All are Welcome, and We’re Proud of that!

By Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud
June 15, 2015

This weekend close to 50 people represented the United Church of Canada on the Winnipeg Pride Parade. Represented was Manitoba North Western Ontario Conference folks, Rainbow Ministry and many of our affirming churches! We are thrilled with how Pride went this year in Winnipeg, focused on the theme of Evolution; some reflections below on the ideas of Joey Dearborn, on how we celebrate, honour and continue hard work towards equality! 

Slider: RM

All are Welcome, and We’re Proud of that!

It speaks to my age that I can’t even fathom a time in the United Church of Canada where we would be openly unwelcoming to members of the LGBT community. The one thing I am the proudest of in my church is the simple fact that there is room for all, regardless of sex, gender, income, or any other determining factor that makes us who we are.

Growing up, I didn’t know a single person from the LGBT community. I grew up in rural Manitoba, where many queer-identified people remain hidden, because of some of the views espoused in some of the communities in that area. That’s not to say those views don’t exist in other communities and other areas, but that’s where I see them as being the most prevalent. Those are the communities we need to work with, those are the people we need to talk to, and that’s where the work remains undone.

Equality is something that we need to fight for each and every day, in each and every thing we do. No proposal we debate, no legislation passed by a government, and no single act by a single person is going to create equality. It takes each and every one of us working together, because love and hope will overcome hate and ignorance.

As the United Church of Canada, we need to remain a safe place for the LGBT community. We can be the beacon of equality and light that each and every person can look for as a safe space in their community. A place to be welcome, to be affirmed, to be valued because of our differences. Our work is not done, but we sure are a long way from where we started. I was so full of pride when I marched in the Pride Parade. There’s nothing that will take that pride away. Thanks be to God.

Joey DearbornJoey

President, Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario, United Church of Canada

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