Gay clergy in America will offer ashes mixed with purple glitter on Ash Wednesday to welcome LGBT people into church.
The traditional cross-shaped mark on worshippers’ foreheads is handed out at eucharist services to mark the beginning of Lent, where Christians mark the build up the Easter and Jesus’ 40-day fast in the wilderness.
But Rev Marian Edmonds-Allen says she will among a group of pro-gay clergy offering a twist to the sombre ceremony to highlight their support of LGBT Christians.
‘The whole point of Glitter Ash Wednesday is to reflect the deep, sombre, serious faith in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection that millions of queer Christians have,’ she writes in a blog post.
Executive director of Parity, an LGBT charity, she says gay people are driven out of churches by a ‘misplaced belief that God hates queer people’.
She adds: ‘Jesus despised religion and loved people who were hated and excluded–He gathered them to Himself.
‘This Glitter Ash Wednesday, queer Christians are not being silly and disrespectful. They are claiming their birthright as children of a God that loves them, exactly as who they are.
‘These queer and queer positive Christians are claiming the journey that is Lent, towards the persecution and death of Jesus. And these queer and queer positive Christians also claim the resurrection of Jesus.
‘For when those ashes sparkle, that glitter shines, it is a reflection of the very light and life of Christ Himself, given up as a gift for all people. Queer Christians claim that gift, on Ash Wednesday, for all to see.’
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