10am: 31st Annual Boston Pride Interfaith Service (this year at Old South Church in Copley Square)
I was wearing my Celebration t-shirt, and the woman who greeted me asked if I'd gone to Smith :) I didn't actually chat with her, though, because I was distracted by, "Meep! It is exactly 10:00 and I am just arriving and I need to find the people I'm sitting with."
The hymnals were under the pew, which I'd gotten unused to, even though that's how I grew up. And were The New Century Hymnal.
#592: "God of the Ages, Who With Sure Command"
Sounding of the Shofar
Welcome from Old South Church
Rev. Quinn Caldwell
He talked about how this a "church of the open door" ("Behold, I have set before thee an open door" from Revelation 3:8 is engraved in the stone over their front door), and the history of inclusiveness of this particular church was pretty impressive.
Lighting of the Rainbow Candle
[It looks kind of like a menorah, with white candles and with the center candle being a rainbow one.]
ONE: From our struggles for acceptance and our struggles for faith,Anthem
MANY: We join together in interfaith community to celebrate the presence of God among our faith communities.
ONE: On this day of celebration, remember our history as a hidden and broken people.
MANY: In the shadows of homophobia and transphobia we were hidden in fear and hate.
[I was really pleased to see "transphobia" included.]
ONE: On this day of celebration, remember the night in the Village when a light of hope broke the chains of oppression and revealed the beauty of our history;
MANY: Our new day began in the rediscovery of community and life.
ONE: On this day of celebration, remember the hunger for love and a relationship with God;
MANY: From which the voice of God called us into a more true understanding of faith.
ONE: On this day of celebration, remember our coming out into the fullness of spirituality and sexuality;
[I really like that phrasing -- of "coming out into the fullness of spirituality and sexuality."]
MANY: The breath of God's creating continues to move in our world, filling it with peace and joy.
ONE: On this day of celebration, remember our common dialogue that sustains us in our continued work for justice, equality, and peace;
MANY: Through the action of our hearts and the sharing of voices we transform the dream of freedom into a sustainable reality.
ONE: Once we were not considered a people; now we shine as a rainbow people of God.
MANY: On this day of celebration, we unite to share with our world God's gift of wholeness, acceptance, and love--Pride!
"Ev'ry Time I Feel the Spirit"
Greetings from Pride Interfaith Coalition
Hebrew Scripture Reading
#478: "I've Got Peace Like a River"
The final verse was "I've got faith like an anchor," which was new to me, but which I quite liked.
Christian Scripture Reading
1 John 4:7-8
Pride Interfaith Award
Recipient: "For the Bible Tells Me So" and Daniel Karslake, Director
We watched this at CWM back in early April, and I wasn't particularly impressed by it, but whatever.
Dan said he'd been reading the piece in the bulletin about the history of the Pride Interfaith Coalition and how it initially began in response to a planned visit by Anita Bryant, and For the Bible Tells Me So has a memorable Anita Bryant clip, and he wanted to thank her for helping to start the gay rights movement ;)
Sermon "The dream is for everyone!" (Rev. Dr. Larry Keen, Disciples of Christ)
He said he recently performed his eight thousandth wedding, and he has performed many "love unions" for same-sex couples but they've had to use different language, but he's wearing his white wedding stole in honor of the fact that on Monday he can. (He's from California.) He said, "We finally caught up with Massachusetts -- if only we could do that in basketball."
He talked about dreaming and said that dream doesn't mean that you're sleeping, it means that you're waking up.
Joel 2:31 "The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD." (NIV)He said that when there's smoke, the moon looks blood-red... and so, whenever/wherever there is destruction...
He talked about "great and terrible," quipped, "God can upset a good day."
He told a story of American and German soldiers just before Christmas in 1917, and I thought this was going to be a Christmas truce story I'd heard before, but actually it was about a German solder who was wounded and fell in the no man's land between an American trench and a German trench and got entangled in barbed wire, and the Americans heard his cries and stopped firing and then the Germans stopped firing and then an American soldier crawled to where the German soldier was and disentangled him and carried him back to the German trench and delivered him into the waiting arms of his comrades and turned to return to his own side but a German commander stopped him and turned him around and took off his Iron Cross (the highest award for bravery in the German military) and pinned it on the American. I cried.
