My friend Jamie is the pastor of Little Flowers, an intentional community in Winnipeg’s West end. This is the second year the community has organized an “I’m Sorry” event for the city’s annual Pride Parade. Unfortunately I couldn’t join them due to a flu, but here are some highlights from the event. (Photos and letter courtesy of Jamie).
“God loves everyone”
“Please forgive me for using the Bible as a weapon”
“I’m sorry the way the church hurt you”
“Jesus loves you & so do I!”
Loving the fact that some children got involved!
Jamie also received the following note from a stranger:
“Thank you for being there at Pride this year.
I had heard about the movement and had read about it in the news, but I did not at all expect my reaction when I saw you on the sidelines during the march. I read your signs and was hit by tremendous emotion and was moved to tears at the reality of it as I marched by.
After years of being out of the closet and working in both education and advocacy to make the world a better place for all LGBTTQ and allied folks, the impact of the importance of movements like yours hit in a way that I never expected.
I somehow felt a touch of the weight of all that we as humans do to each other that is hurtful – and the importance of doing something positive about it, regardless of who we are and where we stand on any issue.
The power of an apology is amazing and even though I don’t think I have met any of you personally, your presence and willingness to apologize for a history that you have inherited was truly appreciated.
The Pride event is a way for many of us to take pride in who we are and to have a day where we are not overshadowed by the negative impacts of homophobia and other kinds of discrimination and hatred. It’s a day of joy, love, shared freedoms and of letting the positives outweigh the negatives.
Your presence is fabulous. I’m not sure how to fully articulate the complexities of how your actions are not only important at Pride, but also inspiring and indicative of how we all should live through out our lives.
Thank-you and thank-you.”
A powerful message and reminder for why we need more public events of repentance by the church. Let’s get an even better turn out next year!