by Teddy Jay
A year and a half ago I stumbled into this small and funky little church on the north side of Chicago. Little did I know how much it would change my life. For many years, I was a seeker who wondered if a gay man could not only follow Jesus, but do so in a community that saw him as an equal. I also wondered if I could find a place where not only was I welcomed whole-heartedly but also one that pushed me to grow spiritually. Would I be able to find a church community that practiced what they preached? Could I be part of something that really lived out the teaching of Jesus without persecuting people for being “the other”? Holy Covenant answered all of those questions of uncertainty with a deafening and resounding, YES!
As you’ve read from earlier blog posts and communications, Holy Covenant is celebrating 20 years of welcoming all people as a reconciling congregation. This past month has been filled with activities, sermons and songs echoing the spirit of these 20 years, and calling for 20 more. June also included an amazing Prom, “Over The Rainbow,” to raise money for reconciling ministries. Thank you, Prom Committee, for such an wonderful event! Finally, a very strong contingent of Holy Covenant members and friends walked together in the 41st Chicago Pride Parade, united with one common objective: to live out our mission of loving all people. We walked under the theme of “No Place Like Home.” The theme couldn’t be more true. Being a part of this amazing group of people might be the most empowering thing I’ve ever done.
I had the privilege of leading the parade effort over the last two months, and am so proud of our witness on Pride Sunday. On behalf of the Pride Parade planning team, I want to sincerely thank everyone who contributed to our efforts. Special thanks to all who bought a t-shirt, helped with lunches, and built the float. Whether you marched with us, waved at us, or had us in your hearts, I thank you. Thank you for your prayers, and most importantly, thank you for standing up for justice and equality. Finally, a special thanks to all members of the Pride Planning team. None of this would have happened where it not for your gifts and contributions.
Holy Covenant is a community where the often rejected “other” is welcomed, embraced and included in “the one.” It is a community empowered to take part in social justice while embracing Jesus’ message of loving one another. Words can only begin to express the impact Holy Covenant has had on my life. I am overwhelmed and energized after witnessing Holy Covenant’s commitment to the LGBTQ community, especially during Pride Month. Here’s to 20 more years!
Can I get an Amen?