At Oregon’s Clackamas United Church of Christ, Pastor Adam Ericksen preaches inclusion, courage, and love — an example for allies everywhere.
Pride Month is traditionally supposed to be a very happy, powerful, celebratory time across the nation for members of the LGBTQ community. Despite that news continues to race across our television screens and phones about more deaths, restrictions, and injustice plaguing our community in various ways. That’s why once in awhile it is nice to have even a small reminder that we are not alone in the world, and that we are supported by people who aren’t part of our community.
Pastor Adam Ericksen in Milwaukie, Oregon wants you to know: he is that guy. Not only is he that guy, but he will do everything in his power to be the loudest possible version of that guy in a crowded room of people that want you gone. He will be that guy and he will clap back with a quote from Notorious G-O-D to back it up.
If you’re driving through Milwaukie, Oregon, it’s hard to miss the church signs from Clackamas United Church of Christ, who proudly wear their brand of politics on their sleeves. The periodically-changing statements on the sign out front have ranged from innocuous statements like “This church loves everyone including our LGBTQ siblings,” to straightforward, to the point statements of support: “Our Transgender Siblings Have Heartbeats.”
Another personal favorite of mine, “‘Welcome immigrants, but only if they speak English, – Said the Bible Never.”
Nice shade there, Pastor.
Considering that Oregon is overall fairly progressive with its politics and social views, it isn’t but so surprising that Pastor Ericksen has not received much push back on the signs. Regardless it is comforting that a majority of people in the area have supported the signs, even if the main complaint they do receive is that the church is being too political.
“Jesus preached the kingdom of God, and this was a politically loaded message,” Ericksen told LGBTQ Nation. “His harshest message was for religious leaders who marginalized people.”
As Pride marches on and debates spark about less intense discussions, such as rainbow capitalism and what it means to be an ally, one thing is sure: it’s good to have some support. It’s better than the alternative. However, if you’re going to be an ally, follow Pastor Ericksen’s example: be open and forthright about your support — even if it leads to the occasional uncomfortable conversation. It’s the only way things will ever improve.
Photos via Clackamas United Church of Christ/Facebook