What is Drag Gospel Festival?
A public service announcement from our drag-queen-in-residence, Serenity Jones:
“God is GOOD all the time! That means God is a DIVA… and girl… Jesus is FIERCE! Can I get a witness up in here!? Can I get an AMEN my sistahs and my brothahs!? For one weekend in October, First Church Somerville becomes FIERCE Church Somerville for two joyful days of Spirit in worship and praise, using our GOD-GIVEN musical and artistic talent, creativity and FASHION WITHOUT BORDERS, welcoming all God’s children to her FIERCE DIVA queen-dom. Hallelujah!
“What do drag queens or drag kings have to do with Jesus or the gospel? We at FCS believe “God don’t make no junk.” So whether you are straight, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered or still playing hard to get, Jesus loves you and so do we! Amen BABY! So come and get yours at this here church!”
And now translated into boring old English:
The brainchild of James Adams, aka Serenity Jones, Drag Gospel started in the fall of 2011 and has become a favorite annual event. It is our way of demonstrating the radical welcome that we believe Jesus offered to all kinds of people—especially people exiled to the margins just for being the people God made them to be: queer or straight or a little bit of each, male or female or a little bit of each.
It all starts Saturday afternoon, October 20, with a benefit concert in the early evening at Johnny D’s nightclub to raise funds for the LGBT Asylum Task Force (http://hpc.homestead.com/LGBT-Task.html). Performers include Serenity Jones herself, other area drag performers and the fantastic musical talent of First Church Somerville’s community, including Pete Shungu, aka Afro DZ ak.
The main event is Sunday morning Festival Worship on October 21, 2012 featuring Serenity in full drag (with costume changes), both performing and as the liturgist for the day, with our pastors (sometimes also in drag) bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ with a distinctly loving message for LGBTIQ-add-your-letter-here. Our fabulous choir and in-house soul band raise the roof with gospel and soul music, both beloved standards and awesome music you may not have heard yet.
Then we race pell-mell downstairs to our parish hall for the family-friendly Gospel Brunch: great food, mocktails, and a full drag show with Serenity and Friends. There are kids running around in feather boas, straight men in skirts, people who never thought they’d be in a church basement hollering Hallelujahs! It is a guaranteed good time. You will laugh your head off, find yourself singing at the top of your lungs, and go home filled up.
And no, you don’t have to come in drag! Come as your own truest self.