OKC area welcoming churches to host special Pride service

by Robin Dorner
Editor in Chief

Think Jesus can’t love you because you are gay? Think again. A group of welcoming churches has joined forces to let LGBTQ+ people know they are welcome to worship and be loved and welcomed in their places of worship.

Participating churches who will also be sponsoring the event are Mayflower UCC Church, Grace Episcopal (Yukon), Mosaic UMC, Expressions, Church of the Open Arms UCC, Cathedral of Hope UCC, St. Augustine's Episcopal, Quail Springs UMC and Simplicity Church in NW OKC.

It all started with an email.

“I received an email from the folks at Grace Episcopal Church in Yukon inviting clergy from LGBT affirming churches who would be interested in starting a service like this for Pride in OKC, said Scott Spencer, pastor of Mosaic UMC Church.

Each church is already known to be LGBT affirming.

“Different parts of the service have been divided up among the various pastors,” said Spencer.

Read also: Mosaic UMC: Progressive, affirming, accepting

The main speaker for this special service will be Reverend Kayla Bonewell of Church of the Open Arms and Cathedral of Hope.

“I am honored to be preaching at such a historic event,” said Bonewell. “Stepping foot into an open and affirming Christian community in OKC over 19 years ago fully allowed me to realize that I didn't have to choose between my faith and my identity. 

“Some of the most gifted and courageous religious leaders have been LGBTQ, and the world at large is better because of the sharing of their gifts and ministry.”

Bonewell has been the pastor of both churches since December 13, 2015.

“I hope the LGBTQIA+ community can visibly see and know that there are Christian churches, clergy, and congregations which fully support and affirm the holiness of who God has created them to be, which includes their sexuality. 

“I hope that the congregations hosting this event will continue to build relationships together so that we can better serve the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community.”  

A combined choir will be formed from members of the various congregation.

“This is an opportunity for those who want to experience a worship service geared towards LGBT+ people and Pride,” added Spencer. It's a chance to show people that there are churches that are fully affirming of LGBT+ persons.” 

There will be an offering plate passed. All contributions will be given to Sisu Youth Services who provide shelter and other services and necessities to youths in crisis.

This special Pride service will be held on Wednesday, June 19, at 7 p.m. at Mayflower UCC Church located at 3901 NW 63rd St. in OKC.

Read also: Crown Heights joins with LGBTQ+ affirming Reconciling Ministries

Copyright The Gayly. 6/7/2019 @ 11:14 a.m. CST.