A note from Rev. Allred…
Grace and Peace to you, Kitchell church in the name of our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ
Pride Month and the Legacy of Loving
In June of 1958, Mildred Delores Jeter and Richard Perry Loving travelled from their
home in Center Point, Virginia to Washington D.C. to be married. Mildred was Black and
Richard was White. Their marriage was against the law of their home state as it “disrupted the
peace and dignity of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” according to the charges brought against
them. They were arrested in the middle of night and eventually banished from their home.
The Loving Family fought for the right to marry, to be able
to return to their home, and for the freedom to love. Their case,
Loving v. Virginia, was argued before the United States Supreme Court on June 14th, 1967 and won, paving the way for Marriage Equality rulings for same-sex couples in both 2013 and 2015. The legacy of the Loving family will forever be recorded in the history of our courts and in the hearts of so many couples and families that have come after. Since their historic court ruling, “Loving Day” has been observed in the U.S. by interracial and LGBTQ+ couples ever
To trace our own “Legacy of Loving” we have to go back
much farther in history. We have to go back before the Marriage Equality Act of 2015, before the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, before the institution of the Supreme Court, before the birth of our nation…To trace the legacy of love that has shaped our lives, we have to go all the way
back to Nazareth, in Galilee, around 4 BCE, where a baby was born in Bethlehem to an unwed
but betrothed girl named Mary, and a carpenter named Joseph. Because God so loved the world,
God gave us Jesus, not to condemn the world, but save the world through him (John 3:16-17).
This is certainly not the first time God intervened for humanity in the name of love. We see it at
the dawn of time and in the first verses of our Bible.
God created the world and everything in it, calling it good.
And later God creates humankind in God’s own image! This
means we are not only fearfully and wonderfully made, but
made from the very same Divine Love of God. Jesus declares
the power and importance of this mandate to love in Matthew
22:36-40: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the
Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your
heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is
the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it:
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets
hang on these two commandments.”
What then, does all of this mean for us Christians, especially during Pride month? The Session has prayerfully considered this question and their faithful discernment led them to
commit to what many other faith communities have not been brave enough to declare: No matter who you are, who you love, or the color of your skin, YOU are welcome at Kitchell
We are called to see the sacred fingerprints of God on all created beings, not just those who look or live or love like us. That means when we open our doors wide to welcome the world to hear the Good News of the Gospel, we are doing
so without qualification— just like Jesus asked no qualification of us as he was led to the foot of the cross in the name of loving us.
Jesus’ words in the gospel of Matthew sound simple enough, but this is a steep command that requires everything we have to try and accomplish it. There is no other love this encompassing that doesn’t also come with strings attached. Jesus’ example and command of how to love one another is the very marching order we take with us out into the world as children of God created in God’s image.
Session is going to continue to pray and discern how Kitchell
can continue to be the most graceful, welcoming, spirit-filled, hospitable, love-overflowing-church it can be to any and all that may step through her doors. I invite you to consider that same question. What has the Loving Legacy of Jesus Christ
taught you? Where would you be without it? How can you practice this kind of love to your own neighbor?
Happy Pride, Kitchell Church.
All my love, Pastor Hannah Faye