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A Pride Month Message from Rev. Melissa Guthrie


AllianceQ – the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance hopes the Church will color every corner of the world with beauty, hope, healing, and love. This “hoping in color” is the embodiment of our faith. To hope is to imagine and shape a new reality: a brighter future, a more just and inclusive world.


The Alliance is more than 40 years old, with its beginnings in 1979 as GLAD: the Gay, Lesbian, and Affirming Disciples Alliance. Our ministry supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender-expansive people of faith. We educate and equip faith communities for understanding, affirming, and including LGBTQ+ persons, and we collaborate with ecumenical partners for intersectional justice work.


June is Pride Month, and we are proud of our Open + Affirming Ministries and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for striving to embody their commitments. Our leaders and general ministries released this Pastoral Letter Addressing the Unjust Rise of Anti-LGBTQIA Legislation in the United States in May.


During my time in leadership, AllianceQ has continued to provide – and improve – education and resources and we’ve renewed opportunities to build community. Open + Affirming Ministries have been joining our movement at a pace that’s difficult to keep up with! (Is your community or organization O+A?)


With the exceptional leadership and creativity of August Laperche, we created Colors of Hope. Blossoming from a life-giving podcast during the pandemic to a life-changing devotional published by Chalice Press, Colors of Hope now inspires community groups and an annual in-person retreat. (We’ll be at Christmount in Black Mountain, NC, October 9-12, 2023. Save the date and watch for registration information soon!)


I was thinking that AllianceQ has been living into its call, bringing a prophetic witness, like never before. I found myself revisiting our history (related to a June launch of SOMETHING NEW, awesome how we often look back and within to look ahead). I was revisiting this AllianceQ history, and I thought, These people are trailblazers and light bearers, table turners! This early Alliance history can be found here.


Siblings, we are light bearers and table turners. In collaboration with more than 15 partners, we hosted the Transgender Day of Visibility Vigil with participants from across the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, India, and Uganda. We are spotlighting the first drag minister, Ms. Penny Cost, at our Art + Activism Dinner Banquet at General Assembly this summer and collaborating with Disciples Justice Ministries for a workshop because we are better together.


You – we – are making a difference. And we have holy work to do. “Pride – and the fierce urgency for hope – must stretch beyond a single month, filling every single day and every single space with color” (August Laperche, from the Introduction to Colors of Hope: A Devotional Journal from LGBTQ+ Christians).


Something new, renewed, is coming. From AllianceQ and for the Church. “Hope in color” with us and make a difference.

 

Supplemental Links:


Upcoming community groups, These Bodies, Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout June and early July: https://disciplesallianceq.org/these-bodies/

Upcoming SoulCare session with National Benevolent Association, June 11: https://www.nbacares.org/event/pride-soulcare/

 

Rev. Melissa Guthrie (she/her) is the Executive Director + Minister with AllianceQ - the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance and the founding director of Salvage Garden. She created “The Banquet: A Sensory Worship Experience,” centering disabled individuals. Melissa is trained in faith-based nonprofit leadership through Wake Forest University Divinity and Law Schools. A lecturer on theology and disability, she is passionate about the many intersections of our identities. Melissa enjoys cheesecake and cycling, in that order. She likes being outdoors and reading and writing poetry (outdoors). Pink and yellow are her favorite colors. Melissa and her wife, Leah, live in Greensboro, NC, with their children and a small zoo.

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