Local church garners attention by sharing acceptance for LGBTQ community at multi-cultural fair

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“It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are on your journey through life. You are welcome here,” says Arlene Baldes, Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ member. 

Out of all the attractions at the multi-cultural fair, this one… was magnetic.

“We are what’s called an open and affirming church,” says Baldes. 

The only one of it’s kind in the Siouxland community…

“The banner here is multicolored. It’s a rainbow flag and within that, that is our message to anyone who sees this that in fact we are highly supportive, encourage and welcome people of diverse backgrounds, of different expressions of life, as well as our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. They are  standing of what it means to be God’s family,” says Elaine Miller, pastor.  

“You can see by the rug it says extravagant welcome and that’s what we mean and so anybody can come and that’s just the way we operate,” says Linda Cron, Christian Education Director. 

Multi-cultural… multi-colored… allowing anyone into their homes…

“It’s been a very freeing kind of experience,” says Baldes.

While some may feel uncomfortable…

“It is an issue for some people and the fact that a church is displaying this and it’s not just the LGBTQ community–you know, we are a church and we are showing this–I think that’s a big eye opener for people and it’s just different and it’s just something they wouldn’t expect,” says Cunningham.  

“We brought both of our banners because we wanted to pop out and I know we are at the clear back but people have come up to us and been like your banners and your flags are the first thing we saw when we walked in here,” says Jane Cunningham, member. 

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