Our church has a rainbow. Actually, now that I think about it, it has several. But this new one’s a little different in scope. It covers the entire walkway from the sidewalk to the front door.
|Photo by Kerri Aucoin|
It’s been an interesting couple of days painting it. We made no announcement that we were doing it. The church Board approved it and then we just did it. Surprise.
People going by while it was being painted seemed quite happy with it. Lots of smiles and compliments on how it looks and, interestingly, only an occasional “why?” Or “what’s it for?”
I know that we did it as a statement about welcome. Last June, the congregation voted to participate in the United Church’s Affirming Program, an educational and discernment process that reflects on what it means to be inclusive and evaluates our congregation’s openness to including all in the life and work of our ministry. That’s ALL, including age, gender, race, ability, class, economic status and, in particular to the Affirming Ministry, sexual orientation and gender identity.
So, yes, we hope that people will recognize the LGBTQ+ rainbow and we hope they know they’re welcome and safe here.
We also hope that people who’ve seen our hand painted sign that says “We’ll take anyone” will find this a more eye-catching way of saying that and know that when we say anyone, we mean anyone, even “all the colours of the rainbow” anyone. Not only are you welcome here, but appreciated for your differences and loved for who you are.
We hope that children will laugh and be inspired by it and know that the church is a happy and safe place for them, too.
We hope that people will be reminded of the ancient story of the Great Flood and remember that the rainbow is a sign of God’s covenant of life with us.
We hope that people will see that it’s creative and colourful and so are we.
We hope that people will see it and smile and be reminded of the sense of wonder and beauty that we experience when we see a rainbow in the sky.
The point is, we hope that you will see something that is welcoming, heart warming, friendly and inspiring that speaks to you. See?