Dover UCC's rainbow flag desecrated

Dover UCC's rainbow flag was vandalized earlier this month. Photo by Noreen Thompson

Dover Congregational United Church of Christ in Westlake is an open and affirming congregation. No matter who you are or where you are in your life's journey, you are welcome here. We proudly fly the rainbow flag along with the American flag.

Someone wanted to make a statement regarding our stand and damaged the rainbow flag on Saturday, May 7. The following Sunday at the church service, Rev. Melinda Quellhorst stated, “A new flag will soon be flown and love will always prevail. Let’s pray for those who find hatred in their hearts.”

Sexual preference has been with us since the beginning of time. When I was in high school, many years ago, if you wore yellow clothing on Thursday you were labeled queer. Unfortunately, time has passed but attitudes and labels by some, toward people with alternative lifestyles, are consequential issues that perpetuate divisiveness. 

The doctrine of love of God and Christ are the most important parts of our Christian lives. 

For Dover Congregational Church to fly the rainbow flag is an invitation to all to come join us in our celebration of love. 

Michael DiLauro

Michael Angelo DiLauro earned an M.F.A. in Film Studies from Ohio University. He served as Director of the Academic Media Center and Associate Professor of Media Arts (2006-2018) and retired with Emeritus status at Robert Morris University. A celebrated director and producer of documentaries and television programs, DiLauro has earned five EMMY Awards, a Blue Ribbon from the American F.F. and the prestigious Gabriel Award for outstanding television programming. Michael has received funding from the Bill of Rights Commission, Catholic Communication Campaign, National Italian American Foundation, Pennsylvania Arts and Humanities Councils, Ohio Educational Television Network and the Public Broadcasting Service. In 2013 he received a grant through Robert Morris University from the R.K. Mellon Foundation to produce and direct “We Built This City: How the Allegheny Conference Remade Pittsburgh”. His feature documentary film, “Prisoners Among Us: Italian American Identity and WWII”, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the New York International F.F. and Montreal F.F. DiLauro’s “La Mia Strada” an ethnic journey, was screened at the Palestrina F.F. in Italy, Atlantic City F.F. and was awarded a Silver Medal from the Media Communications Association-International F.F. “Prisoners Among Us” and “La Mia Strada” have been screened at several cultural centers and universities throughout the United States and Europe. His passion for Italian American culture and identity was recognized by the University of Pittsburgh’s “Italian American Heritage” award. Additionally, UNICO (the largest Italian American service organization) awarded Michael a “Mille Grazie” award for his cultural contribution to the Italian American community. He currently lives in Westlake, Ohio with his wife of 41 years, Janet.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:53 AM, 05.16.2023