Last weekend in Lynn Valley, just a block away from our church, the unimaginable happened. Violence. Violence, unleashed upon unsuspecting people going about their daily lives. Violence in a place where we all feel safe and at home.
How could this happen? Why would this happen? Will this happen again? We will eventually find out more details about this particular incident. The police have already assured us that there is no further threat to the community at large. The perpetrator has been caught and is being held in jail.
Violence perpetrated against the LGBTQIA2S+ community is generally not like this event. It also happens out of the blue, in unexpected places where people should feel safe and at home but the threat of the kind of violence the LGBTQIA2S+ community endures is ever-present. The police can never assure them that the perpetrator has been locked up and it is safe to go about their daily lives.
The violence expressed against the LGBTQIA2S+ community can be deadly, it can be subtle, it can be physical, it can be mental, it can be emotional. But we must remember that it is as real as the footage we watched on TV.
It is for this reason that our church needs to express loud and proud, Publically, Intentionally, and Explicitly that Lynn Valley United Church is a safe place. It is a haven where members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community can feel at home, at peace, and welcome.