The first gay pride celebration, called the “Christopher Street Liberation Day” was held on June 28, 1970, in New York City. This first pride celebration, simultaneously held in Chicago and Los Angeles, commemorated the Stonewall Riots. A year later, more pride celebrations took place around the world. Ten years later, St. Louis held its first Gay and Lesbian Pride Celebration. Sponsored by the “Magnolia Committee,” named for the street where the majority of its members lived and had their meetings, a week’s worth of activities were planned in April 1980. Each year thereafter, the “pride movement” in St. Louis grew larger and stronger. In the process, “Pride St. Louis,” the nonprofit organization planning PrideFest each year, was born. In 2017, Pride St. Louis welcomed 300,000 people to Downtown St. Louis.
As a community of faithful Disciples of Christ, we have the oppportunity to share our open and affirming message of love and liberation with our LGBTQ+ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and others] sisters and brothers at PRIDEFEST, June 29 & 30 — the 40th anniversary of celebrating pride in St. Louis and the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. Union Avenue Christian Church will join with other Disciples congregations from throughout the metro area in a ministry of presence and outreach to the LGBTQ+ community. We are asking members of the congregation to volunteer to serve at our PRIDEFEST booth [June 29 & 30] and join us to march in the parade [June 30 at noon]. We still will gather for worship at Union Avenue at 10:45 a.m. that day with a much abbreviated service of song, prayer, and communion. From there, we invite you to continue in a spirit of communion and join us downtown as we take to the streets in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
We will soon have sign-up lists available and will share that information in our weekly communication. Please consider joining us and sharing God’s message of love.