When and Where is the Celebration?
As the Supreme Court rules on marriage equality cases -- Prop 8 and DOMA -- this June, Middle Collegiate Church will celebrate Loving Day with gospel music and vows on Sunday, June 9 at 6 pm. Loving Day is the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which made it legal for interracial couples to wed on June 12, 1967. Original gospel music by Broadway and television actor Tituss Burgess will be performed and there will be a renewal of vows for both straight and gay couples. Tituss Burgess (Jersey Boys, The Little Mermaid, Guys and Dolls, and 30 Rock), Alyson Palmer (of BETTY, whose music has been heard on The L-Word, Ugly Betty, and Weeds), and Broadway’s Jenny Powers (Grease and Little Women) will solo at the event. Middle Church stands for the freedom of all couples to legally marry.
Senior minister, Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis said, “As a Black woman married to a White man, my marriage would have been illegal in some states before the Supreme Court’s 1967 ruling on Loving v. Virginia. As the Supreme Court rules on marriage equality, it’s important to stand for the basic freedoms and civil rights for all people. This year is also the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, as I reflect on how the federal government freed slaves 150 years ago, I think about how we are called to free others now. We need to continue sing, march and speak out so more of us have basic freedoms.”
Music will be shared from the gospel album, Welcome, composed by Burgess. Burgess composed the music to support Middle Church’s social justice ministries. The high-energy music blends old-school gospel, jazz, and theatrical genres.
Welcome’s vocals are performed by Burgess, Palmer, Powers, and a collection of voices who have performed on Broadway or toured nationally and internationally including Kristina Nicole Miller (The Lion King), Tami Petty (American Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Opera Center), Jarvis Derell, Martina Sykes, Amy Lynn Hamlin, Joe Caruncho, and Allison Mickelson. The album was co-produced with Dionne McClain-Freeney and Stefan Held.
A music video has also been released of a song featured on the album, “We Are The Ones.” It was directed by Shari Carpenter. She has worked with Spike Lee, Ridley Scott, and Forest Whitaker. The music video features an internationally renowned cast including Burgess, Palmer, and Powers.
We Make It Happen
Preacher: Jacqui Lewis
Scripture: Luke 4:16-20
Music: Tituss Burgess and Friends