God Applauds You!

An Interfaith Shabbat service to mark the end of Pride month.

To mark the end of this year’s Pride month, we were really delighted to welcome Rev Jide Macaulay, founder of the House of Rainbow, to co-lead our Shabbat evening service.

Eivind Hansen Photography

Rabbi René Pfertzel and Rev Jide Macaulay shared the readings of our Shabbat evening liturgy – Rabbi René reading in Hebrew and Rev Jide in English. Music was provided by KLS’s Director of Music, Rebekka Wedell.

Following the service Rev Jide gave a powerful and fascinating talk about his life and his work.

Growing up as a gay man in Nigeria

Born in London in 1965, Rev Jide Macaulay grew up in Nigeria in a conservative Christian family. His early education took place in Nigeria and his university education in Nigeria, London and the US. Rev Jide described his experience of becoming aware of his sexuality as a teenager and struggling with the idea that he was an abomination according to some interpretations of certain Biblical passages. His relationship with his family suffered during this time but he eventually discovered the Metropolitan Community Churches organisation – a civil and human rights organisation that advocates for marriage equality in the US and across the world.

House of Rainbow

Rev Jide went on to found the House of Rainbow in Nigeria in 2006 to help people reconcile their spirituality with their LGBT identity. The House of Rainbow is now based in London and operates in 18 countries. It is active in a number of areas including sexual health, asylum seeker support, counselling and hate crime. You can find out more about the history of the House of Rainbow in this following short film:

Speaking after the service, Rabbi René Pfertzel said, “What an amazing story! Rev Jide is incredibly courageous and inspirational – he has taken real risks in his life and established a wonderful organisation which provides so much support in vital areas. It was a real privilege to share the Shabbat service with him this evening, to mark the end of Pride month, and I look forward to hopefully collaborating further with him in future”.

You can watch the full service here, Rev Jide’s presentation begins at 52 minutes: