The Good Friday Protesters
As many of you know, and witnessed, a group of picketers (roughly four in number) targeted St. Clement’s last night. The picketers were targeting the LGBTQ community and their allies and carried signs and yelled slurs.
My first reaction was worry, for all of you who had to witness this kind of hate. My second was the recognition that we were being targeted because we proclaim the Gospel—the Gospel that speaks to the love of all of God’s children. And, in this, I was glad. I was also deeply moved by the genuine love and care so many of you shared with me and each other as we faced this act of hate.
You, my beloved community, are amazing.
Now, that said, Bishop Brian Prior has been informed and sends a message of love and care to St. Clement’s. The police will be making extra patrols tonight as we gather for our Vigil services. And, in reaching out to my network of area clergy, it is clear that we are not the only ones who have been targeted by these protesters. At this point, we do not know where they are from or who has organized these protests.
Some wisdom and practical advice from my colleagues at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (adapted for our use and used with permission):
Don’t engage, and certainly don’t get in an argument. This is exactly what they want. They want to say much more than is on their sign. Let’s not give them the chance. There’s probably no way you’ll change their mind, anyway. If you need to say anything, say, “you are a beloved child of God” or “Jesus loves you.” EDITED TO ADD--the protestors have gone to a variety of churches and carry mace (a parishioner in another congregation was maced). Do not engage, walk past, ignore, and shepherd each other to vehicles or into the building.
Yours in Christ,