; charset=UTF-8" /> Everything’s Coming Up Rainbows : Connecting Voices
Free hacker tools

Everything’s Coming Up Rainbows

By Sally Buffington, member of University City United Church of Christ 

     July 16th was a great day! In celebration of its first year as an Open and Affirming Church, six members of University City United Church marched in the San Diego Gay Pride Parade:  Interim sabbatical pastor Loletta Barrett, Doug Brown, Amy Kapsis, Susan Styn, Sharon Reynolds, and Open and Affirming Committee chair Sally Buffington.

     We were one of five San Diego area UCC churches marching, the others being Carlsbad, Kensington, La Mesa, and Mission Hills. Mission Hills launched us in! We’re so thankful for all their help and sponsorship; on the Thursday evening preceding the parade, they joined us for a potluck and brought white parasols to paint and later carry in the parade. Creativity ran high! With each finished umbrella, it was as though a flower had suddenly bloomed in our fellowship hall, and so did friendship.

     Pride Parade is a marvelous event; even those of us who aren’t comfortable with big crowds and navigating unfamiliar areas were happily surprised at the terrific planning and facilities provided. And God must have been delighted indeed at all those colors and the hundreds of ways rainbows can be displayed. God may also have gotten a chuckle from some of the signs we saw.  “God Loves All Her Children” – “Rainbows Are Awesome!” –“Not All Christians Have Closed Minds.” And our own, “God is Still Speaking! You are welcome here.”

     The Pride Parade involves an amazing diversity of people, from the authorities (police, fire, military, city council) to businesses (delegations from supermarkets, banks, large companies), to civic organizations (LGBT center, PFLAG), and all sorts of people in costume, some of them outrageous – again all the colors of creation! We were happy to see also large marching contingents from a Jewish temple, Unitarian-Universalist Churches and from St. Paul’s Cathedral of San Diego.

     To march in the Parade is to feel how deeply our Open and Affirming declarations are needed in the world today. As we carried our church banner, we were seen by 150,000 people and with every step, each of us felt the warmth. The crowd’s response was touching and encouraging. People were delighted to see churches taking a stand, reaching out. They waved and called to us, made eye contact, roared cheers (especially after we passed a small group of conservative protestors), and shouted greetings; they blew us kisses, waved some more, and even after we’d broken ranks at the end of the parade, people clapped for us. It was a grand, exhilarating experience!

     Already we are planning for next year – and we hope our UCUC group will be larger, also that more San Diego UCC churches will join us. We were thrilled at the response we received, and we think the good news of our Open and Affirming Welcome needs to get around. Please join your Pride Parade next year and extend our extravagant UCC welcome every step of the way!

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free