Why do you support Pride?
This is Wesley Memorial UMC‘s first year supporting Pride as a sponsor, and we are thrilled to be involved! As a church, we are motivated to be involved by our faith. We know that the church has been a space of abuse and harm for LGBT Christians and LGBT people of no faith alike. We acknowledge our own complicity in that culture and history. But, we also reject that hatred! We are sponsoring the Pride festival in order to witness to God’s unconditional love for LGBT people.
Favorite thing about the festival?
Our favorite thing about the festival is to see everyone celebrating their identities out loud and in public without fear and with dignity. It’s a beautiful thing to see people celebrate who they are. We wanted to help make that possible as sponsors.
Why should people go to Cville Pride?
People should come to the festival because it is a place where the community gathers to celebrate love. Even if you’re not LGBT, please come to the festival. LGBT people of all ages need allies because it is still dangerous to be queer in Charlottesville. We have work to do!
How has the festival changed the community?
The Pride festival has had an impact on our community and our church. As a result of the visibility that Pride brings to LGBT persons in Charlottesville, we decided to join the Reconciling Ministries Network, a network of congregations in the UMC advocating for LGBT rights in the church. We know that bad theology kills, and that houses of worship have a responsibility to create safe spaces. We also know that witnessing to inclusion save lives. We wanted to be a part of that work in our local community. We want to love where we are.
What does Pride mean to you?
For us, LGBTQ pride means “consciously owning one’s dignity.” We believe Pride comes from God, and we celebrate the dignity and beauty of queer life in Cville.