June is International Pride Month, a month dedicated to remembering, honoring and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.
Growing up, I had no idea what Pride Month was. My church said we were open and affirming, but in many ways, that was a best kept secret. We did not talk about sexual orientation. We did not talk about gender identity. We did not talk about the higher rates of suicide and homelessness among the LGBTQ population. Many people in the pews struggled to figure out what they believed in the face of silence, and many who needed welcome felt ignored. We said, “all are welcome,” but we were leaving people behind.
Thank goodness we have grown and continue to grow. Over the last few decades, the church has realized that we cannot profess welcome, without truly embodying that hospitality in our actions. That means we have to educate ourselves, we have to practice empathy, and we have to continue practicing welcome as we grow.
I am so proud of the ways I see Fifth do this every day, and I look forward to the creative ways we will continue to express our welcome.
This Sunday, to honor the conclusion of Pride month, we want to practice that welcome by turning our sanctuary into a rainbow of color. Therefore, you are invited to wear your brightest colors to worship, reflecting the beauty and diversity of God’s creation, as well as the colors of the pride flag.
Wear your yellow Easter bonnets and your bright red scarfs.
Wear your colorful ties and vibrant argyle socks.
Let this rainbow of color be one more way we say “This is God’s House. All are welcome.”
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
I look forward to seeing your colors!