Kirkus Reviews QR Code
A CHURCH FOR ALL by Gayle E. Pitman


by Gayle E. Pitman ; illustrated by Laure Fournier

Pub Date: May 1st, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-8075-1179-4
Publisher: Whitman

This cheerful introduction to attending a Sunday-morning church service provides an overview of the experience in an inclusive, liberal Christian church.

The story opens with two dads (one white, one black) serving breakfast to their daughters, who are black. The family walks to church, meeting other adults and children of many ages, ethnicities, and body types as the congregation gathers. The huge cast of characters entering the church includes gay and lesbian couples, several people with canes, a child using a wheelchair, interracial families, and people with all sorts of looks, including shaved heads, mohawks, and tattoos. The church choir and the black pastor wear traditional robes, but the décor of the church is upbeat and contemporary, with banners proclaiming the welcoming and inclusive philosophy of this congregation. A simple, rhyming text describes some of the aspects of the worship service and different kinds of church members, with a repeated refrain emphasizing this church is for everyone. A cross is displayed at the front of the church, and one banner reads “God’s Doors Are Open to All,” but God and Jesus are not mentioned in the text. Cheerful, busy illustrations expand the minimal text with the intriguing cast of definitely diverse churchgoers, charmingly including children who can’t sit still. An author’s note explains the story was inspired by the Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco.

A humorous, upbeat look at a contemporary church community where all are welcome.

(Picture book/religion. 4-7)