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Over 200 churches added glitter to Ash Wednesday ashes in support of LGBTQ people

Meka Beresford February 16, 2018
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(Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Over 200 churches added glitter to Ash Wednesday ashes in support of LGBTQ people this year.

The initiative, which was launched by New York-based church Parity, aims to make LGBTQ people feel more welcomed by religion.

They explained that offering glitter ashes “will present an opportunity to breathe fresh life into your liturgy, recapture the surprise in the Christian message, and draw new people into your worship.”

An explanation added that the symbolic gesture wanted to combine the importance of Ash Wednesday and glitter.

“Glitter and Ash: why? Ash = a reminder that death and suffering are real.

“Glitter = a symbol of hope and celebration to LGBTQ folks and allies.

“Glitter and ash = a symbol of the gritty, glittery, scandalous hope that exists within all of us.”

Reverand Vancy Haywood Jr is a senior pastor at one of the churches that are participating in Raleigh, North Carolina.

He explained that the celebration is supposed to challenge the idea that religion is not welcoming of LGBTQ people.

church of england same-sex marriage
(Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Related: Some LGBT-inclusive churches are mixing glitter into Ash Wednesday ashes

He said: “The outside world has gotten this view of Christianity that Christ is against the LGBT community.

“When Christ died, he died for all people, not just for some.”

Haywood went on to explain that a core value of church is love.

“There are churches that say, ‘It’s okay to come and be a part of us. We’re gonna love you, but we still think you need to change some things,’ and then there are churches that truly embrace God’s love.

“So, I think it’s important for us to continue fighting that fight to show that that love is for all people,” he added.

More: Ash Wednesday, Church, glitter, LGBT, Religion, US

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