The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto is a congregation that specifically caters to the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s not merely a place of worship; it’s also a place of action. Part of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, the MCC of Toronto provides an inclusive space for individuals with diverse orientations and gender identities to build networks and community. It has been a beacon of hope and acceptance for many who have felt marginalized in other religious environments. The progressive church has also hosted a number of intimate Candlelight concerts, celebrating some of the most iconic contemporary artists and noteworthy composers.
Located in Riverdale, the welcoming church is only a 10-minute walk from the sizable Riverdale Park East. To catch Rev. Deana Dudley’s sermons, MCCT’s Acting Senior Pastor, and listen to spellbinding concerts by candlelight, hop on the 97B and 97C buses. The community church can also easily be reached by subway (Line 1) or train (BR of the GO Transit system).
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto
1. In 1986 MCC of Toronto fights for a new Employment Standards Act that includes sexual orientation into the Ontario Human Rights Code.
The congregation has always supported equality for sexual minorities, including supporting Bill 7 in 1986, adding sexual orientation to the Ontario Human Rights Code. Another example of their work for social justice is the support for Bill 167, which would change the definition of “spouse” in Ontario.
2. During the AIDS crisis, the church founded the AIDSCARE program.
In 1990, in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis, the community church launched the AIDSCARE program. Initially, a full-time person was hired to coordinate the program and later on many volunteers provided home hospice care for hundreds of individuals. The program eventually expanded to provide support for a range of illnesses and needs.
3. MCC of Toronto was the site for the world’s first legalized same gender marriage in 2001.
The year prior, the congregation began work for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada. Although the first country to legalize same-sex marriage was the Netherlands in April 2001, on January 14, 2001, the church’s former Rev. Hawkes married a gay and a lesbian couple but the Registrar General of Ontario refused to register the marriage documents. It wasn’t until 2003 that the congregation won in court, back-dating the decision and making the Province of Ontario North America the first jurisdiction to recognize same-sex marriage.
In a space that celebrates inclusivity, creativity and community, the breathtaking Candlelight concerts really found a heavenly and welcoming home for the intimate tributes under candlelight. From Baroque composers to contemporary pop and rock bands, with such a wide range of concerts to choose from, you’re bound to find something that appeals to you.
What else can you do at The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto?
In addition to providing a welcoming space for worship, the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto offers various activities and services for its members, including community events, social gatherings, potluck dinners, workshops, digital fellowships and educational opportunities.
What’s more, if you can’t make it to service but would still like to catch it online, you can stay connected with the church digitally with the latest events and news, or sign up beforehand to watch their live streams.
MCC Toronto holds historical significance as a pioneering religious institution that provides a safe haven and spiritual home for LGBTQIA+ individuals. Its impact on the LGBT+ rights movement and the promotion of inclusivity in religious settings cannot be overstated.
Besides service, this season, the congregation is hosting a number of breathtaking tributes to iconic artists, including The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Vivaldi and Mozart. The church’s heavenly ambiance along with Candlelight’s mesmerizing sea of twinkling candles will make for a transcendental and memorable experience you won’t want to miss.