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Friday, August 07, 2015

Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church Celebrates Pride 2015

Written by  Andrew Foster Connors
Brown Memorial Park Avenue church goes all out at Pride Brown Memorial Park Avenue church goes all out at Pride

Two pastors and 16 members of Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church joined marchers from many other congregations in the Baltimore Pride parade on Saturday, July 25.  The church is an inclusive, inspiring, urban Christian community committed to following Jesus and exploring and living out the Christian faith in Baltimore and beyond with an emphasis on worship, justice, service to others, and preaching relevant to the questions of modern life.

The congregation has been a More Light (open and affirming) church for more than 25 years with a diverse LGBTQ community that participates fully in the life and leadership of the congregation.  Leaders from the congregation participated extensively in the lawsuit seeking marriage equality in the state of Maryland, and subsequently in the legislative push to bring this to fruition.   The church does perform weddings for non-members including same-gendered couples.

Rooted in the Bolton Hill neighborhood since 1869, the church has a long history of justice-seeking ministries in the neighborhood and across the city.  With a stunning sanctuary featuring the largest collection of Tiffany stained glass windows anywhere in the world (outside of a museum), a 35 member choir, and renowned Skinner organ, Brown Memorial continues to value the language of art that glorifies God, deepens faith, and brings a community together.  A meditation group meets at 9 a.m. every week throughout the year.  Worship is a 10 a.m. in the summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day).  During the remainder of the year, an education hour begins each week at 9:45 and worship begins at 11 a.m.  All are welcome.

The Tiffany Series, Brown Memorial’s concert series featuring artists and speakers engaging the intersection of art, faith, and public life, sponsors programs throughout the year.  Past speakers have included Civil Rights leader and artist Harry Belafonte, child advocate Marian Wright Edelman, peace activist Elizabeth MacAlister, and film-maker Beau Willimon.  Information on upcoming concerts and on the church’s ministry, mission, and schedule, can be found on the church’s website at Browndowntown.org.

The author is senior pastor at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church.

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