An Almost Candlelit Vigil: Breaking the Silence

As we gathered under the library bridge this afternoon, the wind swirled around us, snuffing each candle out as swiftly as members of Marquette’s Gay-Straight Alliance tried to light them. There weren’t a lot of us, maybe ten or fifteen. But each of us had made a commitment today to remain silent, and in so doing, send a message that discrimination against our LGBTQ brothers and sisters violates the best of what we can share as a human community.

It wasn’t easy, staying quiet when the people around me were sharing their laughter with one another, or simply smiling back when someone said hello. And there were times when I was alone in my office that the silence was deafening, my own thoughts so loud I could scarcely focus on the task at hand.

Last night I was part of a panel discussion, aptly titled Day of Silence Eve. The misconceptions about our tradition and its approach to the LGBTQ community were painfully apparent. But it was so encouraging to be gathered together there, engaging in the kind of dialogue that makes us stronger as a church, as a wider community.

Reading the names of those who had been victimized for their sexual orientation, we formed a small circle. Gary Matson & Winfield Mowder. Thalia Mosqueda. Danny Overstreet. Sean Ethan Owen. Richie Phillips. Chanelle Pickett. Dwan Prince. The weight of their deaths on our shoulders, we reflected on our experiences of the day and renewed our commitment to build the kind of community where all people feel safe, respected, free to love and be loved. The wind blew harder. And the wind always makes me more fully aware of the Holy Spirit, of her ability to guide us toward the love that leads to freedom. Amen.

For more information about the Day of Silence and how you can get involved, go here.

One Response

  1. Hey interesting blog! Why don’t you guys join the ring Revgalsblogpals.
    We have good discussion going on.

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