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Old 02-02-2006, 05:48 AM   #1
LJC1861
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Do you go to Church/Synagouge?

Lisa and I were blessed to be members of a VERY gay(LBT) friendly church in New York. We attended Marble Collegiate Church on 5th Ave. This is the church that Norman Vincent Peale preached at for 50 something years. Although it is a very mainstream 5th. Ave church...(read dressy and formal)....it is also VERY progressive....(read women in the pulpit and socially active.) It was also VERY gay friendly with a social group for GLBT members of the church, many staff who were gay, committment ceremonies performed, gay and lesbian ushers, decons and elders. We even opened our doors wide and set up a table to serve thousands of bottles of water to thirsty marchers in the annual Gay Pride March held each year in June.

Now that we have moved, we are searching high and low for a gay friendly, yet somewhat traditional church here in Asheville. Although we have not found a church home yet we are finding some places that we will visit again.

So, do any of you attend church/synagouge? Are you out and accepted? Does your church/synagouge have a gay and lesbian group of any kind?

Linda
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Old 02-02-2006, 09:08 AM   #2
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Don't see how that could work since the 2 viewpoints (gay vrs JudeoChristian beliefs) are incompatible unless both are glossing over their actual beliefs. I'm not flaming you for wanting to be in a church but I do see some underlying conflicts there.
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Old 02-02-2006, 09:25 AM   #3
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I actually do not attend church myself locally... but I do live in New York.. and have been thinking about searching out a place to go... perhaps I will try your former church.

I hope you and Lisa find someplace to call "home" as that seems rather important to you.... Perhaps if you contact someone in your former church they may know of a church in your state? A stretch perhaps..but maybe a glimmer of hope?

Kathy
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Old 02-02-2006, 10:13 AM   #4
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We have been church shopping. My DP was raised catholic, and so we are having a difficult time finding one that we are 'both' comfortable with. So far we have found a lot of spiritual places, but not "the" one yet. Good Luck!
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Old 02-02-2006, 10:54 AM   #5
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We have been together for almost 7 years now. We decided that we really wanted to make church a priority this year. So, we did our homework and decided on a Metropolitan Community Church, which is a church that focuses it's ministry on the GLBT community, but of course is totally accepting of our straight but not narrow friends and family. We found that our church is frequented by Atlanta's own mayor, which kind of blew me away. We liked the service, but it was a huge departure from what I grew up with as a kid in an old Baptist church. The church is heavily influenced by the Catholic church, but that could be because one of it's main founders was a Catholic priest.

We intend on going as much as we can this year, but since Gabby's work has her traveling so much, it's really difficult to find the time to go with her always needing to be at the airport on Sundays. At some point, when Gabby is past the training phase of her job, we hope to make it more of a priority again.

Good luck in your quest for faith. Maggie
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Old 02-02-2006, 11:43 AM   #6
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Cool

Linda,

Here's a Presbyterian church in Asheville I found in a gay-friendly church directory for you.

http://www.gcpcusa.org/

Even if you're not Presbyterian, they might be able to help you locate other friendly churches in the area.

-p.b.
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Old 02-02-2006, 06:44 PM   #7
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We attend a very gay friendly Episcopal church in Washington DC. We have been attending it for 18 years and the number of gay people has gone up and down, but we feel at home there.
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:12 PM   #8
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I'm Catholic (shocking, I know!) and I go to Mass every Sunday. My parish is actually very open with gays & lesbians serving as eucharistic ministers, readers, ushers, members of the parish council, etc. I used to do readings and give out communion ... I never went through the eucharistic training but one Sunday they needed help and the priest (who was in his 70s) looked over at me when I finished the readings and signaled for me to help out. After that the other priest started doing it too. I've been an usher as long as I can remember. I guess it's not the traditional Catholic church and that's why I like it so much. And this wasn't an isolated period with one or two priests, it's been that way for a long time, through many different priests. We have a very diverse congregation - various ages, races, backgrounds, etc. I definitely don't agree with much of what comes out of Rome but I see a different view every Sunday.
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:48 PM   #9
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What a great thread. I would not have started it myself because as a religious professional I think it's important that I be even more cautious about such matters. That said, I clearly find no contradiction between a right interpretation of the Jesus event and my orientation. Indeed, if I do say so myself, I think I'm rather good at both!
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:44 PM   #10
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Thanks for responding!

Polorboi- Thanks for the link. I have driven by that church many times and we may just check it out on Sunday. Both our families have ties to the Presbyterian Church, and my Mom and Dad are PCUSA. I know they would be happy if we found a PCUSA church to attend.

