When: June 9, 10, 11
Where: Westport, Kansas City
In the Summer of 2023, the Episcopal Church will once again make herself known as a welcoming and safe place for LGBTQiA folks and those who love them.
Churches from across The Diocese of West Missouri are invited to prayerfully consider why and how they would like to send representatives to help us extend our best invitation into the life of the church and her service during the weekend festival, parade, and other celebrations.
There are at least three ways you and your church can get involved:
Pride Parade. Saturday morning, the weekend of Pride, we will step-off the curb at noon – with twice as many Episcopalians as last year! We’ll march and wave and proclaim the love of God to all. And throw stuff! This year we’ll have matching t-shirts for all marchers. We will hold parade-prep meetings like the one we had last year, where people gather to paint signs and prepare swag. If you would like to be on the planning committee for the Pride Parade, let us know.
Pride Festival. This event runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Pride Weekend. We plan on securing a large multi-booth presence, to recruit and train volunteers, hand out literature, water, swag, and love. Robin Rusconi and the Rev. Jean Long are chairing this team. If you would like join them in planning our booth space, please email them by clicking their names, above.
Pride Mass. We will gather before the parade steps off on Saturday morning to break, bless, and share the story of God’s love for all. Afterwards, those who wish to march in the parade will walk from St. Paul’s to Westport to line-up. Co-Chairing this team are the Rev. Steven King and the Rev. Charles Everson. If you would like to be on the planning team for this liturgy, including the planning of worship leaders, musicians, servers, etc. please let them know.
We believe that all people are worthy of respect and honor because all are created in the image of God, and all can respond to the love of God.
However, we see in our churches and in society, LGBTQiA people are not always counted among those for whom the Church seeks justice, or grants due respect, as loving and beloved members of the household of God. We recognize that fear of, and discrimination against LGBTQiA people is part of an oppressive history within the Church and society, which distorts our relationship with God and with other people and diminishes the humanity of us all.
Therefore, we feel compelled to make explicit our welcome of LGBTQiA people into the ministries and life of the Episcopal church, incarnating the message, “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.” We welcome the ministry and witness of all persons to serve as leaders and participants, fully participating in our life, worship and governance. Adapted from the Oasis Missouri Ministry’s Affirmation of Welcome
Feel Called to Help?
Bishop Diane has appointed the Rev. Charles Everson and Ms. Heidi J. A. Carter as chairs of this outreach event.
- The Rev. Charles Everson, St. Mary’s: email@example.com
- Ms. Heidi J. A. Carter, St. Paul’s: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Word from Bishop Bruce in support of the rights of transgender individuals and their families:
My siblings in Christ,
In The Episcopal Church, we vow in our Baptismal Covenant to “respect the dignity of every human being,” and to “seek and serve Christ in all persons.” We make these vows because we affirm that all persons are created by God and in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27).
In the words of our Presiding Bishop, the Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, “this is a divine declaration of the inherent sanctity, dignity and equality of every person.” At the most recent meeting of the House of Bishops (March 2023), the Bishops issued a resolution decrying legislative initiatives and governmental actions targeting transgender individuals and their families:
Statement of Support for Transgender persons and Transgender children and their families
In light of the baptismal covenant’s promises to see Christ in all persons and to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being, and in response to the rapidly expanding numbers of proposed and enacted legislation by elected officials in forty-one states in the United States (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming), and any other states, countries in which our Episcopal Church ministers, municipalities, and school districts targeting transgender persons and transgender children and their families, seeking to limit access to healthcare, educational opportunities, public accommodations, free speech, and civil rights, we, the Bishops of The Episcopal Church gathered at Camp McDowell, Alabama, in March 2023, reaffirm our March 2022 expression of our love and continued support for all persons who identify as transgender or non-binary and their families. We decry legislative initiatives and governmental actions targeting our transgender siblings and their families. We urge all in our Church in all the countries in which the Episcopal Church is found to create safe spaces and shield all people from harassment based on gender identity, and to join in advocacy to protect them from discriminatory laws.
I firmly believe that Missourians of all genders and sexual orientations are beloved children of God. I grieve that persons who are transgender and non-binary, and their families, currently face harassment and discrimination throughout Missouri, in our Diocese and beyond. I affirm my support for all these persons, and ask you to join me in being the loving face of Christ to them. I recognize that they are under attack and I join the Bishops of The Episcopal Church and decry the legislative initiatives and governmental actions targeting them, especially those actions that intend to limit or prohibit access to medical treatment and would erase them from sports, education, and other areas of civic participation.
Our Diocese strives to walk in the Way of Love as our Presiding Bishop has asked us to do. We are all called to proclaim and build up God’s Kingdom of justice and peace by being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in West Missouri and in the world. Therefore, I ask you to join me in prayer for those who face such harsh discrimination. I encourage all members of our Diocese – lay and clergy – to welcome all, create safe spaces, and shield all people from any form of hate, discrimination, oppression, and harassment based on gender identity.
I am here to answer any questions you may have and to support every member of this diocese in any way I can. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns you may have on this important issue.
Blessings and love,
The Rt. Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce
Bishop Provisional of West Missouri
About Jesus, the Bible & LGBTQ+ People
There is a flyer available for you to download, print, and share, as well as parade and booth information.