Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cloud of Witnesses: The Rev. Alcide "Al" Barnaby, Founder of Integrity's RI Chapter

On May 19th, the Rev. Alcide Barnaby, Jr., was one of the honorees at the 30th Annual AIDS Candlelight Memorial, held at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Providence, Rhode Island.

The Rev. Alcide "Al" Barnaby, Jr.
Rev. Barnaby, who died June 28th, 2012, was the founder of the Rhode Island Chapter of Integrity in 1996 and served as its Convener, among many other gifts to the LGBT community, persons living with HIV/AIDS, and the church.

Among his accomplishments, Rev. Barnaby was the first openly gay and partnered priest in the Diocese of Rhode Island.  He and his partner of 30 years, Daniel Harvey, were married at Trinity Church in Canton, Mass., in 2011. Al, as he was widely known, volunteered at various times with many organizations including the National Episcopal AIDS Coalition, Episcopal Relief & Development, St. Mary's Home for Children, AIDS Quilt Rhode Island, among others.

Rev. Barnaby was active in church governance at all levels, serving on Diocesan Council and numerous committees.  He served as a Deputy to General Convention in 2003, an alternate in 2006 and a volunteer in 2009.  He also served as a clergy representative to Province I, the New England dioceses of the Episcopal Church.

"Al, and I were among the few  'out' members of Integrity on the Province 1 Provincial Synod for many years," said Margo McMahon, a Integrity Lifetime Member from the Diocese of Western Massachusetts.  "I got to know Al and Dan through various Integrity events and especially through serving as Deputies together at General Convention and hanging out together. I wish you could have had the pleasure of knowing this wonderful person, now walking among the other saints of Integrity in God's Kingdom."

"When I think of Al, so many things come to mind.....He was a pioneer in the Diocese of Rhode Island for inclusivity, challenging the Church to embrace fully the LGBT community," said Kit Tobin, Integrity's Diocesan Organizer - Rochester NY.  "(I remember) the Deans' meeting with Bishop Wolfe in the 90s, when Al stated he would continue to bless same sex couples, and of course he did!"

"My 'memory picture' of Al with a twinkle in his eyes and a broad smile on the platform for the closing blessing at Integrity's General Convention Eucharist," Tobin continued.  "He was a mentor for me when I was 'in process' - always encouraging, the one who was there for me when others seemed to be putting up barriers. A deeply spiritual, loving man with a great sense of humor - always reaching out his hand to any and all who he sensed were in need.  He is sorely missed. I hold him in my heart."

Obituary – The Rev. Alcide Barnaby

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