The LGBT Ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark

1989

The Oasis is created.

The First Board is called.

All Saints, Hoboken becomes the first Oasis home.

The Rev. Robert Williams is named the first Executive Director of The Oasis.

Four sites are chosen in the diocese for monthly Oasis worship services, each with its own convenor.

1990

In January, Robert Williams resigns as director after publicly disagreeing with the church’s and the OASIS’s stance on monogamy and celibacy.

Service in support of Bishop Righter held at St. Luke’s, Montclair – Elizabeth Kaeton preaches powerful ‘Wade in the Water’ sermon

In September, David Norgard becomes the second director of The OASIS

1991

18 congregations are sponsoring churches

1992

27 congregations are sponsoring churches

1993

33 congregations are sponsoring churches

Oasis celebrates its 5th anniversary on June 1st

1994

34 congregations are sponsoring churches

1995

37 congregations are sponsoring churches
6/6 – Sixth Anniversary of The Oasis at All Saints, Hoboken
The Rev Harker McHugh,OASIS Missioner, is the celebrant and Bishop Spong, is the preacher.

9/22-9/24 – Retreat at Kirkridge

12/2 – “A Time for A Love Song” – a gala evening with Barbara Cook at the John Harms Theatre in Englewood

1996

44 congregations are sponsoring churches

On June 4th, Presiding Bishop Edmond L. Browning speaks at the 7th anniversary of the Oasis at All Saints, Hoboken. Bishops Spong, Righter, Roskam and Charles are also participants.

11/9 – Celebration of new ministry of The Rev. Canon Elizabeth Kaeton as Oasis Missioner at the Cathedral

1997

April – The Oasis graduates its first class of Eucharistic Ministers

6/3 – The Oasis celebrates its eighth anniversary at All Saints Church in Hoboken. Bishops Jack McKelvey and Walter Righter co-celebrate. The Hon. Byron Rushing preaches.

10/7 – Blessing of The Animals at All Saints, Hoboken

11/19 – Thanksgiving Service at Christ Church, Ridgewood

12/2 – World AIDS Day at St. Paul’s, Jersey City

1998

1/13 – Oasis Co-sponsors Celebration of 21 years of Women’s Ordination at St. Paul’s, Paterson

2/10 – Celebration of Committed Relationships – St. George’s, Maplewood

3/10 – Interfaith Celebration of PFLAG at Atonement, Tenafly

“We Are Family” Eucharist at Christ Church, Hackensack celebrates same-sex couples and their children

6/2 – The Oasis celebrates its ninth anniversary at All Saints Church in Hoboken. Bishop Spong celebrates the Eucharist and Deacon Minka Sprague preaches.

10/6 – Blessing of The Animals at St. Paul’s, Chatham

10/22 – The Oasis hosts a memorial service for Matthew Shepard at Trinity and St. Philip’s Cathedral

11/17 – Thanksgiving Service at St. Elizabeth’s, Ridgewood

1999

48 congregations are sponsoring churches

2/9 – Celebration of Committed Relationships at Calvary, Summit

2/27 – Oasis Gala at The Morris Museum

3/9 – Oasis co-sponsors Pauli Murray service at St. Paul’s, Englewood

3/27 – Oasis co-sponsors “Today’s Woman” a liturgy of hope at St. Paul’s, Chatham

4/20 – The Oasis sponsors an interfaith celebration of PFLAG at All Saints Church in Leonia.

6/1 – Oasis celebrates its 10th Anniversary at All Saints, Hoboken – Bishop Spong celebrant and preacher. Michael Rehill, diocesan chancellor and chief respondent in the presentment charge against Bishop Walter Righter,is presented with a special award.

10/5 – The Oasis celebrates Blessing of the Animals at St. James Church in Hackettstown

10/20 – The Oasis co-sponsors a celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the ordination of women at Holy Innocents, West Orange

11/16 – The Oasis holds a Thanksgiving service at St. Peter’s Church in Clifton

2000

2/8 – A Celebration of Committed Relationships, Redeemer, Morristown

3/7 – The Oasis co-celebrates a Celebration of The Life of Pauli Murray, Christ Church, East Orange

4/4 – The Oasis offers an ecumenical service at St. John’s Church in Montclair for those in 12-step recovery programs

6/6 – The Oasis celebrates its 11th anniversary at Christ Church in Hackensack.

10/3 – Blessing of The Animals at St. John the Divine, Hasbrouck Heights

2001

2/13 – A Celebration of Committed Relationships, Messiah, Chester

6/5 – The Oasis celebrates its 12th anniversary at St. Paul’s Church in Englewood. Bishop Croneberger celebrates and Bishop Bennison of Pennsylvania preaches.

