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A Gathering to REmember and Support

The LGBTQIA+ community and allies are invited to gather on Saturday, March 30, from 2-4 pm at Trinity. We will have space to grieve, remember, and offer hope and encouragement to each other. 

In memory of Nex Benedict

a gathering

For Christians, Holy Saturday is the day between the crucifixion of Jesus and his Easter morning resurrection. We reflect that while we have hope and assurance of new life ahead, we often find ourselves in places of loss, lament, and death-dealing systems that still wield so much power in the world. 


White cis-heteronormative patriarchy is one such all-encompassing system. So many of God’s beloved children face threats, intimidation, violence, and even death because of their sex, gender identity, and orientation. We lament that reality, and we confess the church’s responsibility in preaching messages of hate and exclusion, contrary to the gospel of God’s love for the world and all of creation. 


Nex Benedict is no longer with us because of the violence and hate of transphobia. They join too many others, some of whose names are known to us, others who are not, in a litany of lives cut short because of fear, hate, and prejudice. We are also concerned for the youth in our community who are facing similar struggles, and who lack safe places where they can be loved and blessed for who they are. 


As people of faith, we affirm that all people, including the breadth and beautiful diversity of the LGBTQIA+ community, have been created in the image of God, and are very good, just as they are. We commit to working within the community and beyond to create safe and inclusive spaces, and to advocate for policies that are fully inclusive and protect our most vulnerable members. We also believe that God weeps with those who weep, comforts those who mourn, and that we can come to God in prayer and lament, and find a balm in the sacred space of community. 


On Saturday, March 30th, Trinity will be open from 2-4 pm with space to gather, to remember, to grieve, to support each other, and to dream of new avenues for care and connection for the LGBTQIA+ community and allies. We will have opportunities for prayer and candle lighting in the sanctuary. A guided liturgy as well as a labyrinth meditation will be available.


In our Commons area, we will have an intentionally inclusive space for those who come from other faith traditions or no faith tradition. Space will be set for gathering to connect, share stories, and take action. Ribbons will be available to write prayers, encouragement, names of those we’ve lost, and a loom with these ribbons woven in will be moved to the corner of Maryland and High Street as a public witness of love and support of the LGBTQIA+ community here in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. We will have books, resources, and opportunities to take next steps.


We hope you are able to join us, and invite you to spread the news about this event within your communities of support. If you cannot join us, but would like to contribute to the loom and public display, we are happy to write on ribbon(s) for you, which can be added to the final display.

Clinicians from ARROW Project will be in attendance, offering mental health support and additional resources to help with processing.


For more information, contact Trinity's Pastor, Stephanie Sorge, or Associate for Pastoral Care, Kim Shank.

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