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St. James' Glastonbury
Episcopal Church

Message from Rev. Don Hamer June 7, 2023

Dear Siblings in Christ:

Have you ever pondered the Biblical significance of the rainbow?

We always marvel at the beauty of a rainbow. Across all cultures, the rainbow symbolizes many things:

-  Promise for a better future

-  New beginnings – A rainbow appears at the end of a storm, signaling the end of this period and the start of a new beginning.

-  Good luck – especially in Irish culture

-  Diversity, equality and peace – The rainbow is made up of several colors: Each is unique and individual, even as they work together to make a beautiful whole.

In recent American culture, the rainbow has been adopted as a symbol of diversity, equality and inclusion. In the early 1980s, Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign stood up for the rights of a “Rainbow Coalition” of diverse Americans—including Blacks, whites, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans; men and women; straight and LGBTQ. More recently, the rainbow flag has been adopted by the LGBTQ+ movement. All were and are meant to stand for the inherent dignity of every human being.

But the origins of all of these meanings is rooted in Scripture, specifically in Genesis 9:11-15, when God sends a rainbow to signal the end of the storms and the flood:  “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations. I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh . . . (Gen 9:12-15a)

In the coming week, we will be placing a newly-designed banner on the St. James’ belltower – a reminder of God’s covenant with all of God’s creation. Equally as important, it will serve as permanent and open invitation to our community and the thousands of folks who pass by our church each day. It will let everyone who passes by know that St. James’ is a place where all of God’s children are welcomed, honored and respected, and where all of God’s creation is cared for. Thanks especially to Gail Lebert and to all those who were involved in the design of this banner that will tell the world that St. James’ is a place of welcome, hope and healing.

I hope to see you all at our outdoor worship service this Sunday which will include our friends from St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.

Your brother in Christ, Don+