6/20 – The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told at Nutley Little Theatre

6/24 – Bishop Roskam celebrates Street Eucharist at Pride March

2002

54 Sponsoring Congregations, The Rev. Rose Hassan serves as Interim Missioner.

2/5 – The Oasis celebrates Valentines Day with a service honoring committed relationships of all kinds at Christ Church in Ridgewood.

3/12 – The Oasis co-sponsors a Celebration of The Life of Pauli Murray, Christ Church, Pompton Lakes

4/16 – The Oasis sponsors a service honoring the Earth at St. Luke’s Church in Montclair

6/4 – The Oasis celebrates its 13th anniversary at Grace Church in Newark. Bishop Croneberger celebrates and the Rev. Michael Hopkins preaches.

In November, the Oasis takes part in the Claiming the Blessing Conference in St. Louis

2003

Under Bishop Croneberger, Lyn-Headley Deavours is named Justice Missioner, overseeing the OASIS, the Bethsaida Team on disabilities, and the Mission to Dismantle Racism. John Simonelli is named chair of the OASIS.

3/3 – The Oasis sponsors a reading and book signing by Louis Crompton, author of Homosexuality and Civilization at St. Paul’s in Morris Plains

6/3 – The Oasis celebrates its 14th anniversary at St. Peter’s Church in Morristown. Bishop Croneberger celebrates and the Rev. Susan Russell, Executive Director of Claiming the Blessing, preaches.

10/2 – The Oasis begins a series of “coffeehouse socials” in Montclair, NJ

10/3 – The Oasis co-sponsors a Celebration of The Life of Pauli Murray at the Cathedral

12/1 – The Oasis partners with Christ Church in Belleville to observe World AIDS Day with 14 panels of the Quilt overhead. A concert by the “gender-bending” folk-rock band Girlyman launches the exhibit.

2004

2/10 – The Oasis offers a service celebrating committed relationships at St. Stephen’s Church in Millburn.

3/30 – Serenity Mass at St. Peter’s, Clifton. The Rev. Hank Dwyer celebrates and The Rev. Bernie Poppe, Rector of St. George’s, Maplewood, preaches..

4/21 – The Oasis sponsors a free financial seminar for same-sex couples entitled “Protecting Our Assets and Planning for Our Future” at St. Mark’s, Teaneck.

4/25 – The Oasis sponsors a performance of The Laramie Project, a play about the death of Matthew Shepard and its effect on the town where it occurred, at the Nutley Little Theater.

6/1 – The Oasis celebrates its 15th anniversary at Christ Church in Ridgewood. Bishop Croneberger celebrates the Eucharist and Bishop Gene Robinson is the preacher.

10/12 – The OASIS Celebrates National Coming Out Day at Trinity Church in Kearny. The Rev. Rose Hassan celebrates and The Rev. Randall Day, Rector of St. Mark’s, Teaneck, preaches.

12/1 – The Oasis co-sponsors a service for World AIDS Day at St. John’s in Union City.

2005

2/15 – The Oasis celebrates a service of Committed Relationships at St. Paul’s in Chatham. Elizabeth Kaeton is the celebrant and the entire Killian-Meneghin family offers the sermon.

3/24 – The OASIS mourns the death of commissioner The Rev. Hank Dwyer, Rector of St. Peter’s Church in Clifton and a long time champion of equality.

4/16 – The Oasis hosts a performance of a musical play, Journey, at St. Peter’s in Clifton

5/11 – A service at the Cathedral honors hate-crime martyrs, particularly Sakia Gunn. Dean Williams celebrates and the Rev. Jacquelyn Holland, founder of Liberation in Truth Community Fellowship, preaches.

5/18 – The Oasis sponsors a breakfast meeting for clergy at which a representative from Lambda Legal presented an update on the same-sex marriage case then being heard in NJ Appelate Court.

May and June – The Oasis hosts a series of cabaret performances by Elaine St. George called The Girl that I Marry

6/1 – The Oasis celebrates its 16th anniversary at All Saints, Hoboken. Bishop Croneberger celebrates the Eucharist and Bishop Paul Marshall of Bethlehem, PA, is the preacher.

9/18 – Five organizations, including The Oasis, honor the Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray at a service at the Cathedral.

