Events – Folder

Celebrating Black History Month 2017

We celebrate Marian Anderson as our spiritual hero this week.

Marian Anderson (1897 – 1993) was an American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century. Anderson became an important figure in the struggle for black artists to overcome racial prejudice in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused permission for Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. With the aid of Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. She sang before a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions. Anderson continued to break barriers for black artists in the United States, becoming the first black person to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on January 7, 1955. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Anderson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, the National Medal of Arts in 1986, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.

Here is a video of her historic performance at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939.

 

Glitter Ash Wednesday at Pikes Peak MCC

Pikes Peak MCC will participate in the national #GlitterAshWednesday movement on March 1, 2017.

#GlitterAshWednesday

Pikes Peak MCC will participate in #GlitterAshWednesday on Wednesday, March 1.  Rev. Alycia Erickson, Pastor of Pikes Peak MCC, said, “We will participate in this national movement as a way to witness to hope, even in very challenging times, by marking our bodies with blended symbols of mortality and resurrection.”

Pro-LGBTQ Christians across the country will “come out” on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, as part of #GlitterAshWednesday, announced today by the Rev. Marian Edmonds Allen, executive director of Parity, one of the lead organizers of the new initiative.

“Ash Wednesday is a day when Christians are highly visible,” the Rev. Edmonds Allen said. “Glitter Ash Wednesday will demonstrate that LGBTQ Christians and our allies are passionate about our faith, and about seeking justice and wholeness for LGBTQ communities and other marginalized people.”

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a 40-day season of self-reflection and preparation for Easter. The imposition of ashes on the forehead, a traditional practice that “marks” Christians with the sign of the cross, takes place in Christian churches and communities worldwide, as well as in parks, commuter rail stations and other public spaces. Participants in #GlitterAshWednesday will receive ashes mixed with purple glitter, combining a traditional symbol of repentance with a message of solidarity.

The Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown, Interim Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches, said: “MCC is a proud partner with Parity in queering Ash Wednesday, through glitter ashes and any other way that LGBTQ+ people choose to be present and visible during the holy season of Lent. Glitter ashes represent a call to deeply consider longheld traditions and ways that we mark our bodies as present and visible. In this season, we will shimmer in the presence of our Creator.”

How can I participate?

The church will be open for the imposition of ashes, prayer and meditation from 7:30 am – 7 pm. Anyone may stop by to receive Glitter or regular ashes during those hours.

Pikes Peak MCC will also have an Ash Wednesday worship service at 7 pm.

News Stories about Glitter Ash Wednesday:

USA Today: “‘Glitter Ash Wednesday’ hopes to sparkle for LGBT Christians, supporters”

Religion News Service: “Glitter Ash Wednesday’ sparkles for LGBT Christians and others”

 

Celebrating Black History Month 2017

We celebrate Bayard Rustin as our spiritual hero this week.

Bayard Rustin (1910-1987)

“We are all one. And if we don’t know it, we will learn it the hard way.”

Bayard Rustin was the chief organizer for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. of the 1963 civil rights march on Washington. Rustin’s expertise in nonviolent direct action assisted King in shaping the African-American Civil Rights movement. Bayard Rustin was raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania by Quaker grandparents who espoused pacifism. Although he was arrested 23 times for nonviolent protest, he never lost his conviction that equality should be pursued through nonviolent means.

In the 1940’s and 1950’s, Rustin organized nonviolent groups that became the foundation of the African-American Civil Rights movement, including the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Congress of Racial Equality, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In 1947, he coordinated the Journey of Reconciliation, an event that became the model for the Freedom Rides of the 1960’s. In 1955, Rustin was instrumental in organizing the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

As an expert in Gandhian nonviolent tactics, Bayard Rustin fostered nonviolence in the African-American civil rights movement.  A superb strategist, Bayard Rustin experienced prejudice because of his sexual orientation and his controversial political positions. He was often relegated to a behind-the-scenes role.

Shortly before he died 1987, Rustin said at a gay rights rally: “Twenty-five, thirty years ago, the barometer of human rights in the United States were black people. That is no longer true. The barometer for judging the character of people in regard to human rights is now those who consider themselves gay, homosexual, [or] lesbian.”