When members of our congregation travelled to Guatemala in 2018, we were blown away by how generous the people were with both their possessions and their blessings even though it seemed to us that they had so little extra to offer. They knew that abundance comes from believing that you are rich in the Spirit and when you live in that place, you always have enough to share with others.
Jeff Cotter founded the Rainbow World Fund in 2000 to bring Hope and Peace to the world through the efforts of the LGBTQIA2S+ community. Like the people of Guatemala, the LGBTQIA2S+ community suffers much injustice and strife but Jeff believed that by giving his community an opportunity to give back to others, they would not only grow in their own Spiritual capacity but they could bring Hope and Peace to LGBTQIA2S+ communities around the world and demonstrate to everyone how generous and loving the LGBTQIA2S+ community really is.
Their website describes “channel(ing) the LGBTQ’s community organizing capabilities and resilience by delivering resources to people across the globe, specifically women and children living in extreme poverty, along with a less tangible offering: hope. “Our community knows how to express love, compassion, and connection with the world,” he said. “We came together during the struggle with HIV/AIDS and for our own fight for civil rights.”
Since it's founding, RWF has organized 14 humanitarian trips to Cuba and Guatemala and has sent supplies to Zimbabwe and regions in India; it has funded summer camps for children living with HIV and cancer in Cuba and helped to create networks in the Middle East and Central America so trans people can escape danger and secure safe housing. The Tree of Hope is a piece of RWF’s larger mission.” Their Tree of Hope is a giant Christmas tree covered with origami cranes made from paper on which people have sent messages of Peace and Hope. Thousands of paper cranes decorate this tree and give witness to the power of positive thinking and positive action.
In this Season of Advent, we consider how our Affirming Ministry work aligns with Christ’s message to the world that all people are welcomed, loved, and worthy. We are called to put into action our desires for Hope and Peace. The Rainbow World Fund shows us how one man with the power of a loving community behind him can make a difference for the healing of the world.
If you wish to find out more about the work of the RWF, donate or participate in any of their programs, go to www.rainbowfund.org.