Does Your Church Walk The Talk?

by Gwen Ashby

As we enter the month of June, where do your thoughts turn? Graduation parties? Father’s Day? The promise of long summer days and warm summer nights?

What about blocked off streets festooned with rainbow flags? Does June mean PRIDE to you?  There are literally hundreds of PRIDE parades held every year…in both expected big city venues like San Francisco and New York, but also in smaller, unexpected locations, like Dayton, OH…Spencer, IN…Davenport, IA…Salisbury, NC.

If you haven’t yet been to a Pride parade, put it on your bucket list. In addition to oodles of fierce fabulosity, you will witness the most glorious array of God’s spirit here on Earth…families of all configurations standing alongside gorgeous drag queens, little old church ladies waving high their rainbow flags, parents gathered to declare their public support for sons and daughters, balloons and banners, music and magic, disco and the divine.

Each year hundreds of churches and faith-based organizations wear their welcome loud and proud by marching in these parades.  And while all the participating organizations are important, the impact of a marching church cannot be understated.  For most LGBTQ folks and their allies, the church has been an institution of veiled rejection if not outright discrimination.  This history of hate – organized and implemented in the name of Christianity – compels us to correct past wrongs…to declare our welcome visibly and in community with others who affirm and work for LGBT equality. 

Whether your church dons festive apparel and marches in the parade, or sets up a table at the food booths, do something. Take out an ad in a program guide…have your youth group attend…even if your church just posts parade details in your bulletin, this is your opportunity to lift up a faith that is as just, loving and affirming as the man whose values we aim to model.

So take a moment and check out this calendar of upcoming Pride events. Then take another moment and Believe Out Loud.

Image flickr Kat Cole

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