Uniting at Mardi Gras
When members of the Uniting Church and Uniting took place in the 2019 Sydney Mardi Gras, it was the continuation of a long running tradition.
Warren Talbot is the National Co-Secretary of the Uniting Church LGBTIQ Network. He has long been involved with marching at Mardi Gras. He told Insights that the church’s involvement in Mardi Gras 2019 was the continuation of a longer tradition.
The first Uniting Church entry in the Mardi Gras Parade was in 1987, when members of a Uniting Church LGBTI group called CrossSection marched in a float presented as “Uniting Church Fellowship”.
In 2015, an official Uniting Church Mardi Gras float marched under a banner welcoming LGBTI refugees.
“Marching in 2019 was a thrill, with Uniting NSW/ACT clients and staff joining members of the Uniting Network for the fourth time,” Mr Talbot said.
Marchers met prior to the Parade for prayer and worship at Pitt Street Uniting. The two floats, Mr Talbot said, “Serve to underline the Uniting Church’s commitment to justice and inclusion for LGBTI people.”
“I have always regarded Uniting Church participation in Mardi Gras as a part of mission. By this I don’t mean bringing God to the ‘ungodly’. But celebrating and witnessing to the grace and love of God disclosed to us as we seek to follow the Way of Jesus.”
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor