imageFor some in LGBT Atlanta, the holidays aren’t just about presents and parties. For them, gay and gay-inclusive congregations offer Hanukkah, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services and celebrations.

You know if the gay bars are all about it when the holiday falls on a weekend, the religious congregations are going to be all about it. Such is the case. And as luck would have it this year, the days of Hanukkah cross over with Christmas, too. So let’s kick off our list with the gay-led Congregation Bet Haverim and its Hanukkah Shabbat on Friday, followed by the Hanukkah Pot Luck Dinner.

Many of the two dozen houses of worship that offer gay and gay-friendly Sunday Services on our weekly calendar take Christmas back to basics on Saturday and Sunday with Eucharists, pageants, candlelight worship and sermons.

Here are some of the options:

Metro Atlanta’s gay-specific congregations do up Christmas Eve on Saturday. Decatur UCC hosts a 10 p.m. reception, and an 11 p.m. candlelight service. Of Atlanta’s two Metropolitan Community Churches, First MCC of Atlanta offers up the Largest Living Bible that comes to life with the Christmas story at 10:30 p.m. Saturday and Christmas Day services, and The Journey MCC in Conyers presents Christmas Eve candlelight services at 7 p.m. Saturday as well as Sunday service.

Large churches with big gay contingents also pull out the stops for Christmas Eve. Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Midtown offers three chances to worship on Saturday, at 5 p.m. (en espanol), 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. All Saints Episcopal Church makes a day of it Saturday with five services, including 1 p.m. lessons and carols and four religious services 3 p.m. through 10 p.m., that offer plenty of chances to do Eucharist with youth, choir and/or hand bells. You can also join the church for a Christmas Day Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m.

St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church offers three Christmas Eve Festal Eucharist on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. with a midnight Christmas Party, plus a Christmas Day service at 10: 30 a.m. Cathedral of St. Philip brings Christmas Eve to its congregation at 4 p.m., 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., as well as a Christmas Day Eucharist at 10 a.m.

For non-demoninational Christmas fare, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta does up Christmas Eve with an intergenerational pageant at 5:30 p.m., and Carols, Readings & Candlelight at 7:30 p.m. There will be no Sunday services at UUCA on Christmas Day. The First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta in Candler Park holds a Christmas Day Story & Song Sharing service on Sunday.

These are just a few examples of holiday weekend services with Atlanta’s gay and gay-friendly congregations. By no means is the list exhaustive, but we hope it affirms that the LGBT faithful certainly have options. Click the links to find contact info and resources to learn details of each service.

If we missed one, by all means add it to the comments section below with the name of the congregation, address, time and nature of the event, and contact info. You can also submit a listing to our calendar for worship services, potluck dinners or any special event all year with our easy-to-use submission form.

Our calendar also lets you create your own personal agenda from the list, get updates when events change, or set e-mail and text reminders about events you don’t want to miss.