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Old 07-07-2011, 06:04 PM   #1
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Default Open and affirming churches/religions of all types

There have been a few threads posted recently dealing with one aspect or another of religion. I thought I would start a thread where those of us who are interested in attending church for whatever reason, can post a church that we find to be open to us as queer folk. It would help if the church has a written declaration that they are open and affirming to show that they are committed rather than just accidentally or intermittantly open.

Entries are not limited to christian churches - muslim, jewish, buddist, jain, pagan, wiccan, confucian, etc, etc, etc are welcome.

If we could keep the arguments out of the thread, I would really appreciate it. If you disagree about a particular church, fell free to tell us, but please tell us politely. This is an open an affirming thread. Let's affirm each other.

In the marriage equality thread Jess posted two equality resolutions that were just passed by United Church of Christ. I would NEVER have thought to attend a church with the work "Christ" in it because of my reaction to the "Christians" in the far right. However, the local MCC Church (which I was not attending) recently changed affiliations and joined UCC national. While local churches are allowed to have their own position on any particular principle, the national church is very OK with many issues close to my heart. Including you don't actually have to believe in god.

I started attending this church about two months ago and really like it. The pastor is trans - M2F. The congregation is pretty evenly split between men and women. The members are very friendly and I have already begun to make friends there. A large group goes out to lunch together after church almost every Sunday. We have a pot luck every month. The choir is pretty good.

Well that's enough on this particular church.

I hope you can tell us about others you have attended or know of.

Smooches,
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:20 PM   #2
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Another example of a very welcoming church is within the Unitarians. I don't generally like to use Wiki as a resource, but this seems pretty thorough:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitarian_Universalism

I have also felt very much welcomed at Friends meetings. A little info about Quakers:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_quak.htm
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:23 PM   #3
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My honey and I attend a Religious Science church (do not confuse with Christian Science or Scientology). The church honors all types of religions. For example during December and January we celebrate Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Bodhi Day. I may be leaving something out.

Our minister is lesbian and we have a large variety of people from many walks of life. We also have a great number of talented people that share their magic with us in song, dance, the band, etc.

Andrea
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:25 PM   #4
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I have a friend who is a UCC pastor, and she's a lesbian. She guided me to consider going to UCC churches, but it helps if you look at their website and look for the abbreviation O.N.A in a congregation's listing. That actually translates to the words "open and(N) affirming".

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Old 07-07-2011, 06:33 PM   #5
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I have attended off and on a United Methodist Church in a community near where I live. Some UMCs have an open and affirming policy. I encourage you to check first before attending.

I enjoyed the fellowship and volunteer opportunities the church offered. I was partnered during most of the time I attended this church, and it was important to my then-girlfriend that we attend church. I was raised Catholic, with the full load of guilt and everything, so attending church was not something I was keen on at first. However, this church excelled at welcoming queer couples. I have recently given thought to going back to that church, as I have enjoyed the people there very much.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:44 PM   #6
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Threecrossesministries.org

Westminister, CA

Great website, you can hear a few sermons and find out if you like what you see. Something it says on the website that speaks to me:

We are a First Church of the:

Outcast, Fat Chance, No Chance, Families, No Families, Broken Families, Any Kind of Families, Big Sinners and Perfect Winners.

We can't promise to heal you mentally, emotionally, or spiritually or make you better, brighter, or born-again but, We will introduce you to THE ONE WHO CAN...

God's only Son, JESUS CHRIST.

We like it here and you are welcome here too!


If there is anyone in the Southern California area interested in attending and you don't want to walk in by yourself, send me a PM and we can meet up ahead of time and maybe do lunch when we are finished.
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:35 AM   #7
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I have attended several church's but I was raised up in the Community of Christ church. I just recently started going there again. I went to support my mom (a ordained minister) and my kids, but my partner and I were accepted and enjoyed that. The church is currently considering allowing homosexuals to not only be wed but also to become ordained ministers in the church. I will be sure to come back and post when it does happen.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:50 PM   #8
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i'm muslim but i go to a wonderful ucc church. it's one of the biggest churches in the area and is one of the most welcoming churches i've ever experienced. the denomination as a whole tends to be pretty liberal and welcoming, although only a fraction of ucc churches actually have an open and affirming policy in place. our church has some issues - many people apparently left when they adopted the ona policy and we still don't have gender neutral bathrooms, for example (i'm working on that). but generally speaking people are very kind and supportive there.

my experience of the ucc is that people are committed to being on a spiritual journey together to follow jesus, but that they are extremely open-minded when it comes to liberal theological interpretations, disagreements, etc. - just because we support one another doesn't mean we have to agree. they are also very much committed to social justice and building/creating change in the local community.

i have many friends who are queer and muslim and go to unitarian universalist and/or unity churches (some are ordained in the uu). i've had great experiences in both kinds, and also with the society of friends/quaker groups.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:26 AM   #9
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I am a Roman Catholic and sometimes go to the following service here in London:

http://www.sohomasses.com/

It's a service for LGBT folk, their families and friends. It is a mass organised by the Diocese of Westminster (effectively, the Catholic community serving central London). Unsurprisingly, it's not something that has been welcomed by sections of the Roman Catholic church but, for me and others who attend, it is very reaffirming.

