We humans are a diverse lot.
We come in different hues, hail from different countries, and speak many different languages. Do these differences drive us apart, or bring us together? Are they a source of strength, or a threat? This may be the most important and pressing question facing us as global citizens.
Pentecost has a lot to say about this. A lot.
The folks who brought you Glitter+Ash are teaming up again.
On Pentecost Sunday, June 4, 2017
We will come out as witnesses to the Spirit who Queers Division
WE WILL BE SEEN
We’ll get blessed, bombed, or anointed by fiery-colored glitter. We’ll spend the rest of the day glinting and sparkling with love and pride.
WE WILL LISTEN FOR THE TRUTH
We will empower preachers to proclaim God’s disruptive word, and listen for the Spirit in the most intimate language of our hearts.
WE WILL STAND AMAZED
Like the slack-jawed pilgrims in Jerusalem, we will affirm the power of God
who sees our individuality as an opportunity
who draws us together in common purpose
who sets our hearts on fire with love.
WHAT IS PENTECOST?
Pentecost is widely considered the day when Christianity as a movement was born. As told in the Book of Acts, the story tells what happens to the disciples of Jesus who were gathered in the upper room following his execution, resurrection, and ascension. The Holy Spirit appeared and divided into tongues, empowering the disciples to proclaim the gospel in the native tongues of people “from every nation under heaven” gathered in Jerusalem. Participants in Glitter+Fire will use glitter in the colors of fire - red, gold, and orange - to re-enact the tongues of fire landing on the disciples, drawing people together in community characterized by joy, energy, and common purpose.
WHY GLITTER PENTECOST? WHY NOW?
On Easter, Christ vanquished death.
On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit vanquished division between us.
On Pentecost, in an amazing pyrotechnic display, the Holy Spirit disrupted conventional notions about what division is. Which is to say, the Holy Spirit queered division. We all know division can pit us against each other. On Pentecost, God “divides” in order to bring us together, to make it possible for us to share our lives and worship.
At a time when nationalism and anti-immigrant fervor are running rampant globally, Glitter+Fire will demonstrate our conviction that human diversity is a source of strength. But even more, we will show the world that valuing diversity is a foundational premise of our faith.
We use glitter to symbolize the Spirit’s transgressive movement on Pentecost.
We use glitter to symbolize the Spirit catching us off guard, commanding our attention.
We use glitter to symbolize the Spirit encouraging us to stand together against forces of fear and division.
We use glitter as a sign of hope and persistence and empowerment.
Glitter never gives up; and neither do we.
PLUS -- IT’S PRIDE MONTH!
This year, Pentecost falls on the first Sunday of June – the beginning of LGBTQ Pride Month!
Part of the story of Pentecost is that the Holy Spirit speaks to people in their native tongues – the language of the place where they were born and grew up. At a time when the language of “religious freedom” is abused to attack the rights and dignity of LGBTQ people, we as queer-positive people of faith will witness to this truth: that what gave birth to the Christian movement was precisely its ability to speak the language of home, to celebrate our deepest, most intimate knowledge of ourselves.
WHERE CAN I GET GLITTER ON PENTECOST?
If you or your church plan to participate, please sign up by clicking here. We’ll put you on the map (to be added), and make it easier for glitter-positive people to find you!
INFORMATION FOR CLERGY AND CHURCHES
Celebrating Glitter+Fire will present an opportunity to breathe fresh life into your liturgy, recapture the surprise in the Christian message, and draw new people into your worship. There are many options for how you might do this:
- A special Pentecost liturgy within your Sunday service
- Glitter Blessing at the close of the service (indoor or outdoor)
- Anointing people with oil and glitter
- Glitter balloons for children (of all ages!)
- Offering Glitter Blessings to people on the street
DIGGING DEEPER: QUEER VIRTUE AND PRIDE MONTH
Glitter+Fire is rooted in the idea that “authentic Christianity is and must be queer.” This doesn’t mean that all Christians are LGBTQ; it means that Christianity is all about getting us to push past simplistic, black and white categories that tend to pit us against each other. Christianity “queers” conventional notions about life and death, sacred and profane, self and other.
These ideas are fleshed out in the book Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How it Can Revitalize Christianity. If your community wants to dive more deeply into the theology and practice of queering our faith, encourage people to read this book together and talk about it. This would also be a great public event showing folks in your larger community where your church stands.
Here’s what you need to promote Glitter+Fire in your community:
We will be offering a webinar on Tuesday, May 23 at 3 p.m. EDT to discuss how to use these tools and promote your participation in Glitter+Fire. Click here for more information about the webinar.
Glitter+Fire is a joint project of Parity and Queer Virtue. Website text and logo courtesy of Queer Virtue.