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A Church for All

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  248 ratings  ·  73 reviews
This simple, lyrical story celebrates a Sunday morning at an inclusive church that embraces all people regardless of age, class, race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. All are welcome at the church for all!
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2018 by Albert Whitman & Company
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  248 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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La Coccinelle
May 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
The premise of this book is good. The execution, not so much. Sure, it celebrates diversity, but only certain kinds. With the line "weak and healthy" (as a comparison of opposites), it becomes an ableist text. Disabled people aren't weak. Honestly. You don't write a book celebrating certain marginalized communities by insulting other marginalized communities.

I just can't get past that bit. Teaching children that people who aren't healthy (and that could mean someone with a mental illness, a chro
Luisa Knight
Sep 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
I knew I wasn't going to agree with this book but just grabbed it from the library to do a quick read through and to tell parents that yes, these books are out there. Not only are they trying to make wrong right, but make wrong right in the church.

Be careful!

**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) whic
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
A wonderful message of community, acceptance, and prayer.
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Great note from the author at the end but super unfortunate illustration accompanying the phrase "Weak and healthy."
Jillian Heise
Love the message of acceptance of all and diversity of representation throughout, though the text is very spare with phrases of images. Appreciate the back matter that adds context and history.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I feel like a real killjoy for not liking this picture book as much as others seem to. I certainly appreciate how lovingly rendered and positive it all is; the diversity portrayed within the church walls rivals even that of the UU congregation I was a part of while attending grad school in Bloomington, IN. Every page here, it seems like every other person has rainbow hair, tattoos, facial piercings, a handlebar mustache, a flower crown, a knit beanie . . . Honestly, I rolled my eyes at the hipst ...more
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a coincidence - I was just in San Francisco, and walked past Glide Memorial Church, the open and accepting church this book was inspired by. I love the colors and the simple rhymes in this book, the inclusion of people living with illness or disability, and the diverse families, including families with unruly or crying children.

But man - there are some TERRIBLE sartorial choices in this book. I would hate for "inclusive" to be associated in anyone's mind with harem pants, cuffed shorts, or
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it
The artwork is fantastic, and the rhyme scheme is fun. I would have given this a higher rating if it was more inclusive. I say this because this was clearly a Christian church, and I wanted it to *truly* be a "church for ALL." If the artwork had more symbols of varying faiths, I would have enjoyed it more. That said, I did love the artwork, and the book is enjoyable.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly uplifting.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a great message of love and hope. Acceptance for all not just some.
Erica (EricaEreads)
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
I’m not crying, you’re crying. Ok I’m crying.
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous illustrations bolster a very needed message of inclusion. I'm not a church-going individual, but I can certainly celebrate a colorful celebration of community. Highly recommended.
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a sweet and endearing little picture book highlighting how different faith can look, how diverse believers can be, and a lovely community that all churches should aspire to become.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia, picturebooks
A book about an open and affirming church where lots of different people go. Very simple text. Love the illustrations.
I love the idea of a book that uplifts spiritual communities with strong social justice values -- there is a long legacy of resilience, collective power, and political organizing that has intersected with religious circles (e.g., Black liberation theology). This book has a lot of elements I liked, including the vivid illustrations and the simple, rhyming text. But my heart sank when I turned the page to a line beginning with "Weak and healthy..." (presumably, to depict the church as welcoming to ...more
Rebecca Honeycutt
Mar 28, 2019 rated it liked it
As a queer Christian and a member of an Open and Affirming congregation, I really WANT to like this book a lot more than I do. It may serve as a useful introduction for very young kids and/or those who are completely unfamiliar with progressive churches, but to me it felt like the cutesy cartoon version of radical welcome.
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it

A Church for All (2018), written by Gayle E. Pitman and illustrated by Laure Fournier, is a charming tale about LGBTQ spirituality that is influenced by one church’s social justice approach to religion. In an informative end note, Pitman describes attending Glide Memorial Church, the church that inspires the book, at the suggestion of a friend. She writes: “For the first time I found a spiritual community that fully accepted and embraced LGBTQ people.”

Julee Wilson
A Church For All is a simple book with deep meaning. The illustrations are wonderful and make the words even more meaningful. The premise of "A Church For All" is that this church welcomes all, included in the all is LGBTQ members of the community. This was surprising for a book about church to be so inclusive. This could be a great resource in the classroom to represent families who do not look like a heterosexual nuclear family. Lauri Fournier does an amazing job illustrating a diverse group o ...more
Though sparsely worded, this book has a wonderful message. Inspired by the Glide church in San Francisco, this story depicts a church that is welcoming to all believers, no matter race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, age, or fashion sense. The illustrations were really lovely and did a wonderful job representing all different sorts of people.

If I had one small complaint, it would be that everyone is smiling throughout the book. One of the functions of a church is to have
J.D. Holman
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a very colorful book, with a nice message.

I'm not fond of a picture book with a rhyming scheme that stretches over several pages, because that makes me want to rush - and that's never good for reading books out loud.

I do think there are other, better books out there for inclusive messages. I really like All Are Welcome as an example. It's truly inclusive without being judgemental (other reviewers have pointed out issues in this book).
Kat Ice
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I normally do not put small kids books on here just because I dont read them a lot and/or feel like they are not "worthy" enough to count against my yearly Goodreads goal. But I thought I really needed this one on here because I believe everyone should read this. Even if your super religious, not religious at all or anywhere in between. I feel this is so important to so many people now adays. I am putting a whole video up about this and how important I feel it is!
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars -- I'm not religious, but I am truly happy churches like this exist. This is a picture book about a real church that welcomes absolutely everyone with open arms, no matter how they're dressed or who they are. Kids will enjoy the wildly colorful illustrations depicting every sort of human being and style of dress.
Ooh, it takes every kind of people
To make what life's about, yeah
Every kind of people
To make the world go 'round
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I love that Gayle Pitman and Laure Fournier have teamed up again -- This Day in June is one of my favorites. This picture book is similarly full of lovely, intricate, inclusive drawings, but I think the rhymes suffer a bit, and it didn't quite feel as fully realized as the last book. Still, I like any positive message about religion and diversity not necessarily being mutually exclusive.
Kris Dersch
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great illustrations. This church feels familiar and like a place I'd want to be...I love that everyone is worshiping together, all ages, all styles, including kids and families. Text is very sparse, I found myself wanting more and I do feel like kids could use more context with this one, but I'm very glad it exists.
Sarah Daniluk
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm no longer religious so, when I saw this book, my hackles raised defensively. I was delighted to find that this book focused on a church, a community, accepting of all regardless of color, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, ability,'s beautiful. If only all churches acted this way...
Nadia L. Hohn
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the first time that I have ever seen a book about affirming churches. I had never heard about the illustrate nor the author. This reminds me of a United church (of Canada) that I attended for several years. A Church for All is rhyming, inclusive, and diverse. I appreciated the author’s note in the back.
Katie Reilley
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautifully illustrated picture book with diversity of church goers shown on each page. Sparse rhyming text (found myself wishing for more). Informative back matter at the end, sharing a short history of Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco.
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautifully illustrated picture book about a church welcoming all. Based on Glide Church in San Francisco, this book shows how even though we may be from different walks of life, we all come together in worship.
mary dewley
A Church for All is about the Glide Church in San Francisco, CA that is welcoming to everyone regardless. The illustrations reminded me of the 1980's Barbie coloring books. Not much for the text either.
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Gayle E. Pitman, Ph.D. is a professor of psychology at Sacramento City College. Her writing, research, and teaching focuses on issues of gender and sexual orientation. She lives in Northern California.

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