Three Jackson churches hold joint-service to welcome LGBT community

Music rang through of Cascades park in Jackson Sunday morning. The First Congregational Church of Jackson, Saint John's United Church of Christ, and the Universalist Unitarian Church of East Liberty joined together to celebrate all people, including those in the LGBT community.

"It means a lot," says Carl Struble, who was at the event.

It especially means a lot in a community like Jackson, one that organizers say is not the most progressive.

"Jackson, unlike a lot of cities in our state, is not as progressive and open and welcoming towards gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, people as other communities are," says Cynthia Landrum, the minister at the Universalist Unitarian Church of East Liberty.

Struble says he feels events like these could be a good start towards the city embracing the LGBT community.

"I think as more people become aware of how many gay and lesbian, and allies, that we have here in Jackson," Struble says, "I think it will eventually move forward."

Churches openly affirming the LGBT community will only help.

"There's a groundswell, now, of acceptance in this community where we can get together," explains Landrum. "This service wouldn't have been possible when I came here 12 years ago because our church was the only welcome and affirming church at that time and so the fact that it's possible is so joyous and amazing."

The turnout was impressive too, which organizers believe shows how prepared the community is to take a step forward.

"I think it shows that the community is ready, and is waiting, and is hungry, and longing, for more things like this," says Landrum.

But there's still a ways to go.