SC PRIDE

South Church is an Open and Affirming (ONA) congregation. Our ONA designation means we have declared that people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are not only welcome but also affirmed in the full life of our church and its ministries. We strive to provide a warm welcome to all God’s children, to live out this welcome in meaningful ways, to grow in understanding of one another, and to seek opportunities to celebrate our welcoming environment. We believe this mission falls under the larger umbrella of social justice.

South Church Pride will seek to ensure a safe and engaging environment for all LGBTQ+ individuals and their families, inclusive of gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and gender-non conforming people of all ages. We strive to promote awareness of South Church’s Open and affirming (ONA) policy by creating positive impact within our sanctuary and for the entire community through education, advocacy, discussion and any other appropriate means.

Interested in joining South Pride? Have ideas or suggestions for the team? All are welcome, click here to email us!

LGBTQ+ Resources

The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) young people. Their goal is to serve 1.8 million crisis contacts annually, by the end of our 25th year, while continuing to innovate on our core services envisioning a world where all LGBTQ young people see a bright future for themselves.

The Trevor Project offers this introductory educational resource that covers topics and best practices on how to support transgender and nonbinary young people.

Based in Lowell, MA, The Center for Hope and Healing offers workshops upon request to cover a range of LGBQ/T topics from gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, to best practices in supporting the trans people in your life. We adapt material to fit the needs and understanding of the group present which can range from introductory workshops to more specialized ones on narrower topics for example dysphoria, passing, and microaggressions.

NPR offers this guide as part of their special series on Pride Month. “Issues of equality and acceptance of transgender and nonbinary people — along with challenges to their rights — have become a major topic in the headlines. These issues can involve words and ideas and identities that are new to some.

That’s why we’ve put together a glossary of terms relating to gender identity. Our goal is to help people communicate accurately and respectfully with one another….” Read more by clicking below.

Children 

Hall, Michael. Red: a crayon’s story. Because he was mislabeled, everyone thinks Red is Red. A friend’s different perspective allows others to see him as he really is. Fiction. Ages 3-7

Herthel, Jessica and Jazz Jennings. I am Jazz. The story of Jazz Jennings, a transgender youth. Assigned male at birth, Jazz felt she had a girl brain and a boy body. Ages 4-8

Hirst, Jo. A house for everyone: a story to help children learn about gender identity and gender expression. About gender identity, gender expressions, and gender acceptance. Fiction. Ages 4-8

Locke, Katherine. What are your words? A book about pronouns. Ari’s words change every day. At a neighborhood bash, Ari doesn’t know what words fit for that day. Everyone else seems to be sure of their words. But when the fireworks start, Ari becomes sure of the correct words for that day. An introduction to gender-inclusiveness pronouns. Fiction. Ages 4-8.

Love, Jessica. Julian is a mermaid. When Julian sees 3 beautiful mermaids, on the subway, he decides to transform himself into a mermaid. But what will his grandmother think? A story of nonconformity and acceptance. Fiction. Ages 4-8

Pittman, Gayle. A church for all. Describes a church where diversity is practiced; a church that welcomes all, whether LGBTQ, rich, poor, homeless, drug-addicted, etc. Fiction. Ages 3-5

Royce, Ellie. Auntie Uncle: drag queen hero. Leo is an accountant by day and drag queen Lotta at other times. His nephew helps him create an image to help introduce Auntie Uncle to friends who don’t know about the drag queen identity. Fiction. Preschool-grade 2

Sanders, Rob. Pride: the story of Harvey Milk and the rainbow flag. How the PRIDE flag, a symbol of equality and inclusion, came to be through Harvey Milk’s inspiration and his collaboration with Gilbert Baker. Ages 3-9

Sanders, Rob. Stonewall: a building, an uprising, a revolution. The story of the Stonewall Inn and its role in the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement. Ages 5-8

Youth

Hardy, Mark. Nothing pink. A story of 15-year-old Vincent’s friendship and romance with his first love, Robert. Fiction.  Ages 9-12

 Howard, Greg. Middle school’s a drag—you better werk! 12-year-old, newly-out Mikey starts a popular talent agency with a 13-year-old drag queen as his first client. Fiction. Ages 10-13

Howard, Greg. The Whispers. 4 months after his mother’s disappearance, 11-year-old Riley decides to search for her himself with the help of the Whispers. Riley is also dealing with his secret crush on an 8th grade boy. Fiction. Grades 5-6

Kuklin, Susan. Beyond magenta: transgender teens speak out. Six transgender teens tell the story of their experiences. Brutally honest, yet interesting and sometimes funny, the teens talk about what they’ve gone through, some with support systems and others without.  Grades 9-12

Mardell, Ashley. The ABCs of LGBT+: a gender identity book for teens, teen and young adult LGBT issues. Includes personal anecdotes, infographics, resources, definitions. Ages 12 up

Adult

Barkin, Janna. He’s always been my son; a mother’s story about raising her transgender son. Barkin talks about raising a transgender son, from birth to adulthood, and the support received from family and friends. Includes glossary and list of support sources. 

Cheatham, Crustal, Will Remigio and Adam Evers, ed. Queer hands of God. Stories of LGBTQ+ people who have walked among us and served as God’s hands in helping others. 

Kim-Kort, Mihmee. Outside the lines: how embracing queerness will transform your faith. The author—a wife, mother, minister, and queer—talks about the “boundary breaking love of God”.

Lee, Justin. Torn: rescuing the Gospel from the gay-vs-Christian debate. Lee felt a call to evangelical Christian ministry, yet was also aware that he was gay. His study of the Bible brought him to self-acceptance. 

Lemay, Mimi. What we will become: a mother, a son, and a journey of transformation. Lemay describes her child’s transgender journey, and her own journey beyond her ultra-Orthodox Jewish upbringing.

Martin, Colby. Unclobber: rethinking our misuse of the Bible on homosexuality. Reexamines the six frequently used passages of Scripture in regards to the topic of homosexuality. 

Mason, Janet. They: a Biblical tale of secret genders. Tabitha becomes pregnant by a shepherd and gives birth to intersex twins. She and her twin sister Tamar trick Judah, a patriarch, into believing he is responsible, so that Tabitha gains status in society rather than being burned at the stake. Fiction.

Via, Dan O.  and Robert J. Gagnon. Homosexuality and the Bible, two views. Two New Testament scholars discuss the Biblical texts regarding homosexual behavior and orientation in their cultural contexts and for Christians today. 

Wink, Walter. Homosexuality and Christian faith: questions of conscience for the churches. Evangelical, conservative, and liberal contributors discuss the ambiguity of Scripture regarding the issue of homosexuality, and the need to use human sciences and Christian ethics as further sources on the issues. 

Click here for details about how to check out our books.

Ride for Pride & Picnic in the Park

Sat., June 25th at 12:00pm

Pride Parade 2022! Hosted by South Church and Andover DIVERSE. Grab some friends and cheer along the route or decorate your car and line-up at 11:30am. Parade starts at Dundee Office Park, Dundee Dr. Andover and ends at The Park, 36 Bartlett St. Andover. We hope everyone will pack a picnic and join us after the parade for games and music in the park! Bring shelf stable food donations for the Merrimack Valley YMCA Mobile Pantry.

Andover Car Pride Parade

Thank you for such a beautiful and joyful 2021 Pride Parade!

South Church is also a host home for Merrimack Valley PFLAG Parents of Transgender Children Support Group Meetings at South Church.

Open to parents/caregivers of transgender children of all ages. Please attend, if only to listen. No judgments are made and no input is required. All content of the meetings is kept in strict confidence.

Contact Deb at merrimackvalleypflagt@gbpflag.org