Songs and Music to Welcome LGBTQI+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, +) people into the Church

Songs for LGBTQIA+ inclusion
  • AoVNG1 / CH685 / FFS17 / GtG769 / G(3)812 / W&R617 For everyone born / A place at the table (Shirley Murray) Words of welcome and change to everyone regardless of sex, age, sexuality. There are three possible tunes. The Lori True tune is the most common. I like the Colin Gibson tune in FFS (and on the Hope Publishing website that follows). Use whatever you have! This song is good for a service when communion is celebrated, but it makes sense without communion, too. There is also an optional verse: "For gay and for straight...." Lyrics & sheet music.
  • MV 145 / CP418 / SP&P123 Draw the circle wide (Gordon Light) A great song about welcoming all people; it doesn't focus on LGBTQI people, but I think the image of "no-one stands alone" is really helpful in this instance. Chorus is “Draw the circle wide, draw it wider still. Let this be our song, no-one stands alone, standing side by side, draw the circle wide”
  • Online Resource / Rise Up Singing Songbook We are a gentle angry people (Holly Near) I thought the time to sing this song had passed, but I guess not. Lyrics & Chords. Sound sample
  • Online Resource Believe out loud (David Lohman) So, this is not much of a congregational song, it's more like a show tune, and could be sung with a soloist and get the congregation to join in on the joyful chorus. Sound sample, sheet music sample and purchasing options
  • Online Resource People of the way draw nearer (Catherine Macdonald) Excellent lyrics calling us to worship together and go out renewed to the familiar tune BLAENWYRN. "Jesus shifts us, Jesus loves us, Let us all stand tall with pride." Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • TiS 693 / AoV1-031 / GA212 Come as you are that's how I want you (Deidre Browne) This song is beautiful, gentle, simple, and very well known. Lyrics and sound sample. A good song to start the service. Good for kids. 
  • Online Resource We are a rainbow (David Kai) This is a bit mushy, but it's easy to sing, and look, it almost made me cry, so that's a good sign. Sheet music. Synthesized youtube with lyrics.
  • Online Resource For all the children (David Lohman) A beautifully hopeful hymn. Lyrics and sheet music for purchase, and a very sincere Youtube video. "O, may our hearts and minds be opened, fling the church doors open wide. May there be room enough for everyone inside. For in God there is a welcome, in God we all belong; may that welcome be our song.
  • Online Resource Come all you vagabonds (Stuart Townend) This is not exclusively focussed on LGBTQI inclusion, but fits really well, and includes a welcome to those "from every station and orientation". Sound sample (youtube), lyrics, chords
  • Online Resource Praise the source of all creation giving life through all the earth (Aldredge-Clanton) These new lyrics to the tune ODE TO JOY are about many excellent things, and marriage equality gets a special mention. Lyrics. New words to old tunes 
Songs from the book "Songs for the Holy Other" (SftHO - can be downloaded for free here)
  • SftHO For those who suffered (Benjamin Smith) A song of lament for those who have suffered violence and have been excluded from the church because of their sexuality or sexual identity. Ends on a positive note "grant them Lord, eternal joy / peace / sleep / life".
  • SftHO God calls you good (Paul Vasile) A beautiful song of affirmation for anyone who has been told they are not loved by God for who they are.  
  • SftHO Love's rage and grief (Jeannette Lindholm) Powerful words of grief lamenting parents who no longer welcome their child, violence inflicted, and governments that exclude despite loves call to welcome the outcast.
I'm sure there are many more songs that could be added. Please add your suggestions in the comments. 
This page was first written in response to the Orlando nightclub bombing in 2016. I have removed the songs about grieving, but let us not forget that it is still less safe for people who are LGBTQIA+. 

8 comments:

Julie Holm said...

World Peace Prayer - Marty Haugen
We Shall not Give up the Fight (from Freedom is Coming)
Some older ones - God of Grace and God of Glory (Save us from weak resignation to the evils we deplore)
To Us All to Every Nation - for Americans making commitments to support of the LGBT Community

Sandy Boyce said...

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written a new song specifically for Orlando, http://www.carolynshymns.com/to_a_place_of_celebration.html

To a Place of Celebration
EBENEZER 8.7.8.7 D ("Why Do Nations Rage Together")
To a place of celebration filled with laughter, dancing, joy,
Came such violent devastation — one man's efforts to destroy.
God, we grieve for loved ones taken; we lament, "What can we do?"
Now, we're feeling lost and shaken; heal our nation! Make us new!

Weapons kill — and so does silence; hear our prayer as we confess:
We have given in to violence, we have bowed to hopelessness.
God, we've lost our sense of vision of a world where there will be
Plowshares made from violent weapons, justice in society.

Give our leaders strength for action, give them minds to mend our flaws,
Give them courage and compassion, and the will to change our laws.
May we work for legislation that will curb guns' awful toll.
God, renew our dedication to a world that's just and whole.

Give us love to change our vision; give us love to cast out fear.
Give us love to speak with wisdom — love to work for justice here.
Give us love to welcome difference — love no hatred can destroy.
Only love can stop the violence; only love will bring back joy.

Unknown said...

Thanks for these! I'd add: Lord Jesus Christ, lover of all.

Also note in Lament (Why do we listen and fail to hear), the quoted lyric should be "We have turned away, and our heart has grown dull".

Unknown said...

Wonderful and helpful list. Thanks, Natalie!

I'd suggest also:
"Whole and Holy, Called in Christ": http://www.worldmaking.net/whole-and-holy.php

"In the One Big Heart" (Psalm 117): http://www.psalmimmersion.com/#!psalm-117/c1e5h

"When We Are Afraid (Psalm 56): http://www.psalmimmersion.com/#!when-we-are-afraid/goeea

"We Lift Our Eyes to You (Psalm 123): http://www.psalmimmersion.com/#!we-lift-our-eyes-to-you/cek4

"Love Stands With" (Psalm 109) (Not as congregational as the others): http://www.psalmimmersion.com/#!love-stands-with/crfa

Unknown said...

Wonderful and helpful list. Thanks, Natalie!

I'd suggest also:
"Whole and Holy, Called in Christ": http://www.worldmaking.net/whole-and-holy.php

"In the One Big Heart" (Psalm 117): http://www.psalmimmersion.com/#!psalm-117/c1e5h

"When We Are Afraid (Psalm 56): http://www.psalmimmersion.com/#!when-we-are-afraid/goeea

"We Lift Our Eyes to You (Psalm 123): http://www.psalmimmersion.com/#!we-lift-our-eyes-to-you/cek4

"Love Stands With" (Psalm 109) (Not as congregational as the others): http://www.psalmimmersion.com/#!love-stands-with/crfa

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Thanks for this. Here's a couple of more suggestions:

There is a Time by Carolyn McDade. MV 165.

Let Me Be Your Light by Christopher Grundy (free right now!)
https://soundcloud.com/christopher-grundy/let-me-be-your-light-isaiah-49

Unknown said...

One more suggestion: We Shall Go Out with Hope of Resurrection VU 586