Colors of Hope

In its second year, this podcast series features reflections from queer faith leaders that explore a lectionary text alongside colors + themes from Gilbert Baker’s original Pride flag.

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Subscribe to Colors of Hope (COH) wherever you listen to your podcasts! Want each week’s podcast delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for the 9-week series.

Find Colors of Hope on Spotify.

Ready to listen? Scroll to Colors of Hope Volume II.

About the series: Hope is an act of resistance

COH Co-Creator Alysha Laperche writes:

“Hope is an act of resistance. If it were not for the hope of our ancestors in the LGBTQIA+ community, then we would not be where we are today. It is now our turn to hope in color, imagining a brighter and more just future where the expansive love of God is embodied in every aspect of life; including, and perhaps especially, in the realm of faith.

These podcasts are a source of empowerment for LGBTQIA+ Christians – many of us have been told that we are not fit to teach, preach, or speak in a faith context because of who we are and how we love. The series also offers a source of belonging to LGBTQ+ people of faith within the Disciples and beyond; to hear from other LGBTQ+ people who are Christians about their experiences with scripture that are liberating, meaningful, and hopeful. For our allies, family members, and those who are supportive but wanting to learn more; this is a way to gain insight about LGBTQ+ Christians outside of and beyond one’s personal context. Just as a rainbow stretches across an expanse of the sky, Colors of Hope stretches an expanse of identities, locations, ages, genders, and more.

Alysha serves as the Council Vice Moderator. Conspiring with Rev. Melissa Guthrie Loy, Executive Director + Minister, Alysha gave life to the podcast series in 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and life’s ongoing challenges.

With a surge of digital content and an increase in screen time, Colors of Hope invited us to experience the divine and all of creation through refreshing practices that require little or no online activity. Find these prompts below and in Volume I of the series.

Prompts to wonder, engage, embody, create and share

In 2020, we invited you to pair these practices with a day of the week. Every Monday: Wonder. Every Tuesday: Engage… and so on. Live into this invitation as it serves you in the space in which you find yourself.

Wonder

What one word or theme would you assign to this color? Why? Where do you see this color within your home and outdoors? With what song or genre of music does this color connect? What memory does this color bring to mind? What action does this color bring to mind?

Engage

Listen to the podcast presented by a queer faith leader. We’re excited to feature the voices of clergy and seminarians who add color to our world. Each podcast explores a text from the Revised Common Lectionary. The stories and perspectives will enrich your week.

Embody

What might you do to embody hope as it relates to this week’s color and theme? Pray in color. Walk. Dance. Journal. Bake or cook. Paint. Garden. Play…

Create

Compose a poem. Make art. Take pictures. Sew. Stitch. Crochet. Bake. There’s an overlap with the invitation to embody this color and theme. Is there something you can create as a result of yesterday’s embodied practice?

Share

Share with us and the AllianceQ community. What made you wonder? In what ways did the scripture and podcast engage you? How did you embody this color and theme? What did you create? We are excited to hear and see it all! Send material to melissa@disciplesallianceq.org. By submitting your material, you give permission for Disciples AllianceQ to publish all or portions of the content with attribution.

Colors of Hope is a bridge to Pride month

The 9-week series concludes with the Rainbow Podcast on May 31. You’re invited to celebrate Pride with AllianceQ throughout the month of June.

Read more about the purpose of and passion for this series, including the history of the Pride flag and life story of Gilbert Baker, a story of resilience and transformation.

Listen: Colors of Hope Volume II

Week of April 5 – Sandhya Jha

Pink – Sex

Acts 4:32-45
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.

Listen to the pink podcast.

Find the manuscript here.

About Sandhya Jha (she/they)

Sandhya serves as Founder and Connections Consultant for the Oakland Peace Center, a collective of 40 organizations working to create equity, access and dignity as the means of creating peace in Oakland and the Bay Area. A queer-identifying ordained pastor with a master’s in public policy, Sandhya is comfortable in the pulpit, on the picket line or hanging out with friends and friends-to-be over a good cup of tea and a good story. She serves as an anti-racism trainer in the Disciples of Christ Northern California-Nevada region.

Week of April 12 – Nadia Tavera

Red – Life

1 John 3:1-7
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

Listen to the red podcast.

Find the manuscript here.

About Nadia Tavera (she/they)

Nadia is a student of Master of Divinity at Pacific School of Religion in CA. She has experience working with the LGBTQ+ community in Mexico City since 2007. She comes from a long Pentecostal tradition in their family. Their theology looks to decolonize traditional interpretations of the Bible and provide new ways of liberation for the oppressed (LGBTQ+, women, poor) based on God’s grace and Love. Nadia strongly believes in the Holy Spirit’s power for healing and restoring hearts and bodies and maintaining unity among believers.

Week of April 19 – Kyle Miller-Shawnee

Orange – Healing

1 John 3:16-24
We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

Listen to the orange podcast.

Find the manuscript here.

About Kyle Miller-Shawnee (he/him)

Kyle is a Disciples of Christ musician, justice advocate, and queer theologue who focuses on the intersection of queer justice and the Hebrew Bible. Kyle is a graduate of Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and currently serves this institution in educational ministry. 

A proud queer man, Kyle also delights in serving as the choirmaster at the Parish Church of St. Jerome, Tulsa’s first and oldest queer-affirming church. Serving in a diverse parish that has recognized the inherent value of queer children of God since its inception in 1996 empowers Kyle to use the theological and community-building skills learned in seminary to listen, engage, and help build a queer, justice-orientated heaven on earth.

Week of April 26 – DeShay Jackson

Yellow – Sunlight

John 15:1-8
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

Listen to the yellow podcast.

