Despite the turbulence the country has been enduring for the past few months, Three Village residents and those in surrounding areas are showing support for all human beings.
Signs featuring the colors of the rainbow with additional black, brown, pink and blue stripes, and bearing the messages, “Our faith community celebrates pride” on one side and “Our faith community celebrates diversity” on the other, have popped up on random lawns the last couple of weeks. The signs are the result of a committee made up of local clergy members and lay people from various faith communities, according to the Rev. Ashley McFaul-Erwin, community outreach pastor at Setauket Presbyterian Church.
The pastor said the group was in the early stages of planning the first Three Village pride walk for June but then the pandemic happened. The members threw around the idea of a car parade but weren’t sure how they could do that safely and decided the signs would enable them to display the message in front of their homes and religious buildings.
McFaul-Erwin said it was an important message to share with many Christian churches having discriminated against the LGBTQ community in the past. The blue and pink stripes were added to represent transgender people and black and brown stripes are to show unity with people of color.
The Rev. Linda Anderson, community minister in affiliation with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Stony Brook, said she thought it was a brilliant idea.
“The signs will last longer than a parade,” she said. “They can be spread out more widely. It’ll just keep saying the message of peace, love of humanity, justice and fairness.”
Elaine Learnard, a Quaker and member of Conscience Bay Friends Meeting, agreed.
“I think it’s a great way to do it and very creative during this time where everything is so crazy,” she said.
Barbara Ransome, director of operations of the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, was part of the committee as a member of Conscience Bay Friends Meeting. She said she has one on her lawn and also placed one in front of the chamber office.
“With all the stress going on — George Floyd’s death, rallies, COVID-19, etc. — this is a symbol of unity,” Ransome said.
McFaul-Erwin said the Setauket Presbyterian Church also placed a pink triangle on the Village Green with 51 flags. She said the flags are “in memory of all who have been harmed by churches throughout the years. We want to repent for harm done as well as celebrate.”