On Saturday, September 7, 2013, 406 United Methodists from 9 churches participated in Austin Pride Parade. Each day this week we will feature a story about the experience by a SWTX Conference Reconciling United Methodist.
Today’s story is by Deana Henry, an active member of Trinity UMC in Austin, Texas, a congregation that affiliated with RMN (Reconciling Ministries Network) 21 years ago. Deana has a career based in community action research, chairs the local MFSA (Methodist Federation for Social Action) chapter, has been married to her husband Kenneth for 43 years, and has 5 sons.
TRINITY AT PRIDE
Apparently this is the 10th year Trinity has marched in the Pride Parade in Austin. We were part of Pride for many years before that with a booth sharing invitations to Trinity and with members attending the women’s ball.
My family (including my partner/husband Kenneth and our two youngest boys, Devon and Ethan, have marched in all those parades except two when my husband was unable to march due to surgeries. My mother came the year she was 80 and was on our float! This year we had 40 plus participate.
Most of us march because we want all the LGBTQIA people in the crowd to know there are some from the ‘institutional’ church who are welcoming. I think that those who march actually gain more themselves in feeling the joy and excitement in the crowd. It is like most times when we are reaching out, we gain more than we give. This year the crowd at the beginning seemed kind of thin but as we went along it grew and there was more energy and it was heartwarming. Austin is full of wonderful people! We are grateful to be part of so much joy.