Sunday, March 2, 2008

Thank you GLBTIQ Sydney!

Those who marched last night with 100Revs would like to thank all the members of the GLBTIQ community for their hospitality at the march and the graciousness with which they received our apology. The officials were really helpful in guiding we newbies in unfamiliar territory. The other members of the parade welcomed us, and the crowd cheered loudly (with some encouragement from Tony "I can't hear you!" Gibson) as we walked past. Several people shook every member's hand, and many connected with us individually, to thank us for the apology and convey how much it meant to them.

Everyone was very warm and welcoming toward us. Thank you!

We pray that this signals a new era of the church being truly a place of welcome, and a place of prayer for all people.

Grace and Peace
Colin Scott


Anonymous said...

I suppose most of us had 'work' to do yesterday and haven't posted a comment yet. So I'll go first. My reaction was one of 'pride' - I was proud to be part of a small step in increasing inclusivity and grace in the church.

Unknown said...

So stoked all went well with the march! Lovin the love!!

Was bummed I couldn't be there - was thinking of you on my island paradise!

Not sure if it's too late to put in my name also... maybe I'll be back in Oz this time next year & can march with you then :)


Anonymous said...

It was a privilege to march in the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to convey our apology to the Gay Community in a concrete and symbolic way. We were included in the community section where there were several other Christian and religious groups as well as the armed forces and the police. Particularly noticeable was the contingent who were marching to drawing attention to the large number of laws which still discriminate against this one group of people even though we have other laws which legislate against discrimination! Amnesty International was there marching for Universal Civil Rights.

As we waited for the march to begin quite a number of people came up to us to thank us for what we were doing. Some friends made special opportunity to convey their heartfelt appreciation. Some went round our whole group shaking each person by the hand and saying ‘Thank you’. In some ways the hospitality of the Gay and Lesbian community was so gracious that we felt a rebuke as it is in the area of hospitality that we feel the church has been so remiss. Our attitude has been excluding. For me personally there was a sense that we were standing on Holy Ground as people connected with our act of contrition. It also felt during the march that we had the amazing privilege of making known the truth of God made known in Jesus who constantly took himself to the margins and to those who were left out and offered love and acceptance. As the march moved through the crowd we received a warm welcome and people acknowledged their awareness of what we stood for and their approval of what we were doing. The very air seemed to be charged with an atmosphere not only of elation but also of safety, respect and acceptance.

Heather McClelland(Rev)

Anonymous said...

Good on you guys!
If I was a minister I would have loved to join in to add my support in the apology to th gay community.

Good on you all for being bold and taking the first step of reconciliation. That's what God has called us to be! First the SG Apology, now this apology from the church, is this the year of healing for Australia?

Anthony Venn-Brown said...

heather that was a wonderful description of your experience in Saturdays parade. We had a similar one last year when Freedom 2 b[e] marched for the first time.

I called it a 'Divine moment in the Parade' and wrote about it on my blog. Each year i find myself trying to educate both those within and outside the GLBT community exactly what the parade is all about. I guess in essence we make it what we want it to be to us. No matter what the criticisms or condemnations of others about your participation in this years parade it was really important that you came into our space. People are quick it seems to judge a whole community by the actions of some.

By coming into our space i guess some misconceptions and preconceived ideas were dispelled.

Most of all you followed Jesus who it seems had no limits on where he went and who he mixed with.

I'm glad you welcome was so warm now all we need to do is teach all churches to behave the same when a gay man or lesbian come their churches.

Anonymous said...

The Executive of Uniting Network Australia (the Uniting Church's national GLBT network) has asked me to send a message of support. We are grateful that Christian ministers are apologising for the church's negative treatment of GLBT folk, and doing so in such a visible manner by marching in Mardi Gras.

Peter Weeks

Anonymous said...

It was great seeing all the Revs march.

You are courageous and good hearted and I love the fact that would you did was so subversive ... just like Jesus!

Against all the opposition from within the churches you sttod proud and humble at teh same time.

Anonymous said...

I feel very confused. Were you apologising for people in the church not extending the arm of love to gay people as fellow sinners? If it were just this then I'm not confused and wholly endorse the apology. How dare we be self-righteous? We stand together in need of forgiveness at the foot of the cross.
However, I'd like to know whether you are also saying that Jesus doesn't care about homosexual sin (as He surely also does about greed, idolatry, adultery, to name a few). I feel that this may be why some Christians have problems with the participation of Christians in Mardi Gras. They think that you are saying Jesus doesn't care about sin and holiness. About repentance. And again, this applies to all areas of life, not just homosexual sin lest we become self-righteous.
I feel that if you are saying in effect, 'love the sinner, hate the sin' as Jesus does, then lots of Christians would most probably wholly endorse the apology. It would be in misrepresenting the Bible's teaching that I think lots of Christians would have issues with.


Anonymous said...

I am a happily married, ordained Uniting Church Minister in Sydney's CBD and have been practising continuously at the coal face of parish ministry for 27 years.

I can testify to the high quality of the fruits of God's Spirit lived by many lesbian and gay Christians (as well as non-Christians) of my acquaintance.

This is inspite of the considerable hurts they have experienced in the church, for which I am happy to say 'sorry'.

We weren't all bloke clergypersons on the march. There were sheila clergy too.

100revs precipitated a wonderfully warm response from the lesbian and gay people in the march and also from the Mardi Gras crowds. 'At last the church is acting like the one Jesus Christ promised', one lay non-Christian non-marcher said to me.

And my experience in the Mardi Gras walk was, that she is right.