First clergy endorsement of the musical Pray the Gay Away®. October 9, 2019 – Mount Vernon, WA.
Grace and Peace. My name is Bethany Hull Somers and I am the pastor of Burlington Lutheran Church (Burlington, WA), and I am the reverend Paul Moore and I am the rector of St. Paul’s (Episcopal Church) and Resurrección churches that meet right here (Mount Vernon, WA).
We are grateful to be here tonight to officially endorse “Pray the Gay Away® – a serious musical comedy.” We’re so grateful to do that especially these last two days as, at our nation’s highest court, the debate has been about people’s ability to hold jobs, to be human and to be themselves. It’s been terrible partly because, as a Christian minister, I know the reason this is even a debate is because of things that are taught in churches.
This conversation about who is beloved of God, is extremely important and extremely timely. So we are grateful to be here tonight to support this musical (“Pray the Gay Away”) that addresses these issues, starts a conversation and reminds us that we are all God’s beloved children.
Thank you. You really said it well. I don’t know what I can add to that except to say that we too are deeply privileged to have this show preparing and rehearsing here on our place. We are a clearly and committed inclusive community. That’s something that’s very close to my heart. I was born and raised in a multi-cultural setting in which differences were all around me in many different aspects and many different ways. And so as I grew as a believer and as I grew as a church leader, as a religious leader, my inclusion of everybody and all people as part of the body of Christ, and part of the beloved community, is something that is dear to my heart. And so I too am proud to support “Pray the Gay Away” (the musical) and to engage bravely in the dialogues and conversations that this will invite.
I know that in friendships of mine and relationships I’ve had, both pastoral and outside of those contexts, this conversation, it really goes to the heart of really what it means to be human. And I think that’s what being a person of faith is really all about. It’s just my pleasure. Thank you.
So our churches are officially endorsing this (musical) and we came up with a message of support together from our churches, from Burlington Lutheran Church (Burlington, WA), St. Paul’s Episcopal and Resurrección (Mount Vernon, WA). So we’re going to read it now, the statement of support that we’ve come up with.
“As leaders of faith in Skagit County (WA), we whole-heartedly support the Theater Arts Guild production of “Pray the Gay Away” (the musical) and the conversations it seeks to encourage. The people of Burlington Lutheran Church, St. Paul’s and Ressurrecion Episcopal churches, to paraphrase the show, ‘Look to all of God’s creation and recognize it as beautiful.’
We believe that we all bear the image of God deep within and that gender orientation and gender identity, in all its richness, is a part of that image.
Aware of the intensity of the dialogue regarding the LGBTQ+ community in the life of the Christian faith, we celebrate the richness that our LGBTQ members, attendees and leadership bring to our congregations.
We’re grateful and invite all Christians to please come and see this show and then have conversations afterwards. And learn from one another.”