Failed Gay/Transgender Equal Rights Proposition Addressed on Easter Sunday
At another church, opposed clergy leave topic out of sermon
ANCHORAGE - It was Easter Sunday, which for many meant bellies full of chocolate, and churches everywhere full to capacity as people came together to celebrate this Christian holiday.
But one issue that divided the faith community last week was Proposition 5.
“We are in a time when it is going to take courage to follow that Jesus beyond the doors of our church, to witness a love beyond reason, a love that embraces all of God's children,” said Reverend Michael Burke during his Easter sermon at St. Mary's Episcopal Church.
Christians came together today, but last week as Anchorage went to the polls there was a divide over Proposition 5, which would've added sexual orientation and transgender identity to the anti-discrimination laws.
“Did you catch that? All of God's children,” continued Burke as the St. Mary’s congregation nodded their heads.
There was a division, but were people of faith able to put their differences aside on Easter?
“It's important that anytime we talk about a division to recognize the incredible amount we have in common; we have a tremendous amount in common,” said Burke after the service.
Reverend Burke led many Christians in support of Proposition 5.
"I suppose there is, the way particular churches have approached this issue certainly there is a real difference.”
Burke said because of the debate over Prop 5, an influx of new, disenfranchised people have come to St. Mary's.
“Families, young families moving from other churches where they were deeply disturbed by what they were hearing at the pulpit."
Anchorage Baptist Temple’s Reverend Jerry Prevo, who did not support Proposition 5, said because it was a vote of the people, the divide in the community was bigger.
"This is the fifth time since I've been in Alaska that we've dealt with this issue, and unfortunately every time it comes up it does divide our city, but I've noticed out city heals real quick and we'll go back to normal and that division will cease to exist,” Prevo said.
Reverend Michael Burke decided to make reference to Proposition 5 in his sermon on Easter.
"I think any preaching seeks to find a intersection between the biblical text and what we call the text of our lives the text that the community is living from day to day,” Burke said.
Reverend Prevo said he wouldn’t talk about it in his sermon.
"I will only say today thank you for going out to vote, and that will be about the extent of it, being Easter today and celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” said Prevo.