Letter to the Editor: Croton Clergy Honor and Affirm Pride Month

To the Editor:

We make a joyful noise for hope, even in hard times.

As clergy in Croton-on-Hudson, this LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we joyfully declare that our congregations – and many more across the Rivertowns- are committed to affirming and welcoming spirituality and faith life.

Pride Month, where communities across the country honor peoples — including 2 Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual — is commemorated every June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. That uprising took place a mere 55 years ago this month, and was an act of resistance against social traditions that obscured the holy in each person.

Since Stonewall, many inspirational, positive, healing changes have been fostered by generations of change agents. From truth tellers to coalition builders, so many people and communities have played different and important roles to better center dignity, honesty and belonging in our culture and in our faiths. Yet, deep work of healing and repair remains to be done.

Each of our faith traditions inherit harmful legacies of perpetuating homophobia, transphobia and anti-LGBTQ+ prejudice, and we come forward to repent and repair.

We are particularly concerned by actions and rhetoric that sustains cold indifference, recurring homophobia, and fearful transphobia.

We are heartbroken by the ongoing pains of bullying, shaming, and harassment faced by our LGBTQ+ siblings, in religious, political and social life.

This Pride month we invite you to practice the religious teachings that invite us to create houses of prayer for all people, to be joyful before the wonder and goodness of creation, and to welcome the stranger.

As people of faith and goodwill, let’s dare to side with mercy and justice in honor of the holy image and inherent dignity in each person. Let’s make the places of true belonging.

With care,

Pastor Bette Sohm
Asbury United Methodist Church Croton-on-Hudson & United Methodist Church of Mt. Kisco

Rev. Daniel Lawlor
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Hudson Valley

Rabbi Jennifer Jaech
Temple Israel of Northern Westchester

The Rev. Jennifer Owen+
Rector, St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church

Rev. Dr. Justin Johnson
Our Saviour Lutheran Church

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