The Pride parade was an excellent Young Adult excursion for multiple reasons. One, it was a ton of fun. There were people from every different walk of life, plus music and delicious food. More importantly it was an opportunity to both celebrate our differences and to protest our current culture of shame and silence. Young adulthood is a time of serious self-discovery and attempts at self-acceptance. The Pride parade gave us all the chance to stand in support of love for unique self and other. Turns out, as Christians, this young adult desire for acceptance and love does not conflict with our knowledge of God’s own desires for God’s people.
Unfortunately, the LGBTQ has been shamed and marginalized by Christian practices and communities for a long time. The Pride parade is such a gift! An opportunity for the church to stand up, apologize for whatever harm has been done in the name of Christianity, and say, “God loves you.” The Presbyterian churches of Atlanta took advantage of this opportunity by marching united as one PC(USA) group. The young adults of Druid Hills marched in the parade with members from Oakhurst, North Decatur, and Central Presbyterian churches.
During the hours we marched, we heard many shouts of thanks from the parade onlookers, gratitude that God and the church were being represented. Many in the LGBTQ have heard their whole lives that they are not right with God, that God is far from them. We know that God is always with every one of God’s beloved creatures. What a gift to be able to affirm that to some of the most marginalized in our American culture. The young adult group enjoyed this event, and will be looking for more ways that Druid Hills can support its surrounding community.
-Rachel Mathews, DHPC Seminary Intern