Published on July 10th, 2015 | by Joanna Sappenfield4
Finding gay-friendly churches in Tacoma
Inclusive, LGBTQA-affirming church congregations in Tacoma are not afraid to be public about their doctrine.
They are intentional and unapologetic. When I asked if the gay community is accepted in their congregation almost every voice on the other side of the line would say, “That’s us!”
Here are some responses:
“Human sexuality is a gift from God to be celebrated no matter if a person expresses this gift in mutually consenting same sex or opposite sex relationships. It is important not just to welcome LGBTQ folk but to affirm their sexual orientation. We do that at Immanuel.” – Rev. David Brown, Immanuel Presbyterian Church
“The inclusivity of our church is founded on God’s love of all people. When I read the gospels I see Jesus welcoming the stranger, the outcast, the leper, and those on the margins of society. Jesus’ treatment of women resisted the patriarchal culture of Ancient Near East, and similarly the early church confronted ethnic and racial divides by welcoming and adapting their customs to Greeks, Samaritans, and Gentiles. This informs our church’s belief that Jesus calls us to love and accept all people, irrespective of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.” – Rev. Ben Robinson, Urban Grace
“We think that gays and lesbians are people; they are all children of God. This congregation has held that position for almost 20 years. They are welcomed to serve in any office of the church. Who you love doesn’t affect how we treat you.” – Rev. Sarah Wiles, Bethany Presbyterian Church
“We are thrilled [about the Supreme Court’s decision] it’s something that we have been hoping for and waiting for and sometimes the waiting was hard. Many of us are breathing a sigh of relief. We don’t kick people out. Jesus said to love one another and to us that’s pretty clear.” – Marcia Wilson, Member of Mason United Methodist Church
And an update from a reader: “Christ Episcopal Church have had gay and lesbian clergy for 30-some years and prominent gay activists have been part of the congregation for at least as long. We helped start Three Cedars, the starting point for AIDS Housing Tacoma, in a rental property the church owned 25-years ago.”
Below are the churches I found that (actually) welcome the LGBTQA community.
Urban Grace – 902 Market St, Tacoma, WA 98402
Bethany Presbyterian – 4420 N 41st St, Tacoma, WA 98407
Immanuel Presbyterian – 901 N J St, Tacoma, WA 98403
Christ Episcopal Church – 310 N K St, Tacoma, WA 98403
First United Methodist – 621 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98402
Mason United Methodist – 2710 N Madison St, Tacoma, WA 98407
St. Leo Church – 710 S 13th St, Tacoma, WA 98405
Center for Spiritual Living – 206 North J St, Tacoma, WA 98403
Tahoma Unitarian Universalist – 1115 S 56th St, Tacoma, WA 98408
Tacoma Buddhist Temple – 1717 South Fawcett Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402
Need more options? Check out the mapping function on gaychurch.org and let me know in the comments what other churches we should include.
Featured photograph of the interior of Mason United Methodist by Michael Way.