Alum Rock UMC’s Pride leader was invited by Supervisor Ken Yeager to offer the invocation at the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors meeting on June 21, 2016. Supervisor Yeager contacted the church after we published a letter regarding the continued theft and vandalism of our Pride flags on campus. We’d like to share our invocation message with all:

Board of Supervisors Meeting Invocation
June 21, 2016

The philosopher and theologian Dr. Cornell West said, “justice is love in public.” I want you to know that all of us in this chamber have been called for a public purpose. A civic servant is a high calling entrusted with the well-being of our citizenry.

My name is Melody Aberin, and I am before you, greeting you from the many spectra on which I take pride; as a person of color, a bisexual, a woman, a United Methodist, and many more. Take a look around the room and into yourselves, and remember that you not only stand as a single person, but you stand as a living, breathing embodiment of a community.

Our flag has been stolen multiple times, ripped from the seams and snatched away to some lost place. Our congregation is small, about 86 people, and each of us had our own view on the subject. The first offense, we were shocked, but prepared. Another flag was raised in eagerness. By the second, we had hoped it was simply someone who was very enthusiastic about rainbow flags. Once the third and fourth offense passed, Alum Rock realized that we had an opportunity, a choice, to make a statement.

In the face of unjust circumstances, we came to an ultimatum. We are painting our rainbow flag on the driveway, as a mural on our wall, and across the campus. Let’s see them try and steal that.

So I thank you all for the pride you hold in yourselves and in your community. I especially thank you all for your voices, the ones which represent many without. And lastly, I thank you for allowing me to offer my own.

Let us be in reverence, Creator and Originator of Hope and Love, you have created us to be lovers, lovers of all people in your creation. Keep us steady in hope as to not allow hate to overcome the light of your love. Keep us focused on real care for the people you called us to serve. And ground us in your justice to still our heart for public service. And bless each of us here with your grace, to hear your people.

In the name of the Great Spirit known by many names, we commend this prayer to you. So it is, Ashai, Aho, Amen.

Ms. Melody Aberin
Rev. Stephen Lee
Alum Rock United Methodist Church

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