Gay worshippers find special meaning in Easter


From the San Francisco Chronicle. By Matthai Kuruvila

The Rev. Jim Mitulski says no week tells the story of his life as a gay man quite like Easter.

The story begins with Palm Sunday, Jesus' jaunty entry into Jerusalem, where people placed their cloaks and tree branches on his path to welcome him. For Mitulski, it feels like a gay pride parade - a public and political celebration beyond government control.

Holy Week then evokes a broader and deeper arc of gay life, Mitulski says, from violations of Jesus' due process and a Last Supper with outcasts like him, to betrayals by those closest to him, his crucifixion and then resurrection - a new life after coming out from his tomb.

Predominantly gay churches, which have flourished in the Bay Area for decades, embrace a unique theology that shows parishioners how the Bible reflects many of the struggles they face every day. On no day is that more true than today, Easter, the faith's most sacred day of the year.

Easter "evokes from us the experience of resurrection in our own bodies and in our own spirits," said Mitulski, the pastor at New Spirit Community Church in Berkeley. "It's not just a retelling. It's an embodiment."

Both religious and secular society have heaped messages upon gays and lesbians that their bodies are sinful or their sexuality a product of mental illness, said Rev. D. Mark Wilson, a pastor at Tapestry Ministries in Berkeley. AIDS is described by some Christians as punishment from God.

But Wilson and others believe the Bible repeatedly decouples the idea that sin is associated with the body or that illness is punishment...

Read the full article at the San Francisco Chronicle.

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