June 11, 2019
In the month of June, we celebrate Pride, a time to honor our Queer and Trans siblings, and to remember the struggles and triumphs of the community. This is an important time in the life of Plymouth Church, a time to remember that though we have been an Open and Affirming community for more than 25 years, too many of God's children have not ever been fully welcomed. We remember that Pride is a time to wear the colors of the rainbow, to be swept up in the excitement and joy, and to remember that this is a sacred time where those who dare to be who God created them to be can do so, we pray, with love and safety.
Let us recall that Pride was born out of rage and revolution, and honor that Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera began a intersectional movement to stand against oppression and overt injustice.
On June 30, 2019, Pride Sunday, I issue this challenge. I am asking for all people of every age, ability and identity who are able—at least fifty people strong—to march the entire parade Pride Parade this year.
This witness is one of solidarity. In doing so, we can be a force of righteousness that says there is a church and denomination that believes Queer and Trans siblings as whole and worthy of human rights, dignity, and compassion. Let us say with full voice that we are sorry for the ways the church universal has not embraced nor seen the Queer and Trans community. Let us admit that even as the faithful, we have often perpetuated a way of thinking about scripture that promotes tolerance rather than celebration and inclusion. The church has been death-dealing for too many.
This is a chance to connect our embodied faith and commitment, to show our lament for the many times the church universal has not gotten our stance right. It is a moral act to say that we are sorry, especially in the face of continued hate and antagonism. This is not deny the times we are on the right side of justice; however, I believe that such a posture can convey that our desire to be in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community is authentic and beyond lip-service, and to show that we want to represent a hopeful vision of the church.
Let us walk the full parade to declare the United Church of Christ’s commitment to loving all people in the way of Jesus. Rise up!