Tonight at 7:00 pm, I will be representing our synagogue at the 3rd Annual Interfaith Pride Service, hosted by Faith Lutheran Church. This service, focused around unity and togetherness, will feature queer-affirming messages and music from Faith Lutheran Church, Bethel AME, Congregation Beth Israel, First Christian, St. John’s Episcopal, the U.U. Fellowship, and First Baptist. All are invited and I hope you will be able to join us.
As I mentioned earlier in the month, Jewish tradition teaches core values around inclusion, equality, love, and respect. For example, we embrace the idea of B’tzelem Elohim,
“We are all made in the Image of God.” Further, one of the most fundamental mitzvot (commandments) is V’ahavta L’reacha K’mocha, “Love your fellow as yourself.”
Pride month is an important time on the Jewish calendar and gives us the opportunity to amplify these fundamental values. It is important that we participate in Pride events, continue to learn and educate ourselves, and deepen our sense of what it means to be an inclusive community.
I am honored to be included in tonight’s event with other faith communities in Chico who embrace these same values. We demonstrate these core values by creating supportive and unifying events and then showing up, TOGETHER. I will be offering a sermon entitled: Born This Way - Made In Your Image, I Am Exactly Me.
I’d like to leave you with a beautiful and inspiring poem that shares the sentiment of truly embracing ourselves, just as we are.
Permission to Shine: An Affirmation to Be Who You Want to Be
Devon Spier, For Pride Month
You have permission to laugh until you can't speak.
And to speak until you can't catch your breath.
You have permission to fall in love with yourself.
Or to not know which self you really are today.
You have permission to be curious, confused, clueless and aimless.
Yes, you have permission.
The rainbow spirit inside of you has been lighting
up the world ever since the day you were born.
And you, in all your radiance?
Are worth being seen, however you want to be.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁעָשָׂנִי בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים
Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu, Melech haolam, she-asani b' tzelem Elohim.
Blessed are you G-d, our G-d, majestic of all time and space, who created me in the image of G-d.