QUEER CHRISTIANS ORGANIZE THIRD #GLITTERASHWEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 2019
CAMPAIGN MAKES LGBTQ CHRISTIANS
AND ALLIES VISIBLE
NEW YORK – For the third year, pro-LGBTQ Christians across the country will “come out” on Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019, as part of #GlitterAshWednesday.
Glitter Ash Wednesday has had an effect far beyond what we had dreamed, with hundreds of churches and sites in dozens states and the United Kingdom and Canada taking part. We have been amazed by the number of people who relished the opportunity to ‘come out’ as LGBTQ and Christian, and for the scores of churches that wanted to share their love for people who far too often are told that God doesn’t love them because of who they are or who they love.
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" believers 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. In addition to offering the traditional ashes, participants in #GlitterAshWednesday offer ashes mixed with purple glitter, combining a symbol of repentance with a message of solidarity.
The Rev. Elizabeth M. Edman, who conceived and co-organized Glitter+Ash 2017, said, "Ashes are a bold, public statement that death and suffering are real. Glitter is a queer sign of hope and of our promise not to despair even in difficult times."
The Rev. Jen Hibben, United Methodist minister and campus pastor of Iowa State University, remarked: “Glitter ashes gave us a visible tangible way to do and be church in the midst of our communities. Last year the opportunity to offer something as meaningful and simple as ashes, to folks who had felt they had to give up that part of themselves, was the definition of a sacred moment, a true expression of the power and purpose of the church in the world.”
Parity has made available a range of resources, including ordering glitter ashes, church and street liturgies, event ideas, theological talking points and a how-to on making glitter ashes for faith communities interested in participating in #GlitterAshWednesday. These resources are available without charge at https://parity.nyc/glitter-ash-wednesday2019/.
“As a pastor who's been in the struggle for how to do church in a new way, how to bring the good news to people outside our doors, Glitter+Ash is a godsend!” said the Rev. Fred Kinsey, Pastor of Unity Lutheran Church, Chicago. “Offering glitter ashes to go last year was so rewarding, I can't wait to pass on the message of a cruciform, shimmering, hope to those who are hungry and thirsty for this emerging new spirituality.”
“Glitter ashes are important because so much of our sin is based in fear, and all too often we project that fear onto the other,” said Rev. Sarah, who added the option of glitter ashes to her church’s Ash Wednesday observance last year. “These ashes are a reminder to see the spark of divinity in everyone’s frail humanity.”
Parity is a faith-based organization that works to empower LGBTQ and allied people of faith as they explore the intersections of their spiritual, gender and sexual identities. Parity offers a range of education and advocacy programs for adults and youth, and supports a community of new and prospective LGBTQ pastors as they live into their call to ministry. parity.nyc
Glitter+Ash logo and image courtesy of Queer Virtue