The More Light Committee is thrilled to announce that our new Pride banner has been hung on the bell tower, where it announces our welcome of LGBTQ+ people into the fullness of our church life. Becka Fergusson-Lutz posted a photo of the new banner on facebook, where all her facebook friends and followers could see it. Days later she noticed that an old friend from her days as a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania, Camelia, had reposted the image with her own caption:
Becka continued the story like this:
“The caption reads in Romanian, ‘Not all people are the same, nor are all churches.’ The Romanian Orthodox Church is deeply conservative (read: unwelcoming) in its views on gender and sexuality, so this is really important messaging to her Romanian friends and colleagues.
When I served with the Peace Corps between 2001 and 2003, Camelia started out as my Romanian teacher but quickly became a valued colleague and great friend. When I wasn’t teaching at one of the local high schools, I worked with Cami and her husband Calin and some other young Romanians on several community campaigns promoting gender equality. (For some context, marital rape was still legal at the time, and homosexuality had only very recently been legalized.) Over the intervening 20 years, Camelia went on to start the Association for Liberty and Equality of Gender, a nonprofit organization preventing and fighting violence against women and children, and promoting gender equality in Romania. She now works as the chief of staff to the county administrator (which is similar to a state governor). I tell you all this because it reaffirms to me, once again, that the banner is not just a banner. We are actively rewriting the dominant narrative, both here and abroad.”