June begins Pride Month, which we will be observing at our church as part of our being an Open and Affirming Church in the United Church of Christ. In the gospel this week, Jesus affirms the value of both a united community and a chosen family in Mark 3:20-35. I’ve been watching the tv show Pose on FX channel, which recounts a different era – the 80s and 90s in particular – as seen through a largely Black and Latinx community struggling with AIDS in NYC. This week saw the 40th anniversary of the first AIDS cases reported by the CDC.
So much has changed since I came out in the mid-70s in my Catholic family in Detroit. All of that came back to me as I watched the Rainbow Flag raised at City Hall this week, joined by Ed Grohe and Peggy Williams from our church. Most of the Foster City elected officials were present. Several San Mateo County LGBTQ Commissioners were also present. I knew Gilbert Baker, the creator of the Rainbow Flag. I remember how proud we were to have it hang throughout the Castro neighborhood, in our church, and at the corner of Castro and Market. I am not kidding you when I say we never thought it would be seen outside of that little enclave. It marked our neighborhood as safe, long before it caught on. Mayor Gehani said he was glad to see it flying for the whole month this year, and he looked forward to the day when we wouldn’t need to raise it. But for now, I was glad that we were doing so and that our church, as a matter of faith, played an instrumental role in saying that God Loves All People.
Join us Sunday for worship on Zoom, and plan to join us on July 4 for our first in-person worship.
Yours in love and pride,
Rev. Jim Mitulski