This year the Feast of Pentecost and Pride month overlap. Pentecost celebrates the gift of understanding. Disciples from all over the ancient world opened their ears to hear and to listen to their brothers and sisters whose language and culture were not their own.
Pride Month celebrates the diversity of voices in the LGBTQ community. It is a time to hear and open our ears and to give thanks for all of our gay, lesbian and transgender sisters and brothers. Pentecost and Pride together celebrate our common humanity and love of neighbor.
For my parish, a congregation of the Diocese of Virginia in the Episcopal Church of the good old U.S.A., theologically this celebration has been a long time in the making. Generations of Episcopalians have wrestled with a variety of angels over the years and now wholeheartedly endorse the full inclusion of gay persons in the life of church: in the pews, in leadership, in ordination and in marriage.
June 9th, Emmanuel will celebrate Pentecost & Pride in prayer and song, in scripture and sacrament at both the 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM services.
Following the rector’s homily, the congregation will lift up in prayer the LGBTQ community with these words:
Litany of Inclusion
O wildly inclusive God, you love all that you have created, and with you we celebrate the diversity of your creation. Throughout history with your people, you have reminded us that those whom the world has unjustly seen as the least are cherished as the greatest in your eyes. We ask that you give us the grace to uplift our LGBTQ sisters and brothers as they live authentically in the world. Teach us to honor and appreciate their gifts and help us to create a world in which all who are equal in the eyes of God are also equal under the law: loved, accepted and celebrated. We remember especially members of the LGBTQ community who have been marginalized in our churches and victimized by hate. We ask this in the name of the Holy One, in whose image all are created.
Celebrant Blessed be God, who loves all creation!
People God’s love has no exceptions, Alleluia!
Celebrant We are the body of Christ! Justice seeking, bread breaking, hymn singing, risk taking
People The Body of Christ!
Celebrant Baptized by one Spirit, we are members of one body.
People Many and varied in culture, gender, age, class and ability, we are members of Christ’s Body.
Celebrant None of us can say to another, “I have no need of you.”
People For only together can we find wholeness.
Celebrant None of us can say to another, “I will not care for you.”
People For we are connected like muscle and bone. If one suffers, we all suffer. If one rejoices, we all rejoice!
Celebrant Come in, all are welcome. Come with your longings, your questions, and your fears.
People Come with your dreams of a better day, one with dignity and safety for all!
Celebrant Thanks be to God who in Christ has made us one!
Join us this Sunday, June 9th at Emmanuel Episcopal Church 1608 Russell Road Alexandria, VA. 8:00 AM early service or 10:30 AM with music. All are welcome! Hope to see you there!