Valentine- You will love Marble if you decide to attend. It is Reformed Church of America, but very liberal. It is a good introductory church. By that I mean, that they don't shove theology down your throat and are very welcoming of visitors and particularly visitors who might not have attended a church regularly. The sermons are excellent and very positive in nature. People will talk to you, and if an usher finds out that you are a visitor, might even sit you next to someone who will be very welcoming. Although it is a big church and people do get fairly dressed up, I have gone in jeans and been totally comfortable. Coffee Hour in the hall has tables set up for all the social groups, and the GIFTS (the gay and lesbian) group has a table with all sorts of information. Try it, you just might like it. Services are at 11:15, but the sanctuary does fill up early so it might be a good idea to get there at least 20 minutes early. If you want more info, please feel free to e-mail me. The church is on 29th and 5th.

Linda
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Old 02-02-2006, 09:14 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info! Once I change my babysitting day from Sunday to Sat for the little guy in my siggie, I will definitely check it out! IN addition to spiritual fullfillment, I have been searching for a way to expand my circle of Gay & lesbian friends.. WITHOUT the bar scene.. and this seems to be a viable option! Thanks again...

Kathy
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Old 02-02-2006, 09:19 PM   #12
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I am extremely active in my synagogue, JRC the Jewish Rconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, IL (just a block north of Chicago). It is a mainstream reconstructionist congregation. Reconstructionists have always been on the forefront of driving social change while maintaining a strong sense of Jewish tradition. It was the founder of the reconstructionist movement who created the tradition of Bat Mitzvahs for girls, and the reconstructionists were the first to ordain openly gay and lesbian rabbis.

I'm on the board of directors and on the executive board as the VP of Information.

It is an extremely open and welcoming environment. Our congregations keywords are Welcoming, Inclusive, Innovative, Joyful, Dyamic and Caring.

We do have a GLBT Chavurah (friendship circle) and have been making active outreach to the Chicagoland GLBT community.

This past June JRC hosted a gay pride program that included a presention on Jewish Involvment and Participation in the history of gay rights, a showing of the film, Trembling Before G-d, followed by a community discussion, a Shabbat Gay Pride Service and our participation in the Chicago Gay Pride Parade, the first time a mainstream Jewish organization participated.

This past Rosh Hashannah, I and one of our lesbian members lead a discussion group entitled, "What Straight Couples Can Learn from Lesbian and Gay Couples." It was a surprisingly well attended session and a lively engaged discussion.

I would have to say that I and my partner feel extremely welcome.

I am always testing the boundaries of acceptance, and this past Chanukah, as part of a fundraising Chanukah event, I donated a guided gay bar crawl for one of the silent auction items, which to my surprise, tons of people bid on. My partner and I were the hosts and guides for a straight couple, in their 70's taking them from gay bar to gay bar one Saturday night, buying them drinks and having a great time.

Probably the most gratifying thing is that since there has been this active outreach to the gay community, the effect it is having on the congregation. We are now seeing people's teenage and early 20's kids starting to come out. The most wonderful thing is that they too love our shul (synagogue) and feel that they have a welcoming spiritual home, and are now bringing their boyfriends and girlfriends to services.

So, yes, I am involved in a truly fabulous synagogue!


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Old 02-03-2006, 08:43 PM   #13
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Great Thread! My partner and I are soon to be members of a Reform Synagogue in Lombard, IL. It is a very welcoming community, in fact our Assistant Rabbi is a lesbian. I am currently taking the Intro to Judiasm course she is teaching. It has been a wonderful experience. I can see my partner and I being members of this wonderful community for many, many years to come. There are two other lesbian couples in my Intro to Judiasm class. I have had nothing but wonderful experiences with everyone we have met and I just love attending Shabbat services every Friday night.
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Old 02-07-2006, 09:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerChelle
Great Thread! My partner and I are soon to be members of a Reform Synagogue in Lombard, IL. It is a very welcoming community, in fact our Assistant Rabbi is a lesbian. I am currently taking the Intro to Judiasm course she is teaching. It has been a wonderful experience. I can see my partner and I being members of this wonderful community for many, many years to come. There are two other lesbian couples in my Intro to Judiasm class. I have had nothing but wonderful experiences with everyone we have met and I just love attending Shabbat services every Friday night.
The reform movement has been performing Gay Marriages and ordaining Gay Rabbis for a ling time. I'm very proud t be part of the Reform Judaism movement
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Old 02-07-2006, 09:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gayminnie
Don't see how that could work since the 2 viewpoints (gay vrs JudeoChristian beliefs) are incompatible unless both are glossing over their actual beliefs. I'm not flaming you for wanting to be in a church but I do see some underlying conflicts there.
Jewish beliefs and Christian ones are very different.. They always have been..I hate the Term Judeo-Christian
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