Cleveland Pride 2012 Interfaith Welcome
Rev. Allen V. Harris
Pastor of Franklin Circle Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Cleveland, Ohio ~

To see a video of this, click here:

Welcome!  Throughout history and across time cultures have found ways to greet people.  Every faith tradition has rituals and words used to receive people into their sacred spaces and acknowledge the presence of the Divine in their midst.  To Welcome someone is a sacred act.

We are living in a time when more and more religious traditions are recognizing the inherent beauty, dignity, worth, and leadership qualities of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex people.  In Northeast Ohio there are many such communities who are not just welcoming us through there doors, but who are inviting us to share in leadership, both lay and clergy, and, most importantly, who are inviting us into their hearts.

We celebrate the growing number of such open and affirming individuals and communities in Northeast Ohio.  You saw many of them in the parade and can visit with them at booths here in the festival today.  We also give thanks to the exponential growth of clergy and congregations that offer ceremonies of commitment and love to same-sex couples.  Some day soon, I pray, we will be able to offer full marriage rites to ALL our members!

So, on behalf of these communities, and those who will become open & affirming in the coming year, I want to offer to you a word and sign of welcome.

We’re here!  We’re Queer!  God bless us all!

(bow with hands together)