Plymouth Church organizes a Pride event in South Park

A band plays music at Plymouth Congregational Church’s Pride event at South Park Lawrence, Kansas on June 5, 2022. Children, young adults and University of Kansas students attended the event, which included ice cream, drinks and games.

Plymouth Congregational Church celebrated Pride Month Sunday in South Park.

Families, youths and University of Kansas students attended. The event included live music, free ice cream, drinks and games. 

Rose Hicks, a member of the LGBTQ community and a KU incoming junior studying behavioral neuroscience, went to the event with their boyfriend. 

“There were a lot of kids,” Hicks said. “It was really nice to see that they’re getting that safe space, which was something I didn’t really have growing up.”

Caroline Lawson Dean, Plymouth’s associate pastor, said Plymouth’s first Pride event took place last year and was initially planned as a coming-out event.

“A week later on Facebook, we had like 500 people interested who weren’t associated with the church at all,” Dean said. “This year we were much more intentional about planning it, knowing it was a big outreach in the community.”

Several LGBTQ advocacy groups, including Free Mom HugsPFLAG and Transgender Kansas, co-organized the event at South Park.

Free Mom Hugs provided hugs and emotional support for LGBTQ youths, said Cyndi Cerood, a member of Free Mom Hugs.

“We want to provide support and love in whatever form,” Cerood said. “A lot of kids are lucky and have that in their families, and not all kids are.”

Jesse Brace, executive director of Transgender Kansas, said it was the biggest event that his organization has attended. Transgender Kansas distributed over 300 pins.

“It was put on by a church, which is really unusual for Pride,” Brace said. “It was really nice to have that firm reach.”

Children playing during the Plymouth Pride event at South Park on Sunday

About Plymouth

Plymouth is a part of United Church of Christ, a smaller Christian denomination, Dean said. 

“We are an open and affirming congregation,” Dean said. “We welcome the LGBTQ community and work really hard to create a community that’s safe for kids, youth and adults.”

Plymouth has a ministry at KU called Pub Theology, Dean said.

“We don’t assume that you come in as a progressive Christian or even a Christian,” Dean said. “It’s a really open-ended conversation.” 

Upcoming Pride Month events

The Lawrence Pride Parade is scheduled for June 25, according to Explore Lawrence.

Hicks went to a Pride Parade for the first time last year and will go again this year.

“I’m excited for that one,” Hicks said. “I just like being in spaces with other queer people.”

More information on Pride Month events can be found on Explore Lawrence.

Leave a Reply