This Saturday evening the Central Alabama Pride Parade takes place. It will be followed by Pridefest beginning at noon on Sunday at Sloss Furnaces. Covenant, of course, will have a visible presence at both events. During Pride week, we at Covenant curtail our weekly schedule of events to encourage our folks to join in many of the Pride events that are taking place. This gives us a great opportunity to live out the third and fourth core value of our mission statement “to care about one another in Christ” and “to communicate Christ to all people.”
Now let’s be clear. We DO NOT attempt to do this by being “preachy” or “bible thumpers.” No, we do it by simply being affirming and in “CommUNITY” with those celebrating Pride. Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that what we do in helping Central AL to celebrate Pride goes beyond being in community. It’s more like attending a family reunion.
I was reading an article this week in which the gist of it was that everyone wants strong family values but few can agree on what they are. Roger Rosenblatt on public radio was being cynical about family values and said, “There are plenty of perfect families around like yours and mine. But there are so many others that fall short.” Then he went on to name some high public historical families that had quite a bit of known baggage in their family history. No, the Duggars were not among them. Rosenblatt’s point was that there is no perfect family. He said “What is valuable in families is that they are normal people struggling to do good and be good, strengthening themselves by listening to each other, paying attention to their families, and encouraging each other to be fair, honest and kind.” That seems like a decent list of family values to me, and it is what I hope and believe Covenant to be trying to do at our family reunion … the Central AL Pride celebrations this week.
Maybe it’s a stretch for you to think of this week of celebrating Pride in Central Al as a family reunion. Well, maybe you should read the assigned lectionary gospel lesson for Pride Sunday. It is Mark 3:31-35, under the “The True Family of Jesus.” In those verses, Jesus not only wrecks our concept of who is family but He widens it also.
So join us for worship at Covenant on this Pride Sunday before going to Sloss Furnaces for Pridefest. I’ll be preaching a sermon called “Pridefest: CommUNITY Gathering or Family Reunion.”