In the early morning hours of June 25, as the crowd on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Courthouse awaited word on DOMA and Proposition 8, a UCC minister and his ecumenical colleague created an historic moment of their own.
“[We] decided that this was a moment that warranted prayer and it was important for the crowd to see religious leaders standing up for them and not against them,” said the Rev. Rob Apgar-Taylor, pastor of Grace UCC in Frederick, Md., and Veritas UCC in Hagerstown, Md. “I wore my collar, and people actually asked, ‘Are you for us or against us?’”
So Apgar-Taylor and the Rev. Jill McCrory, pastor of Twinbrook Baptist Church in Rockville, Md., stood and announced to those close to them, “We would like to offer a prayer of blessing if you want.”
The response was an overwhelming, immediate “yes,” said Apgar-Taylor.
And word quickly spread, as crowd members started shouting back to others, “We are going to have a prayer!”
Immediate silence fell all around Apgar-Taylor and McCrory, who offered prayers for “the justices and our nation as we accept whatever decision is to come.”
“It was a moment in ministry I will cherish always,” said Apgar-Taylor.