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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



Church coalition offering full month of Pride
by Charlsie Dewey

This article shared 1787 times since Wed Jun 12, 2013
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The Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches is offering a full month of Pride-related activities for people of faith.

More than 60 congregations are part of the Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches. Each one will participate in celebrating Pride during the month of June with various activities, and on Sunday, June 23, the congregations will come together to host the first Chicagoland-wide Ecumenical Pride Worship Service.

The service will be held at the First United Methodist Church, Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington St., at 7 p.m.

"The service is titled 'Draw the Circle Wide' and it reflects the coalition's ongoing efforts to provide the LGBTQ community with welcoming and embracing Christian worship spaces," said Brent Holman-Gomez, who is a member of the planning team.

Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Bishop Wayne Miller and United Methodist Church of Northern Illinois Bishop Sally Dyck will speak during the service.

"Both of them have done some advocacy for LGBT inclusion recently," Holman-Gomez said. "Bishop Dyck, for the Methodist Church, wrote an op-ed piece recently in favor of supporting gay marriage here in Illinois. ... The Evangelical Lutheran Church is one of the large denominations that has been affirming LGBT pastors and congregants officially for a few years now. The Chicago group that he represents is one of the leaders in the denomination nationwide for LGBTQ."

The worship service will also include music performed by an ad hoc choir. Anyone interested in being part of the choir can join the rehearsal, which is being held during the 6 p.m. reception prior to the service.

This is the first time that the Coalition, which began in the early 2000s, has done a Chicagoland-wide worship service.

Holman-Gomez also noted that on Sunday, June 9. Judith Kotze—from Inclusive and Affirming Ministries in South Africa spoke at St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square about issues of justice in South Africa and efforts being undertaken in religious communities throughout Africa to become more welcoming and affirming towards LGBT people.

"There is a lot that we can learn about where LGBT people are at in the social framework of Africa," Holman-Gomez said. "We've got a thriving community here in Chicago and what do we need to do to keep that thriving as well as what can we learn form the African experience as well as help them too, to develop their community."

The Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches was formed to provide resources and a welcome space for LGBT individuals and help spread the message of affirmation and inclusiveness. It was centered in the Lakeview and North Side area of Chicago when it initially began.

It has grown substantially, stretching into the suburbs and south. It not only provides resources to help LGBT people of faith, but also religious leaders.

"We provide resources to pastors so that they can come together and think about how they can include gender diversity and sexual orientation diversity more in their work as pastors as well as make connections with other people in the city that can help them and their congregations grow," Holman-Gomez said.

"We recognize that as social traditions of homophobia persist churches can play an instrumental role in opening up the conversation and bringing an end to transphobia and homophobia, and we are excited about making sure that that voice is loud and clear and represented. And, it's a growing voice."

To find out more about the Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches and for a Pride activity schedule, visit

This article shared 1787 times since Wed Jun 12, 2013
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