Christians for Equality: Service of prayer & action for equality, Friday at St. Mary’s
Call to Equality: A Service of Prayer & Action is a service and “prayer rally” offered by Christians for Equality in support of One Anchorage and Proposition 5, the Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative. The service will be held at St Mary’s Episcopal Church on Friday, March 2 at 7:00 PM
All are welcome.
Christians for Equality also extends an invitation for those who would like to lift of their voices as members of this special service’s choir. If you’d like to sing, arrive early St. Mary’s for rehearsal at 5:45 PM.
What is Christians for Equality? —
Jesus calls us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves,
says the group, which comprises faith leaders from a variety of Christian denominations, all united in their conviction that
Discrimination and unfair treatment are never loving.
For that reason, Christians for Equality have emerged as a leading voice in Anchorage in support of Proposition 5, the Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative, which is on the April 3, 2012 municipal election ballot for the Municipality of Anchorage. If passed, Proposition 5 will amend Title 5, Anchorage’s equal rights code, to provide the same legal protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender identity that are already provided based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age, and physical or mental disability.
Christians for Equality was launched at an Advent press conference on December 8, 2011 at Anchorage’s First Congregational Church. The group’s members include Rev. Peter Perry, St. John United Methodist Church; Rev. Martin Eldred, Joy Lutheran Church; Rev. Susan Knight, Immanuel Presbyterian Church; Rev. Dan Bollerud, Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church; Rev. George Blair, First Congregational Church; Rev. Sara Gavit, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church; Rev. Beatrice Hitchcock, Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; Rev. Ron Myers, First United Methodist Church; Rev. Glenn Petersen, Central Lutheran Church; Rev. Paul Boling, First Christian Church; Rev. David Boling, First Christian Church; Rev. Julia Seymour, Lutheran Church of Hope; Rev. Drew Phoenix, The United Methodist Church; Rev. Johnathan Jones, Church Life AK; Rev. Gayle Nauska, Nauska Counseling; and Rev. Susan Halvor, Chaplain.
In this video, taped at the press conference, convenor Rev. Michael Burke, rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, introduces the group and its purpose:
Bent Alaska has previously published some of the statements made that day by other faith leaders present at the December 8 press conference:
- “Human sexuality is not sinful — prejudice and bigotry are” by Rev. Sara Gavit, Pastoral Minister at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
- “We affirm that all people are people of sacred worth” by Rev. Peter K. Perry, United Methodist pastor
- “Christianity as an ethic of love” by Rev. Susan Knight of Immanuel Presbyterian Church
Since then, faith leaders in Christians for Equality have spoken publicly about their reasons for supporting the Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative, and several times have helped the One Anchorage campaign by preparing meals for the campaign’s hard-working volunteers. On February 15, Christians for Equality started a Facebook page, which has been seeing an growing body of fans responsive to their message of love, acceptance, inclusivity, and nondiscrimination. As one young person recently wrote on the page,
As a gay youth who encountered some problems with her church when coming out, thank you so much for this page. You give me hope.
Rev. Peter Perry replied,
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="190" caption="Rev. Drew Phoenix"][/caption]
I’m glad you found the page and have come to know that there are Christian communities that are welcoming to ALL people. Unfortunately, the public often hears only the loud condemnations from those whose Biblical interpretations make little room for the wide expression of God’s love. I’m glad for this page, too, as it gives voice to another, more hopeful, and I believe more loving, word from God.
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church recently hosted two discussions during its Adult Education Hour on successive Sundays. About 40 people turned out for the earlier discussion, on February 19, which was led by Rev. Drew Phoenix, one of the clergy leaders of Christians for Equality. Rev. Phoenix led off his talk with a thoughtful look at the parable of the wedding banquet (Matthew 22:1-10). He told his own story of discrimination and led discussion on how on discrimination against LGBT Alaskans affects the lives of all citizens. The following Sunday, February 26, Trevor Storrs of One Anchorage led the Adult Education Hour discussion on Proposition 5.[caption id="" align="alignright" width="270" caption="Rev. Michael Burke of St. Mary's Episcopal Church"][/caption]
Join Christians for Equality this coming Friday, and on April 3 vote YES on Prop 5.
- Date/time: Friday, March 2, 7:00 PM. If you would like to participate in the choir, be at St. Mary’s for rehearsal at 5:45 PM.
- Location: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 2222 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK (see map)
- Further info: see Facebook event page or Christians for Equality Facebook page, or write firstname.lastname@example.org.
See additional photos from the February 19 discussion on discrimination in Anchorage: