Pride month: Love one another, without exception

There are many open and affirming congregations in the area that will find time this month to recognize the LGBTQ community’s celebration of Pride month. It is a particularly important remembrance this year because it is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village N.Y. in 1969.

That is when the LGBTQ community in New York said enough was enough and took to the streets to protest the unfair treatment they received based solely on who they were as LGBTQ people. The following year, protest marches happened, not only in New York, but in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. Through the years, Pride month has evolved into not only a remembrance of a hard-fought struggle for equality, but a celebration of who the LGBTQ community is and all that it has accomplished, not only for itself, but for all people.

Many local churches recognize the work of reconciling all people to a relationship with God and to a sense of who we all are spiritually, including the LGBTQ community. We have much to learn from each other as people of faith and people of different life experiences. We should challenge and nurture each other in body, mind and spirit, as well as celebrate the diversity of all that God has created.

God is much more concerned about how we love one another, not who we love. In expressing that sentiment, Christ simply said, “We should love one another.” He never mentioned a single exception to that command. We are all “whosoever” in God’s eyes.

In a world around us that seeks to divide, rather than unite, let us all celebrate and loudly be proud of who we are as men and women, as every race, every age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, or ability. We are all unique individuals made in the image of God.

In January, Park Congregational Church became the 106th United Congregational Church to become open and affirming in Connecticut, joining not only some 1,500 ministries within the UCC, but many other churches of varying denomination that have done so as well.

Park will celebrate “Open & Affirming Sunday” on June the 30 at 9:30 a.m. (our new summer hours) in the Memorial Chapel. We will worship and share in the word, in music, in prayer and in praise, not only of our support of the LGBTQ community but who we are as all of God’s people.

Come join us or another local open and affirming congregation locally and celebrate who God desires you to be. Be proud and blessed this month and always, no matter who you are, as God created us all, everyone, and God loves us all, everyone.

Rev. Paul Doyle is the pastor of the Park Congregational Church, 230 Broadway, Norwich. You can contact him at pastorparkchurch@gmail.com.

 

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