"In this year where there's been so much conversation about the role of women and communities of color, we felt a need to lift up the voices that the church has traditionally suppressed," Rev. Jude Harmon, The Vine's founding pastor, told the Chronicle. "The beauty of Beyoncé's music is she explores those themes in an idiom that is accessible to everyone. We can use it as a conversation starter. That's what it's designed to be."
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The Beyoncé Mass was planned before the singer's history-making set Saturday at Coachella in Indio, California, Harmon said. The mass is part of a three-part series hosted by The Vine called "Speaking Truth: The Power of Story in Community." It will have music and scripture readings by women of color, and a sermon by Rev. Yolanda Norton. Norton is an assistant professor of the Old Testament at the San Francisco Theological Seminary and teaches a class called "Beyoncé and the Bible," the Chronicle reported.
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“I know there are people who will say using Beyoncé is just a cheap way of trying to get people in the church,” Harmon said. “But Jesus used very provocative images in the stories he would tell to incite people to ask hard questions about their own religious assumptions. He regularly provoked. We’re following in the way of Jesus.”
The Beyoncé Mass will be April 25. More information can be found at the Grace Cathedral website.