At the Pride Month celebration that was being held at Enfield's Congregational United Church of Christ, two men rudely interrupted the sermon that was being delivered by a pastor and yelled out verses from the Bible. There have been no charges brought against the protesters.
On Sunday, Jun 25, the Rev. Greg Gray was in the middle of his Pride Month service at Enfield Congregational Church of Christ when two men stormed up to the platform and shouted at the pastor, accusing him of encouraging sexual behavior among the congregation members, Chron reported. Rev. Gray revealed that he observed the two men in the middle of the worship session that began at ten in the morning and immediately thought they did not belong there. They were reportedly in the sacred space but were not actively engaging in the service. Around an hour into the service, the pastor noticed the two men stood up, approached him, and shouted their allegations.
As per EyeWitness News, after two persons disturbed a church service honoring Pride Month, law enforcement officials are investigating the possibility that the incident was motivated by hate. Moreover, a trespassing notice was sent to the two individuals after they were located by the Enfield police department and were not allowed into the church under any circumstances. But the law enforcement officials will take them into custody if the two suspects are seen inside the church again.
On the other hand, on Wednesday, Jun 28, the church will have a service and a vigil to discuss the behavior that Gray considers unacceptable. Gray does not anticipate any problems on Wednesday but is relieved that authorities will ensure the safety of those who attend the church service. This event will be accompanied by Mayor Cressotti, which aims to demonstrate that "love is louder than the hate."
Pastor's Response to the Incident
The Pastor of the Congregational United Church of Christ in Enfield feels compelled to clarify that this behavior is unacceptable. As mentioned, to demonstrate solidarity for the LGBTQ+ community, the church has been decorated with rainbow flags, balloons, and banners. "Hate has been strong in this blue state of Connecticut. Hate is strong, and we're going to love louder," Rev Gray asserted. Based on a report from MSN, throughout the chaos, the safety of the pastor's people was his primary concern. He claimed that this congregation is not entirely composed of people who identify as queer. They have folks who identify as cisgender and who are heterosexual, and this has never been their experience.
Furthermore, Rev. Gray declares that the House of Worship makes no secret that it supports the LGBTQ+ community. As a result, both the pastor and the congregation he leads have been the targets of harassment in the past. Yet he noted that the protester's behavior is unacceptable in their church or community. According to Mayor Cressotti, the hatred is repulsive and has no place in Enfield. "I did find out that both these two gentlemen are out-of-towners, they're not from Enfield, and we are not going to tolerate this type of behavior at all," he added.