Sunday, June 20, 2010

LGBT Pride Prayer: We stand inside your church

“Diversity” stained glass window at Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco. Designed by Ken Scott, 1993

By Malcolm Boyd

Christ, as lesbians and gay men we stand inside your church and know a wholeness that can benefit it. We learned long ago that we must regard the lilies of the field, putting our trust in you.

Pressured to hide our identities and gifts, we have served you with an unyielding, fierce, vulnerable love inside the same church that condemned us.

Carefully taught that we must feel self-loathing, nevertheless we learned integrity and dignity and how to look into your face and laugh with grateful joy, Jesus.

Although we have suffered a long and continuing torture, we assert a stubborn, unshakable faith in your holy justice.

Negativism was drummed into us as thoroughly as if we were sheet metal. We learned what it is to be misunderstood, perceived as alien, even sometimes hated. Yet, because of your grace and love, we witness to the fullness and beauty of all human creation, including ours, in your image.

We are alive and well and stand inside your church. Bless us, Christ, to your service.

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Malcolm Boyd is a bestselling author and gay elder who has been an Episcopal priest for more than 50 years. His books include “Are You Running with Me, Jesus?” This prayer appears in the interdenominational collection “Equal Rites: Lesbian and Gay Worship, Ceremonies, and Celebrations.
A rainbow symbolizes acceptance of all people and LGBT pride in “Diversity,” one of 12 stained glass windows designed by Honolulu artist Ken Scott for MCC San Francisco. This is a memorial window for Daven Balcomb, Troy Naranjo, and Sweet Pea.

The 12-window project is called “Heavenly Wind” and is an abstraction representing God's breath flowing through the sanctuary and congregation. Each pair of windows incorporates a color from the rainbow which is a symbol of pride, unity, and celebration in the LGBT Communities. A service of dedication was held in the MCC-SF sanctuary on Nov. 21, 1993. Click here for an online gallery of MCC-SF’s stained glass windows. Special thanks to Lynn Jordan of MCC-SF for background info on the windows.
June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. A new LGBT pride prayer will be posted here every Sunday in June. Click here for the whole series.

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