Loving Out Loud

The United Church of Christ gathered this past weekend to celebrate the start of Pride month as part of the Love is Louder campaign, with 16 Ohio UCC churches participating in the Pride parade on Saturday, chanting “Love is louder.” The weekend was capped off in Cleveland with a special Love is Louder — “Love Your Neighbor OUT LOUD” — worship service at Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ in Tremont on Sunday, June 2. Sponsored by the UCC Gender & Sexuality Justice Ministries, the Heartland Conference and Living Water Association, the UCC gathering showed that saying “yes” to loving louder than hate brings people together and joy to this world. 

If God’s ask of us is to care for creation and Christ’s share for us is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, then beginning with love can be our foundation. In the vast sea of our uniqueness, the thread connecting us to one another is all within the love that God created us through, and that we harbor within us.

This election year has triggered higher amounts of harmful anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation, so we must continue to believe in the work of honoring our bodies with soft space and mirroring our kin-ship to one another. We must believe in running barefoot along the soil of creation to remember how God called us in to tend to one another. We must believe in showing up for one another and choosing love. And we must remember God’s love and intention in creating each of us.

LGBTQIA+ siblings intimately know the nature of being deemed an outcast. And the clarion call for LGBTQIA+ advocacy is reverberating from state capitol rotundas, dinner tables, city streets, and church pews. With more than 547 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills in this year’s (2024) legislative session, our proactive response, now more than ever, needs to be love OUT LOUD.

That is why this year’s Our Faith, Our Vote campaign theme is “Vote with Love”. Vote with love for all creation, for our neighbors both here and abroad, for a just peace, and for repair and reconciliation of the brokenness of our nation. And encourage your family, friends, and community to do the same. 

To begin the journey of communal care for and with LGBTQIA+ siblings, we must remember that each of us harbors the Imago Dei within. It is together that we tend to one another and help mirror love OUT LOUD for who God calls us to be and continues to form us into being.

May we remember that we are children of God and the Creator makes no mistakes in our unique formation. Let that inspire us to show up bearing witness to one another and choosing love. Even in the dim lit moments, we must believe our collective liberation and freedom is infinitely possible. This belief is within scripture and our living bodies as scriptures which offer evidence of resilience, remembrance, active justice, love, tenderness and care.

Let’s write new stories together. Narratives that showcase hope, love, and Pride for who God created you to be—and who we are and can be together.

Love is Louder: Love Your Neighbor OUT LOUD is a campaign faithfully supporting the spiritual, physical, and mental well-being of LGBTQIA+ siblings by equipping faith communities with resources and tools for just action and care. The UCC’s Gender & Sexuality Justice Ministries launched this campaign intentionally in Pride Month to honor, center, and celebrate the personhood of queer siblings.

Categories: Getting to the Root of It

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