Stop Homophobia


Editorial 38 - December 2006 - Affirming Edmonton Church

A volunteer visited Millwoods United Church the weekend the church celebrated becoming an Affirming Congregation. The Edmonton, Canada church has has interesting architecture, which is striking from the street. The design and furnishings of the church are a blend of traditional and contemporary elements.

As people entered the church, they were given rainbow ribbon pins which they could choose to wear. A wide age range of people could be seen wearing rainbow ribbons. The number of children wearing rainbow ribbon pins gives hope that tomorrow's world will have less homophobia and less transphobia than we see today.

The liturgy was affirming. One portion from the Covenant to Celebrate Diversity liturgy reads, “Our Creator loves variety, and so created people to express sexuality in different ways.” A portion of the prayer of approach and confession includes, “We aren't all alike. We don't look alike. We don't think alike. We don't act alike and we don't all like the same things. Despite our diversity and our faults we are made in your image.

During the service, a rainbow banner was hung in the sanctuary. A comment was made about the church being a safe place. To members of society who have often lived with fear, a safe place is very important.

Dale Irving, pastor of Millwoods United Church gave an excellent sermon. One line of his sermon that sticks in my mind is, “I believe that the full inclusion of gay people in the life of our church and our society is as inevitable and as God-energized as the full inclusion of the uncircumcised, slaves, women and people of color has been. I believe it is the work of God’s Spirit and it is ultimately irresistible.

The efforts of households of faith to include gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-identified people in all aspects of their communities are appreciated. Discrimination, prejudice and hatred are not godly values.