The Equality Ride stop at Trinity Bible College was April 23, 2007.
|Emily Van Kley|
On Monday, April 23rd, Equality Riders along with 6 friends from CoffeeLoft.org, a progressive campus ministry at the University of South Dakota, held vigil in a small ‘free speech zone’ set up on campus at Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, North Dakota. Working with local emergency services, the school put up metal fencing around our zone. All streets leading up to our vigil were barricaded and one student told the local paper that, though she wanted to talk with us, she felt she needed to ‘respect the school’s wishes’ and refrain.
Over the months before our visit, members of USD’s crocheting ministry made prayer shawls to give to the campus as a testament to the Assemblies of God emphasis on the gifts of the spirit. There were nine shawls all together, one for every color of the original pride flag and one for every gift of the spirit. In the morning, Equality Riders and USD community members wore the shawls in prayer and meditation. Later in the afternoon, we blessed the shawls, speaking the names of each of the gifts of the spirit over each one. Then, Rachel and Dianna, from USD, and I (Emily, one of the co-organizers of the stop) took the shawls in arm and walked onto campus. The rest of our group surrounded us with song as we walked and we carried the shawls as far as we could toward the chapel and were stopped about halfway. We left them spread out in a rainbow on the grass and were arrested.
After another hour or so in vigil, the group walked to the town library to donate books focused on the LGBT issues and other areas of social justice, in the hopes that those who may not find support on TBC’s campus or in the surrounding community might at least be able to find books that speak to their experience and help keep them safe.
In all, it was a very powerful afternoon, and we hope that the
conversation in Ellendale continues.
Read about Trinity Bible College and GLBT equality.