On Tuesday, June 4th, I had the honor of attending the Interfaith Pride Service at the Central Public Library.

The theme was “Never Gonna Hide: Let Our Light Shine.” The service was a beautiful example of different religious traditions coming together to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and lament the ways that religion has been used to exclude, harm, and shame the LGBTQ+ community.

At the end of the service, we were all invited to pick up a candle to take with us as we sang ,“This little light of mine.” We were invited to remember how each of our religious traditions uses metaphors of light to share about the importance of sharing love, compassion, and justice.

I was particularly moved by one speaker. They shared about how they were blessed to be raised in a Jewish community that never made them choose between their faith identity and their queer identity. We were also encouraged by one faith leader to remember all of the young people in our congregations and communities who need a safe place to be “out” and fully themselves.

And this is the goal isn’t it? That no more children have to grow up hiding some of the very core aspects of who God made them to be. That no more children grow up thinking that it would be better to be dead than be gay or trans. Instead, each one can grow up knowing how desperately they are loved by God and by their faith communities. That the love they received wouldn’t have any asterisk next to it. That the love we offer wouldn’t be contingent, which isn’t genuine love at all.

This year for the month of Pride, my prayer is that we would seize the chance to become a faith community that does all of this and more. That would be the type of family of faith in which no child grows up wondering how to reconcile who they are with who God is.

Instead, may we be the type of community that takes a page from the life of David in 2 Samuel 6. Though David is King, he joins in the procession of the Ark of the Covenant. The text says that he dances with everything in him to celebrate the presence of God in their midst. Even when he is ridiculed by his wife for behavior unbecoming of a king, he responds, “I’ll become even more undignified than this!” (as the old camp song puts it).

Family of faith, let us be like Christ Jesus. Who was willing to be aligned and allied with those that were called profane or “sinners” but who actually knew the heart of God better than the religious who excluded them in the first place.

Let us be a safe place yes, and a place of dancing and joy and celebration. A place of God’s radical love, shining out in the world, lighting the path home.

– Pastor Megan