Vancouver church holds Pride service ahead of popular Pride Week – BC


A church in Vancouver held a special service Sunday in honour of Pride Week.

Canadian Memorial United Church, on West 15th Avenue, was lit up with rainbow colours during the morning service.

Rev. Gary Paterson was the guest preacher for the event.

As an openly gay minister, he preached about the importance of inclusive communities and celebrated the progress made while recognizing the discrimination LGBTQ+ community members still face in 2023.

“We need to be aware,” he said. “We need … in the week of celebrating and feeling good in the bubble of Vancouver … there’s a lot that needs to be done if we are going to be following the way of Jesus, not being woke or politically correct, but following in the way of Jesus.”

The church will host a second queer-affirming service next Sunday. Following that, congregants will march in Vancouver’s Pride Parade with other churches from across the Lower Mainland.

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The Vancouver Pride Society is expanding the Vancouver Pride Festival this year, adding an extra day to the event, as well as more activities and entertainment.

The society has also revealed its new parade route beginning at Davie and Denman streets, proceeding down Beach Avenue and Pacific Street, and ending at the new festival site at Concord Community Park. The changes bring the parade from 2.7 kilometres in length to 3.1 kilometres.

Vancouver Pride Festival programming will last all weekend on Aug. 5 and 6, with the parade taking place on the Sunday.

This year, the Vancouver Pride Society is also reducing the number of floats and trailers allowed in the parade. On its website, it says this change is to lower the number of heavy vehicles involved with a goal of making Pride emissions-free for Canada Pride in 2024.

The parade will see part of Denman Street, Davie Street and Beach Avenue closed from Denman to Jervis Street, and Pacific Avenue from Jervis Street to Carrall Street.

— with files from Elizabeth McSheffrey

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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