October 11, 2009: Pink Menno Action Sunday

Picture and Stories from October 11 – Pink Menno Coming Out Day

October 11 is “National Coming Out Day,” where LGBTQ people are challenged to tell the truth about their lives to people they have been hiding the truth from.  Our challenge on October 11 was for you to “come out” in some way about your support for LGBTQ members of the Mennonite Church. Much like our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, continuing in silence and fear stifles our lives and hurts our relationships.   Check out these pictures and stories of churches and individuals around MC USA and what they did on October 11! Have photos, stories or videos to share?  Please  email them to [email protected].
Pink Mennos at Community Mennonite Church 101109

Community Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia

A number of folk wore pink to commemorate national coming out day.  Some forgot about the pink theme, but we decided to be welcoming toward them, anyway 🙂

Joyce Hostetler from Columbus Mennonite, Columubs, Ohio

My congregation has members who are at various places on the “pinkness” spectrum.  So, as some of us talked about what we could do for this PINK Sunday, we tried to be sensitive to all.  (That means I resisted filling the sanctuary with a thousand pink balloons!!).  A number of people wore pink. We often have a “mission moment” during our worship hour when someone talks about some area of ministry.  Today we had a “Pink Menno Moment” when Marlene Suter, my good friend and our congregational chair, shared about the history and vision of Pink Menno, spoke of LGBT inclusion as a justice issue, and prayed for peace in Mennonite Church USA .   During “sharing time”, I talked about my gratitude for the paragraph that is in our bulletin every week that states our welcome for ALL.  I led the “hot topics” Sunday School class and talked about the Pink Mennos at Convention 09.  We had a very good discussion.

Covenant Mennonite Pink Menno Sunday oct11Covenant Mennonite Fellowship, Sarasota, Florida

It was a great day at Covenant on October 11.  Many people wore pink.  We sang songs of protest, hope, and healing.  We prayed for MCUSA, and for churches, people and pastors in exile for being inclusive.  We “communed” by sharing pink grapefruit juice, graham crackers and strawberry cream cheese.  The congregation re-commissioned Randy Spaulding to further pastoral ministry with a laying-on of hands and prayer.  Covenant Mennonite felt the prayers and love from many, many persons around the country.  Thanks be to God!

John recommissions Randy oct11Pastor Randy speaks at recommissioning service oct11

Cincinnati Mennonite Felllowship, Cincinnati, Ohio

Our worship leader began the service with a meditation on the day as national coming out day and the work of Pink Mennos that many of us encountered and participated in at the MC USA convention this summer.  He offered that in our worship for the day we keep in mind the picture of the welcome table, where all God’s children are invited and celebrated.

Richmond Mennonite Fellowship, Richmond, Virginia

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Shalom Mennonite Congregation in Harrisonburg, Virginia

At Shalom Mennonite Congregation in Harrisonburg, VA some of us wore pink on Sunday. During our service we had prayers for those coming out this weekend and for Randy Spaulding and Covenant Mennonite Congregation.

Florence Church of the Brethren Mennonite oct11

Florence Church of the Brethren / Mennonite near Constantine, Michigan.

We were seeing pink with buttons and t-shirts. The morning message continued our fall theme “The Dream of God is Like . . .”  The message from Pastor Nina Lanctot centered on the parable of the yeast (Matthew 13:33) and included reflections on Pink Menno as a yeast-y movement!

Jubilee House (Mennonite Voluntary Service house in Elkhart, Indiana) hosted a showing of Milk, followed by conversation and reflection on the film, and on our home being a safe zone.

Emily Yoder from Glennon Heights Mennonite in Lakewood, Colorado:

At Glennon Heights we donated the documentary “For the Bible Tells Me So” to the church library and announced it during sharing time.

Alpha Mennonite Church, Alpha, New Jersey

We wore pink in honor of our LGBT families and friends.

Chicago Community Mennonite Church, Chicago, Illinois

CCMC oct 11

First Mennonite Church, Denver, Colorado

Many people wore pink to church in honor of National Coming Out Day.  We also had a table with Pink Menno gear and info about the One Voice music project.  A number of folks made small donations for wristbands, t-shirts, etc.  A copy of “Stumbling toward a genuine understanding on homosexuality” was donated to the church library.  Finally, a small group watched “For the Bible tells me so” and had a good conversation about how we can have difficult conversations in a large and disparate church.

Jordan Liechty Zickafoose from Mennonite Community Church,  Fresno, California

I made an announcement of the showing of “For the Bible Tells Me So” and also encouraged people to keep wearing pink on a regular basis to support the Pink Menno’s, LGBTQ and Allies. I got a few comments after church of people saying they appreciated the announcement and the fact that the Pink Menno Campaign is still going strong.

Philippi Mennonite Church, Philippi, West Virginia

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Hyattsville Mennonite Church, University Park,  Maryland

At Hyattsville Mennonite we wore pink and had the most gorgeous pink worship table with candles and flowers. Anna Roeschley compiled a confession using the Psalm 22 (the lectionary Psalm for the day) and words from Pink Mennos and Hyattsville Mennos.  We sang Adam Tice’s song and I preached a sermon entitled “A pink place in history.”
The sermon can be accessed through the church website.

Gail Newel from College Community Church (Mennonite Brethren), Clovis, California

clovis ca flowers oct 11

I placed a large bouquet of pink roses in the foyer, outside of the sanctuary. This was to represent myself and other LGBT people who have lost their membership in that congregation, or who have left under other difficult circumstances. I left copies of the Pink Menno Action Sunday reading and resources by the bouquet. My parents, founders of the church, made an announcement during the service about Pink Menno Action Sunday, explaining the bouquet’s significance, and expressing their hopes that someday there will be room at the MB table.

Ames Menonite Church, Ames, Iowa

We at Ames Mennonite Church–Iowa used Adam Tice’s song it in our special focus on “Coming Out Day” in yesterday’s service. Our congregation found it a beautiful prayer and statement of our vision.

As long as our table isn’t big enough to share,
as long as our arms don’t open wide enough with care,
as long as there are people whom our standards must exclude
as long as we assume a holy, haughty attitude,
we will never, no never know peace—
we will never, no never know peace.

As long as our action grows from fear of what seems strange,
as long as our structures are opposed to any change,
as long as there are people who aren’t “pure enough” to bless,
as long as we keep clean so we can stay out of the mess,
we will never, no never know peace—
we will never, no never know peace.

As long as our dialog excludes the other side,
as long as our faith must take its root in stubborn pride,
as long as we can’t see that our assertions may be wrong,
as long as shouting voices drown the harmony of song,
we will never, no never know peace—
we will never, no never know peace.

One day when we turn from judging sins to meeting needs,
one day when we follow Christ with all our words and deeds,
one day when we acknowledge everyone has need of grace,
one day when we can look at anyone and see God’s face,
we will open our hearts to God’s peace—
we will open our hearts to God’s peace.

Adam M.L. Tice, September 29, 2009, ©GIA Publications, Inc. Permission is granted for free use during October, 2009.