Every church has a sign saying, “Everybody welcome”, but LGBTQ+ people know that is simply not the case. At Hammond Street Congregational Church (HSCC), lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender* and queer folks are not just tolerated, but warmly welcomed and celebrated. LGBTQ+ folks are found in every section of our church family and life. HSCC officially became Opening and Affirming in 2003. We are part of a national church which has pushed for inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in the life of the church, legal equality, gay marriage and the freedom to serve in the military long before they became national platforms. Becoming O & A affects the way we welcome all people, regardless of ethnicity, social background, recovery and legal history, and life’s struggles. We are not here to judge; we are just fellow travelers here to walk beside you.
We have been involved in the struggles for legal equality, marriage equality, and transgender rights with organizational meetings held by Equality Maine in our premises. Our members have marched, knocked on doors, spoken to groups, spoken to the media, and participated in phone banks to secure those rights. The initial Bridge Alliance leadership, formerly the organizers of Bangor Pride came in the majority from HSCC membership. Not as a branch of the church, but as a natural result of our community involvement; taking God’s love outside the church walls. We will be found marching in the Bangor PRIDE parade, serving as a witness to our belief that God’s love is available to all people. The senior pastor, Mark Doty, is a longstanding member of the Equality Maine board. We have been formally honored by Equality Maine as a Community Partner. We proudly work in partnership with other LGBTQ+ supportive faith communities and agencies.
As the pastoral assistant, Reverend Greg Bridges-Music, says, “HSCC is the first place I felt I was really me. Accepted as an out gay man, but with that as only one important part of who I am. They saw me as me, a whole child of God wholly loved and accepted by God.” HSCC is a place where you can integrate the whole of yourself with your journey of faith. In the teaching, the fellowship, and with individual support and counsel as wanted, LGBTQ+ people are able to integrate orientation, expression and faith. LGBTQ+ people and your families: YOU ARE WELCOME HERE, and we mean it.
For more information about the UCC church and LGBTQ+ welcome, visit:
Celebrating the Open and Affirming Movement in the United Church of Christ
A Place Like This
You Are Not Alone