Find the manuscript here.

About William DeShay C. Jackson (they/them)

William DeShay C. Jackson is a third-year Master of Divinity student, a fourth-generation Disciple of Christ, and is seeking ordination with the Mid-America region of the Christian Church DOC. They earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Culver-Stockton College with an emphasis in piano and voice. Outside of Culver-Stockton, DeShay has performed as a solo and collaborative musician with a host of instrumental and vocal ensembles in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and Texas; providing music at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, LA, Illinois Music Educators Conference, and multiple schools, churches, and homes.

DeShay currently serves as Minister of Music for First Christian Church in Granbury, TX, Vice-President for Brite Black Seminarians, and serves on the Brite Chapel Planning Team. DeShay loves sloths, Jazz, and aspires to a “Womanist Co-Conspirator.”

Week of May 3 – Melissa Guthrie Loy

Green – Nature

Psalm 98
O sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things.
His right hand and his holy arm
have gotten him victory.
The Lord has made known his victory;
he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the victory of our God.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who live in it.
Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy
at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.

Listen to the green podcast.

Find the manuscript here.

About Melissa Guthrie Loy (she/her)

Rev. Melissa Guthrie Loy is the Executive Director + Minister with AllianceQ. She is a wife and mother. The Loys live in Greensboro, NC.

Melissa lectures and teaches in the area of disability justice. She founded Salvage Garden, a faith-based nonprofit serving individuals with different abilities. Sensory worship is central to the ministry of Salvage Garden.

With training in faith-based nonprofit management, Melissa holds degrees from Wake Forest University School of Business and School of Divinity. Undergraduate study was at Wartburg College, affiliated with the ELCA; with supplemental education at Wartburg Seminary.

Melissa enjoys her wife’s cooking; she cycles and plays volleyball but mostly chases her toddler. The toddler is faster.

Week of May 10 – Logan Rozos

Turquoise – Magic/Art

Ephesians 1:15-23
I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Listen to the turquoise podcast.

Find the manuscript here.

About Logan Rozos (he/him)

Logan Rozos (he/him) is a 20 year-old actor and gay Black trans man. He made his professional acting debut in 2019 on the Peabody-nominated television drama David Makes Man, and voiced the audiobook of Stonewall Award-nominated author Kacen Callender’s 2020 book Felix Ever After. He was an honoree in Teen Vogue’s inaugural 20 Under 20 Queer Artists and Activists To Watch and a recipient of the 2019 Parity Award for outstanding work by LGBTQ people of faith. He is currently working on a documentary about trans masculinities and mental health called What Will I Become? You can check out Logan on Instagram @loganrozos, his poetry @thedelinquentporpoise, and his documentary @whatwillibecome_doc

Week of May 17 – Michael Marren Jennys

Blue – Harmony/Serenity

Romans 8:22-27
We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Listen to the blue podcast.

Find the manuscript here.

About Michael Marren Jennys (they/she)

Hello! I’m Michael or Marren Jennys; a Queer, trans, Genderfluid, Enby, Image Bearer!

Fair warning, I’m a huge geek/nerd, and I tend to fall down rabbit holes when I listen/watch/read about things; like: Lgbt-fiction, Comic books, She-Ra, RWBY, cosplay, and theology (Oh My)! I’m super excited to facilitate a space to help people like me explore their place in Adonai’s love! Join me as we foster and create a safe fellowship space for all LGBTQ+ people of faith, and allies!

Week of May 24 – Chrissy Stonebraker-Martinez

Purple – Spirit

Psalm 29
Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
worship the Lord in holy splendor.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl,
and strips the forest bare;
and in his temple all say, “Glory!”

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Listen to the purple podcast.

About Chrissy Stonebraker-Martinez (they/them)

Chrissy was raised in the legacy industrial city of Youngstown, Ohio. Chrissy devotes passion for social justice to their union-laborer father and concern for Latin American solidarity to their mother, who found refuge in the US from Medellin, Colombia, during the height of the civil war in the 1980s.

Chrissy received a BA in International and Financial Management from Hiram College and an MA/MEd in Higher Education Administration and Counseling from Kent State University.  At Kent, Chrissy worked in Student Affairs, coordinated experiential education, civic engagement and service learning trips, taught Student Development and Leadership courses and served on the staff Sustainability, Equity and Professional Development committees.  While studying at Hiram College, Chrissy helped with the creation of the 501c3 Hiram Farm Living and Learning community for people with autism spectrum disorders, and co-founded the Olive Branch fair trade store at Hiram College.

Week of June 1 – Luther Young and Alysha Laperche

Rainbow

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—“I believed, and so I spoke”—we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Listen to the rainbow podcast.

About Luther Young (he/him)

Rev. Luther Young, Jr. is the minister of music and a pastoral leader at Woodland Christian Church in Columbus, OH, and moderator of the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance. He is a current Ph.D. candidate in sociology at The Ohio State University, where his present research investigates the causes and effects of homophobia in predominantly black churches.

About Alysha Laperche (they/them)

Alysha Laperche grew up in the Christian faith tradition – they would describe their upbringing as “denominationally ambiguous.” When they were in middle school their parents accepted a pastoral call from a Cumberland Presbyterian church, and it was through their engagement with that congregation that they discerned my call to ministry at a young age. They hold a bachelor’s degree in Social Work, and through those studies they were introduced to progressive values which led them to an affirming seminary community. Alysha is currently in school for a Master of Arts in Theological Studies at Phillips Theological Seminary, is under care for ordination in the Northern California-Nevada region, and lives in Fort Worth, TX with their partner.