Our church has a rainbow. In fact, it has several - probably more than several - but the most obvious one is the sidewalk to the front door. We repainted it this week. It’s been there awhile, it’s seen a lot of sun and rain, wind and snow, and it needed a little refreshing. Don’t we all, from time to time?
It’s bright and bold and makes a statement. And, like any statement, we know that people will see it how they see it and respond to it how they will.
And that’s okay.
We hope that you’ll know that, for our church, it’s a statement about welcome. We wouldn’t have put it on the way to our front door if it weren’t. We hope that people will see it as a statement about inclusiveness, an eye-catching way of saying anyone and everyone is welcome here. And when we say that, we mean “all the colours of the rainbow” everyone. And, more importantly, it’s not just about welcome, it’s that we mean to affirm and appreciate you for who you are, just as you are. We share these words when we gather: “all are welcome here, affirmed and appreciated just as we are, as we all are as children of God, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, culture, ability, economic or social circumstance —wherever we are on our journeys through life.” We believe in unity, not uniformity, and that means acknowledging, affirming and appreciating each person for who they are. It means loving as Jesus loves.
We hope that people will see the LGBTQ2S+ rainbow and we hope they know they’re welcome and safe here.
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 of any age 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, affirming, heart warming, friendly and inspiring that speaks to you. Do you see what we mean?