I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
We believe that God has called us into being. Each one of us, unique, important, loved and graced. Part of who we are is our sexuality, which alongside our gender identity, cultural background, physical ability, the colour of our skin, eyes, hair, our height, weight, educational background, choices we’ve made and experiences we’ve had make us who we are. Not all of our experiences are good, many struggle to feel loved and valued and to recover from hurts or even with the very sense of who we are. But whatever our background and whoever we are we believe that God enfuses our very soul, and loves us not despite but because of who we are.
At St. John the Divine we seek to be an inclusive church, where all are welcome no matter who they are, what they’ve done, or what they believe. We want our Christian community to be a place of safety, honesty, seeking and love. We strive, with God’s help, to be a community unafraid to ask difficult questions, to explore faith, to journey together.
But we do not want only to be a place of inclusion - we want to be a community of affirmation. We affirm the God who is within us, around us, before and behind us. We affirm all people not despite but because of their age, gender, sexuality, colour. We also want to be a part of that movement which seeks to break down the barriers which we as human beings so easily put up between us. We want to give voice to the movements for equality, social justice, healing, care of creation, support for any in need, the calling for our society to be guided by a commitment to care, share resources, love one another.
So we are again joining the Pride parade in Victoria at noon on Sunday 5th July. We celebrate the moves towards the recognition of same-gender marriage in the USA, including our sisters and brothers of the The Episcopal Church, we celebrate the freedoms which gay and lesbian couples have here in Canada to full and equal marriage, even as we work towards our Church’s affirmation of the same. Our part in the parade is both celebration and proclamation. It is a part of our rejoicing in the positive strides made in affirming and including LGBT sisters and brothers in all things. It is a part of our apology on behalf of an institution which has, and continues in places to, condemn and hurt LGBT persons. It is a part of our ongoing commitment to justice, affirmation and healing for all people.
You are welcome to join us, or please wave in support as we join other churches and faith groups in our Pride parade