Pink in my mind is the gay colour. The origin of this connection is not a good one. In the Nazi concentration camps, different groups were given symbols or badges to wear – Jews wore a yellow star, “antisocial” (lesbian) women were given inverted black triangles to wear and gay men, pink triangles. Just like reclaiming the word “queer”, the colour pink has been embraced as a positive, rather than negative aspect of gay identity – Pink Paper, the pink pound etc.
The pink donkey in the stained glass window pleases me on many levels. It took me a long while to notice it, tucked away in one corner. Yet it has always been there, as much a part of the church fabric, as any of the other images and memorials. The donkey is fully centre stage in the window, playing such a vital part in the story and just faithfully doing what it is asked to do. Donkeys are grey or brown in colour generally. This one has all the characteristics that are required of a donkey – strength, stamina, calmness in a crowd, and it is also delightfully different, fabulous and beautiful even.
This month, we are starting to really listen for what God is calling us to do and to be, as we develop a vision for the future of MCC Newcastle. We are learning about dreams and visions in scripture, and also listening to the community around us, and what they need. During the month, we are collecting images, poems, music, anything that somehow captures the essence of MCC Newcastle now or hints at the vision of its future.
For me, the pink donkey is one of those images. LGBT people have always been part of the church, as well as others who dared to be different. We have been willing to serve faithfully and play our part. We have been active and present at some of the biggest moments of church history, even if we have been not noticed or ignored. We have also just wanted to be fully ourselves.
This week, look and listen for what represents MCC Newcastle to you. Share it on Sundays.