“Love Period” was the simple message that The Collegiate Churches of New York and Believe Out Loud proudly displayed at this year’s New York City Pride March.
All four Collegiate Churches, including Fort Washington Church, Middle Church, Marble Church and West End Church, along with Intersections International and the Believe Out Loud team, joined forces to spread the message of God’s expansive love.
Not only did Collegiate bring marchers to the parade, but they also brought church!
Middle Church’s renowned gospel choir was front and center on our float, offering several gospel hits that had both Christians and non-Christians singing along.
Fort Washington brought their talents with some of the finest steppers in New York City. Their unique blend of stepping and clapping with just a little bit of sass had everyone cheering for more.
In keeping with their long standing tradition, the GIFTS program at Marble Church provided countless cups of much-needed water to thousands of participants as they passed the welcoming 29th Street church.
Many onlookers were overjoyed to see a welcoming and affirming church presence in NYC Pride.
Our senior editor Alison carried a sign declaring “God Loves Gays,” which was often met with cheering and enthusiastic affirmation—”Yes, He does!”—from the crowd. LGBT ally Krista Dalton describes the reaction from the crowd in her latest blog:
Often as we walked, I spied individuals in the crowd gathering their hands to their breast and with tears exclaiming, “Thank you.” At one point we reached a woman with a microphone, set to announce our group. She saw our logo identifying us as the Collegiate Churches of New York and burst into a spirit-filled proclamation: “Thank you for making a place for us in your churches. For God or whatever divine being has made each of us equal! Thank you for representing the love of your God!”
In addition to a strong presence in the Pride March, the Collegiate Churches hosted a wide range of activities coinciding with Pride Month, including a “Prom for Pride” at Fort Washington, a concert in support of marriage equality at Middle Church, and church services across the city to celebrate Pride weekend.
The Collegiate Churches of New York are one of many Christian groups participating in Pride celebrations around the country this year. Check out our facebook page on Sunday mornings as we encourage our fans to find their own welcoming and affirming churches across the country.
Believe Out Loud is proud to be part of a church with such a rich history of welcome and outreach to the LGBT community.
Photo by Angela Jimenez