You’ve probably heard that WUMC marches every year in the Seattle Pride Parade and hosts a booth at PrideFest each year. But did you know that several other reconciling congregations JOINED US last year? Yes, and we’ll be joined again this year!
Last year, we saw people from not only Wallingford, but Queen Anne, Trinity, Woodland Park, Ravenna, Bellevue First, Seattle First, Tibbitts, Des Moines, Rainier Beach, and our newest congregation Valley & Mountain Fellowship – All United Methodists under ONE Banner. And right alongside us were our district superintendent, Pat Simpson, and our Conference Lay Leader, Joan Holm (a member from Queen Anne).
This newly formed coalition of inclusive churches presented a welcoming message that extends throughout King County. IF YOU marched with us in the parade, or if you helped staff our booth at PrideFest, or baked cookies… THANK YOU! And a REALLY BIG thank you to NANCY SPEER, who was the overall coordinator for this event!! We love you, Nancy!
We hope new bonds and friendships were formed last year and that the 2015 FESTIVAL on June 28 will forge more cooperation and friendship, as we share our visions and goals as churches who embrace the Gospel of inclusion.
THERE’S LOTS OF PICTURES from last year – let’s make some new ones again in June!!
(FROM Pastor Karla’s post in the WellWisher for July/August 2014)
Friends of WUMC:
I write this the morning after walking in the Pride Parade. I remembered what a hoot it was last year – my first time. I remember wondering, will all those folks think that I’m gay? I didn’t want to mislead anyone. But, I also realized that it didn’t matter whether I personally am a lesbian, straight, bi-, or whatever, what matters is that the love of God, through you and me (whoever we are) is extended to people who may not realize that the Holy One, and that the true Church, loves them!
At one point in the parade, I caught the eye of two men in the crowd. Both were looking right at me with tears in their eyes, and mouthing the words, “Thank you!” That was a poignant moment, indelibly marked in my memory! What we were doing there at the Pride Festival – me wearing that stole, representing clergy, our sign with the church name, and others that read, “It’s about love!”, “You are welcome!” – it DOES have an impact. It means something to people who had thought before that The Church is only represented by the lack of acceptance, the “preach-iness,” the negativity of the bigoted church calling their lives sin.
This year’s revelation for me is similar. We were walking along as not just one congregation, but eight. We were walking together gay and straight, transgendered and asexual, able-bodied and wheel-chaired. Some gay and straight couples holding hands. And we were all representing the Church! The message is this: You are not alone. We are ALL here in the Church together already, ready for you to join us – Come as you are! Praise God! What a message!
I know that the crowds didn’t realize that we also had our District Superintendent, Pat Simpson (wearing a WUMC T-shirt!) and our Conference Lay Leader, Joan Holms (from Queen Anne UMC) walking with us, plus Patrick Scriven was there to take photos for Annual Conference publications. It may not have mattered to the crowds, but it means a lot to the walkers to know that we are supported by our denomination at that level.
We represent the Church, being not only invitational, but also going out into the mission field, with the message of Holy Divine love and unconditional acceptance. Thanks be to God.
Shalom, Pastor Karla