March 22, 2013 at 8:20 am EDT | by Santiago Melli-Huber
Room for all
MCC, Metropolitan Community Church, gay news, Washington Blade

A Metropolitan Community Church service (Photo by Jonahthunder via Wikimedia Commons)

Many D.C. churches welcome LGBT worshippers to varying degrees. But aside from avoiding certain denominations, how does one know which churches are safe out in the suburbs?

Though not meant to be exhaustive, our list is a good place for starters. If we missed you this time, please e-mail the Blade’s Features Editor Joey DiGuglielmo so your church or synagogue can be included in a gay-friendly church resource guide we’ll unveil soon at

Metropolitan Community Church, founded in 1968, is an international organization of Protestant congregations with a special ministry to LGBT believers. MCC describes itself as “the vanguard of civil and human rights movements.” The church fights for marriage equality in the U.S. and serves as a voice for the LGBT equality movement. Among their 222 congregations around the world are five in Maryland and northern Virginia.


MCC Baltimore holds a traditional service at 9 a.m. and a praise and worship service at 11 a.m. on Sundays.

401 W. Monument St., Baltimore, MD 21201


Open Door MCC holds services on Sundays at 10 a.m.

15817 Barnesville Rd, Boyds, MD 20841


Holy Redeemer MCC holds its worship Sundays at 11 a.m.

4907 Niagara Rd Suite 201, College Park, MD 20740


New Light MCC holds services on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

40 West Church St., Hagerstown, MD 21740



MCC of Northern Virginia holds Sunday worships at 11 a.m.

10383 Democracy Lane, Fairfax, VA 22030


Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Church in Manassas, Va., is a welcoming congregation that values justice, equality and compassion. The church believes in social justice, particularly for the LGBTcommunity. The church donates to, among other groups, Equality Virginia. Sunday services are at 10:45 a.m. with an additional 9 a.m. service from September through June.

9350 Main St., Manassas, VA 20110


Commonwealth Baptist Church says of itself, “all are welcome — no exceptions.” Together with the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, the church walked in the 2012 Capital Pride Parade. Worship is on Sundays at 11 a.m.

700 Commonwealth Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301


Two other churches in Virginia are members of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists:


Ravensworth Baptist Church worships on Sundays at 11 a.m.

5100 Ravensworth Rd, Annandale, VA 22003


Washington Plaza Church holds services at 11 a.m. on Sundays.

1615 Washington Plaza, Reston, VA 20190


Several synagogues are openly LGBT welcoming.

Adat Shalom Reconstructionist is celebrating its 25th anniversary and has Shabbat services Saturday mornings at 9:30 a.m.

7727 Persimmon Tree Lane

Bethesda, MD 20819


Congregation Etz Hayim is an active synagogue with monthly themed Shabbats, special events going on constantly and several Passover services planned all next week.

2920 Arlington Blvd.

Arlington, VA 22204


Kehila Chadasha meets at various locations in North Bethesda and cherishes Jewish heritage, history and traditions through a “non-dogmatic approach.”

Kol Ami: The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community also has a bounty of weekly activities and meet at various locations in and around Arlington.

Machar is a diverse Jewish community serving secular Jews, Humanists and interfaith and mixed-heritage families.

Temple Rodef Shalom is the largest Jewish congregation in Virginia serving McLean, Arlington, Falls Church and more.

2100 Westmoreland Street

Falls Church, VA


Mount Vernon Unitarian Church strives to be “a voice for liberal religion.” Unitarian Universalists pride themselves on having affirmed the rights of the LGBT community since 1970, and they support marriage equality. The church holds services at 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. on Sundays.

1909 Windmill Lane, Alexandria, VA 22307


DignityUSA is a Catholic organization that works to ensure the respect and justice for all people, regardless of gender, gender identity or sexual orientation. Their local chapters across the country include one in northern Virginia.

Dignity/Northern Virginia celebrates Mass each Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill

3606 Seminary Rd., Alexandria, VA 22304

Holy Trinity Parish, an independent Catholic church, welcomes people of all sexual orientations to join in worship. Sunday Mass is held at 9 and 10:30 a.m.

13515-A Dulles Technology Dr., Herndon, VA 20171

800-603-0644 ext 1

Emmaus United Church of Christ affirms all relationships, including those in the LGBT community. The church fully welcomes all people, regardless of gender identity and expression and sexual orientation. Worship is held on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

900 Maple Avenue East, Vienna, VA 22180


The United Church of Christ is, across the board, welcoming of the LGBT community. Several local churches are particularly proud of their support for the community.

Bethesda UCC bills itself as “on the forefront of progressive change.”

10010 Fernwood Road

Bethesda, MD


Six:Eight UCC meets Sundays at noon and welcomes members of the queer community to participate in all levels of leadership.

Mobtown Theater

3600 Clipper Mill Rd. Ste. 114, Baltimore, MD 21211

St. Mark’s UCC proudly counts among its church leadership openly gay and lesbian members of its congregation. Worship is held Sundays at 10 a.m.

1805 Wickes Ave., Baltimore, MD 21230


Immanuel UCC welcomes into full membership all people, regardless of sexual orientation. This includes equal employment opportunities and the celebration of holy unions for same-sex couples. Service begins at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays.

1905 Edmondson Ave., Catonsville, MD 21228


The Unity Fellowship Church Movement is a group of churches across the country working to empower those who have been oppressed, particularly gay and lesbian African Americans. It welcomes everyone, particularly those fighting for social justice. The church has two locations in Maryland.

Unity Fellowship Church of Columbia, Md., holds services Sundays at 10 a.m.

Locust Park Neighbor Center

8995 Lambskin Lane, Columbia, MD 21045


Unity Fellowship Church of Baltimore holds services on Sundays at 10:45 a.m.

4007 Old York Rd., Baltimore, MD 21218


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