Last night, we discovered that someone vandalized the rainbow flag we display on First Parish’s front lawn, which shows that we are an LGBTQ Welcoming congregation. There are multiple stab marks as well as a long slash. We filed a police report, and will replace the damaged flag as soon as possible.
I know that many of us are feeling disoriented by what is going on in the United States right now. There are glaring instances of hate and injustice being reported on our televisions, our computers, our phones, our newspapers. For some of us, these injustices have been a life-long experience only now brought to the national consciousness.
Rehanging our flag is one very small way we can show our community that First Parish has hope. It lets Malden know that we see a future, and that we think these fights are still worth fighting. And if that flag is damaged, we will replace it. And we will replace the one after that. Because our hope goes on. We stand on the side of love.
– Stacey Gilchrist, President of the Congregation
First Parish Malden is a Welcoming Congregation, recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association. This means we affirm and include people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer at every level of congregational life—in worship, in program, and in social occasions—welcoming them as whole people.
As a Welcoming Congregation we have pledged to:
- honor the lives of all people and equally affirm displays of caring and affection without regard for sexual orientation.
- celebrate diversity by using inclusive language and content in worship.
- incorporate an understanding of the experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons throughout all of our programs, including religious education.
- affirm and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues and history.
- affirm marriage equality and conduct same-sex weddings.
- advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people, promoting justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society. We speak out when the rights and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are at stake.