The church attracts a wide variety of worshipers, including many non-LGBT folk and people of all ages and backgrounds.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:53 PM   #10
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I am so glad you found a place in the Catholic Church where you feel comfortable.
Smooches,
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:01 AM   #11
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I've been to Trinity United Methodist in Austin a few times and found it very affirming. I grew up Methodist, and it felt good being around Methodists who weren't dicks about orientation.

But as a non-Christian, I've started to gravitate to occasionally going to the local unitarian church. They seem pretty cool. Tiny congregation though. I may start trying to go there more regularly, though I hate getting up on sunday mornings. I hear they have a drum circle some nights.

I'm a pretty solitary pagan, so I find my fellowship in my 12 step (oa) and online I suppose.
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:26 PM   #12
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Amanda and I moved from Catholicism to UU during HS. We love our current church. It will host our wedding.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:36 PM   #13
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Hey out there to the spiritual people on BFP!!!!

Anyone who believes in any entity, I am asking anyone and everyone to please pray for our Country, The United States, tonight.

We NEED prayers. We NEED President Obama to win for ALL of us, no matter what continent you are on.

Please!!!!!

Peace, love and light to ya'll!!!!!
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princessbelle View Post
Hey out there to the spiritual people on BFP!!!!

Anyone who believes in any entity, I am asking anyone and everyone to please pray for our Country, The United States, tonight.

We NEED prayers. We NEED President Obama to win for ALL of us, no matter what continent you are on.

Please!!!!!

Peace, love and light to ya'll!!!!!
you know i'm praying!!

i think the reason i'm not as anxious as last time is that...i'm trying to trust in god. or something. whatever happens will happen.

i believe god is here even in the middle of all this partisan hateful bullshit and horrific storms and possible impending austerity measures and human rights violations and drone strikes.

i'd completely lose my mind if i didn't believe that.

i also want to look forward, past the next four years, and hold on to a future vision for our world that's bigger than one president or one country. when i think of the big picture, it makes it easier to breathe.

praying!!
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:19 PM   #15
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I've been so blessed to find my church in Knoxville, TN The Pastor is a lesbian and the church is open to all GLBT and S too! LOL

check out their link and if anyone is interested in attending I'll be happy to take you in and introduce you (be warned they're the huggingest people I've ever met! lol)

http://www.godsremnantministries.org

~~~shark~~~~~~~
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:14 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by stephfromMIT View Post
Amanda and I moved from Catholicism to UU during HS. We love our current church. It will host our wedding.

stephfromMIT, if you are in Cambridge than you must be attend Rev Fred Smalls congregation. Wow. He is amazing.

Greetings everyone,

Just found this thread. Thank you all for posting. With the holidays approaching and some people possibly seeking a safe welcoming place, I thought that I would share my experiences. Like Steph and Amanda, I am also a Unitarian Universalist and have been for 17 years. The congregations are welcoming and affirming.

We have the largest number of queer ministers of any denomination. There is a curriculum called The Welcoming Congregation, for those congregations who want to be certified as "welcoming", meaning they are really willing to do the work and train. The curriculum covers the intersections of homophobia, gender identity and religion.

Everyone is welcome. There is no doctrine or creed, this is what we believe:

There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote:

The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.


Unitarian Universalism (UU) draws from many sources:

Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;

Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;

Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;

Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;

Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;

Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

These principles and sources of faith are the backbone of our religious community.
_______________________________


It is my hope that those of you who are looking for community will seek out your local UU Congregation. More information is available on the

UUA Website
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:46 AM   #17
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UU has been supportive of the queer community for a long time. They provide the cradle which allows many MCC and UCC churches to develop. I attended UU for some time while I lived in Michigan, and would attend here except for the distance. I, too would encourage folk to try them out.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:50 AM   #18
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Hi Keri,

I forgot to mention that there is an online church for people who do not have a UU congregation nearby and it is lead by a lesbian Minister Rev Meg Riley who is wonderful:


The Church of the Larger Fellowship
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:09 AM   #19
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Unity Church of Christianity is where I go . Everyone is welcome and embraced, just the way they are, for who they are. As it should be in life. It's very spiritual , doesn't feel like organized religon to me.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:36 PM   #20
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A UU friend posted this on Facebook today and I thought it would be nice to share





Today for Transgender Day of Remembrance, a special offering to Kwan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion, who was born in India as Avalokiteshvara, assigned a male sex, and transitioned to female gender when she traveled to China (which is how she is known in Korea and Japan as well). May 'she who hears the cries of the world' keep all who do not fit into prescribed norms safe and loved today and every day.
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