Statement On The Mural Released In 2021:
Churches have been a dangerous and fearful place for the LGBTQIA2S+ community for far too long. As Pride month approaches, we feel it is time to make a loud statement about how we are addressing this issue and working to reconcile with this community. Not only do we want everyone to see and know that we are an inclusive and safe space, but we also want to inspire other churches and public spaces around Prince George to do the same.
By creating this mural, Our Saviour's Lutheran is reaching out in a vulnerable and creative way to both recognize the hurt that queer people have been through at the hands of churches and to attempt building a healthy relationship between spiritual spaces and the queer community. We realize that this is only one step of many that must be taken to reconcile with the LGBTQIA2S+ community, and we feel that this representation of love and acceptance constructed at a time when the Pride celebration has been dampened by the pandemic is a step we must take in cultivating an atmosphere of healing in Prince George.
What Do the Handprint Tiles Represent? Why Are They Important?
There is a significant message represented by the handprint tiles that are included in the mural on Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. This section of the mural is meant to address and acknowledge the great pain, abuse, and loss that the LGBTQIA2S+ community has suffered at the hands of Christian Churches. It is well known that the Christian faith has often been misused in “justifying” and enforcing discrimination against the queer community; this has taken many forms including conversion therapy, lynching, excommunication, estrangement, hostility, and more. The handprint tiles are meant to acknowledge this hurt and hold a place for all those who have suffered in spiritual spaces simply for being who God has called them to be. Our Saviour’s Lutheran is actively taking steps to become a place of healing for all, and although acknowledging the pain does not make it go away, it is another step forward in reconciliation with the LGBTQIA2S+ community.