Between 20 and 30 people gathered along Glenview Road in front of Glenview Community Church before Pride Sunday worship for an event called Pride Witness. June is Pride Month and the local church has been at the forefront of advocating for the LGBTQ community over the last few years.
When asked last week, Glenview officials said a village proclamation for Pride Month would not be issued this year. Tuesday, officials reversed course. President Mike Jenny issued a Pride Proclamation reading it at Tuesday’s village board meeting.
Glenview Community Church is an “open and affirming congregation,” one of 1,800 within the United Church of Christ denomination committed to welcoming all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender presentation, race, or other factors.
Many driving down Glenview Road honked their horns in support, as those at the event waved Pride flags, with a few passing the church expressing disapproval for the event.
After the Pride Witness event outside the church, during the Pride Sunday worship service, Glenview Community Church Senior Pastor Rev. James Matarazzo gave a history of the United Church of Christ becoming an “open and affirming” congregation, welcoming members of the LGBTQ+ community, during his sermon, and identified himself as the church’s first openly gay senior pastor, although he later told the Journal other associate pastors before him have been part of the LGBTQ community.
Attending the Pride Witness was Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton (D-14th), a former Glenview village trustee who played a role in seeing the Pride Flag flown at the Glenview Public Library beginning two years ago, after a failed push by organizations including Glenview Community Church, to see the flag flown in front of village hall.
“Having done the (Cook County) United Against Hate (program), they (Glenview Community Church) have been a tremendous partner, not just in this,” Britton reflected on his effort two years ago, coordinating with then Glenview Library Board President Allan Ruter to see the Pride Flag raised at the library in the middle of June after it was denied at village hall. Britton said it was “one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
Northfield Township Supervisor Shiva Mohsenzadeh also attended the Pride Witness event.Support local news by subscribing to the Journal & Topics in print or online.