Next weekend we celebrate Gay Pride which will continue through this month. As a nation consisting of different races, religions, political views and sexual orientations, we honor those who have given their lives and continue to fight for our freedom as we observe Memorial Day this Sunday. In a few weeks we will continue this celebration of freedom with fireworks, parades, picnics, etc., on the 4th of July. In spite of whether we agree with the politics of what is happening in the world today, we are continuing to defend our nation and at the same time, helping others to benefit from this gift of freedom. God has given us the responsibility to bring about freedom from hatred and injustice and establishing God's reign of love and peace through the sharing of the Good News and to bring about healing of both the soul and the body. However, in the face of the real problems of the world, we may feel that we are too insignificant to make an important difference in the middle of such political and seemingly meaningless chaos. I challenge you to look at your dreams. Those seeds of potentiality are in all of us. God does not discriminate. What you plant today, others will reap from the harvest tomorrow. You see, whatever seed we sow into our lives determines the harvest we will have. We always get back more than we sow. In answer to the question in the title of this article, yes, each one of us working together make a difference as we are an important part of what makes this world a truly better place for all. We make a positive difference when together we follow the example of Jesus in our lives; making a positive difference in the lives of those we meet. As we say at the end of the service, "Go in peace to love God and one another!" We have been chosen and we are being sent. This is a great time to be the church! Amen.
Whether it is "Gay Pride" month, or not, diversity should be appreciated and celebrated everyday. It was created for a reason. Since God is the Creator of all life, then the diverse nature of God's world is of value to us all. The definition of diversity is something like this: the concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual. Here are some example of diversity to consider.