you know the funny thing about openness is you never know what’s going to come next. And that’s really, really important to remember. So when you finally get to that place where you say, “Yes God, I am open to myself and to my story and to learning about myself,” you kind of have to let go because you really don’t know what comes next. –Rev. Lea Brown

Sometimes people call Unitarian Universalist churches “gay”, as in, “Oh, the UUs? Aren’t they that gay church?” And while it’s true that we have a long history of supporting LGBT/queer rights, including full inclusion in our communities of faith, ordination, and ministries, we haven’t ever been focused enough on sexual orientation to qualify for that title. The Metropolitan Community Church, on the other hand, did (as I understand it) really start as a gay church. They are a Christian denomination which understands their ministry as one of inclusion and welcome to Christian faith practice, with the emphasis on the queer/glbt community. Read more here.

Much of what they do is a lot like what we do–they have services about being religious, they have social gatherings, they have fundraisers. But because of their focus, their origins, and their population, they have some perspectives that would be harder to explain from a UU pulpit.

The full practice of religion, and a faithful understanding of our every day, can be found everywhere, and lessons on how to do it better can be found everywhere. There’s a sermon from an evening service at the San Francisco MCC church during the Folsom Street Fair that is an elegant example.

The sermon is out there for anyone to read, but I’d encourage parents to pre-read it before sharing it with your children; it uses some edgy sexuality as an extended example. Although it never gets explicit, your children might have questions that you’d rather know about ahead of time. If you’re easily shocked or offended, under sixteen or so (everyone is different) and definitely if you’re under 14 you should talk to your parents or a trusted adult before looking it up.

I don’t want anyone accidentally clicking through if they’d rather not, so rather than linking I’ll just give you the information you need to find it on your own. Look for “Radical Relationships in Beloved Community; Radical Openness: The Spirituality of Leather” by Rev. Lea Brown. It was delivered in 2003 at the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco.