A progressive, friendly, diverse church?

church windows pewsM. writes:

Hi I recently moved to Albany and I am looking for a good church hopefully one that is progressive, friendly and diverse.

We've had similar questions in the past, but it's been years since the last one and things change.

So, got a suggestion for M.? Please share! And sentence or two about why you're recommending a specific church can be very helpful.


If you are looking for a Roman Catholic Church St. Vincent De Paul on Madison and Quail is progressive, though not an activist church.

1st Pres on State St. in Albany has much of what you're looking for. Progressive ("Called by God to reduce the widening gap between the rich and the poor; we are a congregation that works for peace and justice in our society"), very friendly with a lot of social events, and fairly diverse. You usually run across people from many walks of life and cultures. Not as many young families, though. Average age skews towards baby boomers.

I'd 2nd St. Vincent De Paul on Madison near St. Rose. Their college mass (Saturday evenings when college is in session) especially resonates with a young, socially-conscious 'audience'.

St Vincent's and First Pres are good choices, also Westminster Pres and Emmanuel Baptist on State St.

Trinity United Methodist on Lark and Lancaster is a very diverse and progressive church. About half of the congregation is white with the other half being from all different ethnic and racial backgrounds. There is a good mix of young and old, with many younger adults. It's a very accepting church for people who identify as lesbian or gay as well.

If you've never checked out a Friends meeting (Quakers), I recommend giving it a go. I'm Jewish, but have been sporadically attending Friends meetings for several years. We sit in silence. There's no pastor. The idea is that G-d is within all of us, and if someone's truly and deeply compelled to speak, they share their message. Sometimes it's a full hour of silence and then at the end of the meeting we share joys and sorrows and community updates and you realize that the people sitting silently beside you are some of the most engaged, empathetic, and fair-minded activists around.

Albany Friends Meeting is a small group, but growing: 727 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12208

The Unitarian church on Washington Ave is both progressive and diverse. There is an open atmosphere with coffee hour and children's activities. The goal is to support individuals in their search for spiritual growth....no dogma.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church at 10 Western Ave in Albany is a small, but very loving and diverse congregation.

So happy to see St. Vincent de Paul on Madison Ave listed here. They are a diverse congregation that celebrates radical hospitality and social justice. And the choir is fantastic. Give it a try on a Sunday at 11am.

Unitarian on Washington. Supportive. ENgaged. Community.

Presbyterian New England Congregational Church (PNECC) in Saratoga Springs.

I'd like to second Paul's suggestion about Trinity Methodist. As a member, I'm biased, but as a gay man, I find this to be an incredibly welcoming congregation.

That said, the Methodist church as a whole is not so good. A few years ago, there was a push to allow gay marriage, etc. and it failed. Much of the growth is in less accepting places throughout the world, as religious affiliation declines in the US. It's well-worth noting that Trinity was one of the churches in attendance at this particular conference, and were among those urging the larger church to change their policies.

In Albany, we're blessed with many accepting congregations within many different Christian denominations. It's great to see a wide range of denominations being suggested in the comments. It seems you'll have your pick!

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