As Community Spirit closes in on ten years of bold, faithful witness to God’s expansive love, we can celebrate the many times we have come alongside others to show our support and solidarity. Not only have we done this in Montrose, but we’ve also traveled to Ridgway, Delta, and Grand Junction to join the many whose hearts, lives, and consciences have led them to step out into the world with calls for justice, truth, and compassionate response. As someone expressed at our “working on our ‘why’ worship brainstorming” at the Ute in November, not always have these moments of visibility and solidarity been easy for us—but they have always been important.
A new opportunity to show solidarity and support is before us now. (Thanks to Charlie and Nancy Henry for bringing this to my attention.) Beginning in February, the Montrose Regional Library is hosting a series of five gatherings to bring together the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies.
If ever there was an opportunity for Community Spirit to be involved in a community-based effort, it’s this! Imagine how much our presence will encourage and how much we will learn about our neighbors and their experiences!
As I mentioned in my sermon last Sunday, Jesus did not need to be baptized but went into the Jordan anyway, revealing how invested he was in joining us in the fullness of our human experience. Jesus is our teacher and inspiration here—because as it relates to the Library’s upcoming LGBTQ-related programming, you and I could easily say to ourselves, “We are already affirming. We are already allies.” And yet, if we are not present, if we are not there to represent our church’s commitment to inclusivity, who beyond us will know this? Who outside our faith community will be helped to know that we stand in solidary and not judgment?
Join me in marking your calendars now. (If you aren’t comfortable driving at night, please reach out, and I’ll make sure you have a ride.) From 6:00 to 8:00 PM on February 6 and April 17, the Library will host an educational program aimed at helping us be better, more proactive allies. (These two sessions are the same.) A series of three films are also being planned for February 10 (Flee), March 3 (The Most Dangerous Year), and March 24 (Love, Simon). Films begin at 6:00 PM, will feature popcorn and snacks, and will include post-movie dialogue.
With the exception of the session on April 17 (I will be at LaForet), I plan to attend everything. Why? Because even after 40 years of being an ally, I still need to learn how to do this better. Because whoever else might attend these events needs to know there is a church in town that does not condemn but accepts and affirms the LBGTQ community, and because there’s no telling how the Spirit might be on the move at these gatherings to enable Montrose to become a safer, more affirming community in which to be out and proud.
In addition to worship and everything else we’re doing, I look forward to seeing you at the Library!