Join us at Pride!
Once again, Springdale Presbyterian will march in the annual Kentuckiana Pride Parade, Friday, June 15, at 7:00pm. You can learn more about the parade by clicking here.
We march in Pride to show that we mean what we say in our Welcoming Statement:
We believe that we’re called to the ministry of love and reconciliation in the world through our Lord Jesus Christ,
and that includes everyone.
We believe that the diversity of our world is a gift from God to be embraced. We celebrate our human family’s full diversity of race, ethnicity, refugee or immigrant status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, spiritual or faith history, economic status, marital status, physical and mental ability, and education. We welcome all who have previously known the pain of exclusion, discrimination, abuse, or intolerance in either the church or society.
We affirm that all people are created in the image of God, are loved by God, are called by God, and are deserving of love and human dignity. Because of that, we welcome all people into full participation in the life of the church.
This year's parade route
Some Important Background
In a recent Pew Research Center survey of young adults who have left the church, nearly a third of them say they left because of the church’s negative teachings and lack of welcome regarding LGBTQ individuals. And many who have no previous church background indicate that they would not consider being part of the church for precisely this same reason. This is especially true - almost universal - within the Millennial generation.
At the same time, the Pew Center discovered that while the overall percentage of Americans who identify as Christian dropped eight percent in just seven years (declining from 78.4% in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014), the percentage of LGBTQ individuals who identified as Christian increased by 6 percent in just one year (up from 42% in 2013 to 48% in 2014). Why? Most LGBTQ people grew up connected in some way to the church, and loved the church, and still hold deep spiritual convictions, despite having been harmed and driven out of the church. As more churches have become LGBTQ-friendly, many of these people are reconnecting with their faith and the church.
One of the most common concerns in congregations today is congregational growth – especially, reaching and attracting younger people into the life of the church. The data above shows how important it is to younger people - and many not-so-younger people as well - that a church congregation is welcoming to LGBTQ people – and this is true regardless of the person's own sexual orientation. We live in a time when most people have LGBTQ family members, friends, or coworkers, if they aren’t LGBTQ themselves. Because of those positive first-hand relationships, they simply won’t be part of institutions that discriminate against or belittle LGBTQ individuals.
Attitudes of intolerance and hostility for LGBTQ people in our society have their origins almost exclusively in religious intolerance - instilled through many churches continuing to espouse theologically and scientifically debunked anti-LGBTQ beliefs. This intolerance has caused great harm to LGBTQ people. Studies show that a full 40% of homeless youth in our country identify as LGBTQ, and most of them are homeless because their families, espousing hostile religious beliefs, have thrown them out of their homes. Further, LGBTQ youth are five times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth; again, caused largely through negative and hostile societal/religious intolerance. It is simply unacceptable for members of Christ's Church to do nothing to support LGBTQ people in our society. As the face of Christ in the world we must work proactively to prevent further abuse, and to offer love and acceptance to LGBTQ individuals, both in and out of the church,
At present, there are relatively few congregations that hold to fully inclusive theology with regard to LGBTQ people and issues. Unfortunately, the stereotype of the Church being anti-gay is accurate all too often. Realize that there are approximately 1,200 Christian churches in greater Louisville – and of them, probably a dozen or so will participate in Pride, letting the community know about their welcoming and affirming theology.
Participating in the Pride Parade isn’t an issue of partisan politics or ideology. And it isn't just some gimmicky plan only geared toward increasing our church membership, although we certainly hope that would be an outcome, too. More than anything else, this is a matter of theology to us – it goes to the core of our understanding of the following questions:
In short, we know our own story. But many in the community - and especially those who need to know it most – don’t know anything about us, or our inclusive understanding of the Christian faith. That’s why we will participate in the Pride Parade. As the apostle Paul wrote:
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:12-15)
On June 15th, we’ll be using our feet to proclaim God’s good news of love and acceptance for all people, including LGBTQ individuals. We hope you'll use your feet, and march with us, too.