Celebrating Pride – from Rev. Welch



Dear Friends and Members of the United Church of Norman-UCC

I wanted to wish everyone a happy Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride month. It is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots, where protestors fought back against a police bust of the Stonewall Inn, a LGBT tavern in New York City.

They claimed for themselves, the right to LGBT space and rejected harassment for who they are. And that is where the term Pride comes into play.

There are a few events, celebrating Pride, I wanted to highlight. PFLAG’s second annual Pride Picnic will be held Saturday June 17th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Norman’s Rotary Park 1501 W Boyd St. Hot dogs, chips, and side dishes are included. Bring a blanket, chairs for extra seating.
OKC Pride is being held June 23rd through the 25th.

But the Norman connection is to be found on the 24th and 25th where there are tables on the 39th Street Strip at 39th & Pennsylvania Ave. A range of Norman groups from St. Stephen’s United Methodist, the United Church of Norman UCC, Norman PFLAG and others will table, sharing information on their programming.

And this year marks the 30th year for the OKC Pride Parade, which is being held on Sunday June 25th. The parade goes from NW 39th Street from Classen to Youngs and will include over 100 entries including, including St Stephen’s and Norman PFLAG. That morning, the United Church of Norman UCC will hold a special Pride worship service at 10 a.m. before we join the festivities in the city.

I mention all this to highlight the role churches play in celebrating Pride. That is important, because most folks identify Christianity as anti LGBT. So, it is up to churches to step forward and live out a different and more inclusive way. One that celebrates the gifts of LGBT folks and to publicly speak out when legal equality is threatened.

But I have heard critiques over the idea of “pride” from a Christian perspective. Isn’t pride one of the seven deadly sins? As Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 11:2: When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” So, isn’t it the case that pride should not be celebrated?

It depends on your definition of pride. If pride, is satisfaction with one’s own achievement, that’s a good thing. A craftsman who is proud of their work, a student who studies hard and earns an A, the OU Sooner’s pride in winning the Women’s College World Series, these are worth celebrating. They are the result of hard work and skill.

Where pride goes wrong is when you receive satisfaction for an achievement that is not your own. When Donald Trump expresses prides in his genes, this is not the result of his work. You do not get to choose your parents. That’s just a roll of the genetic dice.

The other way pride can produce problems, is it when it results in an over estimation of one’s own skills. Pride goes before a fall happens when you overestimate yourself. How many corporate CEOs have done damage to companies because they assumed skill and knowledge they did not possess?

Now there is the flip side to this sin. And that is to under estimate yourself. It is to not recognize the gifts you have because you believe others who have torn you down over the years. That has often been the experience of people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and ability.

Now, when LGBT folks express pride, we are not doing so because of pride in a genetic makeup we had nothing to do with. We are expressing pride in overcoming the barriers that have been placed in our way, barriers to prevent us from realizing our full potential and gifts. That kind of pride is being celebrated this month and it’s one our church proud to support and to participate in.


Rev. Dwight Welch



Church Events

June 11th and June 18th Sunday
Adult ed at 9: 45 a.m Ted Talk discussions led by Vicki Walden and Dana Cantwell

NPJC is planning the Norman Peace Festival for Saturday, September 23, 2017. Please join us for our organizational meeting on June 14 at 6:30 PM at the Norman Public Library Central branch. We are going to be discussing the details and how we are going to raise the money to hold this event. If you cannot attend this meeting but would like to help. please contact us via email or phone. [email protected] or 405.561.1248

There will be a showing of the film From the Ashes. The showing is on Friday, June 23rd, 7pm. It’s an advance screening of this new documentary film produced by RadicalMedia and Bloomberg Philanthropies. Watch the 2 minute trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=rV0ro0uleVo The showing will happen 1602 Barwick Drive Norman, OK 73072 at Rev. Pam Normille’s home.

June 25th Sunday

Our Pride service will be held early at 10 a.m. There will be no adult ed. You are invited to join us afterwards for OKC parade by visiting our church booth and joining us with Norman PFLAG in the Pride March at 4 p.m.



Book Club June 19th

We’re discussing chapters 2 and 3 of Chris Haye’s new book A Colony in a Nation at Nancy Logan’s home 3200 Summit Bend at 7pm.



Food and Shelter Needs

Resident and Shelter Needs include soap, cleaning supplies, furniture, diapers. Kitchen Needs are dry sealed foods. Care Packets for the homeless include deodorant, self care products, snack foods



Vacation Bible School

Is being held with Memorial Presbyterian Church 601 24th Ave SW Norman July 24-July 27th from 6-8pm. Snacks, Bible stories, play,c rafts and lessons are focused on the importance of food in our life.