Holy Covenant UMC has a long history of welcoming, celebrating, and being part of the LGBTQIA community. We are honored and proud to be a Reconciling Congregation.
Since the early 1980s, we have been celebrating same-gender marriage, back when it was called a ‘civil union.’ During the HIV/AIDS epidemic, we presided at funerals and ministered alongside partners & families at time when most churches would not. We became one of the first Reconciling Congregations in 1990 and we were actively involved in the Marriage Equality movement. Today, we continue to advocate for the full-inclusion & participation of LGBTQIA folx at every level of the Church.
Since June 2014, our Church Council has affirmed:
“The Church Council leadership, on behalf of Holy Covenant UMC, supports the celebration of same-sex marriage by our clergy and in our building. We respect the authority of our clergy to make decisions regarding a couple’s fitness for marriage during his/her appointment.
In the event that a clergyperson is brought up on charges for presiding at a same-sex wedding, we support them in whatever ways are necessary and appropriate, including emotional, spiritual, and financial support.”
We acknowledge that our ministry to treat all equally is in conflict with the United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline. We are also clear about our mission as followers of Jesus Christ to Seek God, Love All People, & Change the World. We affirm our commitment to the United Methodist Church and we continue to work within the denomination to change the Church’s position on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBTQIA people.
We continue to affirm that God’s love and grace are available to all.
For a New World / Para un Nuevo Mundo
Artist: John Pitman Weber
Assistant: Oscar Martinez
Sponsors: Chicago Mural Group
Year: 1973, restored by Weber & Bernard Williams 1996
Once called the “most hopeful mural in the city of Chicago”, the mural on the west side of our church building does not shy away from showing the world’s evils. This was an early Chicago Mural Group work and the mural’s three sections represent the flow of our worship service: Confession, The Word, and the Offering. Confession depicts police brutality, killing, and repression. The Word shows the promise of a new world, where all people—men and women, young and old, gay and straight, all racial groups—will live in light, peace, and harmony. Offering urges us to dedicate our lives to bringing about a new world of justice through our daily work.
On January 30, 1894, a widow—Helena Bergman—sold her plot of land for $5,000 to build the Diversey Parkway Evangelical Church. The cornerstone was laid on March 4, 1894 and the new building was dedicated on July 22, 1894.
Beyond our beautiful building, Holy Covenant UMC believes that the faith of a Christian community should express itself in the world. Since the very beginning, social justice has been vital to the expression of our faith and how we strive to live as disciples of Jesus Christ.
• Our pastors and church members were part of numerous marches and Freedom Rides during the Civil Rights Movement.
• We housed Vietnam war protestors after riots erupted at the 1968 Democratic Convention.
• Evidence from the murder of Fred Hampton, leader of the Chicago Black Panther Party, was hid in our church attic and used later in court.
• Beginning in 1971, we confronted Bishops about sexism in the Church and advocated to receive a clergywoman. In July 1975, Rev. Sandra Hoke began her historic pastorate at Holy Covenant.
• In the 1980s, members of Holy Covenant became national leaders in the movement for Japanese-American Redress , which sought an apology & reparations for the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
• We have celebrated same-gender weddings since the early 1980s. During the HIV/AIDS epidemic, we presided at funerals and ministered alongside partners & families at a time when most churches would not.
• In 2000s, we were active in the Marriage Equality movement. Today, we continue to advocate for the full-inclusion & participation of LGBTQIA folx at every level of the Church.