Onwards and upwards! The path of LGBT Christians at Rome Europride (june 1st to 12th 2011)
At this year’s Europride, which will take place from the 1st to the 12th of June, for the first time Italian and European Christian groups will be present.
In total, 40 LGBT Christian groups from Italy, Spain, Norway, France, the UK as well as other European countries will converge on the “eternal city” in order to share and bear witness to their experiences.
Forty different activities have been organized by the LGBT Christian group based in Rome “Nuova Proposta” in collaboration with Gionata, the website on faith and homosexuality (www.gionata.org), the Italian Forum of Gay Christians, the European forum of LGBT Christian groups and also with the support of the Catholic press agency Adista and the international movement Noi Siamo Chiesa (We are the Church).
Four special events will take place durino Roma Europride: the world premiere of the film “Taking a Chance on God”, on the life of the American priest and theologian John McNeill, who has devoted many years of activism to making the church a more welcoming place for LGBT Christians.
He will be present during the screening, as weill the director; a photographic exhibition of portraits of gay and lesbian Christians by the photographer Luca Loiacono; a European conference on the theme of “LGBT people and Christian Churchers in Europe: fear and opportunity for a full welcome and inclusion”.
In addition, throughout Europride, there will be a stand on Faith and Homosexuality with information, books and a warm welcome staffed by volunteers.
According to local LGBT Christian group “Nuova Proposta” from Rome, Europride is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about faith and homosexuality.
In their words: “it means coming out from the silence and shadows; to show all of Italy and Europe that gay and trans Christians exist, that we are not buried.
There is beauty in their lives, in their work, in their spiritual path. They strive to contribute to the evolution of the church as a community united in God”.
“Onwards and upwards”! will be the slogan of the initiatives organised by the LGBT Christian groups of Europride, inspired by the Italian song “Avanzate, ascoltate” (go forward, listen) by Paolo Benvegnù that also serves as the soundtrack for the video that “Nuova Proposta” (www.nuovapropostaroma.it has filmed regarding their participation in this year´s Europride.
“Onwards and upwards!” is the motto of LGBT Christians, who want to underline their belonging to churches that are evolving, where all should be able to find a welcoming home, but also a message of encouragement to all those who, in spite of the hostility of their churches, do not want to renounce their faith.
In so doing, we want to testify to the love of Christ, who does not obey ironcast rules, but offers abundant life”.
This is why we will be marching together in the “eternal city”. Please come and join us.
PROGRAMME OF EVENTS
– 1-11 june, Pride Park, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele: Information stand on Faith and Homosexuality that will offer a friendly listening ear, as well as a wide range of resources and information
– 1-12 june, Pride Park, piazza Vittorio Emanuele: Photographic exhibition “My Spirituality. Faces and souls of LGBT Christians” by Luca Loiacono.
– Monday 6 june 20.30, Cinema of the Euro Pride Park , Piazza Vittorio Emanuele: World premiere of the film “Taking a Chance on God” on the life and activism of priest and theologian John McNeill.
– Friday 10 june, 15.00, Conference space of the Euro Pride Park, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele: European conference on “LGBT Christians and the Christian churches in Europe: fear and opportunity for a full welcome and inclusion”, which will conclude with an ecumenical prayer
– Saturday 11 june, Piazza dei Cinquecento (in front of Rome central station, Termini) Europride parade. At 16, 00 there will be a meeting of LGBT Christians in Piazza dei 500, beneath the statue of Giovanni Paolo II.
The parade starts at 17:00. LGBT Christian groups will participate in the parade behind the banner of the European Forum of LGBT Christian groups, which will be coming specially to Rome for this event.