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Musings… about online bullying and hate and the need for loud voices of affirmation, support, and en

As some of you would have heard on Sunday, and may have seem, earlier in the week, a small group of us met to decorate the sanctuary for our annual PRIDE/Affirming Anniversary Service. At the last minute, I had the idea of us doing a little promotional video. Those present were game to do it and what fun it was. You can see the final product here.

We finished decorating and recording at about 5PM. I had a meeting that began at 6:30PM and by the time I got home that evening I did not have the energy to do the editing. At 6AM I was up and editing away and by 9AM I had a finished product posted to Facebook and our website. Later that morning I decided, to promote Sackville United Church and the Sackville/Mount Allison PRIDE events, by creating a Facebook Ad and ‘boost’ the post. With the absence of local news media, I wanted to get the word out somehow!

Well, the word got out! And the negative comments on the video started flowing – “apostate churches repent” was the nicest… the accusation of “sexualizing small children” and in “slavery of sexual perverts” were the worst!

I repeat a few of these comments here very reluctantly. But I believe it is important for those of us who claim to be allies to the LGBTQ2SI community, to have a sense of the hate and vitriol that they face every day. Experiencing these comments took me right back to the days of my youth when I was extensively bullied – it was a draining weekend.

Friends, our voices are important. It is not enough to quietly wave a flag. Each of us must be prepared to raise our voice in support of the marginalized and disenfranchised. Yes, it is true, presently, that those in the shallow end make the most noise… what with their horn honking and F*ck Trudeau signs… but love is louder than that! Love speaks out of the deep and silences the hate – might you join your voice in this gentle love and proclaim with your words and your actions, there is no space for hate!

On Saturday afternoon I posted the following words as a comment on the original Facebook Post: “Negative comments will be deleted. Our welcome and affirmation of LGBTQ2SI persons is not debatable.” If you share this commitment, raise your voice, and proclaim loudy, “No Space for Hate”!



Looking Ahead

This morning I am in the office for meetings and this afternoon I am off to Moncton for another meeting and a pastoral visit at the hospital there.

Tuesday morning will be devoted to the lectionary study group and in the afternoon I have three pastoral visits scheduled.

I will begin my day on Wednesday with lunch at Open Sky followed by two pastoral visits and two meetings, the last one of the day being the Business Meeting of the Executive which will be our first in-person meeting in almost three years.

Thursday, will be, as has become my custom, a work from home day as I focus on preparing the liturgy and reflection for our Sunday Gathering. If all goes according to plan, I hope to join the community at the Chapel at Westmoreland Institution in the evening.

On Friday I will be supporting the PRIDE event at Sackville United Church, the presentation on the book, Len and Cub: A Queer History by Dusty Green and Meredith Batt which begins at 7PM. You might also find me at the Pride Week and Homecoming Social which takes place at the Painted Pony from 5PM to 7PM.

Saturday will be a day off and on Sunday I look forward to gathering in community again to ponder ancient wisdom and hold all of creation in gratitude and care and concern!

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