|St. Peter's on Chicago Pride Sunday, 2015|
This was, of course, a joyful and uplifting experience, but it also reinforced for me that the Church is still viewed as a largely absent and oppressive institution by many. That the Church, or I, as a priest, should be such a novelty at an LGBTQI festival speaks to the many ways we have failed to engage and embrace large groups of God's people. The day was beautiful, and yet, sobering. It served as a cautionary reminder to us as Christians to work arduously to correct and repent of our past failings by working for justice and inclusion in both the Church and society. What a wonderful world it would be if people just expected a congregation or its priest to be present for celebrations like the Pride parade, as if it were just a ho-hum, matter-of-course, routine part of the Church's life and witness. Not radical at all, just a relevant, integral part of who we are and how we live. If we take away one message from the day, it is this: the church has a place in society, and society wants us to claim it.