A diverse group of affirming religious communities spanning the faith spectrum are joining together for Madison’s first-ever Pride Interfaith Service this August. The planners of this event feel the need to speak queer affirmation loudly. Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, Executive Director of Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice, explains that “for far too long, faith communities have been a source of pain and discrimination for the LGBTQIA+ community,” adding her joy that she and her organization can help with this work.
The event will be held Thursday, August 18 at First Baptist Church of Madison and will center LGBTQIA+ faith leaders, musicians, and allies. Rev. Tim Schaefer, pastor of First Baptist, says, “As an openly queer pastor, I have experienced the Church as both a source of my trauma and a source of my liberation. This service is our way of acknowledging the complicated relationship our faith communities have with the LGBTQIA+ community.” The gathering in faith will speak to the need for true repentance of past and continuing harm caused by religious institutions, but will also center queer joy and love. Charles McLimans, a gay faith leader and CEO of the Benedictine Women of Madison and Holy Wisdom Monastery, which has a long history of inclusivity and welcoming the LGBTQIA+ community and other faith traditions, says, “Hospitality, Justice, Right Relationship are core values that we strive to practice and live out in our daily lives, which is why we are proud to serve as one of the organizers of the Interfaith Pride Service.”
This event is open to the public. The event is Thursday, August 18 beginning at 5:00 p.m. for a time of food and fellowship, featuring the Holy Cow Food Truck and local LGBTQIA+ organizations. The Pride Interfaith Service starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be livestreamed at live.firstbaptistmadison.org