As Spirit Day approaches, the number of faith leaders and organizations going purple is growing. Faith organizations are reaching out to their members to encourage them to wear purple and religious leaders of all stripes are speaking out against bullying in the lead up to Oct. 19th.
The Evangelical Network (TEN), an organization that supports and affirms LGBT Evangelical Christians, is planning a week of activities for the week leading up to October 19. TEN will be launching a 30 minute video, entitled “Bullying is not a Christian Value.” The video includes appearances by, David and Amy Truong, parents of Asher Brown and a statement from Tammy Aaberg, mother of Justin Aaberg, whose children died by suicide as a result of intense bullying at school.
On October 13, Freedom In Christ Church of San Francisco, a TEN affiliate church, will host a viewing of the film "Right to Love: An American Family" at the LGBT center. The film follows Bryan and Jay Leffew a married gay couple in California who have two adopted children, Daniel and Selena. Viewers will see inside the real lives of a family with two dads and their struggle for equality. The Evangelical Network and the Bay Area Youth Summit will co-sponsor a reception after the screening. During the reception both groups will give out free purple ribbons and educate attendees about Spirit Day on October 19th, only 6 days later.
The United Church of Christ (UCC), which is a denomination of just over 1,000,000 members, will also be participating. Last year, the UCC changed their iconic “God Is Still Speaking” logo purple, and some great statements out of this largely LGBT-inclusive denomination.
Other participating faith organizations include the Metropolitan Community Church, the Unitarian Universalist Association, Believe Out Loud, Keshet, Muslims for Progressive Values, and many more. In addition, congregations across the country are participating. Check out the Spirit Day Faith page for a full list of partners.
Other faith leaders have also shown their support for Spirit Day; James J. Martin, a leading Catholic theologian and Culture Editor of the Jesuit magazine America, tweeted his support for Spirit Day last week. YouTube theologian Matthew Vines and Christian singer Jennifer Knapp have both also committed his support for Spirit Day. The openly gay Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, V. Gene Robinson has also pledged his commitment. Wearing purple shouldn’t be difficult for Bishop Robinson, as that is the standard color for an Episcopal Bishop.
There is still time for you, your place of worship, and your organization to participate. For you, take the Spirit Day Pledge. For your congregation or organization, become a Spirit Day endorser. And we’ll see you going purple for Spirit Day!