Open Letter To Our Pride Flag Vandal

To the Pride Flag Vandal,

I don’t know who you are.

I don’t know your motivations.

I don’t know why you chose to cut down our KPUMC Pride Flag from the flagpole on our property.

But I thought I’d write you a short note today.

Please know that we, the members and staff of Kessler Park United Methodist, are praying for you. We can perhaps intuit from your actions that you disagree with our sincerely held religious belief about God’s love and acceptance of the LGBTQ community.

At KPUMC, we have heard the painful stories of our LGBTQ members and staff, and how they have been shunned and rejected by other churches and sometimes by their families. Our experience is that we have been blessed by their ministry, their commitment to loving God and serving our North Oak Cliff neighborhood. Our LGBTQ members and friends strengthen our church. They are faithful Christians.

We believe with St Paul that “all are one in Christ Jesus our lord.”

We believe, with Jesus, that we are called to love and welcome all our neighbors.

That means the LGBTQ community…and it also means YOU. (Which is why our sign says “All Are Welcome.”)

Especially among young people, that sign and pride flag is a symbol of our embodied welcome to all God’s children.

So, please know that while the flag had been now been vandalized 4-5 times (maybe by you? maybe by a series of vandals?) we have an endless supply ready to replace them.

And we will.

Because: we have the right to live in peace and to celebrate our sincerely held Christian values, through the leading of God’s Holy Spirit.

And I would gently remind you that Jesus’ “Golden Rule” calls us to respect your right to your beliefs and values, even as I am here asking you to respect ours.

So, I end as I began…assuring you that we will continue to pray for you, even as we continue to witness to God’s grace and love in the world for all God’s children.

Grace and Peace,

Rev. Eric Folkerth

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of Kessler Park UMC United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas for seventeen years. Eric loves to write on topics of spirituality, social justice, music/art and politics. The entries on this blog reflect that diversity of interests. His passion for social justice goes beyond mere words. He’s been arrested at the White House, defending immigrants and “The Dreamers,” and he’s officiated at same sex weddings in his churches, in defiance of what some believe is Methodist teaching. Eric is an avid blogger and published author, and 2017 recipient of the prestigeous Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner. (Human Rights Campaign) Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He’s a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named “best judge” by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County, and is currently the longest service district judge in that district. She was re-elected for a fourth term in 2018. They have the world’s best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. Find links to Eric’s music-related websites, at the top of this site’s navigation menu.

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