River City Pride kicked off today with the traditional flag raising at City Hall. The gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and two-spirited rainbow flag flies in front of City Hall, in place of River City's municipal flag, for the week of Pride. The mayor and the chair of the Pride Festival Committee together raised the flag, where a nice breeze snapped it taut.
As pastor of the River City MCC, I traditionally bless the Pride flag and the Pride Week festivities. This is the prayer I used this year, modified only slightly from last year.
Prayer for Pride Flag Raising
Spirit of Creation, we know you by so many names—Ground of Being, Grandfather, Gaia, Higher Power, Jesus the Christ, Allah, God, Void, and so many others. Bless us, your people, as we gather to celebrate in the coming days. Bless our pride in who we are, in all our diversity, as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersexed, two-spirited, questioning, and straight people, as an expression of your creative love. Bless our differences that we may draw strength from them. Bless our celebration that it may show our joy in living and in health and hope. Bless those for whom it takes great courage to be present, that they may not feel alone anymore. Bless those for whom this is one in a long series of Pride celebrations, as they continue to teach us about courage and wisdom. Bless our calls for equality as we seek to live out your call for justice for all your people. Bless those who support us, who are also working for freedom and justice. Bless each of us here with your presence, and our presence, one with another. Bless this Pride flag as it flies over City Hall here in River City, a visible symbol of the justice and peace we all celebrate. And let us now, each in our own way, close this prayer. So let it be. Amen.