Imagery of church-related people and places.

“Dancing Queen” by ABBA

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Devotional by Rev. Amanda Gerken-Nelson

It all started in her red Pontiac Sunfire. 

My aunt would come and pick me up in her “cool car” and we’d head to McDonald’s to get some frenchfries. Then, we’d roll down the windows, blast ABBA on the radio, and we’d be off – licking our salty fingers along the way! 

When the musical, “Mamma Mia” came out, my aunt saw it at least 10 times – any time it came to town, she was in the audience…twice! 

When “Dancing Queen” came on – at the musical or on the radio – suddenly an imaginary piano appeared just above my aunt’s head in time for her to play “ching-ching, ching-ching, ching-ching” along with the piano part in the song – mimicking the choreography of the main characters.

Since my aunt died eight years ago, all too suddenly from complications with her Lupus, every time “Dancing Queen” comes on the radio, I am reminded of her love and playfulness.

And when it comes on at the gay bars, suddenly an imaginary piano appears above my head just in time for me to play “ching-ching, ching-ching, ching-ching.”

And in that moment, I am connected to my wholeness.

God of all love, enfold your beautifully diverse creation in your peace and pride this month as we celebrate our wholeness. Thank you for the gift of loved ones who show us your all-encompassing grace through their love. Amen.

Amanda Gerken-Nelson (she/her/hers) is pretty good at the air piano and at emphasizing “leee-berty” with her brother Paul in the ABBA song “Fernando.” This weekend, as the LGBTQIA+ community celebrates World Pride, Amanda also celebrates her one year wedding anniversary to Tasha. She is grateful to all who have paved the way for her and all gender and sexual minorities to even have a legal option for marriage and a church which would bless her partnership. 

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