A Note from Chaplain Dave for Pride Month

Hello good people and spiritual companions! And Happy Pride Month!

Both the Prairie Circle and Tree of Life UU Congregations will be taking part in local Pride Fest activities this weekend!  Prairie Circle will have an information and activity booth at the Lake County Pride Fest on Saturday June 8 until 6pm at the Round Lake Civic Center. Tree of Life will be participating in the Pride parade on Sunday June 9th in Woodstock, and then will also have an information and activity booth on Sunday.  More information is available in each of our congregation’s weekly newsletters, or you can reach out to members of the Welcoming Congregation teams. 

You are all welcome and invited to attend either or both of these celebrations. I plan to be at each: Round Lake on Saturday and Woodstock on Sunday, following our Prairie Circle annual meeting. So, stop by and say “hi” to the folks working our booths! It would be great to see you! 

Thanks so much to the Welcoming Congregation Team from each congregation! Not only for the work you have done to involve our congregations in these Pride festivals, but for all the work you are doing to help us be more aware, inviting, and inclusive of our LGBTQIA+ members/friends in our congregation and in our surrounding community.

I fully encourage us to support one another in these efforts, and to support our LGBTQ+ community in these challenging times. 

I also encourage us to be truly supportive of one another no matter whether we participate in Pride or not. There are many reasons that someone may not be able to participate in Pride events, such crowd or noise sensitivities, as well as a host of other equally valid reasons.  There are many ways for us to be active and involved in LGTQIA+ rights, advocacy, and community support- whether that is legal or health care advocacy, worker’s rights, or working towards economic justice, and whether that is through public witness or behind the scenes.  We can each find our own ways, or multiple ways to work toward loving justice and toward building beloved community. 

For those of us who do choose to enter into the public square, whether for Pride or other social justice events, I encourage us to pay attention to our self-care.  Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Bring snacks. Have sunscreen. Dress for the weather.  Rest as needed. Don’t let yourself get too hungry, tired , or frustrated. Sometimes when we passionately believe in a cause, we can forget to pay attention to ourselves and our bodies. Resist that temptation and take care of yourself and one another. 

And, whether it is Pride or some other public witness event, let’s also pay extra good attention to our own safety.  Make sure you have your emergency numbers handy, that your cell phone is well charged. If you can, get a portable battery charger to have with you and don’t let your phone get too low. Have a buddy system and stick with friends.  Know where emergency aid is available. Be aware of your surroundings and know where you can either exit, take cover, or even hide if needed.  Let’s not hold a state of panic, but let’s encourage ourselves and each other to be watchful, alert, and safe to the best of our ability to do so. 

Have a wonderful Pride month, no matter how you choose to celebrate, and whether it is in Lake County, McHenry County, or elsewhere. Take good care of yourselves and each other, this weekend, this month, and always.  And let’s each of us and all of us continue to bring more love, more hope, and more joy into the world wherever we can and in all the ways that we can. 

In faith and in community, 

Chaplain Dave

More info on Lake County Pride Fest can be found here: Lake County Pride Fest

More info on Woodstock Pride Fest can be found here: Woodstock Pride Fest

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