Dear Friends,

WHY PRIDE?

The Bible says “Pride goeth before a fall.” Here, at SunCoast MCC, we might say, “Pride goeth in the middle of the Fall. . . .”. We are talking different kinds of “pride.”

One kind of pride is about arrogance, inflated egos, and selfishness. The other pride is the kind that lifts up those who have been excluded or shamed or made unwelcome. It is this kind of good and, we believe, Godly, pride we hope to share. We are excited and, indeed, proud this fall to host the inaugural Venice Pride on our church property, Saturday, November 3, from 1 PM to 5 PM.

The enthusiasm and work that has already gone into the planning are impressive. And, the response so far has also been encouraging! We are going to have food, vendors and community organizations, and a lot of talent on our main stage. There will be a kid’s craft table and a one-of-a-kind Pet Pride Parade with prizes.

So, why Pride, why now? Our theme is, “ We Are Here! ” because we really want to create an experience where people from Venice, Englewood, North Port and all around this area, can come out and connect. One of our goals this year has been to find new ways to reach people who need the message of MCC, who may not even know a church like MCC exists - a church that has welcomed LGBTQ people, our allies, families and friends for 50 years! We want to be visible and accessible in these challenging times and for people to associate our church with inclusion and acceptance.

Some may think that since the advent of marriage equality, we have no need for events like Pride. On the contrary, we must be vigilant, creative and insistent as we reach out beyond our walls. Rights that have been recently won, can be lost. There are people who want to pull us back into a different time, a time that many of us were happy to leave behind.

We are grateful to the folks from Sarasota Pride who are helping us and giving us a free vendor booth at their October celebration to promote Venice Pride. If you want to know more, if you want to be a sponsor, a vendor or a volunteer, check out our Venice Pride website .

So, let’s show up, volunteer, and greet our neighbors on that day, opening our hearts, our space, ourselves to all who need us.

WE ARE HERE! Be proud with us!

Grace and Peace,



Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson ---------- Rev. Vickie Miller