11/4 – The Oasis sponsors a benefit performance of Diana Son’s Stop Kiss at Nutley Little Theatre

12/1 – The Oasis observes World AIDS Day at St. Mark’s Teaneck. The Rev. Cooper Conway preaches and the Rev. Dennie Bennett celebrates. The Rev. Dana Rose, who worked with the AIDS community for many years, offered a solo and poem.

12/3 – The Oasis offers possibly the first-ever religious retreat weekend for transgendered people at the Stella Maris Center in Elberon, NJ.

2006

6/1 – The Oasis celebrates its 17th anniversary at Trinity and St. Philip’s Cathedral. Dean David Williams celebrates and Bishop Croneberger preaches.

8/12 – The Rev. Dana Rose, priest, poet, and friend of the OASIS, dies in Glen Ridge, NJ.

10/1 – The Oasis sponsors an overnight retreat featuring the Rev. Dr. Erin Swensen, believed to be the first active clergy person to make an open gender transition.

11/3 – The OASIS sponsors a benefit performance of The Elephant Man at the Nutley Little Theatre

12/6 – World AIDS Day – observing the 25th Anniversary of the Pandemic – Trinity, Cliffside Park

2007

3/30 – The Oasis organizes a screening of The Saint of 9/11, a biography of FDNY chaplain Mychal Judge, at St. Andrew’s and Holy Communion in South Orange

6/3 – The Oasis celebrates its 18th anniversary at St. Mark’s in Teaneck. The Rev. Randall Day is the celebrant and Bishop Mark Beckwith preaches.

6/18 – The Oasis hosts a dinner and silent auction to assist the work of Davis Mac-Iyalla of Changing Attitudes: Nigeria

12/1 – The Diocesan Civil Union Task Force is formed, at the direction of the Bishop to study the impact of civil unions on Episcopalians in the diocese. John Simonelli, Chair of The OASIS is named to the team.

12/1 – The Oasis and the Liberation in Truth Community Fellowship observe World AIDS Day together with a service and gospel concert at the Cathedral. Dean Williams is the celebrant and the Rev. Joseph Harmon preaches.

2008

1/27 – The Oasis premiers a transgender educational program for parishes at St. David’s in Kinnelon.

MAY – The Oasis participates with Episcopal Response to AIDS in the New York AIDS Walk

6/7 – 19th Anniversary service at St. David’s Church in Kinnelon. The Rev. David DeSmith is the celebrant and preacher

6/29 – The Oasis is joined by Bishop Beckwith and the Most. Rev. Carlos Touché-Porter, Presiding Bishop of Mexico at the Heritage of Pride March in New York.

9/5 The Oasis sponsors a benefit performance of And The Little Dog Laughed at the Nutley Little Theatre

12/1 – The Oasis observes World AIDS Day with Christ Church in Belleville. The Rev. Paul Walker celebrates and the Rev. Kevin Morris, chaplain at Christ Episcopal Hospital in Jersey City is the preacher.

The Oasis contributes towards the purchase of a computer for the Other Sheep ministry of the Rev. Michael Kimindu in East Africa.

The Oasis partners with the Rainbow Café Coalition for LGBT youth in Ridgewood to screen the film For the Bible Tells Me So, a biography of LGBT Christians including Gene Robinson. Three additional movie nights for the youth group are held.

9/30 – The OASIS sponsors a reading and book signing by Honor Moore, author of The Bishop’s Daughter, at St. Paul’s Church in Chatham.

2009

In January, the Civil Unions Task Force created by Bishop Mark Beckwith releases its report on the effect of civil unions on the LGBT population of New Jersey, as well as suggested blessings for such services in English and Spanish.
5/30 – 20th Anniversary of The Oasis, entitled “Let the Circle Be Unbroken” is celebrated at All Saints, Hoboken. The Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith celebrates, the Rt Rev. John Shelby Spong preaches.

6/7 – OASIS partners with Christ Church: Belleville to attend New Jersey Pride in Asbury Park

6/12 – OASIS benefit performance of The Lonesome West at Nutley Little Theatre

6/28 – Heritage of Pride March in New York
8/29 – OASIS partners with St. John’s Union City to attend Jersey City Pride
In November, The OASIS and other diocesan LGBT ministries are approached by Integrity to discuss a churchwide program for welcoming congregations

On November 6th, the OASIS sponsors a performance of Paul Zindel’s play And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little at the Nutley Little Theatre .

In December, the OASIS and Bishop Beckwith join Bruce Springsteen and many other New Jerseyans campaigning for marriage equality in New Jersey, but the bill does not pass.

