(By Kimberly Winston, Religion News Service). The “tongues of fire” Christians believe rained down on Pentecost just got a whole lot flashier with “Glitter and Fire,” a new project intended to promote the acceptance of LGBT people in the church.
Pentecost — which will be marked by most Christians on June 4 — comes from the New Testament’s Book of Acts. After his death, Jesus’ disciples met to discuss how to continue his ministry. Suddenly, “they saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”
The disciples were “filled with the Holy Spirit” and began speaking in foreign tongues. They then departed to plant churches throughout the Roman world, making Pentecost the “birthday” of the Christian church.
Fast forward to today’s Pentecost, add a specially crafted liturgy, prayers, blessings and bags of red, gold, orange and black glitter to make what Parity, a New York-based LGBT advocacy group, hopes will be a way to affirm LGBT Christians.
“Pentecost’s liturgical color is red, but the other colors are there to represent diversity, which is what Pentecost is all about,” said Marian Edmonds-Allen, Parity’s executive director. “It is about the diversity in the church, which is beautiful, just as all of us humans are beautiful in our diversity.”
The glitter — which Parity will send to any interested congregation or ministry for free — can be mixed with oil for anointing or wrapped in paper and tossed in the air to rain down on people in special “glitter blessings.”
Neither is part of the usual Pentecost observance. And that, Edmonds-Allen said, is the point.
Read the Glitter+Fire Sunday Liturgy
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