Good morning! Today we are celebrating Equality Sabbath, a day set aside for all the faith communities that make up the Community of Welcoming Congregations, which we joined a year ago, to celebrate what it means to be an open, affirming, and welcoming community.
The reading today is from my T-shirt, which quotes the definition of equality from the New Oxford American Dictionary. Equality is defined as "the state of being equal, esp. in status, rights, and opportunities."
I think that is a moral principal that guided our country's founders in crafting our constitution and I think it is one that guides the people in this room today and motivates us to be agents of equality in the world. It is the principal that underlies what we value.
As you can see, the flags of this banner form a rainbow which is a universal symbol of welcome to people of all sexual orientations. The individual flags tell the story of the community we want to share with others:
Joy & Celebration
Walking in the Light
Peace & Justice
The purpose of this banner is to illustrate some of our most important community values. It was designed by our welcoming way committee and brilliantly created by Ruba and Margaret. It will hang above the bulletin board so everybody will see it first as the walk in the front door. We wanted its debut to be part of our equality Sabbath celebration.
So what does celebration look like at West Hills Friends? Well, this is a community of artists and musicians and actors and story-tellers and when we celebrate, we like to pull out the stops. And as we planned for this day, we asked our selves: Why stop at celebrating being welcoming? We wanted to celebrate everything about this community that we want to share with others, all the values that make us West Hills Friends.