2010

In May the OASIS takes part in AIDS Walk New York
On June 27th, the OASIS partners with Integrity and the LGBT Concerns Committee of the Diocese of New York to present a massive Episcopal presence at New York’s LGBT pride parade, including a large Episcopal Church float and 2 1/2 blocks of marchers. The service is preceded by a Eucharist at the Church of the Transfiguration, and followed by Evensong at St. Luke-in-the-Fields.

In August, the OASIS takes part in Hudson Pride, a street fair in Jersey City. Members of an “ex-gay” ministry protesting the event are countered by a spontaneous “hymn-sing” by Episcopalians and Lutherans.
In October, the OASIS takes part in the Believe Out Loud Power Summit in Orlando, where 300 leaders from Christian and secular LGBT ministries gather.

On November 5th, The OASIS sponsors a performance of Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? at the Nutley Little Theatre

On December 1st, World AIDS Day is observed at St. Peter’s Church in Clifton, home of the Positive Connections HIV/AIDS support group. Gary Paul Wright, who has worked on HIV/AIDS issues in Newark for many years, is the guest speaker.

On December 18th, Bishop Beckwith and a panel of diocesan leaders meet with Bishop Christopher Senyonjo to discuss the plight of LGBT Ugandans.

2011

On Welcoming Church Sunday (January 31st) Believe Out Loud is formally unveiled to the public.

Bishops Beckwith and Spong are among the attendees at a Believe Out Loud reception at Newark’s Diocesan Convention.

In February, The OASIS takes part in the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change Conference in Minneapolis. Over 400 religious leaders have an impact on this mostly-secular conference. Frank Mushiga, an LGBT activist from Uganda, is honored at an Episcopal evensong memorializing his friend David Kato, whose murder is documented at left.

On February 20th, Believe Out Loud staged Break the Silence, an afternoon of spectacular music and celebration featuring the Anna Crusis Women’s Choir, the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and the Lavender Light Gospel Choir at Marble Collegiate Church in New York City.
In May, the OASIS participated with Episcopal Response to AIDS in AIDS Walk New York.

In May, a video produced by Believe Out Loud for Mother’s Day was rejected by the progressive evangelical website Sojourners for being “too controverisal”. The resulting conversation led to thousands of new Facebook fans for the campaign.

In June, the Episcopal Church is again well-represented at the Heritage of Pride Parade with an even larger float. The Right Rev. Kathy Roskam, a fixture at the parade for years, is honored in light of her imminent retirement.
Hurricane Irene puts a damper on the Hudson Pride celebration, which is postponed until Columbus Day Weekend.
On December 1st, The OASIS and Integrity joined Episcopal Response to AIDS in observing World AIDS Day at All Saints Church in Hoboken, celebrated by Bishop Beckwith and The Rev. Geoff Curtis. Friends for Life, a ministry at Annunciation, Oradell, and the Jersey City Episcopal CDC are among this year’s grant recipients.

2012

1/28 – At the Convention of the Diocese of Newark, The OASIS announces The Louie Crew Scholarship, for those pursuing education or ministry that helps fulfill our mission.

Also at Convention, the OASIS and Integrity present a Believe Out Loud workshop, and plans are made for a half-day workshop within the diocese. A series of parish conversations about the campaign begins Feb. 12th and continues until Holy Week.
4/13 – The OASIS co-sponsors (with Integrity NYC-Metro and Hudson Pride Connections) a screening of Love Free or Die, the biography of Bishop Gene Robinson at Grace Church Van Vorst

5/20 – The OASIS participates with Episcopal Response to AIDS in AIDS Walk New York

6/3 – The OASIS honors IntegrityUSA founder Louie Crew with a reception at the home of Newark’s Bishop, Mark Beckwith. The first recipient of the Louie Crew Scholarship, a writer named Darnell Moore, is announced. Additionally, a grant is awarded to the Rev. Deacon Diana Wilcox, chaplain of the campus ministry at Montclair State University.

6/10 – Love Free or Die screening at Redeemer, Morristown

6/24 – The OASIS participates in Heritage of Pride NYC

6/29 – Love Free or Die screening at St. James’s, Hackettstown
8/18 – The OASIS participates in Hudson Pride
10/4 – Love Free or Die is screened at Drew University

10/14 – Out of the Box is screened at St. Mark’s, Teaneck

10/23 – Love free or Die is screened at Ramapo College

11/10 – Believe Out Loud Congregational Workshop at Calvary Church in Summit

11/17 – Love Free or Die is screened at St. Mark’s in Teaneck.

11/25 – Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed at the Church of the Redeemer in Morristown. Former OASIS board member Stephanie Battagliano gives the sermon.