Ten years ago, in May 2009, I was part of a small group of 20-somethings organized by a dynamic duo of siblings working on what felt like a small, somewhat crazy plan: what would it look like if people at the next Mennonite Church USA biannual convention wore pink shirts as a sign of support for queer inclusion? If support for queer folks suddenly become unavoidably visible, could the church keep ignoring how poorly the current policies were serving its members?
My main question at that point, ten years ago, was “would anyone notice?”
Today I know that we’ve been noticed. We’ve been more than noticed. Ten years into this work, it feels to me that our work is less about making the church notice us, and more about building new, fresh spaces for a renewed church to exist and grow, spaces where LGBTQ people and other marginalized folks lead and thrive.
Some things about our presence at the MC USA convention in Kansas City in July will feel familiar. We’ll be singing songs, putting on seminars, holding safe space for queer folks, inviting high schoolers to youth-focused events. Some things are new: a large part of our time will be devoted to collaborating with other justice-making Mennonite groups such as Dismantling Doctrine of Discovery and Christian Peacemaker Teams. We continue to work to make sure folks who aren’t white or cradle Mennonites feels as fully at home in our spaces as those who are. And we’re throwing a 10th anniversary party!
One way to participate in Pink Menno’s work this year is through a financial donation. Everyone who organizes and plans Pink Menno volunteers their time, but our convention presence requires money. Here are the ways we will use donated funds:
- Scholarship money, with a focus on queer young people, to help everyone who feels a calling be able to attend convention and carry out Pink Menno’s work
- Rental venue for an exciting double booking Thursday evening: a viewing of a recent documentary film about powerful peace worker Wendi Moore-O’Neil’s life work, including her story of being fired by MCC for being queer, followed by our Pink Menno 10th Anniversary celebration
- Travel and loading expense so Wendi can join us at convention. Beyond speaking about the film, she will share her music and lead an event focused on youth of color. We’re so excited to have her with us!
- Rental venue on Friday for a full day of seminars, group discussions, youth events, workshops, and sacred community time
If you are able, please use the button below to donate through PayPal. You can also send a check to Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests, PO Box 6300, Minneapolis MN 55406. Make the check out to Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests and write “Pink Menno” on the memo line. Donations made by check through BMC are tax deductible.
Thank you for traveling with us on this fierce, fabulous, and sacred journey!
– Luke Miller for Pink Menno Leadership Team 2019