Everybody—everybody—needs to know God loves them, as they were created, no exceptions. Tragic can’t begin to describe the tremendous discrimination and hatred shown toward the LGBTQ+ community by people who honestly believe Jesus taught his followers to behave in such reprehensible ways. It’s yet more evidence that Christian doesn’t mean what it used to. We need to reclaim the word Christian from those who use it to injure, insult, and cast out children of God.
I’ll say it again because it can’t be said too much: Everybody needs to know God loves them, as they were created, no exceptions.
Colors of Hope: A Devotional Journal from LGBTQ+ Christians can be that devotional to guide you on the journey.
Last fall I contacted Rev. Melissa Guthrie (she/her), the Executive Director and Minister of Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance, the LGBTQ+ advocacy organization in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), to ask what kind of resource we could create to best serve the Christian LGBTQ+ community. Melissa immediately toppled my expectations: rather than making Christian LGBTQ+ folks the audience of the product, make them the authors. If we’re going to build an inclusive community, create a devotional guide from LBGTQ+ Christians for all kinds of Christians.
Serendipitously, AllianceQ had already crafted a podcast built around the colors of the original Pride flag and its themes — sexuality, life, healing, sunlight, nature, art and magic, harmony and serenity, and spirit—with a final reflection on the Pride Rainbow. Then, we would stretch those reflections with questions to last a full week. Each day has its own theme: Wonder, Resist, Embody, Create, Hope, Stretch and Share. Seven times nine equals sixty-three entries…. we had ourselves a nine-week daily devotional!
Melissa looped in some of the podcast contributors to adapt their podcasts for the page and craft daily questions. Additional voices spanned the wider church and added supplemental content. Melissa gives us an Invocation and Benediction that make the book flow almost like a worship service, calling us together and sending us out: to hope in color. Contributors include Tyler Heston (he/him), Alysha Laperche (they/them), Sandhya Jha (she/they), Nadia Tavera (she/they), Andrew Deeb (he/him), William DeShay C. Jackson (they/them), Renair Amin (she/they), Brendan Y. Boone (he/him), Allen V. Harris (he/him), and Marian Edmonds-Allen (she/they). Within just a few months, Colors of Hope transformed into what the authors, AllianceQ, and Chalice Press believe will be a cornerstone book.
Colors of Hope releases in April so we have time to lead up to June’s Pride Month, the annual recognition and celebration of the impact the LGBTQ+ community has made upon the world. While the community’s contributions deserve year-round recognition, our culture is most receptive to LBGTQ+ conversations during June than other times of the year, and progressive Christian congregations are more likely to engage in LGBTQ+ advocacy during the early summer. We hope that you’ll be completing your first read of Colors of Hope by June so you’ll be ready to share the book and your experience with other like-minded Christians.
Odds are you won’t find a copy of Colors of Hope in a typical Christian bookstore. Their audience has been trained to avoid anything bearing even a hint of a rainbow. Human connection flourishes, though, when we understand the experiences of others. By offering Colors of Hope, we have made space for the sacred opportunity to chase wisdom and broaden the spectrum of your faith life. We're prayerful that well-meaning Christians who may have been taught to shy away from God's symbol of promise and covenant might instead pick up Colors of Hope and discover a new, abundant, colorful way to live.
Brad Lyons (he/him)
President and Publisher