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April 26, 2024

Church to run one last service out of Adelaide’s queer nightclub

Activate Church will be holding its last service out of Adelaide’s queer nightclub, My Lover Cindi, this Sunday.

  • Words: Mahala Gainer

Rosalie Dow, the community pastor, said the church first found a new home for their church at My Lover Cindi in November of 2022.

“What ended up making a lot of sense to our community was to start meeting at My Lover Cindi’s on Sunday morning because the nightclub isn’t open on a Sunday morning and we just kind of realised that we had so many shared values with those guys,” Dow said.

My Lover Cindi’s is not only a safe space for LGBTQIA+ people but also an accessible and neurodivergent friendly space which was an important aspect for the church.

“There’s not lots of places that are great for people who are neurodivergent and we’re really conscious of that,” Dow said.

Activate Church was formed in 2009 by a group of Christians from different denominations who not only shared a belief in Jesus, but also the belief that he was an activist.

In 2016 the church became independent after breaking away from the Australian Christian Churches after the denomination failed to be supportive of LGBTQIA+ community.

“Activate the community, as a socially just organisation, was very inclusive of LGBT people and wanted people to be fully involved in the community and leadership of Activate and that just wasn’t going to work to still be a part of that Pentecostal church,” Dow said.

Dow wanted to be a pastor growing up but when she realised her sexuality she thought that was no longer an option.

‘I’d always followed Activate online, I thought it was really really cool, but I wondered how safe I’d be in the space and then when they publicly came out as LGBT affirming and as a safe space for people like me, I joined the church,” she said.

“Then they hired me as a community pastor just over 5 years ago.”

“My dad’s actually a minister so I guess I’m following his footsteps.”

Since Activate Church was founded, more churches have become inclusive, accepting, and affirming of the LGBTQIA+ community.

“We used to feel a lot of pressure I suppose, because it felt like we were the only or one of the only safe Christian spaces in Adelaide but there’s so many now, which is just so exciting,” Dow said.

“Activate developed and released a website called the Affirming Churches Network, there’s heaps of churches on there now, in all the major denominations, there’s Anglican churches, a Catholic church I think, a Lutheran church, there’s a whole lot of options for people.

“It’s actually really beautiful that people can be gay and can be a Christian or can be queer and can be a Christian.”

The growing number of churches affirming people in the LGBTQIA+ community has resulted in the Activate community shrinking.

“Our numbers have dropped a bit so we are moving to a monthly service,” Dow said.

“Which I think is going to be really good we can kind of focus our attention on the advocacy that we are still really passionate about and with our sort of smaller resources do something that is really good once a month rather than potentially burning people out trying to do a service every single week.”

Activate will continue to hold services on Sundays on a monthly basis with a new location and more details to come.

Activate’s last service at My Lover Cindi will be held at 10:30am at Unit 2/192 Pirie St, Adelaide.

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