Today is our anniversary. Well, more accurately, it’s AN anniversary. It’s hard to be an LGBT person in a long term relationship and not have LOTS of anniversaries. This one is what we refer to as our “Important Piece of Paper” anniversary—the day we were legally married in Massachusetts five years ago. It’s not what we think of as our wedding anniversary, which we celebrate in March. But it is the recognition of something that existed prior to five years ago, so we will celebrate with friends tonight and enjoy the glow of what it represents.
It may be a rather large leap, but I was thinking about our anniversary and the parallels with our new sign, which is being installed today. I don’t think there is anyone who would disagree that our old sign had been an amazing statement about who we are as a congregation, but that, structurally, with its press-on lettering that wouldn’t stay on, it had become a detriment to growth, and, quite possibly, an eyesore.
Today we are installing something that affirms the integrity of the original design—welcoming all—while being easy to read, permanent and well-lit. It’s the product of many hours of effort on Dave and Maurice’s part, votes by the vestry, and work with a sign company. While at first glance it may seem very different from the original, it actually retains all of the “who we welcome” components, AND in larger type! A rather masterful design, I would say.
The parallels with Becky and my anniversary? Our “Important Piece of Paper” (marriage certificate) recognizes something that was already present—the hard work and integrity of my relationship with Becky, just as our new sign, with the words “All Are Welcome” at the top, followed by exactly who it is that we welcome (obviously not a complete list, but one intended to clarify that the folks who have felt excluded at other churches are ABSOLUTELY welcome here), recognizes something that was already present—and long before I got here—a congregation committed to the hard work of welcoming everyone.