MONTH OF JUNE

Mission Focus of June: LGBTQIA + PRIDE MONTH 


Raising Awareness about LGBTQIA + PRIDE MONTH:

(this information is intended for parents)

“Pride month kicks off in June in Charlotte, and the celebration continues until the Charlotte Pride Parade on Aug. 20-21. Every year in June since the Stonewall Riots in 1969, the LGBTQ community celebrates Pride Month around the world. Pride events happen all around the city of Charlotte in order to recognize the national celebration of and support the local LGBTQIA community (citation for this).” “LGBTQIA is an acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer people plus individuals who use diverse language to describe their identity and who they are romantically interested in or attracted to. People use the term, “Queer as a way to identify with and celebrate people of all gender identities and all the ways people love each other (citation).” A lot of children are already talking about the subject of the LGBTQIA community and know what these terms within this acronym mean. They might even have friends who have identified as LGBTQIA so it is important to educate children on it and address their questions etc. If adults don’t get involved in the conversation, our kids end up hearing, at best, a mix of helpful and harmful information with huge doses of falsehood and surrounded by the sense that the whole thing is shameful,” said Matt Robertson (Listen, Learn and Love by Richard Ostler, pg. 71).

 

Furthermore, Genesis 1:26-28 reminds us that we are all made in the image of God and created to be in loving relationships with one another, no matter what form that takes. Therefore, we must recognize that all people, including LGBTQ individuals, are created in God’s image. God made all of us in God’s own image whether we are straight, gay, bi, lesbian, nonbinary, queer, or any other gender or sexual identity. Therefore, we MUST be radically affirming of all identities. The Christian life teaches us to live in ways that recognize and honor the image of God in each person. Our world needs the contribution of each and every person in it, including the LGBTQIA community. 

STORY TIME

READ A Church For All by Gayle Pitman

(Click HERE to access a re-aloud to this Book)


Summary of Book: In A Church For All, Gayle Pitman “offers a delightfully simple lyrical account of a "day in the life" of a congregation that demonstrates inclusivity of every age, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, and ability. Her words are accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Laure Fournier depicting diversity in all its forms. There have been some great strides for equality in recent years. Some congregations are diverse and inclusive. Many others are, unfortunately, not. And regardless of where a particular faith community is on this journey, it's safe to say that every congregation has more work to do. This book offers hope for children and caregivers alike that welcoming and inclusive congregations can (and must!) exist (citation for this).” 

READ Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders

(Click HERE to access a re-aloud to this Book)



Summary of Book: In Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag, author Rob Sanders sets out to tell the story of Harvey Milk, Gilbert Baker, and how the first pride flag came to be. This book will allow children to trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today's world (citation for this). This book is great for LGBTQ+ kids who need validation or for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of the LGBTQ+ flag. We need more children's picture books like this one to help explain the fight for equality and how important it is to show love and empathy towards others despite our differences.

TIME OF DISCUSSION

Discuss the following:

  1. What do you know about the LGBTQ rights movement and LGBTQ community?
  2. The first book celebrates a community of faith that embraces all people—no matter their age, race, class, gender identity, or sexual orientation—in a manner of love and faith. How can you embrace people into our community of faith and strive to make it more inclusive of all God’s people? Make a list of ways you can do this.
  3. The second book introduces an important person in LGBTQ history named Harvey Milk.
  • What would you tell someone else about Harvey Milk and his big dream? How would you describe him to others? What is Harvey hopeful for in the book titled, Pride?


  1. Why did Harvey Milk think it was important to create a symbol for the LGBTQ community? How can a visual symbol connect communities all over the world?
  2. What does the rainbow flag symbolize? (answer: Equality, love, hope, inclusiveness)
  3. What does pride mean? (answer: to have an established sense of self-identity and know and respect who you are as well as other individuals)
  4. What are the communities that you are a part of? Now think about what are the different communities represented in the book titled, Pride and list them.
  5. Harvey had strong opinions about equality, hope, love, and justice for all. What do you have strong opinions about and what would you promote or advocate for in our world today?(some of the discussion questions are from this Link…)

ACTIVITY TIME

Activities to do at Home:

  1. Read this quote by Lena Waithe. Lena is a writer, producer and actress. In 2017, she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing. In her acceptance speech she said:

“I love you all and last but certainly not least my LGBTQIA family; I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different, those are our superpowers — every day when you walk out the door and put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.”

  1. Reflect on this quote. What stands out to you about it?
  2. How does it help you understand how we are supposed to treat our LGBTQIA community & friends? 
  3. From this quote, you are going to create a drawing of an identity cape or flag. This will stand as a symbol of how each one of us is unique, wonderful, and a beloved child of God, including all members of the LGBTQIA community. It will also help remind us that you can be and also, identify as whoever you want to be and that you are still loved unconditionally by God and others. In fact, you should be proud of who you are and who you identify as. You are LOVED. (activity is from this link)

Use these ideas to brainstorm ideas for your drawing of your identity flag or cape:

  1. Think to yourself about the different ways that you identify.
  2. Think about your hopes and dreams.
  3. What are you proud of?
  4. What symbols, if any, do you want to put on your flag or cape?
  5. What colors do you want to use?
  6. What do the colors symbolize for you? (Colors have different meanings individually and culturally throughout the world.)

Draw your identity cape or flag using markers, crayons, or colored pencils. You can also create a collage if you want. After your drawing is complete, talk about your cape or flag to another person and the choices that you made.

  1. Celebrate Pride in Charlotte with this list of events. Consider attending one of the events on this list as a family in order to advocate for or support and promote justice on behalf of our LGBTQIA community & friends. Here is the Link to events. 

CLOSING PRAYER

Prayer:

O God, you created all people in your image. We thank you for the variety of races, genders, and cultures in our world today. We give you thanks for our lives, for the glory of our humanity, and for the opportunity to celebrate both our unique identities and our belonging within the Body of Christ. We thank you for the LGBTQIA community and pray that they find love, acceptance, and inclusiveness within the body of Christ. Enrich our lives by ever-widening circles of friendship, and show us your presence in those who differ most from us, until our knowledge of your love is made perfect in our love for all your children; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. We love you and praise you, Amen.  (prayer is adapted from this website

written by: Lindsey Odom, Director of Youth Ministries

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