June 2019, the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion, is a month full of bold, bright rainbows appearing everywhere! The celebration in New York City later this month anticipates 6 million visitors, beyond those who already live there.
Metropolitan Community Churches was born eight months before Stonewall, in 1968, and our Founder, Rev. Troy Perry, started the first pride March, Christopher Street West, in Los Angeles the year after Stonewall. We can hardly believe it sometimes – rainbows painted on buses and trains, and on walkways in small cities. The NYPD apologizing for how they treated our community during the Stonewall uprising. Same sex marriage approved in Ecuador and Croatia, and decriminalization in Botswana. And yet, we also remember 49 people murdered in the Pulse massacre only 3 years ago, a horrifying increase in the number of trans women of color who have been murdered just this year. We remember back to the story of the Upstairs Lounge in June 1973, in which dozens of MCC members and clergy died in a fire that was intentionally set. Hate and violence still stalk our communities.
June is a crucible month for us. We celebrate the progress, and yet are reminded of how fragile progress can be, how far we still have to go. June 30th, MCCers from all over the world will begin to gather for a 50th Anniversary Gala, and our triennial General Conference. We will hold elections for our leadership. We will worship with passion and joy. We will hear Rev. Troy Perry preach once more! We will learn about how we can become a 21st century movement that inspires more and more people around the world to use our faith to change lives and history. Sunday morning, June 30th, we will have a special morning worship that is in part a send-off to all who are traveling to Orlando – nearly 30 people from SunCoast MCC will be present as history is honored and plans for the future enacted. In fact, it is not too late if you still want to register, even for a day or two.
In this time of great challenges in the world, and in our neighborhoods, may we take time to give thanks for all the pioneers of our movement, of our church, and pray for all who are working for justice and peace. May we once again thank God for being our God, and being with us every step of the way!
Happy 50th Pride, and pray for all of us who are traveling to Orlando for General Conference!