Mark your calendars for 6 pm as we enter the season of Lent with a Glitter + Ashes Liturgy.
What is Glitter+Ash Wednesday?
Glitter is like love. It is irresistible and irrepressible. Ashes are a statement that death and suffering are real. Glitter is a sign of hope amidst. Hope that does not despair. Glitter signals our promise to repent, to show up, to witness, to work. Glitter never gives up–and neither should we.
Ash Wednesday we receive the mark of the cross on our foreheads to begin the 40 days of reflection and repentance in preparation for Easter. Glitter ashes let the world know that Pilgrim UCC is an inclusive, LGBTQ+ positive community of Christians.
Why Are We Doing This?
So many reasons frame this year’s Lenten journey beginning with Glitter+Ahs. From Matt’s unfolding journey with us, to the painful decision our Methodist colleagues made this week, to who we already are as beloved community, we must continue to always bear witness against a public face of intolerance that is often associated with Christianity–especially toward our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
We proclaim that Jesus commands us to love, not hate. Glitter ashes are a witness to this inclusive Christian message. By becoming visible, we show our faith in God who empowers us and wants us to repent of hurting each other. We also want people to see how important our faith is to us.
Glitter is an inextricable element of queer history. It is how this beloved community has displayed its gritty, scandalous hope. Glitter+Ash is an inherently inclusive, queer sign of Christian believe, blending symbols of mortality and hope, of penance and celebration.
During Lent, the Christian community looks inward to take account in order to move forward with greater health. At this moment, glitter ashes will be a powerful reminder of St. Augustine’s teaching that we cannot despair, because despair paralyzes, thwarting repentance and impeding the change that we are called to make.
Glitter+Ash captures the relationship between death and new life. We do not live in fear of ash-of death-we place it on our foreheads for the world to see. We know that fear will rise, cramping our hearts. We also know that God calls us not to project that fear onto the Other, the alien, the stranger in our midst. THIS IS OUR LENTEN CALL. God insists that we look for the spark of life, of hope, in ourselves, and one another.
This Ash Wednesday, we will make that spark easier to see. We will stand witness to the gritty, glittery, scandalous hope that exists in the very marrow of our faith and tradition.