News from AllianceQ: April 2020
Building an Inclusive Online Worship Experience
What might the ministry of welcome look like in this landscape? From leaders of our welcoming church programs, this resource offers strategies for living out LGBTQIA+ welcome in your online worship experiences. Many thanks to the leaders of the these ministries: Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bixsexual and Transgender Interests, Parity, More Light Presbyterians, Reconciling Works and Room for All.
Together, apart, we continue to widen the welcome at the table. Share these strategies. Send us your creative practices!
Strategies for living out LGBTQIA+ welcome in your online worship experiences
–Communicate in your opening words of welcome or introduction that your faith community is LGBTQIA+ friendly (Open & Affirming, ONA, RIC, etc.)
–Begin your service by reading your Welcome Statement
–Include a link to your Welcome Statement in your bulletin or on your slides
–Encourage ministers to wear a PRIDE themed stole
–Include LGBTQIA+ affirming symbols in your worship spaces or within your slides
–Pray for LGBTQIA+ people who are at home in an environment that might not be the most affirming or safe; also pray for homeless LGBTQIA+ youth who can’t self-isolate and LGBTQIA+ people with undertreated conditions or less access to affirming medical care that make them more susceptible to COVID
–Emphasize the welcome and belovedness of those who are LGBTQIA+ in your liturgy, especially at the table
–Include pronouns on screen names and/or with introductions
–Incorporate LGBTQIA+ voices in leadership of the service
–Pay attention to language of hymns, prayers and liturgies around reinforcing binary language i.e. brothers and sisters or men and women; try adding siblings, people, etc.
–Integrate music that is inclusive in its language and theology
–Consider what messages are communicated implicitly including but not limited to: who is speaking and what voices are represented (not represented)
–Recruit/seek pulpit supply from LGBTQIA+ pastors and seminarians
–Invite someone who lived through the HIV/AIDS epidemic to share about their experience. Encourage them to describe how the queer community cared for one another, and loved one another, and were resilient in the midst of deep confusion and fear. We do have models!
–Share the online access to your service publicly including social media and website. This may be the first time a geographically-isolated LGBTQIA+ person is able to “join” worship at an affirming church!
–Add your service to the list of LGBTQIA+ friendly worship opportunities: https://onlinefaithcollective.org/
–Name and refute the accusation that COVID-19 is “God’s punishment” for “accepting LGBTQIA+ people”