A Message from Rev. Maya Landell (June 5, 2020)

It’s Pride Month, and in the midst of our re-commitment to being an Affirming congregation (which is this Sunday), our work of open hearts, open doors, open minds names that Black Lives Matter. We lament, we listen, we learn, we act in response to the the cries, anger and truth-telling of people of colour in our world, examining our privilege and the need for transformation.
We fly the pride flag for the month of June as one sign of Affirm and our commitment to God’s way of radical love, revealed in Jesus, a person of colour and fueled by the “spirit of justice” which calls us to be the hands and feet of Christ.
This flag was designed in 1978 by artist-activist Gilbert Baker. The rainbow flag was conceived as a unifying symbol for LGBTQ communities to “proclaim its own idea of power, inclusivity, diversity and unity”, as Baker recounts in his book, Stitching a Rainbow. The flag was admitted to the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection in 2015. A rainbow flag redesign was revealed at gay pride festivities in Philadelphia in 2017. Black and brown stripes were added to that flag as a way to highlight the fight against racism, specifically champions of LGBTQIA+ people of colour.
I recognize how hard it has been to “be home” and watch what’s happening on the news. I know we are struggling with what the call to action looks like, and the discomfort of the “not getting it right” is part of the transformation.
I am grateful for the United Church of Canada acting in areas of anti-racism and social justice and offering wisdom. Here is the joint letter from our Moderator with other churches : https://www.united-church.ca/news/church-leaders-acknowledge-racism-their-midst. I am also thankful to the leadership of the GO project and the ways they are engaging with children and youth across our church and country for change. Their work and resources will help us act and to do better:
We commit to doing better.
To listening better.
To educating ourselves and our young people better.
To being better allies and ancestors.
We will not be silent in the face of Black people’s oppression and murder.
We will not be silent in the face of police brutality.
In order to live into God’s mission of a full and abundant life for all, everyone must have access to a full and abundant life. Black bodies have been omitted from this dream because of white supremacy and white action and inaction. No. More.
Change starts with individual commitment to making the world a better place.
Friends, we make this road by walking, and we can only do it together. This Sunday as we read Chapter 29 of the Story, we glean some insight from the apostle Paul, even more aware of his skin colour, context, faith background and willingness to be transformed by an encounter with Christ and build communities of faith. Here is the chapter synopsis video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siZpGDOllus.
See you on Today at 10 am for a Zoom Check-in, or Sunday at 10:30 am for worship, or Sunday night at 7 pm for Resonance!
Holding all of it in prayer,
Rev. Maya