This Sunday (August 8) we are celebrating Pride at all of our three churches and online, here on the website.
Like Pride Month, which takes place in June, it is an opportunity to celebrate LGBTQI+ people in their fullness, to look back on strides toward equality, and to imagine a world where celebration and full inclusion is the norm, not an exception.
Lesley Crawley explains some of the thinking behind this: “Christians have historically punished and ostracized LGBTQI+ people, scripture has been weaponized and the church has contributed to the political, relational and spiritual dehumanizing of LGBTQI+ people. This has resulted in deep pain, bullying and death and rightfully many people have been put off the church forever because of the cruel behaviour of Christians.
“As Christians, we give up a piece of our full humanity when we forgo compassion and treat people as objects worthy of scorn or violence. Pride gives us an opportunity to end oppressive practices and ideology while also becoming more fully human ourselves.
“In these services we repent of the past and we look with optimism to the future. We stand with people who identify as LGBTQI+ and proclaim loudly that all people are loved by God and all people are welcome here.
“We thank God for the immense diversity of human beings and the love God has for us all. We recognise the way stereotypes have limited us all in terms of being able to be truly ourselves. We celebrate love in all its forms and we thank the God of Love that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Please join us this Sunday. There is a service at St John’s Church, Lower Hale, at 9.30am, one at St George’s, Badshot Lea, at 10am, and one at St Mark’s, Upper Hale, at 11am. And, of course, we are online too: https://badshotleaandhale.org/online-services/