Church on Church Street

Celebrating Faith In Pride

MCC Toronto presents Church on Church Street

The annual event is an inclusive worship service and celebration that adds progressive spiritual vibrancy to Pride Toronto festival events.

Beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the Pride Toronto North Stage (just north of Isabella Street), this year’s Church on Church service features Rev. Jeff Rock and performances by The Pride Choir under the artistic direction of Diane Leah.

On Sunday June 24, 2018, Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto will return to Pride Toronto for the 29th annual Church on Church Street in the heart of the Village. Church on Church Street is an inclusive worship service and celebration that adds progressive spiritual vibrancy to Pride Toronto festival events.

Beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the Pride Toronto North Stage (just north of Isabella Street), this year’s Church on Church service features Reverend Jeff Rock as well as musical performances by The Pride Choir and The Pride Band under the artistic direction of Diane Leah. They will be joined by special guests Heather Bambrick, Elena Juatco, Dale Miller, and Acts 29.

Church on Church Street is Canada’s largest annual outdoor worship service, regularly attended by thousands of Pride Toronto participants. 

This year, Reverend Jeff Rock will preach on The Countercultural Christ: Power and Privilege, an inclusive and thought-provoking message for every person, regardless of faith background. 

“Now more than ever we need to be prideful, to declare loud and proud who we are in all our sexual, gender, and racial diversity,” said Reverend Rock.

“Now more than ever we need to address racism, biphobia, and transphobia within the LGBTQ2S+ community. Now more than ever we need to fight misogyny and division in our city, country, and world. Now more than ever we need to care for the refugees in our midst, build solidarity across the lines that divide us, and use the occasion of Pride to rejoice at the full cornucopia of God’s creative love in the rainbow community.” 

Among the thousands of expected guests there will be many dignitaries including outgoing Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, the designated Leader of the Opposition in Ontario Andrea Horwath, Mayor of Toronto John Tory, Deputy Police Chief Barbara McLean, Members of Parliament Shaun Chen, Julie Dabrusin, and Adam Vaughan, Members of Provincial Parliament Peter Tabuns, Catherine Fife, and Suze Morrison (MPP elect), and City Councilors Joe Mihevc, Michael Layton, Kristyn Wong-Tam, Mary Fragedakis, Paula Fletcher, Joe Cressy, and Janet Davis. 

Honouring Our Heroes

Awards will be presented to honour our heroes Anastasia Bucsis (Olympic Speed Skater) and Dre Barone (ECHL Referee).

Anastasia Bucsis was born in Calgary and considers herself a product of the Olympic legacy that the Games left. She started speed skating at the age of 4, and since her breakout season in 2009, has completed in 46 World Cups, 6 World Championships, and 2 Olympic Games. Anastasia unfortunately had to prematurely retire in the winter of 2017 because of a chronic knee injury.

After graduating with a Communications degree from the University of Calgary, she now works for CBC Sports and helps create Olympic Content for digital and broadcast platforms. Anastasia is extremely passionate about mental health and LGBTQ2S+ issues.

Andrea (Dre) Barone: Growing up in Montreal, hockey was like a religion and hockey games were like church. I ate, slept, and breathed hockey. Then my teenage years came around and I slowly started to notice that I was different. It never even crossed my mind that feeling different may have meant being gay.

Having someone to talk to when I was growing into my sexuality would have meant the world to me. Maybe I would have come out earlier, accepted myself earlier, broken down my internalized homophobia earlier. I felt so alone. No one else should ever feel that way. You are #NeverAlone.

Community Outreach Partnership grants

MCC Toronto will also be presenting Community Outreach Partnership grants during Church on Church Street. This year’s recipients are:

Mature Trans Sisters: a social drop-in group for mature Trans women to get together, talk and learn, share resources and enjoy a hot meal.

Canadian Safe Schools Network: a charitable organization with a mandate to reduce youth violence and make our schools and communities safer.

The AIDS quilt shown in our posters was made by our congregation to commemorate friends and family who passed away during the AIDS crisis. MCC Toronto has eight memorial quilts. ‘Tree Of Life’ is our AIDSCARE quilt remembering those we lost in 1995-97.

Photo credit: Jim Woodbridge

Faith In Pride

MCC Toronto celebrates Faith In Pride every June. This year’s events included a Healthy Sexuality Fair at the church on the morning of June 3 and Vigil For A Grieving Community later that same evening. Our month of Faith In Pride culminates with our annual Church on Church Street worship service, which kicks off Pride Sunday in Toronto every year.

Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto is one of Canada’s most progressive Christian churches with an international reputation for promoting human rights.  In a joint venture with the Toronto District School Board, MCC Toronto houses and financially supports Canada’s oldest alternative high school for at-risk LGBTQ2S+ youth. From our origins serving gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, we have become an inclusive congregation that actively welcomes everyone.

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