Happy Pride, Friends!
After being disillusioned with church for years, I returned to a new and creative expression of United Methodism in Chicago. One of the things that I loved about this faith community was that they, along with the rest of the Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches, marched in the Chicago Pride parade every summer! And marching with us was a 30ft tall, fabulous rainbow Jesus (see picture above). This was always a time of pure spiritual joy. We walked 4 miles giving high-fives to the crowds, handing out flyers, and holding signs that let people know that, “God is proud of you, just the way God made you!”
My three-year-old at the time began to refer to this yearly event as “the rainbow Jesus parade.” In her child mind she knew that this colorful celebration had something to do with the inclusive love of Jesus. I think she caught something that many churchgoers sadly miss, namely that the love of Jesus celebrates and affirms human diversity (including the spectrum of sexual and gender diversity). This is why pride is holy, because God wants us to be proud of whom we are created to be. God offers affirmation and liberation in the face of systemic forces that make it unsafe for all to be “out” or completely free.
Join us as we kick off our new series, God is Proud of You! We will explore the insights the LGBTQIA+ community offer faith and spirituality. And we will also lean deeper into the reality that our uniqueness reflects the Divine. See you on Facebook Live!
-Rev. Paul Ortiz