Churchathon: You betta Reconcile

Our pastor at UUMC is still on sabbatical so I went with Brandon to two different churches these past two weeks. I decided to combine writing about the two into one post because they’re good to compare and contrast.

Trinity United Methodist Church, located on Evans street behind Flightpath Coffeehouse on Duval, has a very relaxed, contemporary service. At times people would get up to get coffee during church and no one batted an eye. The congregation felt very warm and friendly, and it seemed like everyone knew and cared for each other. It’s a smallish group, and there were a lot of small familes, kindof a younger to middle-aged crowd. The music is mostly Praise & Worship, and people get really into it. It’s a bit like going to church with the Polyphonic Spree, and that’s a compliment.

Grace United Methodist Church just off South Congress on East Monroe cites itself as “an old church with new ideas”, which is a supremely fitting slogan. When I walked in I immediately thought “oh no, very ‘high church'” with everything being so plush and so…so very much like a sanctuary. But the parishoners quickly brought me down to earth, everyone was very welcoming and kind. The three of us (our friend/roommate Leah came too) sat in front of two row’s worth of the loveliest silver-haired ladies I’ve ever met outside of my hometown. This group was more of a mixed bag agewise, and a bit smaller. I loved the service- since I’m used to a bit more traditional worship (choir in the front, hymnal in the pew), it felt like home. After the service there were refreshments and good conversation with the members of the church.

Trinity and Grace are very different churches, but they have a remarkable similarity. Both are reconciling ministries, meaning they especially work toward participation from the LGBT community in the church. Both churches had many gay couples in the congregation and they made it a point to note that everyone was welcome there regardless of orientation or gender identity, but it should be noted that, as a straight girl, I also felt very comfortable there. They are putting their message to work in creating worship communities for everyone. I think both thrive on being smaller communities because it makes their ministry to their members and their community all the more powerful, but I’d encourage anyone looking for a church home to check them out.

Trinity United Methodist Church
600 E 50th St, Austin, TX

Grace United Methodist Church
205 E Monroe St, Austin, TX

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