Delivered at the First Annual Ecumenical Pridefest Worship,
held at Collegiate United Methodist Church
on September 30, 2018
©The Rev. Eileen Gebbie
Sermons are written to be heard rather than read, particularly in this case. For a video version, go here.
This will be less a sermon, and more a love letter.
Because God, my fellow queers, is besotted with love for us.
Be we genderqueer, God is besotted with love for us.
Be we androgynous, God is besotted with love for us.
Be we bigendered, God is besotted with love for us.
Be we two-spirit, God is besotted with love for us.
Be we trans, God is besotted with love for us.
Be we intersex, God is besotted with love for us.
Be we men who have sex with men, God is besotted with love for us.
Be we women who have sex with women, God is besotted with love for us.
Be we asexual, God is besotted with love for us.
Be we questioning, God is besotted with love for us.
Be we gay, God is besotted with love for us.
Be we bi, God is besotted with love for us.
Be we lesbians, God is besotted with love for us.
Leather daddies, God is besotted with love for us.
Old-school butches, God is besotted with love for us.
Faggots, God is besotted with love for us.
And boring middle-aged dykes like me, God is besotted with love for us.
God has loved us since we were first knit in our mother’s womb, just as we have been, just as we are today, and howsoever we shall become in our truth tomorrow, God is besotted with love for us.
And God needs us to use that love to heal our broken world.
What? How can we heal the world? How are we who do not have full civil rights and who are every day being beaten and raped and killed for how we are born, especially if we are not white, how are we supposed to heal the world?
Because there is no group of children of God better positioned to bridge everything that divides. Not only positioned, but already there.
Because the thing about us queer people is that we are already Republican, Democrat, Green, Libertarian and Independent.
We are already rich, poor, working poor, and struggling middle class. We are already homeless, and housed.
We are already urban, suburban, and rural. We are already west coast, midwestern, and east coast.
We are already teachers, police, cooks, janitors, entrepreneurs, academics, engineers, designers, sales clerks, politicians, therapists, and nurses.
We are already atheist, agnostic, humanist, spiritual, animist, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Santeria, and Christian.
We are already neurotypical and on the spectrum. We are already able to walk and on crutches and in wheelchairs.
We are already African, Caribbean, First Nations, indigenous, Asian Pacific Islander, South Asian, Latinx, Hispanic, Chican@, mestizo, and white.
We are, as queers, already, and have always been, exactly where all of the wounds of the world happen. Wherever there is tenderness, wherever there is division, we are already there. And even though, in our minority, we may feel isolation and pain, in our diversity—in the unity of our diversity—there are no beloved children of God better suited to tend to those wounds, to close them up, and to heal this world.
Just look at where we are today.
We are today in a Christian church participating in a Christian worship basically in celebration of us. If there is any institution or group of people who have done or continue to do us more harm than Christians and Christianity, I can’t think of it.
Yet in our insistence on our existence, our resistance of every effort to make us more palatable or less visible, we have managed to bring even Christians to the side of God’s love. We did that.
So, I’m going to extend an invitation to our straight, heteronormative, gender-normative friends and family of faith, who are here today. In a moment, I’m going to invite you to stand. I want to invite you to stand as a witness to your embrace of God’s rainbow people and all of the hard work of reconciliation and liberation that rainbow demands.
Members of Ames United Church of Christ, please stand.
Members of Unity Church of Ames, please stand.
Members of First Christian Church, please stand.
Members of First Baptist Church, please stand.
Members of this generous host congregation, Collegiate United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation, would you please stand?
And anyone else, religious or not, who is willing to put your straight lives on the line for our queer ones, please stand up. Thank you. We are going to hold you accountable to this.
I want to bring this love letter to a conclusion by saying again to my people that no matter what you have been told for your 10, your 30, or your 75 years or more of life, in this moment you have seen, and I hope you have felt, that God’s love is coursing within and through us to the world.
Let us never doubt our beauty.
Let us never doubt the gift of our presence.
Let us never doubt our right to be alive.
Standing here today as we stand always in the power of the eternal divine, let us know in our bodies—however they are today and however they may be tomorrow—that we are fiercely and wonderfully made.
Happy Pride, everyone!