"We Limit Not the Truth of God"
Meditation and Prayer
Read an excerpt from a letter from George Washington to a Hebrew Congregation in Newport, RI in 1780 wherein he says (Google-texted from here):
It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.and closes with, "May the God of all mercies scatter light and not darkness on our path."
The offering was for T.E.A.C.H. Ministries -- co-founded by a set of parents featured in For the Bible Tells Me So whose lesbian daughter committed suicide.
Rev. Dr. Mark C. Johnston (Disciples of Christ)
He said, "I do not call upon any God or gods or Goddesses to bless us," and I looked over at Allie 'cause at the beginning of the service she had commented that while it's billed as an "interfaith" service, it's solely Judeo-Christian -- "What about the pagans? What about the Buddhists?"
He went on to say that our faith traditions teach us that we are already blessed and he called upon us to be blessings to all people.
The Recessional had a familiar tune, but it wasn't until a few minutes after we'd left the church that I finally realized what the hymn was ("Come Thou Fount of Ev'ry Blesing").
"Sing a new world into being"+
Summoned by the God who made us
Rich in our diversity
Gathered in the Spirit's presence,
Richer still in unity.
Let us bring the gifts that differ
And, in splendid, varied ways,
Sing a new world into being,
One in faith and love and praise.
Trust the goodness of creation;
Trust the spirit strong within.
Dare to dream the vision promised
Sprung from seed of what has been.
Bring the hopes of every nation;
Bring the after of every race.
Weave a song of peace and justice;
Let it sound through time and space.
Draw together at one table
All the human family;
Shape a circle ever wider
And a people ever free.
Words: Delores Dulner, The Order of St. Benedict; Tine: "Nettleton", John Wyeth
Last year after the service I thought about getting involved with the Pride Interfaith Coalition. I wasn't as in love as I was last time, but I'm still thinking about getting involved -- if for no other reason than that then I'll know about it further in advance.
The service started around 10:05 and was done well before 12, so we (Allie, her visiting friend Kate, and I) leisurely made our way up toward the Public Garden -- singing bits and pieces of "Come, Thou Fount of Ev'ry Blessing" as we began since we all had it stuck in our head from the Recessional :)
We watched the swans and later some baby ducklings (Allie said she was going to "explode" from cuteness), but my camera kept telling me "No MemoryStick Access," so I didn't get much in the way of photos :(
We watched the parade from the corner of Arlington and Boylston, joined by CHPC-Rachel.
At the beginning, my camera was still being cranky, but after a while it settled down. Though I still didn't get a whole lot of good pictures 'cause I'd be watching the parade and would think, "Oh, I should take a picture of that," and then of course by the time I'd gotten my camera up (plus often turning it on, since it turns off after a period of inactivity) whatever I wanted to photo had usually passed. Also, I was standing behind Allie and Kate, so the backs/sides of them show up in a lot of my photos :/ [flickr]
The parade reached us around 12:35 and lasted until about 1:45. At one point there was a bit of a lull and one of the gay boys behind us wondered if it was over. Besides the fact that I knew from last year that the parade would last at least an hour, I thought, "We've only seen like two churches, and there have gotta be at least like ten." Someone said, "We haven't seen the governor yet," which was also true. We never actually did see him. (I didn't see CWM, either, though apparently they were there.)
There were a lot of politicians, as per usual, and at the first one, Rachel asked: "pandering or actual advocate?" They were mostly running for Boston City Council, which I don't vote for, so I didn't know. I suppose I should look into that.
We walked up to City Hall Plaza and decided to get some real lunch over by Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall Marketplace. We went to Durgin Park, where we waited for ever for our food because the waitress was incompetent. Sigh. Allie was seriously considering asking to speak to the manager, but in the end she was so tired of the whole experience that we just left.
We returned to City Hall Plaza and got fried dough ($6!).
Allie wanted a nice rainbow pin, so when we were walking around the vendors, she said, "Where's the crass commercialism? All I see is lobbying." She was also sad to have missed Anonymous.
Kate ended up getting a backpack from PFLAG, and they gave all of us big purple stickers that said, "I am loved by PFLAG."
My friend Kate from Smith found us at one point, which was a nice surprise.
Due to the lateness of our lunch, we weren't hungry for dinner yet, but Allie didn't have any food in her house so she didn't really wanna go home. We decided to go see Iron Man at Loews. It was about 6pm and the next showing was 7:10, so we laid out in Boston Common for the interim.