Looking for a very liberal church
March 24, 2012 5:09 PM   Subscribe

A young woman of my acquaintance is looking for a church or possibly other religion. Preferably in or around Milwaukee, WI, but general suggestions are great too. She is looking for one that is gay-friendly, feminist, and sex-positive. What would you recommend?  
posted by Slinga to Religion & Philosophy (12 answers total)
Unitarian Universalists are among the most liberal of the churches. The one nearest me is extremely gay-friendly, feminist, and sex-positive, though philosophies and attitudes will vary to an extent church-to-church. I don't have a specific church recommendation in that area, but I do recommend she look at the Unitarian church.
posted by brainmouse at 5:13 PM on March 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

Well, probably a Unitarian Universalist church would be best (First UU of Milwaukee, for example), but she might be well served by a church in the United Church of Christ (first Christian Church to endorse same-sex marriage equality) if she really wants to stay within the vicinity of Christianity.

It sort of matters what she's trying to get out of her church experience and her fellowship. Is she looking for something to give her a particular kind of spiritual guidance? Is she looking for a community to be a member of?
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 5:17 PM on March 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

The key phrase for finding good protestant churches that love the gay is "Reconciling Congregation" You can search for ones that have signed up with Reconciling Ministries here. Using this I found Kenwood United Methodist Church in Milwaukee.

Unitarians are also awesome.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:20 PM on March 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Equally, a liberal Quaker meeting could also work; look on QuakerFinder.org (but check the sidebar descriptions because there are some meetings that absolutely wouldn't work for your friend).
posted by scruss at 5:35 PM on March 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

Ohohoh I highly recommend the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee. My best friend went to UWM and got involved with their YA group, which is how she made some of her closest friends in the city. They are extremely queer-friendly and have an LGBT Welcoming Congregation. UU is also feminist and sex-positive in general, and this congregation is no exception as far as I know. I lived in Milawukee for a summer and went to a few services and YA group meetings and really enjoyed both.

Best of luck to your friend on her search! Memail me if you want me to try to put her in touch with some of the folks I know still in Milwaukee.
posted by SugarAndSass at 6:03 PM on March 24, 2012

MCCs are pretty much the most LBGT friendly Christian church I can think of, and there's one nearby - Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Church.

There's also the very liberal United Church of Christ, of which there seem to be several in Milkwaukee.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:24 PM on March 24, 2012

For Presbyterians, More Light is the organization within the PCUSA that you want. Here's a list for Wisconsin.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:07 AM on March 25, 2012

I live in Milwaukee, and though I'm not a regular churchgoer (by any stretch), I can still recommend the First Unitarian church on Ogden. They frequently have guest speakers from various groups in the community and LGBT is definitely part of that. I have found you have to be somewhat proactive in meeting people there (they're not like evangelical churches where everyone is instantly your BFF), but everyone is friendly.

There's also the Milwaukee Zen Center and Great Lakes Zen Center (there are others, but I'm not familiar with them). They generally don't specifically address sexuality (in my experience) but I guarantee they'll be welcoming and tolerant, and there's a strong social justice component.

Shop around - anything on the east side is likely to be tolerant at the very least. Check in with the LGBT group on the UWM campus for their suggestions, too.
posted by desjardins at 7:01 AM on March 25, 2012

Buddhims-specifically if she is looking to change her life positively. Most other Buddhist practice focus on meditation and peace which is great

However that based on Lotus Sutra believes in action to reach your unlimited potential and reflect that in you and your environment. It gives you the insights you need to change yourself and your environment since we believe that all that is reflected around you, is basically what you have created through the ages, especially the obstacles. We also believe that earthly desires are sources of enlightenment.

The SGI-USA Milwaukee Activity Center is located at the corner of 76th Street and Bluemound Road in the M&I Bank building. The center is located on the lower level

I would strongly recommend her and others, this book , it is full of real life experiences of those who adopted the age old practice based on the Lotus Sutra

(disclaimer-i am not affliated to anything, i am a practicising Buddhist who has actually seen the power of this practice in my life)

posted by pakora1 at 8:44 AM on March 25, 2012

scruss: "Equally, a liberal Quaker meeting could also work; look on QuakerFinder.org"

This is a good suggestion, but I note that quakerfinder.org doesn't list the two Meetings nearest me. If she's interested meeting some Friends, check the phone book too.
posted by workerant at 9:40 AM on March 25, 2012

As also a practicing Buddhist, I would back up what pakora1 says... with the possible exception of the blanket endorsement of SGI. I'm a Theravadin and while I like it, I think it struggles sometimes with the whole feminism/gay-friendly/sex-positive vibe that your friend is looking for. It doesn't have to, and it can be great depending on the monks you find, but not universally.

SGI might be better, I don't know, but they are viewed occasionally as a bit... cult-like. Obviously, we're talking about religions here, so that's all relative. I would just suggest your friend look into SGI before jumping in hook/line/sinker (which of course, it sounds like she probably would).

If she's looking for something more in the straight up meditation vein, and less focused on the philosophical aspects of Buddhism, she might check to see if there's something along the lines of the Insight Meditation Communities.
posted by Inkoate at 7:35 PM on March 26, 2012

Here's another UCC congregation in Milwaukee. Key phrase: "open and affirming."
posted by macinchik at 10:56 PM on April 5, 2012

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