by Rev. Jennifer Habetz, reprinted with permission from the Connecticut Conference United Church of Christ
FAIRFIELD — The tragedy of a teenager taking his or her own life is one of the most heart breaking experiences I know of. I believe God weeps with each precious life lost.
There have been so many stories in the news lately about young LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning) teenagers killing themselves. The truth is that these kids are not the first to lose their lives to anti-gay bullying and suicide and they won’t be the last unless and until our society radically changes.
Now, in response to recent news, First Church Congregational UCC of Fairfield’s The Loft group is holding the Lavender Lights Vigil in remembrance of all LGBTQ teens who have lost their lives to anti-gay bullying and suicide. We hope you will join us on Friday 6 p.m. on the front lawn of First Church Congregational at 148 Beach Road in Fairfield. Help us to remember those we’ve lost and to pledge to change the world we live in so that one day ALL young people – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning or straight will live in joy and hope.
We, as the Church, must be intentional and vocal about creating communities and finding ways to give hope to youth struggling against bullying and discrimination. We are called, as followers of Christ, to love all people and to work to change the world in which are young people are growing up. And we must do so loudly and visibly so that they know they are loved by God and are not alone.
First Church Congregational UCC started The Loft youth group last year in response to the suicide of a 17 year old girl here in Fairfield. The Loft is for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning teens and their allies and meets most Fridays from 4:00 – 5:00 pm. Led by me and Dr. Liane Nelson, of Fairfield, The Loft is a place for LGBTQ teens and their straight allies to make new friends, find unconditional love and support, discuss the unique issues and challenges in their lives and to have fun.
A donation will be taken at the vigil for the Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth. New teen members are always welcome at The Loft. Our motto? “You are not alone. We are stronger together.” For more information, call Jen at 203.259.8396 X15.