Inspired by saints
Peter Ranscombe discovers saints and a supportive ministry in a growing church project in Edinburgh
As people took their seats at Augustine United Church in Edinburgh, a song called “Same Love” played quietly in the background. Written by hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, the tune was part of the 2012 campaign to legalise same-sex marriage in Washington State.
The lyrics – about equal rights for gay and lesbian couples – were appropriate for the group meeting in the church. Our Tribe is a project run by Augustine and the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning and intersex (LGBTQI) people into the church community.
“It’s not just about tolerating people, it’s about affirming people,” explained Anne Robinson, a teacher who began coming to Our Tribe when her daughter came out. “We think of ourselves as an LGBTQI family. It’s not just one person, it’s the whole family. I’m a practising Roman Catholic and so it was very important to find support from Our Tribe.”
In 2012, Our Tribe won one of three Community Project Award runners-up prizes of £2,000, which has helped spread the word about the project’s work; winning the cash allowed Our Tribe to advertise in the programme for the Scotia Pride march through Edinburgh, and to offer hospitality for visitors to its meetings, which usually take place at Augustine on the final Saturday evening of each month.
This is an extract from the May 2014 edition of Reform.