6 Gay-Friendly Churches in Philadelphia to Attend Easter Sunday Service
With all the talk this week about the Religious Freedom Act, it may seem, as LGBT folk, that we’re anything but welcome inside the doors of a church. But that’s not exactly the case. There are tons of faith-based congregations in the region that welcome the LGBT community with open arms. I’ve rounded up six that I know of on this Good Friday, so you can know where to go if you feel like taking in an Easter Service on Sunday.
Broad Street Ministry
For you sleepyheads, an afternoon Easter Service on the Avenue of the Arts. It promises live music (“from soaring Eastern anthems to Kool and the Gang’s ‘Celebration'”) and a sermon by Convening Minister Reverend Bill Golderer titled “What would you attempt if you had the power of the spirit.” Broad Street Ministry uses “Broad” in the title for two reasons: (1) its location, obviously, and (2) it prides itself on being a “broad-minded Christian community that cherishes creativity, fosters and nurtures artistic expression, extends inclusive hospitality and works for a more just world through civic engagement.” Read its mission and core values here. Sunday, April 5th, 4 pm, Broad Street Ministry, 315 South Broad Street.
Christ Church in Philadelphia
Join Christ Church‘s active LGBT Fellowship for a variety of Easter services and events. There will be three sermons throughout the morning with live music, and an egg hunt in the historic Churchyard. Betsy Ross, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington all attended services here back in the day, so you’re in good company. Church services at 6, 9 and 11 am, egg hunt at 10:10 am, Christ Church in Philadelphia, 20 North American Street (on 2nd Street just above Market.)
First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
First Unitarian, which houses an LGBTQ support and advocacy group called “Interweave,” celebrates Easter with a “resurrection” service that touches on “Jesus’s life and death, the Israelites’ liberation from slavery, and other myths and legends that call us to the notion of rebirth.” 11 am, First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, 2125 Chestnut Street.
Saint Luke’s United Church of Christ
If its gorgeous rainbow-colored stain glass window wasn’t enough of a clue, Saint Luke’s prides itself on being “a people of extravagant welcome.” (That’s also written on a banner on their Facebook page in rainbow colors.) Check out their all-affirming mission statement here, and join the congregation in Northeast Philly for service and fellowship on Easter Sunday. 10:30 am, Saint Luke’s United Church of Christ, 11080 Knights Road.
Tabernacle United Church
TUC has a whole weekend of Easter events planned, starting with a Good Friday vigil at Morris Park and culminating with Easter Sunday Service and a celebratory potluck. Tabernacle has “equal treatment for LGBT people” written into its mission statement, which states that “we welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families in to the full life and leadership of the congregation.” Good Friday vigil, Friday, April 3rd, 4 pm, Morris Park, North 68th Street; Sunday service, Sunday, April 5th, 10 am, Tabernacle United Church, 3700 Chestnut Street.
Whosoever Metropolitan Community Church of Philadelphia
Led by out pastor Reverend Jeffrey H. Jordan-Pickett, Philadelphia’s oldest LGBT organization’s Easter Service will feature a sermon and some uplifting new tunes from the Church’s Praise Team and choir. Reverend Jordan-Pickett says there will also be a special reception-type meal afterward, so come hungry — for the spirit and otherwise. 11 am, Whosoever Metropolitan Community Church of Philadelphia, 3637 Chestnut Street.
UPDATE: Since posting, I’ve learned about several more gay-friendly churches in Philadelphia. Add these to your list of Easter Sunday service options: The Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany, Calvary United Methodist Church, Saint Mark’s Church, Saint Mary’s at Penn, Saint Mary’s Episcopal in Ardmore, All Saints Episcopal Church.
Know of other LGBT-friendly churches that didn’t make the list? Please chime in in the comments section below, or on our Twitter and Facebook feeds. I also found a nifty gay-church locator that allows you to search for LGBT-friendly congregations near your address. Find that here.