On Sunday, June 3, we held a dedication on the Meetinghouse steps for our new rainbow flag. The flag includes black and brown stripes to recognize the lives of LGBTQ persons of color. The new design debuted a year ago in Philadelphia as part of their first annual LGBTQ Pride Month.

“For LGBTQ persons of color, the intersection of racism and homophobia can make their lives enormously difficult,” said Rev. Stephanie. “The new flag makes clear our commitment to support the lives of black and brown persons as well.”

First Parish officially became a “Welcoming Congregation” in 1996 following a vote of the congregation. The designation reflects a commitment to celebrate and support the lives of all who come to the congregation, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons. The day after the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016, a rainbow flag was placed on the stairs of the Meetinghouse to show support for the LGBTQ community following what appeared to be a hate crime.