Saturday, June 08, 2019
There is no longer Jew or Greek,
there is no longer slave or free,
there is no longer male and female;
for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:28 (NRSV)
This is Pride Day in Belleville, where we reside, and there will be events and a parade out of the waterfront Zwick's Park. The forecast is great and so is the location. The United church we attend in Trenton will have a booth at the park and I'll make my way over there when our son, who is the pastor of our congregation, and his family will be present.
I've been thinking about this because our three adult children were all born in the 1980's and at that time we, as parents, were shifting our perceptions of LGBTQ persons, although they were called gays and lesbians at that time. We had both grown up with a faith-based condemnation of homosexuality which we assumed was biblical. As I've written in the past, our experience with classmates and friends started us toward a different understanding, as did the courageous decisions of the UCC. We began to see both the underlying prejudices and the outright homophobia directed toward the LGBTQ community.
While I was never directly attacked by congregants when I spoke on these issues there were rumblings and behind-the-scene criticism. Sometimes folk were just foolish. One year we put up a rainbow during Lent because of the series of covenants in the lectionary, including the one with Noah and his tribe. We got the colours out of order and the word went around that this was a secret signal to the gay community whatever that might have been!
Our children grew up knowing people who were open in their orientation, at least to our family. The kids had no idea of our inner wrestling and earnest conversations. Their own circles of friends were inclusive and continue to be. Now our grandchildren will grow up in homes where LGBTQ persons will be welcome and they'll participate in events which are supportive and celebrative, because this is what we believe is the radical hospitality and inclusion of the gospel of Jesus Christ.