Members of the Westboro Baptist Church — known for decades for their hate-filled targeting of members of the LGBTQ community and their allies (including All Saints Church) — have announced their plans to visit Pasadena next week.
From the article in the Pasadena Weekly:
Members of anti-gay and anti-Semitic Westboro Baptist Church have targeted openly bisexual 2019 Rose Queen Louise Deser Siskel and are expected to picket Monday morning February 25th at her high school.
Our colleagues at Neighborhood Church — on whose property the school campus is located — have initiated a brilliant response … detailed here and excerpted below:
We do not want to feed this group’s hunger for publicity or provide a megaphone for their words of hate. We want to support and surround the Sequoyah students and parents with messages of love, and so we are working with our members, with Sequoyah and the community at large to craft a peaceful response grounded in respect for the worth and dignity of all human beings. Maintaining a safe and healthy environment for students is our top priority therefore we ask that you refrain from demonstrating on Monday. If you would like to participate as a peacekeeper in our nonviolent response please join us on Sunday, February 24 for a training and poster-making workshop conducted by The Neighborhood Church Social Justice and Inclusion staff and LGBTQ+ community organizers. The workshop will be a safe space for neighborhood church members, Sequoyah faculty and students, and the San Gabriel Valley community at large. All are welcome — registration is requested … follow this link to register.All Saints Church stands will all those standing up and speaking out for love, justice and compassion in the face of hate, bigotry and oppression. Our rector Mike Kinman is working with the planners and will be part of the Monday morning response team.
As we continue to work and pray for the dismantling of systems of oppression in general — and homophobia/transphobia in specific — please keep all those at risk especially in your prayers as we give thanks for those creating a witness to God’s love for every member of the human family.