March 1, 2017

Glitter+Ash Wednesday was a resounding success. Parity staff and volunteers shipped ashes for 15,000 people in 29 states and three countries, to 12 different denominations and 150 sites. 

It was the most meaningful Ash Wednesday for me so far and I thank you for this opportunity to witness with winsomeness to the unconditional love of God.
— Sarah, Pastor at First Churches in Northampton, MA

Glitter+Ash Portraits

Photographer Chase Hall took portraits of some who recieved ashes at Stonewall National Monument.

I stood outside on the sidewalk in front of our church for an hour at noon and offered people ashes. I’ve done this for the last 3 years, but this year was different. If people stopped, I told them I had regular ashes and glitter ashes in solidarity with the queer Christian community. If they wanted to know more, I told them that if anyone can teach us how to live with boldness and flair and courage in the face of death, it is the queer community. But I think these glitter ashes are also important because so much of our sin is based in our fear and all too often we project that fear onto the other. These ashes are a reminder to see the the spark of divinity in everyone’s frail humanity.... Even for those who ultimately declined, it was a sign of hope and inclusion and the church being the church in the world with gentleness and love.
— Sarah, First Churches
“I explained Glitter + Ashes to one of our seniors at lunch today. His response,” Do you have any left?” So, he now has glittery ashes in the sign of the cross on his forehead and we are calling this day Ash Thursday and laughing and loving this wild thing called life. #glitterandash #getyourashoverhere #ashthursday”
— Megan, Lakeview Presbyterian Church
One student’s comment that really touched my heart and spirit is as follows “This reminds me of the deep capacity of forgiveness in the Queer/LGBT community is- forgiving of family, church and community. Those of us so wounded by these spaces and people yet, our willingness to forgive and share God’s healing with all. That this profound and beautiful service was born from the depth of our pain as LGBTQ/Queer people and shared with others is an act of God and demonstration of forgiveness and renewal that touches our very being and soul.”
— Jeanne, Wesley Foundation serving UCLA