My recap of the Los Angeles Pride Parade/I’m Sorry Campaign LA

I was greatly encouraged that by word of mouth, a Facebook group page, 12 of us came together to be a part of the very first I’m Sorry Campaign in Los Angeles. While I am used to interacting with those around at Chicago Pride, our interactions with those with whom we offered I’m-Sorry’s were mostly with those directly in the parade. And yet it was received very well.

I can’t even begin to count the hugs, kisses, the weeping in my shoulder blade and thank-you’s and I-forgive-you’s I personally received. I saw some people within the parade who were moved and blew kisses, but thankfully a good deal of those I met and interacted with were on the street level. This is encouraging to me because it meant there was a connection made, a symbiotic relationship briefly established…this occurred after the majority of the people in the parade as well as those who came to watch passed up a group of protestors, a group of people waving their filthy flag under the guise of God, essentially a turn-or-burn message.

But still, my fellow I’m Sorry Campaigners received hugs and kisses, heard stories, engaged with those in the parade as well as those around them. Since I led this up and only met 1 individual for this event, I was slightly nervous as to how they’d engage with those in the parade and those around. They did a splendid job and I know that if they get together next year they will do fine on their own.

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Usually one Kingdom of God moment sticks out to me after the fact of Pride parades, be it someone I interacted within the parade directly or someone in nearby proximity who saw what we were about. None specifically sticks out because there was an abundance of love and reconciliation and restoration! 🙂 I enjoyed that people were receptive to our cards, read it, got it and looked back to smile/wave/blown kisses/mouthed thank-you’s. That’s how it sometimes plays out in the Kingdom Of God, it takes a bit of time to process what’s really going on and receive it completely and fully.
God delights in our “getting it” and even our extending it to others. Love, grace, mercy, peace, reconciliation and restoration point to what God is doing and even what God has invited us along to do and participate in. God’s presence is already there, but God invites us and coaxes us to be a part of Kingdom work.

Thanks be to God for inviting me to be a part of adventures like this one. I’m not running on a “spiritual high” right now but rather a relaxed state of being and dwelling and thinking over what God has done, a posture of thankfulness to do events like this one. I have seen the hands of God in all of this, and I am grateful to have played a part in it.

~Nathanael~

I’m out in Los Angeles for the week

Earlier this year I met one of my online friends offline and we shared life with one another and I brought up a dream I had where took the I’m Sorry Campaign to San Francisco Pride in the Castro District.

My friend doesn’t live in San Francisco but Los Angeles, and he brought up that the I’m Sorry Campaign would be a good thing at the West Hollywood/L.A. Pride Parade and I said I’d love to do help out with that. With a lot of direction and help from The Marin Foundation and Michael Kimpan, that idea and concept talked about earlier this year is quickly becoming a reality.

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I say all this not to toot my own horn, or self-praise myself, but rather turn any resemblance of praise and thanks and offer it up to God. Even though it has been a harrowing experience, despite my anxiety and a few rough patches in getting this together and even rough patches in my own life…I am more at peace about this now than I ever have been because of several variables:

– Someone else believing in me – It has been been encouraging to be given the task to help lead this up. As much as I gravitate to leadership roles, lately I have been plagued with doubt and worry, anxiety and frustration, and when this happens to me in my life (which is an irregular event but still happens.) I don’t function well. at. all.
Yet Michael believes in me and what I am capable of doing. There’s something to the nature of imposing (in a good sense) belief and capability on others, because while it hasn’t sustained me or inflated my ego, it has restored me in some ways and brought about be believing in my capacities.

– I am not going into this alone – If I am honest with myself and you the reader, there is a sneaky sly deceptive voice that tries to get under my skin with a message of “you’re going into this alone” and then I temporarily freeze up and then I find myself dwelling on the last part of Romans 8:31 where it says “If God is for us, who can be against us” and personalize it, if God is for me, who can be against me? It brings me back to level ground, it brings me back to a place of recognizing that while this is new territory, the way has already been paved which is what leads me to my last point…

– God is here, I’m just invited to be a part of this adventure – God is present in L.A., God will be at LA Pride, God will be amongst those in the parade who read our signs and interact with those gathered to be a part of the I’m Sorry Campaign in LA. I realized the nature of God being present at Pride parades when I was on my way to the first I’m Sorry Campaign in Chicago; I was hesitant and even worried as to how the message of I’m Sorry would be received, but a gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit rolled over me, encouraging me that I was to be a part of something bigger and better than myself, something that God was already involved in…before it even happened! That set the tone of my heart, mind, and soul for that one and ever one since, and even the one that’s going to happen this Sunday.

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I am truly blessed to be out here and to be a part of this, to God be the glory in all that we do! 🙂

~Nathanael~