The Church of the PALMS Social Justice Team, seeking justice through Prayer, Action, Love, Ministry & Support, proudly raised a rainbow flag on Sunday, August 6.
The rainbow flag represents affirmation of our Church’s commitment to be open and affirming and to show our support for the LGBTQ community. The flag is commonly flown with the red stripe on top, as the colors appear in a natural rainbow. The colors were determined to symbolize: life (red), healing (orange), sunlight (yellow), nature (green), harmony/peace (blue), and spirit (purple/violet).
This flag is a statement of welcome. We welcome the LGBTQ community, friends, and family. But it is more than just that – it is a symbol of welcome to one and all. A rainbow is a symbol that makes a powerful statement about who we are.
We are not naïve. I expect ours, one day, to be stolen. And if that day happens, (maybe I should say, when that day happens), we will put up a new one, again and again.
While some rejoiced with the raising of the flag, others raised a voice of worry and concern. That fear that some have over this, is just a glimpse, a sliver, of what some people deal with 24/7, 365 days a year.
Because I also know that to be faithful to our call from God, we must have a heart, use our brains, and muster up some courage. Rather than living as though we are untouched by faith, let us be the citadel against bigotry. Let us be bold examples for our neighbors of what faithful living looks like. And let us not shrink and hide from our responsibility to be God’s palms reaching out with love and acceptance. Let us not allow fear mongers to frame the moment, but rather let us live these days and let us define the moment as an expression of what it is – the rainbow is God’s promise to one and all of love, grace, and acceptance.
Rev. Paul A. Whitlock, Senior Pastor