournemouth, England, Cazares-Thomas was born into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but his family left the church in his early years. On his fifteenth birthday, he joined the Metropolitan Community Churches, an international movement of churches primarily reaching out to the LGBTQ community. He attended St John’s Theological College, La Saint Union and King Alfred’s College and graduated with a BA. Following ordination, Cazares-Thomas served as the senior pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church in Bournemouth for 12 years, helping found churches in Southampton, Brighton, Dorchester, and Torquay during that time. In 2002, he moved to Los Angeles to serve as senior pastor of Founders Metropolitan Community Church. He graduated with a Doctor of Ministry degree from the San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2009 and was later appointed an adjunct professor at the Claremont School of Theology. On April 12, 2015, Cazares-Thomas was elected senior pastor by the 4,500-member congregation of the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas.
Neil is known for his social activism, having been instrumental in developing feeding programs for the homeless, night and day shelters, safe sex initiatives, establishing relations with police, challenging discriminatory laws and providing LGBTQ youth services, including his "Over the Rainbow" initiative, a drop-in center founded during the AIDS pandemic offering counseling, support and information. He has served as chaplain to the Mayor of Bournemouth, the Sanctuary (an HIV/AIDS hospice), a women’s refuge and five drug and alcohol rehab houses. He is a past president of California Faith for Equality and the Los Angeles LGBTQI Clergy Council.
"Change" is a song recorded by American singer Christina Aguilera. It was written by Aguilera, Fancy Hagood and Flo Reutter, while its production was done by Flo Reutter and Martin Terefe. RCA Records premiered the song on June 16, 2016, on On Air with Ryan Seacrest. The song was dedicated to the victims of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, as well as Christina Grimmie, who was shot in Orlando the day before the Nightclub shooting. The proceedings are donated to the National Compassion Fund to benefit the victims' families.
Lyrically, the song talks about self-identity and acceptance.
“This Day” Sung by Veronica McCuin and the Women of the Cathedral of Hope Sanctuary Choir. Words and Music by Lowell Alexander
"I Didn't Know My own Strength" Sung buy Denise Lee
Words and Music by Diane Warren.
The Cathedral of Hope, a congregation of the United Church of Christ, is based in Dallas, Texas, and is the world's largest liberal Christian church with a primary outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Local and national church ministries, outreach programs, pastoral counseling, television media and the internet (cathedralofhope.com) touch thousands of lives each day.