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Sierra Pacific Synod Congregations Celebrate Pride Month

Congregations across the Sierra Pacific Synod radically proclaimed their welcome of LGBTQ+ siblings by participating in Pride festivities! From Pride marches to Pride worship services, faith leaders throughout the synod celebrated Pride this June boldly.

According to our friends at GLAAD, “The majority of Pride events are held in June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in New York City on June 28, 1969, which most historians consider to be the birth of the modern LGBT movement. At the time, police raids on bars catering to LGBT patrons were common, but that night, the patrons of the Stonewall Inn fought back. While historical accounts of the night vary, the violent response ignited a national firestorm of activism that brought new visibility to the struggle for LGBT equality.”

Congregations in our synod are no strangers to celebrating and affirming their LGBTQ+ neighbors. In fact, nearly ⅓ of our Synod’s congregations are Reconciling in Christ partners. (1) How do these congregations live into this public commitment?

At St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sacramento, Calif., the 1128 ministry team (2), inspired by the passage Matthew 11:28, is at the forefront of LGBTQ+ inclusion. On Sunday, June 12, the 1128 ministry team hosted a booth at the Sacramento Pride Festival. Gary Cadwising, a St. John’s member and leader of the budding 1128 ministry team, shared his experience at Sacramento Pride.

“Aside from giving away buttons and stickers and flyers and cards with crosses, one of the significant things we offered to people was to share their hurts. We had a bunch of flat rocks and liquid chalk markers sitting out on the table with a sign that asked them, “Have you been hurt by the Church? Write it on a rock,.”” shared Cadwising. “There were a variety of responses, and I loved it. I didn’t love the fact that there were so many hurts, but I loved that, we as a congregation