After being ripped off a fence by human hands and weather-beaten in a storm, the Pride flag now has a safe space at Christ Episcopal Church.
On Sunday, July 16th, the Pride flag was raised along with the Episcopal flag in a symbolic ceremony affirming something the church has long believed: that God loves everyone, no exceptions.
“God loves and protects all people,” said Reverend Regan Schutz of Christ Episcopal Church. “There are no qualifiers in that. That’s about as biblical as it gets.”
During the ceremony, more than two dozen churchgoers gathered after the 10am Sunday service to celebrate the raising of the flags. The Pride flag, along with the Episcopal flag, was raised atop a new 25-foot-pole, and can only be raised or lowered by someone from the church.
In her speech, Reverend Schutz said that the rainbow is a sign of blessing and protection, especially after times of despair.
“We gather today remembering those for whom these freedoms are not yet realized. We pray for those who live under the threat of fear and intimidation, oppression and violence by their neighbors or by the state,” said Reverend Schutz.
Schutz said that church members had discussed the flag instillation in several forums prior to the ceremony. The feedback was positive, she said. Most members said they were glad the flag was here; it’s who they are as a church.
“I’m proud that we are showing God’s love and acceptance of all people,” said Rebecca King, who attends Christ Church.
Schutz shared that some people in the community questioned why the church should fly the Pride flag. Why not Black Lives Matter, or Blue Lives Matter? She said that the LGTBQ community is a population that has been historically hurt by churches, and the flag shows that Christ Church is a safe space.
“Lifting up one community, which has been mistreated, does not negate the value of any other communities,” said Schutz. “God’s economy is never zero sum. There is enough to go around.”
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She said that she hopes that the flag will be a symbol of hope, a blanket of protection for those who need it, and a cape of power for those who must be empowered.
“May this flag be a blessing to all who come this way,” said Reverend Schutz.
July 18,2023 Editor’s Note: The title of this article was changed after a local historian shared that Christ Church was not historically inclusive to African Americans, especially prior to the 1950s. Original title was Christ Episcopal Church Historically Inclusive; Now the Pride Flag has a Safe Space Too.