The coalition behind Glitter+Ash Wednesday is back at it, encouraging Christians to use glitter to express joy in a diverse, LGBTQ-affirming church, this time in a symbolic recreation of the “tongues of fire” on Pentecost Sunday. Glitter+Fire (#GlitterPentecost) was announced by the Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, executive director of Parity, and Rev. Elizabeth M. Edman, founder of the Queer Virtue movement, which are co-sponsoring the event.
Pentecost is widely considered the day when Christianity as a movement was born. As told in the Book of Acts, the story relates what happened to the disciples of Jesus who were gathered in the upper room following his execution, resurrection and ascension. The Holy Spirit appeared ”as tongues of fire,” empowering the disciples to proclaim the gospel in the native languages of people “from every nation under heaven.”
Participants in Glitter+Fire will use glitter in the colors of fire – red, gold, and orange – to re-enact the tongues of fire landing on the disciples, drawing participants together in a community of joy, energy and common purpose. Glitter+Fire follows on the success of Glitter+Ash Wednesday, when Christians in churches across the country mixed ashes with glitter to “come out” as queer-positive Christians in solidarity with the LGBTQ community.
“On Pentecost, in an amazing pyrotechnic display, the Spirit demonstrated the queerness of Christianity,” said the Rev. Edmonds-Allen. “Glitter+Fire will demonstrate our conviction that human diversity is a source of strength. But even more, we will show the world that valuing diversity is a founding premise of our faith.”
“This year, Pentecost falls on the first Sunday of June, which is LGBTQ Pride Month,” said the Rev. Elizabeth M. Edman. “At a time when the language of religious freedom is being abused to attack the basic rights and the very dignity of LGBTQ people, it matters that we witness to the truth: that what gave birth to the Christian movement was precisely its ability to speak in native tongues – the language of home – thus celebrating our deepest, most intimate knowledge of ourselves.”
Parity and Queer Virtue will offer several resources to churches that want to participate in Glitter+Fire, including:
- red, gold and orange glitter for liturgical use, street actions, and glitter blessings
- liturgies written specifically for Glitter+Fire, with ideas for incorporating glitter into Pentecost worship
- sermon notes for Pentecost preachers
The Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown, Interim Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches and a co-sponsor of Glitter+Fire, said, “Metropolitan Community Churches was founded as a pentecostal surge of queer people almost 50 years ago. Like early Christians, we were rejected and surrounded by persecution but fueled a sparkling and dazzling holy fire. Today, we are still on fire, speaking truth around the world. Though some have said we are ‘full of new wine,’ it is the wine of God’s holy love for everyone.”
“Participating in Glitter+Ash was like a coming out party for us at Unity Lutheran Church,” said the Rev. Fred Kinsey, Pastor of Unity Lutheran Church in Chicago. “Our people came alive to a renewed mission for the gospel, and they were delighted to welcome so many new visitors on Ash Wednesday. Unity’s pews reflect the same diversity of our neighborhood, and we anticipate Glitter+Fire will once again kindle the passion for gathering together a wide assortment of God’s people on Pentecost Sunday to celebrate what unites us.”