The United Church of Christ (UCC) sent a message to encourage its congregations and members to go purple for Spirit Day. With just over one million members, that makes the UCC the largest religious group to go purple for Spirit Day.
The UCC went purple for last year’s Spirit Day as well, turning their iconic “God is Still Speaking” logo purple on Facebook. This year, UCC leaders went a step further, adding a Spirit Day logo and a statement that reads, “We stand in solidarity until full equality is realized.”
"We've got to be vigilant in making our communities, schools and churches safe for everyone, especially our young people," says the Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, the UCC's executive for LGBT concerns. "It is important to share the message with LGBTQ youth that it gets better, but it is even more important to make it better and that is what Spirit Day is all about. Across the United Church of Christ there are thousands of churches, pastors, members and friends who are committed to not only showing their purple as a symbol of solidarity and support, but to putting God's extravagant welcome and radically inclusive love into action."
The UCC was inspired to action by the story of Brittany McMillan, the founder of Spirit Day. In 2010, In 2010, Brittany encouraged her friends on Tumblr to wear purple to remember those young people who had lost their lives to suicide. Since then, GLAAD has helped turn Spirit Day into a global event that inspires millions of individuals, celebrities, TV personalities, media outlets, companies and schools to wear purple in a stand against bullying.
You can join the UCC and the millions of others who are going purple for Spirit Day on Friday, October 19. To get involved, simply go purple on October 19 as we work to create a world in which LGBT teens are accepted for who they are.
Download GLAAD’s Spirit Day resource kit which contains tools to get your place of worship involved. Spirit Day participants can also spread the word and tell their friends they’re standing up against bullying, download the Spirit Day app for iPhone and Android, and text PURPLE to 80888 to donate $5 to support the important work GLAAD, GLSEN and The Trevor Project do every day to end bullying and support LGBT youth.