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This week we celebrate Pride Sunday by including music and words by members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, although the inclusion of Franz Schubert in this category is still hotly debated amongst some scholars. We celebrate the contributions queer people have been making to the church in word and song for centuries. I`d like to thank Rupert for (almost) taking this Sunday off and letting me run the show, and our guest singers Tristan and Kiyomi, who regularly sing at West Van United, and Tabitha from St. Andrew`s Wesley.

I cannot hear the grace of the amen from Phinot’s “O altitudo divitiarum”, the gorgeous setting of words from Psalm 85 with it’s accompanying organ strains in Rorem’s “Mercy and Truth are Met”, or the celebratory jubilance of “Thou, O Jehovah” by Copland, and not feel deeply that these inspired humans were tapping into something far greater than themselves.

Yet far too often for Queer people truth is not met with mercy, even from their so-called loving Christian communities. Instead, their truth is met with indifference, intolerance, anger, hatred, excommunication, violence, or even execution, as was the case for Phinot. For too many Queer people God’s promise of righteousness and peace remains unknown.
Music speaks to me of the divine. It is in song that I find the creative, loving source of all that is. When words fail, music reveals deeper truths and hidden mysteries.

Sometimes we fail with our words. When good intentioned Christians say things like “love the sinner, hate the sin”; “I just don’t get this trans thing” or “I’ll never get used to all these pronouns,” these words speak to the Queer members of our communities. They say our identities do not matter. That our lived experienced is invalid. That our love is somehow wrong and perverted.

In the mouths of some of the members of our larger Christian family, we hear words like “God Hates Fags!”; “drag queens are groomers” and “trans people are just pretending.” These words incite violence against our bodies. They invalidate our very existence. They deny our place as loved and valued members of the family of God.
Silence also speaks volumes.

When the cry of fear, anger, and hatred, from our siblings in Christ, against members of the Queer community increases, so must our song of affirmation, celebration, and love be louder, stronger, and more beautiful to God’s ear than ever before. This Pride I pray you will all join your voices in this song, as boldly and as lustily as you can, forever and forevermore, amen.