Every week, Northfield UCC welcomes people with these words:
"Welcome to you if you are young or old or a little bit of both
Welcome to you if you are gay or straight or a little bit of both
Welcome to you if you are male or female or a little bit of both or neither
No matter who you are, who you love or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here. And because you are here, this body is whole and perfect."
In the spirit of those words, the church hosted a family-friendly gospel drag show this fall that drew a packed house, but also hostile protestors.
"We thought this show would be a fun way to send a message that we are truly loving and inclusive," said Rev. Cindy Maddox, the church's senior minister. "And it did just that. We have new people coming to worship because of it and some new young people finding a church home after many years. Many neighbors have sent notes of support and encouragement."
While Maddox says the unwanted attention from protestors was deeply disturbing, the energy inside the church more than compensated. "It was so powerful it was palpable. Several performers had grown up in the church and had left so coming back was healing for them."
Indeed, during the middle of the show, one performer said to the assembled crowd, "It's nice to finally be in a church where I feel fully welcomed," and another said, "Yes, it's amazing to be back in a church."
Read a Northfield News article about the show.